“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
Today’s agents of change are often individual entrepreneurs and increasingly they are listening to their consciences and applying the talents they used in building their businesses to tackle major social problems.
Asked recently about his decision to join Bob Geldof in his Band Aid campaign Midge Ure replied: “At a time when I had no time, for whatever reason I said yes.” Bob’s appeal to Midge’s conscience set in motion a succession of innovative fund raising events that, within months, had raised a staggering £15 million plus for the starving in Africa. Without Midge’s help, Bob himself has admitted that he would probably have gone no further.
With climate change posing the biggest threat the world has ever seen, we now need many more entrepreneurs to dig deep, like Midge has since 1984, and unlock and mobilise their unique talents to help find solutions and show leadership. Of course it’s tempting to think we can just leave it to our politicians to solve the problem. But while encouraging/forcing our politicians to act is clearly vital, politicians alone cannot solve the problem.
As US social change leader and commentator Bill Shore has said; “Real social change is incredibly difficult to achieve. Obstacles range from complacency and inertia to powerful vested interests always aligned on behalf of the status quo.”
There’s arguably never been a bigger change needed than the one required to move us from our currently unsustainable use of the planet’s natural resources and services to one that enables us to first slow and then ultimately reverse the rate of global warming. To stand any chance of achieving this those most able to contribute to solving the problem should contribute the most.
In addition, unprecedented business opportunities await the canny low carbon business investor and so all businesspeople have the chance to do the right thing and make money as a result.
“Capitalism is pretty agnostic; it will do whatever you tell it to so long as you set certain rules. I thought that if we could create a framework where the market could operate, things would be much more efficient and I just felt the environment was not being priced properly.”
“The concentration of wealth and power simply means there’s less competition not more and Adam Smith would be turning in his grave to see what’s going on right now.”
Eric Urbani – Founder, The Black Emerald Group.