Cheering news via the Sustainable Eel Group, which we helped release 30,000 elvers back in 2014. That was a happy day:
I have never much liked the idea of fan clubs, but it’s a little different when you attract elements of your own. The launch of Green Swans on 7 April triggered an extraordinary groundswell of good will and enthusiasm, with abundant commentary on social media and a growing number of major media channels covering the book.
Here is a screenshot of the Financial Times review, pairing the book with Rebecca Henderson’s impending book, Reimagining Capitalism. The first time that I have been described as an “elder statesman” of the sustainability field …
Other mainstream media coverage has included pieces by Forbes and Reuters, with last week also seeing publication of a short piece by Board Intelligence. among the coverage on GreenBiz was this write-up by Shane Downing of an interview I did with GreenBiz Editor-in-Chief Joel Makower. Articles by me on related themes have appeared in places like the BMW Foundation’s TwentyThirty platform, Ethical Corporation, GreenBiz and Sustainable Brands.
Working with Louise Kjellerup Roper’s son Noah, I also created a map of the “Green Swan World Tour” to date, which has been posted on the Green Swans page of the Volans website. It plots activities from California to Japan, from Norway to South Africa, and from Australia to the United Arab Emirates.
In fact, recent weeks have been a blizzard of podcasts and webcasts and webinars and the like. Here are a few of the events:
The reactions on Green Swans have been pretty much uniformly positive to date – but why the sense of the fan club dynamic? Well, it’s because of the photos people have been posting of the book in the context of their own lives, as in the following:
By no means finally, we soft-launched our new Green Swan Observatory in my keynote for the Catapult Cloud event hosted from Oslo on 19 May. The idea is to scout for, analyse and support emergent Green Swan trajectories around the world. The next stepping stone will be my webinar in Tokyo (see below, though again done from our front study in Barnes) on 5 June, World Environment Day 2020.
Well, they have almost certainly been there for a while, but today is the first time I have noticed the extraordinary proliferation of Asian clams in the River Thames as we walked along the Barnes foreshore.
Elaine and I had walked around the Leg ‘O Mutton reservoir, only to find ourselves, as is our habit, going counter-clockwise – when everyone else had read the signs and were going clockwise, to ensure social distancing. So I guided Elaine down some seriously slimy steps onto the foreshore – which is where I spotted the clams, both alive and dead.
Initially, I took them for good news, thinking any proliferation of life must be good. Then I looked them up. Something of an ecological and industrial nightmare. Gaia suggested clam chowder later in the day, but eating filter feeders direct from the Thames hardly seems like an entirely sensible idea …
Because of the mention elsewhere on this site of Glencot, the preparatory school Gray and I went to in the 1960s, a fair few fellow inarcerees have got in touch over the years. Some have got in touch with old friends via the site. This week Gray sorted out some old photos to send to the most recent one to get in touch, Francisco Caralps, from Chile. This was me back then, perhaps 1960 or 1961. Pre-Beatles, clearly. What was I thinking the future held?
Thinking of the “Golden Generation” today, as they called them this evening on the BBC, or the “Greatest Generation” as they are remembered in America. Those who got us through the Second World War, our parents among them.
Tim in the RAF from the Battle of Britain on, Pat in the ATS – where she would drive people like Orde Wingate and, later in the war, survivors from the Japanese prisoner-of-war camps, whose experiences she later confessed that she struggled to understand.
Watched The Queen this evening, talking about her experiences at the time, with her own ATS cap prominent on her desk.
May 8th may mark VE Day, but it was also when our parents – Pat Adamson and Tim Elkington – married in 1948. They both died last year, in their late nineties, but were very much in our minds today as we watched the 75th VE Day celebrations.
Delightfully, our own locked down street, Cambridge Road, like so many others, erupted in communal renditions of songs like It’s A Long Way To Tipperary and We’ll Meet Again. I was busy upstairs with one of the endless stream of podcasts and webinars I’m doing at the moment, mainly on the subject of the new book, Green Swans. But found the whole thing profoundly moving.
Today’s celebrations also brought to mind the string of bombs that went down our street in Barnes during the war, taking out the ceilings in our house and levelling several others, with an incendiary bomb accidentally discovered a few years back just the other side of the wall alongside our kitchen. Elaine was summoned out of our home by the police. Very small beer compared with what people suffered in the. Blitz, but memorable nonetheless.
And here, in celebration of their roles in the lives of the four of us (Caroline, Gray, Tessa and I), and of their extraordinary lives together, are three photographs that conjure those long-gone days of May 8th 1948 when hopes were high for ultimate recovery and a better world: