Flew to Schipol on Sunday – then train to Leiden – for my first Board meeting with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). Held in a little castle with a moat. Outgoing Board members included Born Stigson of WBCSD and Judy Henderson, who I first knew when she was with Oxfam. Jacqueline Aloisi de Larderel, long an ally when she ran the UNEP’s trade, industry and economics department in Paris, was also due to step down – but has mercifully agreed to stay n for a year until the new head of the Paris office has the time to take over.
I confess I was feeling fairly down about the prospects of such initiatives to survive the impending financial storm, let alone thrive and drive the level of change needed in the world. But an impending KPMG survey suggests that the GRI approach to sustainability reporting continues to make major inroads around the world. And I have been asked back in September to explore new business models for GRI, which could be interesting.
More positively still, the moat had a wonderful statue of a birdman, a combination of a heron (my lucky bird) and a human figure. Homo volans, whatever the sculptor may have labelled the piece. I got my shoes very wet creeping around through the grass to catch a picture of a real heron that had alighted behind the statue, but maned the trick.
Later, I had to wait 7-8 hours at Schipol to catch a flight home, because my rock-bottom fare tied me to a late night flight, but I used the time to read I bought in Schipol, The Nuremberg Interviews, by Leon Goldensohn – an American psychiatrist wh interviewed two dozen leaders of the Third Reich who were charged with carrying out genocide. They included Hans Frank, Hermann Goering and Joachim von Ribbentrop.
A very different form of accountability, but absolutely fascinating. And sickening how George W. Bush, Dick Cheney et al have managed to undermine the legacy of those who fought to ensure new forms of global justice.