It all started with a project at work. The project involved modelling Australia’s future to 2060. The conclusion was that Australia’s future is not looking very bright if we continue the way we are going.
Our environment, economy and society need fundamental action in order to see a sustainable, thriving future.
I knew that there were people around the world already acting on these issues. Some of them were changing government policy, others were building new businesses to solve social/environmental issues. So I left my job to learn from them.
I spent 2019 travelling the world meeting leaders who act on the big issues on a daily basis.
I spent 9 months travelling to 23 countries, meeting over 50 leaders (including Professor Muhammad Yunus..!) and attending 15 conferences.
The purpose of the trip was to meet with leaders to have deeper, richer conversations about how they are tackling the world’s most pressing issues.
Some of the conversation topics included:
- Sustainability: Waste management, Sustainable urban food management, clean energy, declaring a climate emergency
- Powerful business models: B Corporations, female led business, startup ecosystems, social enterprises
- Government action: Smart cities, universal basic income, digital governments
Upon returning home, I had many people ask me what I learned. Surprisingly, the most valuable thing I learned was not about new policies or business models. It was actually about how to have deeper conversations and ask better questions.
The power of conversations
My trip was an amalgamation of conversations. From formal meetings to bump ins on a bus. Overall, I found that people care so deeply about the state of the world. However, people often shared with me that they don’t know how to talk about these issues. They are worried they might sound stupid or be proven wrong.
But when we chatted further, they found that having conversations about complex issues doesn’t need to be daunting. Action on these issues happen when we start to have humble conversations that focus on learning rather than being ‘right.’ When we learn together through deeper conversations, we can create powerful change.
These insights are here to fuel new conversations about the big issues in the world. Read them. Chat with your friends about them. Make plans together about how you can act on the issues that matter.
Remember, there is no planet B, but together we can build a pretty amazing plan B to save our planet. We need to start that conversation today.