The theory and emotions attached to being a fully "sustainable" business may be beguiling; the practice often proves rather different. To this Hot Breakfast were invited 8 members who are all operating at the (definitely metaphorical) coalface of modern enterprise, whether testing new concepts within the model of the circular economy, encouraging more holistic consumer behaviour or integrating a set of benchmarks that are broader than profit and size against which to monitor their performance.
We talked about everything from:
... the need to focus on a business's human story and impact, rather than its worthiness and sustainability;
... whether the obstructions to mindful living are cultural, and whether they are linked with how hard life is, how busy it is, or the fact that the damage we cause is usually not visible;
... how much you need to demonstrate your social value to warrant the label of 'social enterprise' or 'not for profit';
... the (counter-intuitive) benefits of building a product by starting with high-end, elite consumers, before scaling and commercialising;
... the mindset that stops businesses from investing in systems that will help them save money and resources;
... the unlikely eminence of the Angolan post office,
- plus so much more! Thank you very much to all who came, not to mention to the team at The Larder who laid on such a tasty feast. Links to some of the resources that came up in conversation are set out below.