Everyone’s got “purpose” these days. But how to back it up with practice?
Many organisations have lofty vision or mission statements about building a sustainable world. But on the corporate side, companies must balance those values with the core drive to maximise profit and keep investors happy. Meanwhile NGOs, though founded on such principles, struggle with the reality of resource scarcity, due process, political considerations, and keeping funders happy. And political institutions reside within a world of stifling bureaucracy, powerful lobbies, mercurial public opinion, and the relentless news cycle.
When faced with the concrete towers of “the system” pushing down upon us, it can feel daunting to look upward. But each of us has power within our context, or our “circle of control”, to increase our impact. We can always be doing more to talk and come to agreement, between work hierarchies, between collaborating organisations, between sectors. In other words, align. Then we can practically become accountable to our shared goals of equitability and sustainability, and pull each other through the quagmire to the grassy meadow on the other side.
People from politics, NGOs, companies, movements, artists — those of us working for sustainability — already agree on so much. Why is “purpose” such a trendy buzzword? Why do people tune into discussions like this? It’s not just a hopeful belief it can make a difference. It’s because we know there’s no other choice. That’s why it’s important to bring people together and share perspectives, best practices, and creative executions, so we can continue to build critical mass.
And that’s why I’m co-hosting a series of free online events with Brussels sustainability superstar Jo Sullivan of Conscience Consult, called THINK ACT CHANGE. We’re bringing leaders from corporations, institutions, and NGOs together to answer some of these questions. The first one is on aligning practice with purpose and features Monica Mireles Serrano from IKEA Group; Rachel Owens from Global Witness and Dan Berelowitz of Spring Impact.
Ready to #thinkactachange?