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APOLOGIES
Blog has been taken hostage

Saturday, 15 February 2014

The cessation of this blog for a couple of months is entirely involuntary. The original webmaster who constructed the site, Craig Ray of Origin Creative, moved to New Zealand and has become progressively harder to contact. Unfortunately, he still has some critical keys to the site, where a recent change knocked out the ability to post photos or other images. We are working to try to get Origin to respond, even to the degree of simply telling us where the problem is, but for the moment we are caught in ab it of a hiatus.... more >

Posted at 2:55:00 p.m. on Saturday, 15 February 2014 by John Elkington.

Interface
Deep dive into Mission Zero

Friday, 22 November 2013

1
Carpet spectrum
2
Bobbins
3
I'm squatter in tanker reflection
4
Into the Awarehouse
5
Welcomed
6
Reflected in the Net Effect ceiling
7
Shadowed
8
Natural inspiration
9
Doors

Amy (Birchall) and I flew across to Amsterdam on Wednesday evening, walking to the Mercure hotel in Amersfoort in pouring rain and a considerable wind, to spend a couple of days with Interface at their Scherpenzeel site. Fascinating interviews, from C-Suite to shopfloor, for a project we're doing for the company on which more anon. Key focus on progress with Mission Zero. Then a delayed flight back to Heathrow. ... more >

Posted at 11:35:00 p.m. on Friday, 22 November 2013 by John Elkington.

A Day of Justice and Zero Tolerance
New blitz to slow death toll among London cyclists

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

I finally got my day in court today, when the motorist who left me unconscious after knocking me off my cycle in Berwick Street in March came to trial at the Magistrates' Court in Queen Victoria Street. Interesting that the case coincided with the beginning of which might just be a new era in the up-and-down story of London cycling. I picked up this evening's Evening Standard because of the front page, with its blaring headline: 'POLICE BLITZ TO COMBAT CYCLE CARNAGE.' This after six cyclists were killed in less that two weeks this month. The police are promising "zero tolerance" in their crack-down on dangerous road users, including cyclists.... more >

Posted at 9:41:00 p.m. on Tuesday, 19 November 2013 by John Elkington.

Monday, Monday
London Stock Exchange and then Sustainable Brands

Monday, 18 November 2013

Opening the Exchange
Before opening the Exchange: Toby Heaps, photographer, Mark Makepeace, Paul Avery

Went first thing to the London Stock Exchange, for launch of CK Capital's latest benchmarking survey of stock exchanges in relation to corporate sustainability disclosures. Corporate Knights co-founder and President Toby Heaps was joined by Mark Makepeace (Chief Executive of the FTSE Group) and Paul Avery (Head of Investments, Aviva Investors).... more >

Posted at 9:07:00 p.m. on Monday, 18 November 2013 by John Elkington.

Blood, Gore & Slaughter
Generation Investment Management's CEO Sustainability Summit

Friday, 15 November 2013

1
David Blood opens the event
2
John Kao and piano
3
Stairwell at St Pancras Hotel
4
Ditto
5
Jochen Zeitz in sustainable consumption session
6
Ditto
8
And ditto again
9
Al Gore and Sir Jony Ive in the last session

A quite remarkably interesting couple of days with Generation, kicking off with a dinner at the Natural History Museum's Darwin Centre last night, where, among many other conversations, I had a great catch-up with Bill McDonough.... more >

Posted at 10:21:00 p.m. on Friday, 15 November 2013 by John Elkington.

Large Hadron Collider comes to London
Science Museum's new exhibition

Thursday, 14 November 2013

The hottest place on Earth
The hottest place on Earth
Warning sign
Warning sign
Detail of Collider
Detail of one of the many whiteboards and pinboards in the exhibition
4
Cross section of an important part, but don't ask me which
5
A moment in time
6
The Collider remined me of a stained glass rose windown in a cathedral
Cartoon
Cartoon
Schrodinger's Cat, dead or alive
Schrodinger's Cat, dead or alive
Higg's boson's place in the puzzle
Higgs boson's place in the puzzle
The champagne bottle that popped when the news came in
The champagne bottle that popped when the news came in
Shadows on the way back to the Tube
Shadows on the way back to the Tube

Elaine and I made our way across to the Science Museum this morning for a relatively early start -- and a private tour of the Large Hadron Collider exhibition. Stunningly interesting and, in places, beautiful. One of the most fascinating exhibitions I have ever visited and a wonderful introduction to some of the very human sides of this great exploration into the very essence of the universe, alongside the mind-boggling science.... more >

Posted at 11:04:00 p.m. on Thursday, 14 November 2013 by John Elkington.

Slightly Lagged
But relishing the Fall

Sunday, 10 November 2013

En route to Richmond Park
En route to Richmond Park
In the Park, sweet chestnut litter
In the Park, sweet chestnut litter
Back in Barnes
Back in Barnes

I always say I don't get jet-lag, but after all the jetting back and forth of recent weeks, to South America and back, and then to North America and back, I confess I have felt a little displaced since getting in to Heathrow yesterday. Still, a walk in Richmond Park this afternoon worked wonders, with wonderful fall colours, croaking deer and brilliant sunshine. ... more >

Posted at 4:44:00 p.m. on Sunday, 10 November 2013 by John Elkington.

Breakthrough, Take 4: Evergreen Brick Works & CityWorks
The citizen's eye view of Breakthrough cities

Saturday, 9 November 2013

1
Evergreen Brick Works garden, with part of leaning chimney on right
2
Evergreen, smiles
Peter (Love), John (Brodhead), Geoff (Cape)
Peter (Love), John (Brodhead), Geoff (Cape)
4
Chairs
In session, Aaron on right
In session, Aaron on right
5
Discussion
6
One wall, of four walls that were seeing similar activity
8
Roofscape
9
Reception (detail)
10
Bridge
11
Graffito

Our final Toronto session was out at the Evergreen Brick Works, an extraordinary reclamation project that is greening the quarry and brickworks that produced most of the bricks used to build the city. Astronishing project. Find out more about the story here. This really is an extraordinary social enterprise: can't wait to go back and take a proper prowl around. Wonderful to see a little of Char's father Peter, too.... more >

Posted at 12:28:00 p.m. on Saturday, 9 November 2013 by John Elkington.

Breakthrough Canada, Take 2-3
Taking our message to MaRS

Friday, 8 November 2013

MaRS1
The field of play for our main event at MaRS, Alan Gelberg of MaRS on right
MaRS2
Bob Willard, top left, during one of the working group sessions
MaRS3
Charmian Love of Volans as we wind down
MaRS4
Someone's left a paperclip
MaRS5
Joeri (van den Steenhoven, top) and Aaron (Williamson, Value Web) finish up on the visuals

We'll be posting more on the Volans website imminently, and including a report in our latest newsletter, but in headlines our first Breakthrough Canada events went wonderfully well. we started off with a CEO breakfast, introduced by Ilse Treurnicht, CEO of the MaRS Discovery District. And what an amazing place MaRS proved to be.  But then our team member Char(mian) Love knew that already, having worked there as an intern some six years ago, before coming to Volans.... more >

Posted at 3:54:00 p.m. on Friday, 8 November 2013 by John Elkington.

Breakthrough Canada, Take 1
CBSR annual conference

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

CSBR1
Some of CSBR team, CBSR ED Steven Fish centre, plus Lorraine Smith of SustainAbility NYC, left
Exterior of Shangri-La hotel
Exterior of Shangri-La hotel, as I walked past
CBSR3
Shangri-La, again

Turned out that our Breakthrough Canada events more or less coincided with Canadian Business for Social Responsibility (CBSR)'s 11th annual conference, with the result that I was asked to kick off the CBSR event with an opening plenary. Great fun--and wonderful to be introduced so warmly to the audience by Doug Miller of GlobeScan, a long-standing friend and colleague. The focus of the event was on what CBSR call the Transformational Company.... more >

Posted at 10:36:00 p.m. on Wednesday, 6 November 2013 by John Elkington.

Steve Warshal at 70
A world before Electric Ladyland

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Steve in hippier days
Steve in hippier days
And younger still
And younger still

A lovely evening with the Warshals and friends, celebrating Steve's seventieth birthday. He still seems ageless. First came across him and his wife Sandar when he was a Director of Greenpeace UK and was organising conferences, including one built around our Green Consumer agenda, way back in the late 1980s. Great conversation with Peter Melchett about a range of issues, including sustainable food. In terms of the question on the second slide above, the famous musician Steve went to school with back in Seattle was Jimi Hendrix.... more >

Posted at 11:27:00 p.m. on Saturday, 2 November 2013 by John Elkington.

In Memory of Jaime Garzón
A Halloween lunch and walkabout

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Jaime Garzón photos in background
Jaime Garzón photos in background
On the threshold
On the threshold
1
Corner
Colours
Even the doors have eyebrows
Church
Storm clouds
Birds and cage
The birds and the cage
Graffito
Graffito
Juanita's T-shirt
Juanita's T-shirt
With Felipe
With Felipe
With Juanita
With Juanita
Aerial figure
Aerial figure
Wings
Wings
Palm
Palm
Kimono
Kimono
Halloween llamas
Halloween llamas
Photograph
Photograph
Disappearing tram tracks
Disappearing tram tracks
Where the revolution began
Where the revolution began
Aping Fidel
Fidel gives the finger
Halloween cakes
Halloween cakes
Shot from a speeding car
Shot from a speeding car, airport-bound

Worked at a fair pace this morning in the hotel, taking a number of phone calls including one with Amy (Birchall) from London and another with a headhunter from New York. Then by car to El Patio Restaurant for a lunch hosted by María López, and including Margarita Marino de Botero, Felipe Arango, Juanita Rico and Marco Volpe of Coca-Cola Colombia. ... more >

Posted at 9:12:00 p.m. on Thursday, 31 October 2013 by John Elkington.

Semana Goes for Breakthrough
And a close encounter with coffee in the Botanical Gardens

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Botanical Gardens
Botanical Gardens
Palms
Palms
Irises
Irises
Getting ready for the event
Getting ready for the event
Outside the Gardens
Outside the Gardens
Wendy Arenas Wightman being interviewed at Semana
Wendy Arenas Wightman being interviewed at Semana
Margarita Marino de Botero says she is pre-Internet, but uses iPad
Margarita Marino de Botero says she is pre-Internet, but uses iPad

It's decided: I am falling in love with Colombia. Took a cab this morning to the José Celestino Mutis Botanical Gardens, though taking a cab here can be a matter of some courage. The roads aren't great and the driving is worse. I have seen two multi-vehicle collisions since arriving. But I arrived in good time and the driver kindly guided me into the Gardens.... more >

Posted at 10:10:00 p.m. on Wednesday, 30 October 2013 by John Elkington.

Alisos and Amazonas 2030
Coming home

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Some of the participants
Some of the participants

On 25 April 2010, Volans was visted by Amazonia campaigner Martín von Hildebrand, and then on 21 May this year we were visited by his partner, Wendy Arenas Wightman. Having flown in from Cartagena earlier today, I took a cab across to Usaquen this afternoon for a session with Wendy and board members from Alisos and from the Amazonas 2030 Partnership. It felt like coming home--and we are already thinking through how we can work together in future, alongside some of the other organisations Wendy has helped introduce me to here in Colombia.... more >

Posted at 10:55:00 p.m. on Tuesday, 29 October 2013 by John Elkington.

Nestlé Creating Shared Value Forum 2013
Even the Indians find it hot in Cartagena

Monday, 28 October 2013

All along the watchtower
All along the watchtower
Streetscape
Streetscape
Graffiti
Graffiti
Flowers in Hotel Santa Clara
Flowers in Hotel Santa Clara
Heat and humidity at work on camera
Heat and humidity at work on camera
Flowers on roof of hotel
Flowers on roof of hotel
Martín Burt of Fundacion Paraguaya
Martín Burt of Fundación Paraguaya
Carved apple
Carved apple
Ruth Onano'o speaks at the Forum
Ruth Oniang'o speaks at the Forum
Ruth and Maggie
Ruth and Maggie (Margaret Catley-Carlson, Patron of the Global Water Partnership)
Apparent ghost ship in harbour
Apparent ghost ship in harbour, thanks to humidity

Flew in to Bogotá and then Cartagena on Friday, for the meeting of the Nestlé Creating Shared Value Advisory Board on Sunday and then the 2013 Creating Shared Value Forum today. A key part of the Advisory Board meeting involved reviewing finalists for the Nestlé Prize in Creating Shared Value. Great to hear an update from the last winner, Martín Burt of Fundación Paraguaya. The weather was very hot, to the point where even colleagues from India commented on it.... more >

Posted at 11:53:00 p.m. on Monday, 28 October 2013 by John Elkington.

The Stuff of Dreams
Speaking at the K-Fair in Dusseldorf and Green Business Congress in Brussels

Monday, 21 October 2013

The Rhine when Celina and I walk down to the shore ahead of dinner
The Rhine when Celina and I walk down to the shore ahead of dinner
Richard (Northcote), Celina (Chew) and Patrick (Thomas) of Bayer MaterialScience
Richard (Northcote), Celina (Chew) and Patrick (Thomas) of Bayer MaterialScience
The field of battle: where I spoke for PlasticsEurope
The field of battle: where I spoke for PlasticsEurope
Another angle
Another angle
Patrick demonstrates flexible cabling
Patrick demonstrates flexible cabling
Graffiti-proof coatings
Graffiti-proof coatings
Wind turbine blade, like a giant eel
Wind turbine blade, like a giant eel
Robotic swimming device, like a mermaid or walrus tail
Partial exoskeleton: robotic swimming device, like a mermaid or walrus tail
ET-like exhibit
ET-like exhibit
Another angle
Another angle
Patrick Thomas in green tie
Patrick Thomas in green tie
Video of Solar Impulse landing or taking off
Video of Solar Impulse landing or taking off
All aboard the ICE train
All aboard the ICE train

Things have been moving so fast recently that life risks turning into a bit of a blur. That said, I enjoyed my trip to the K-Fair in Dusseldorf, where I was hosted by Bayer MaterialScience--speaking both for them (see this YouTube edited highlights video) and for PlasticsEurope. I spoke in a series including such people as Joschka Fisher (who I once debated in Wiesbaden, way back in 1989), Bertrand Piccard (the motive force behind the amazing Solar Impulse aircraft) and Yoshiyuki Sankai (who works in the field of exoskeletons).The theme was dreams for the future.... more >

Posted at 10:12:00 p.m. on Monday, 21 October 2013 by John Elkington.

A 2052 Week
To Cambridge and a 6-hour Skype call

Sunday, 13 October 2013

1
Jorgen Randers on left
1B
And on right
2
Paul Gilding lsitens to Tom Gladwin's 'Sustainability Blues'
3
Ditto
4
Ditto ditto

Despite my wilting blogging output, it's time to catch up on  a busy week, as the rain continues to gurgle in the gutters outside. It has been a week of highs and a low. T... more >

Posted at 5:55:00 p.m. on Sunday, 13 October 2013 by John Elkington.

Universal Everything & Me
Visit to Science Museum

Monday, 30 September 2013

Image 1
Image 1
Image 2
Image 2
Image 3
Image 3
Image 4
Image 4
Image 5
Image 5

Started the day with a visit to the new Media Space at the Science Museum, getting a guided tour of the wonderful exhibition of photographs by Tony Ray-Jones and Martin Parr, and then of the Universal Everything & You space, where you can sketch on iPads and the system takes over and elaborates your doodles into the most amazing, swirling animations - which I noted to William Waldegrave and a few others was almost as good as LSD. Was then asked by the curator if she could quote me? ... more >

Posted at 5:44:00 p.m. on Monday, 30 September 2013 by John Elkington.

After the Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime
10 years on the blogging front

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Chez Zedel
Chez Zedel

Just back from The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, with Elaine and American friends Jim and Heather Salzman. The original book was published 10 years ago, in May 2003, and it struck me that I began this blog series exactly 10 years ago, in September 2013, with an entry on our visit to the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution on Cape Cod. And, as chance would have it, Heather asked us earlier this evening about a painting by Caroline (Elkington) in the kitchen of Elaine walking along the seahore near Wellfeet, on Cape Cod, that same year.... more >

Posted at 12:40:00 a.m. on Sunday, 22 September 2013 by John Elkington.

Friday 13th
A few days off, with clippers

Friday, 13 September 2013

Cutty Sark 1
Cutty Sark 1
The distant Shard from the deck of the Cutty Sark
The distant Shard from the deck of the Cutty Sark
Rigging
Rigging
Hullscape 1
Hullscape 1
Hullscape 2
Hullscape 2
Emily Young 1
Emily Young 1
Emily Young 2
Emily Young 2
Emily Young 3
Emily Young 3
St John's Gate 1
Church of St John, Clerkenwell St John's: floorscape
St John's Gate 2
St John's Gate Museum: galley
St John's Gate 3
St John's Gate Museum: helmets
St John's Gate 4
St John's Gate Museum: the other side

Took a few days off this week to recuperate. Went to Greenwich for the first time, on a Thames clipperwith Elaine, to see the Cutty Sark, and various other delights--including the National Maritime Museum and the extraordinarily beautiful exhibition, Visions of the Universe. Not sure which is my favourite nebula, but a number of them features. Dropped into Waterstones to buy some books, and among other things came away with Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall, which I had been meaning to read for ages. Dived in and haven't surfaced since. Overwhelming.... more >

Posted at 5:52:00 p.m. on Friday, 13 September 2013 by John Elkington.

Stalled
But time to blog

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Less than an hour before the Iberia flight back to Madrid, and thence to London, was due to take off, someone came to say that the plane had been withdrawn, due to mechanical problems. We would have to stay over until tomorrow. So I found my way to a different Hotel Camino Real, this time at the airport, and checked in.... more >

Posted at 8:06:00 p.m. on Thursday, 5 September 2013 by John Elkington.

Walmart de Mexico
Sustainability Summit, take 2

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

The ribbon is cut, by about 20 pairs of scissors
The ribbon is cut, by about 20 pairs of scissors
CEO panel
CEO panel
Tigers
Tigers

Headed out early to the conference venue for the Walmart sustainability event, the second in a series that started in 2010. The ribbon was cut by an extraordinary number of dignitaries, everyone ending up with their fragment. The working day started with a session with perhaps 20 CEOs listening to the Secretary for Environment and Natural Resources. Parallel sessions included people like Paul Simpson of CDP, who I would have very much liked to hear, but I was repeatedly hooked away to do interviews for business magazines and a green TV channel.... more >

Posted at 11:20:00 p.m. on Wednesday, 4 September 2013 by John Elkington.

Wings of a City
The sculptures of Jorge Marin

Monday, 2 September 2013

JM1
Jorge Marin 1
JM 2
Jorge Marin 2
JM3
Jorge Marin 3
JM4
Jorge Marin 4
JM5
Jorge Marin 5
JM6
Jorge Marin 6

I have always been a sucker for wings, so I was sideswiped when Mauricio (Bonilla) and I were walking back to the hotel from the National Museum of Anthropology--and came across the long line of sculptures, 'Wings of a City,' by Jorge Marin. Made me feel I wanted to be fitted out for a new pair of wings on the spot.... more >

Posted at 10:30:00 p.m. on Monday, 2 September 2013 by John Elkington.

Mexico City
A visit to the National Museum of Anthropology

Monday, 2 September 2013

NMA 1
NMA 1: flying dancers
NMA 2
NMA 2: Aztec Viagra
NMA 3
NMA 3: skull
Five figures and me
NMA 4: Five figures and me
Two hats
NMA 5: Two hats
God of war
NMA 6: God of war
Passers by
NMA 7: Passers by
Passers by 2
NMA 8: Hovering, like the Mekon
Contortions
NMA 9: Contortions
Peyote jar
NMA 10: Peyote jar
Sacrificial altar
NMA 11: Sacrificial altar

Having arrived in Mexico City last night, I had thought I would spend much of today writing, but Maurico Bonilla--who I first met when he was a student in 2003 at Imperial College, arrived for a coffee--and we decided to go for a walk through nearby Chapultepec Park. Among other things, he is Editor of ReConnecta, a sustainability-oriented newsletter and website based in Mexico City.... more >

Posted at 8:38:00 p.m. on Monday, 2 September 2013 by John Elkington.

A Colourful Place to Lay My Head
Arriving in Mexico City

Monday, 2 September 2013

Hotel Camino Real 1
Hotel Camino Real 1
Hotel Camino Real 2
Hotel Camino Real 2
Camino Real flowers
Camino Real flowers

Even though it is overcast, and inclined to toss down buckets of rain several times a day, among the first things to strike me about Mexico City was the colour. And the interminable queue to get through immigration, though I was met by a charming young woman and driven into the city. And the bad roads. ... more >

Posted at 3:57:00 p.m. on Monday, 2 September 2013 by John Elkington.

The Grain Store
Sampling Bruno Loubet again, in King's Cross

Saturday, 31 August 2013

Livening up King's Cross
Livening up King's Cross

Elaine, Gaia, Hania and I had lunch today at Bernard Loubet's new restaurant, The Grain Store, in King's Cross. Glorious food and, because we were serendipitously able to celebrate our fortieth wedding anniversary, I also ordered a bottle of Nyetimber 'champagne,' grown in West Sussex. Extraordinarily good--one of the very, very few good things I can think of to say about climate change.... more >

Posted at 9:23:00 p.m. on Saturday, 31 August 2013 by John Elkington.

GIZ in Bonn
An immersion in values

Thursday, 22 August 2013

The carpet ripples around the feet of John Ruggie and Phil Clothier
The carpet ripples around the feet of John Ruggie and Phil Clothier
Bonn 2
Altes Rathaus
Tell covers his eyes, John Ruggie beams
Tell covers his eyes, John Ruggie beams

I was part of the teaching faculty, organised by Tell Muenzing and his colleagues, at the GIZ summer school on responsible business, these past fews days, in Bonn. GIZ is a key part of the German Government's contribution to sustainable development around the world.... more >

Posted at 10:22:00 p.m. on Thursday, 22 August 2013 by John Elkington.

Hill House, Full Summer
A day of rampant cabbages and Peacock butterflies

Friday, 16 August 2013

Tim and Pat
Tim and Pat
Cabbage in the garden behind the barn
Cabbage in the garden behind the barn
Pat contemplates the beans
Pat contemplates the beans
One of Caroline's cron cobs served for supper
One of Caroline's cron cobs served for supper
A bowl of cherry tomatoes
A bowl of cherry tomatoes

A day in Little Rissington, with much of the family. Elaine saw the buddleia bush completely covered in peacock butterflies, which was encouraging. We drove back to London very late, with a huge haul of vegetables from the garden. Joyous.... more >

Posted at 11:53:00 p.m. on Friday, 16 August 2013 by John Elkington.

Gratitude for Sustainability Leadership
With thanks to Jo Confino

Monday, 5 August 2013

Out of the blue, Jo Confino warned me a couple of days ago in an email that he was writing a blog for the Guardian Sustainable Business website, having read George Eliot's Middlemarch. The mind boggled. Having never read the novel, I looked it up on Wikipedia, and couldn't quite imagine the tack he would take. It duly appeared yesterday. Lovely to have such feedback while the blood is still pumping around my veins, rather than when I am stone cold and bound elsewhere, as Jo himself noted. I thank him. Great to be in such company, though as the later comments on the website note, Jo's list could have been way longer.... more >

Posted at 4:17:00 p.m. on Monday, 5 August 2013 by John Elkington.

Painting an Archbishop
Interviewing Justin Welby as a new portrait is begun

Monday, 15 July 2013

The painting in progress, the subject distracted

The painting in progress, its subject distracted... more >

Posted at 10:43:00 p.m. on Monday, 15 July 2013 by John Elkington.

 

 
 
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