Just back from a week in Lisbon – and here are some images to capture the spirit of the journey.
My hips and knees are complaining after a march that took us over three hours just to clear Park Lane, but Gaia and I had a wonderful time reading the placards and talking to people. The mood was just as wonderful as last time we did this – but the size of the demonstration seemed much bigger. We were still in Park Lane when Parliament Square was already crammed.
Back in 1997, after two years of refusing to work with Shell after the Brent Spar and Ken Sara-Wiwa controversies, SustainAbility helped the oil company to produce its first Triple Bottom Line report, People, Planet, Profit. Tom Delfgaauw, then Vice President of Sustainable Development, had brought us in to work alongside ADL.
Today Geoff Lye and I went by Eurostar to Brussels, to take Tom (who had suffered a recent fall, ending up with three stitches in his mouth) out to lunch to mark the end of his period of involvement in SustainAbility, and ours.
We had asked him where he wanted to go – and he said Restaurant Bon Bon. Both the food and the wines were unbelievably good, each dish with its own wine. Six dishes, six wines: Rias Baixas, Leirana; Pessac-Léognan 2012, Château La Louvière; En Quatre Vis 2016, Les Marnes Blanches, Jura; Tourraine Rouge 2017, Les Hautes-Baigneux; Douro 2015, Quinta da Gaivosa; and Saké Yogokoishi 1999.
A stunning meal – and stunningly expensive, too. But a milestone well marked – and I hugely enjoyed travelling to and fro with Geoff, in quite remarkably warm Spring weather. February weather full of portents, but an extraordinary way to mark the 25th year of the Triple Bottom Line.
Yesterday, Friday, Louise and I were across with Carlo and Conor of Twist Creative in Kew, working on the roll-out of our new branding, based on the hummingbird – see below.
After our session, I decided to walk back along the River Thames, as the light faded, the first time I had ever walked that path. It was unbelievably beautiful, like going back in a Tardis to Edwardian times, or similar.
The first three photos above were taken on that walk back to Barnes. The second three were taken today, Saturday, as we retraced much of that route in glorious sunshine. Elaine had been urging me to walk the route for decades, but I had never got around to it. How stupid am I?
Across to Nesta last night to speak at the first in a series of events co-hosted with the Universal Commons Project. The focus: how we measure social and natural capital. The focus on air quality reflects the Universal Commons Measurement Challenge; a new challenge prize to develop innovative metrics that address social and environmental externalities. Then this evening Elaine and I followed up by having dinner with Alan Schwartz and Simon Longstaff, the brains behind the Universal Commons Project, plus two of their colleagues.
Hania sent a link to the most extraordinary free diving film this morning. Watching it reminded me of my sometime semi-lucid dreams – and the time I would listen to Roger Payne’s remarkable whale song albums back in the 1980s, with the girls probably both under 10, sitting in the dark. It was as if the whales were nosing all around us. Extraordinary.
Here is the background:
In the film by Guillaume Néry, “the world champion free diver swims across the world in one breath, or at least creative editing and camera tricks present the illusion of this great feat. One Breath Around the World follows Néry to the spectacular scenes he explores without a snorkel or air tank, like a variety of underwater caves or a pod of clustered whales. The film is shot by his wife Julie Gautier who was also free diving as she filmed Néry throughout France, Finland, Mexico, Japan, the Philippines, and other oceanic destinations.
Came across to Exeter yesterday by train for an MBA Speaker Series session last night, open to public, and capacity audience. Hosted by the Exeter University Business School. Spoke on a title picked by Exeter U, “Capitalism: Does It Have A Future In A Challenging World”. My answer: Yes, but …
Dinner later with Adam Lusby and Stuart Robinson of the Business School. Then this morning I had breakfast with Tim Lenton of the new Global Systems Institute – and then went on to judge MBA student pitches, before doing one myself to them for support on our Tomorrow’s Capitalism Inquiry.
I began this blog with an entry reporting on a visit to the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution on Cape Cod, on 30 September 2003. The blog element of the website has gone through several iterations since, with older material still available on this site.
Like so many things in my life, blog entries blur the boundaries between the personal and the professional. As explained on the Home Page, the website and the blog are part platform for ongoing projects, part autobiography, and part accountability mechanism.
In this new iteration of the site, the ‘Comments’ function has been reanimated. Please do make use of it.