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Creating a sustainable future

Celebrating Volunteer Week 2024 with a guest blog from WEAll Scotland volunteer Paul

Picture of Paul standing outside in front of some trees

I've operated as an independent, freelance Management Consultant for the last 30 years or so. For the last 10-15 years, my core service offering has been providing advice on strategy development and strategy execution, mainly for large multinational corporations, but also some medium sized companies and public and third sector organisations.

For the last five years or so, my mission has been to enhance this service offering to put sustainability at the heart of both strategy development and its execution within business. What has become abundantly clear during this time is that it is impossible for any business to be fully sustainable while it operates within an unsustainable system.

Also, it has become clear that if businesses are to move towards a sustainable future, this will not only require leadership within the organisation itself (in the traditional 'enterprise' space) but will also require leadership outside the organisation (in the 'system' space). This is where the power of the Wellbeing Economy comes in for me. If we change our economic systems to put wellbeing at the heart of our economies via formal models, this allows businesses to formally contribute to a sustainable future, both for themselves and for the system which support them.

I first joined the Wellbeing Economy Alliance Scotland (WEAll Scotland) as a volunteer at the end of 2023 as part of a potential academic opportunity to investigate the financial system change required to support the Wellbeing Economy on local, national, and global scales. Although this academic opportunity didn't come to fruition for me, I was delighted to discover that the Wellbeing Economy community in Scotland is keen to keep up the relationship, as am I.

As I move forward in my career, my role is to provide boards and senior management teams with advice on how to put sustainability at the heart of what they do. Looking at this through the twin lenses of my extensive business experience and knowledge of sustainability, this seems quite simple to me (conceptually at least). At a high-level, businesses must manage both value and risk at the enterprise level (as they have always done), but also complement this with management of both value and risk outside their organisations at the system level. I envisage my role with WEAll Scotland as being akin to a 'pollinator' spreading these ideas and techniques between WEAll Scotland and the businesses who I advise.


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