Let's break through
Last week's relaunch of The B Team http://bteam.org/
offers the world a uniquely compelling proposition. Can we take the group's focus on big business and turn it into a powerful movement to finally and massively convert small and midsize companies (SMCs) to sustainability? And cities? And districts within cities?
Most of the action on green has thus far been taken by large enterprises and certain state, city and national governments. Largely absent has been the segment that easily represents the bulk of most local economies around the world, as this recent +The Guardian
Tragically, for all their noise, neither large companies nor governments are yet breaking through to the degree of ambition desperately needed to save humanity from 4C-6C by century's end. And if #LimaCOP20
is any indication -- and it most certainly is! -- we KNOW #ParisCOP21
will keep us horribly short. To most, Paris has become THE hope for mankind, and any gain achieved there in December will be welcome news, not the least because it will likely spark hopeful action on multiple fronts. But let's not kid ourselves; COP21 will NOT get the job done. It alone will not avert 2C.
So SMC conversion is a front we simply cannot afford to leave out of the equation. We don't stand a prayer of SOLVING the crisis without SMCs, and I have yet to see a concerted effort to bring SMC change agents in at the speed and global scale needed
That's where I see the grand potential of The B Team and its 10-point Plan B. Plan A, say the group's founders, is green-business-as-usual. The "B" in its Plan, by contrast, is for Breakthrough, the group having adopted the Breakthrough Capitalism agenda of one of its original mentors and founders, +John Elkington
, known widely as one of the movement's elders and pioneers and today the Executive Chairman of the London-based firm, Volans, that delivers Breakthrough as a service: http://www.breakthroughcapitalism.com/
Volans caters to big business, though the Breakthrough agenda it and The B Team promote is easily adoptable by any visionary SMC. Volans even holds Breakthrough labs and events for cities, something we can presumably expect Team B to get into, as well.
One thing is certain: the Breakthrough agenda is THE agenda for a future free of devastating climate change and resource depletion, particularly when combined with the New Climate Economy launched by the Global Commission last summer http://newclimateeconomy.report/
Breakthrough is about about catapulting to a whole new level of sustainability, one driven by profound internal and societal systems change to achieve zero impact.
Elkington is the first to say that the number of large companies and cities today that fully get Breakthrough and are implementing it effectively can hardly be counted with one hand. And he is also the first to say we have just now begun what is likely the final decade we have, 2015-2025, to get EVERYONE on Breakthrough mode, or else.
Three years ago, I wrote this G+ post where he asserted 2012-2022 as the decade we couldn't get wrong:https://plus.google.com/118018939924152190745/posts/f75W5Ef4dRy
I don't know how much longer we have to keep moving the Decisive Decade Goalpost, but the science is clearly telling us he may very well be right this time around. The remaining carbon budget will be history, and we with it, unless we move at Breakthrough speed NOW, so that we may get to Zero and become contagious change agents by
2025. The idea is not to WAIT until
2025, but rather to act TODAY so we can save this thing between now and then
What I love about Team B is that its leaders have issued an open invitation to ANY company that wants to join, embrace the 10-point Plan B, move toward Breakthrough and become the cutting-edge leaders of tomorrow. To stretch our goals and become Breakthrough Companies, as it were.
That includes SMCs, and so exciting do I find these possibilities that I've decided to incorporate Plan B into my own work agenda, essentially to extend the invitation to as many SMCs, districts and cities as I can reach in NorAm and LatAm, the region I can more easily cover. I encourage ALL of you to do the same wherever you are.
In the case of SMCs, stretch goals can coalesce around three basket categories: 1) Operations, particularly culture and radical resource efficiency to get to Zero impact -- in carbon, water, waste, forests, species, oceans, minerals and the like -- 2) Revenues, which entails turning their green products and brands into market disruptors -- insurgents that dethrone unsustainable incumbents in every corner of the planet -- and 3) Social, or going significantly beyond operations and collaborating with every possible stakeholder to move the rest of society toward Breakthrough.
As Unilever CEO and B Team leader Paul Polman (pictured) has become fond of saying, no business can succeed if society fails, and we have to agree with him when he says society WILL fail if we don't take this battle to a whole new level. It behooves everyone, including the world's SMCs.
This is an opportunity to, as Elkington says, help others achieve the far higher FQ we collectively need to save the planet. That's short for Future Quotient. There is IQ (rational and intellectual intelligence), EQ (emotional intelligence) and now FQ: http://futurequotient.tumblr.com/report/
Unless we move toward Breakthrough FQ and adopt this new way of looking at businesses, neighborhoods and cities, I fear we will remain stuck in a less evolved (not to say outright dumb, clearly not very intelligent) understanding of what it takes for our companies and species to survive and thrive in the decades to come.
So what do you say? The scale of change is monumental, and we have zero time to waste. Find your place in this space, and let's get going. #climatechange #climate #carbon #greeneconomy #globalwarming #sustainability