New report helps sustainability leaders take action in an uncertain world

Last updated: 20th December 2021

Forster Communications and Charities Aid Foundation have published a report urging sustainability leaders to adopt a new mindset of ‘active adaptation’ in order to make progress in this world of uncertainty. Building from the original Bold Thinking, Brave Action report that was published in July 2020, the research highlights new enablers and inhibitors that are impacting organisational decision-making.

It looks at three specific sets of organisational conditions – purpose, people and practice – and how they have evolved over an unprecedented 12 months of change. Not only are leaders having to deal with complex environmental and social challenges, they are doing so in a situation of extreme economic and political volatility.

From environmental concerns like climate action, biodiversity and water scarcity to diversity, inclusion and social justice, there are changing expectations from both customers and consumers with a move towards hyper transparency in demonstrating good corporate governance and ethics.

However, economic constraints, trade offs between economic progress and sustainability, over reliance on regulation, fragmentation of work culture, and lack of skills and psychological safety are all putting breaks on progress.

Speaking about the new report, Forster Communications CEO Amanda Powell Smith said:

“These uncertain times require a new, non-linear approach of active adaptation to enable social and environmental action and achieve sustainability goals. This is about making progress, not waiting for the perfect moment. Sustainability leaders are at the forefront of building a future in which everyone can thrive and we hope this report can help them continue to challenge the status quo and drive organisations forward.”

Janek Seevaratnam from Charities Aid Foundation said:

“There is no denying the complexity of the moment but also the need for bold thinking and brave action. Agility is key and we have created five questions to help sustainability leaders respond to this current state of flux. Active adaptation means delivering change despite uncertainty and requires an ongoing process of listening, learning and adjusting.”

Read the full report here.

And you can read our original Bold Thinking, Brave Action report here.

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