Our autumn campaign has taken off with a bit of a bang. But, first, Elaine and I went across to a wonderful gathering on Thursday 12th at CDP to discuss next stages with fund-raising for the proposed Amulet memorial to Tessa Tennant in the City of London.
And the following day, Friday 13th, we went across to the Kochs (the good ones, not the bad ones), just the other side of Barnes Pond, to hear Mike Koch talk about his new book on his life as a wildlife vet in Africa. Called: Through My Eyes. Self-published and he’s hard to find on the internet, but a glorious, landmark publication.
At the weekend, while we were walking across Barnes Common, we watched as the wind stirred the ribbons on the plane tree that has been re-purposed as a memorial to Iris Goldsmith. Normally such memorials make me uneasy, including the vast mountains of plastic-wrapped flowers outside Kensington Palace when Princess Diana died, but in this case the effect is wonderful. A wind-powered tribute. Rather as if people are talking all around, with the ribbons picking up the zephyrs.
Then across to Copenhagen on Monday to speak at Dansk Industry (Confederation of Danish Industry)’s annual business summit, this time on the theme of the Green Transition. The event was attended by the country’s new Prime Minister, Mette Frederiksen, who I found impressive; the Crown Princes and Princesses of Denmark and Sweden; and some 1,300 CEOs and business leaders. Was told by several people that my speeches here in February helped put wind in the country’s sails.
The scale of what Denmark now aims to do collectively is breath-taking. To reduce carbon emissions by 70% below 1990 levels by 2030. Various speakers admitted they didn’t yet know how to achieve this, but the level of ambition is admirable and encouraging.
In my speech, I linked one of Denmark’s favourite sons, Hans Christian Andersen, to my evolving theme of Black Swans, Ugly Ducklings and Green Swans. As a test-run for the book, due to launch in January 2020, it seemed to go very well.
Then, on Wednesday 18th, after I flew in from Copenhagen, Louise (Kjellerup Roper) and I went across to the Royal Society to listen to Bill McDonough at an event hosted by Tim Smit and the Eden Project. Glorious meeting of the tribes, though at times uncomfortably warm.
And ringing around my head all week have been the words on the yellow banner wrapped around the September 18th edition of The Financial Times, shown below. I first caught sight of it as I walked into the Copenhagen airport lounge – and my immediate reaction was that it was one of those milestone moments when you actually see the world starting to tilt and pivot.