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Volans in Brief: Volans was founded as Volans Ventures Ltd early in 2008 to carry forward a range of projects beyond my continuing involvement with SustainAbility

2012 Update: Consulting projects in 2011 included work with clients like Allianz, Bayer, HP, Nestlé and Nike. We also began evolving a Zero Hub in partnership with Deloitte Innovation, based in Amsterdam, designed to coincide with the publication in May 2012 of my 18th book, The Zeronauts: Breaking the Sustainability Barrier, by Earthscan/Taylor & Francis. In addition to many other projects undertaken during the year, we were active on the boards or advisory boards of over 25 organisations around the world, including EcoVadis in Paris; Instituto Ethos in Sao Paulo; the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) in Amsterdam; the International Integrated Reporting Committee (IIRC) in London; and the Creating Shared Value Advisory Board, hosted by Nestlé, based in Vevey, Switzerland.

Older Content: Volans Ventures began to evolve late in 2007, in conversations between John Elkington, Pamela Hartigan, Geoff Lye and Sophia Tickell—quickly drawing in Sam Lakha and Kevin Teo. Volans works in partnership with other organizations, providing a flexible, highly leveraged means to support innovators and entrepreneurs working to bridge—and ultimately close—the great economic, social and environmental divides that pose such a profound challenge to our collective future.

The boys in Brazil
Flying down in Rio: Birds over Sugarloaf (Pão de Açúcar)

And our name? We have the flying fish (Piscis or Pisces volans) to thank for that. In Latin, volans meant ‘flying’ or ‘flying thing’—which seemed appropriate as we began to work toward a big jump forward in our field and working lives1. Volans is also a constellation in the southern sky, first described in Johann Bayer’s Uranometria in 1603, which brought to mind thoughts of navigation and the deep structure of things.

[1] The family name Exocoetidae is used for flying fish. It comes from the Greek exo-koitos, "lying down outside" or "sleeping under the stars", which, according to Wikipedia, derives from the common occurrence of sailors finding stranded flying fish lying on the decks of their boats. Less romantically, the Exocet missile—which moves between water and air—was also named after these creatures.

©2014 John Elkington. All rights reserved.