Last night marked the formal end to our first decade at Volans, the actual milestone having been 1 April, and the end of a face-to-face Board meeting involving the likes of Paul Bunje (former Chief Scientist at the XPRIZE Foundation and now co-founder of Conservation X Labs), Kavita Prakash-Mani (Global Markets Lead at WWF International), Sam Lakha and Geoff Lye.
One sad note was Louise Kjellerup Roper’s absence in Copenhagen, following the sudden death of her mother.
In the evening, I also mentioned the deaths of Richard Northcote, whose friend and former CEO Patrick Thomas spoke last night, and Tessa Tennant – with Tom Burke and Mark Campanale in the room, both of whom I had last seen at the lifetime achievement celebration event for Tessa a week or so before she died.
Also heard from long-standing friend Steve Warshal of death of another key figure from the environmental movement, though since it’s not yet mentioned on his Wikipedia site or anywhere else, I’ll not mention him by name here.
Despite the intimations of mortality, over 100 of us celebrated the first 10 years of Volans at the Wellcome Collection.
The ‘cabaret’, performed from a red-carpeted staircase, featured Geoff, Clover Hogan (whose camera took the image above), former Covestro CEO Patrick Thomas, Kavita and Paul. Went on twice as long as I had planned, and any fault was mine as the compère, but you could have heard a pin drop throughout the session.
Interesting to see several people in the above image holding copies of our new OPEN brochure, which we have been working on in recent weeks – featuring our emerging thinking around the “locked-in syndrome” our species is now suffering from. And with one of the four keys spotlighted for unlocking mindsets being the need to shift the focus from cleaning ‘fish’ (e.g. corporations) to ‘oceans’ (e.g. markets).
And below is the image I conjured at the beginning of my introduction to the evening, the photograph originating from the first visit I made with Yinka (Awoyinka) to see the Wellcome Collection Reading Room, where we held the event.
I love the upside down Antony Gormley figure, coupled with the signage, ‘Somewhere in Between’. Between worlds, between geological epochs, between our first ten years and whatever comes next. But our Board meeting over the past couple of days suggests that there could be some great things ahead …