In this lecture, John Elkington asks if sustainability investment missed by our focussing on market bubbles in current economical and financial discussions? Sustainability calls for timescales far beyond the scope of market bubbles, working in tens or even hundreds of years, in contrast to the increasingly fast pace of market volatility. Does this mean that it is immune to market bubbles, or is it doomed to be hindered by many collapses of the market before any investments are able to come to fruition? Are there fundamental market factors that can drive sustainability investment (and return) regardless to the bubbles? For the transcript or download versions of this part of the Long Finance conference, please visit the conference’s page on the Gresham College website: Bubble Trouble - Pop Goes Sustainability?"
Founding Partner & Executive Chairman of Volans, also Co-founder of SustainAbility (1987) and of ENDS (1978), John Elkington is a world authority on corporate responsibility and sustainable development. In 2004, BusinessWeek described him as “a dean of the corporate responsibility movement for three decades.”
In 2008, The Evening Standard named John among the ‘1000 Most Influential People’ in London, describing him as “a true green business guru,” and as “an evangelist for corporate social and environmental responsibility long before it was fashionable.”
In August 2001, John was named among the ‘100 Global Sustain Ability Leaders for 2011’ by ABC Carbon and the Sustain Ability Showcase Asia, based on nominations and recommendations received from around the globe.
In terms of other hats, John sits on an A-Z of strategic advisory boards and committees, from the Aflatoun Impact and Policy Analysis Steering Group, to a Cleantech Fund developed by zouk Ventures.
He has written or co-authored 17 books, including 1988’s million-selling Green Consumer Guide, 1997’s Cannibals with Forks: The Triple Bottom Line of 21st Century Business, the book which brought his triple bottom line concept and agenda to a wider audience, and 2008’s The Power of Unreasonable People.
John is currently working on his latest book, The Zeronauts, due for publication in Spring 2012. The Zeronauts spotlights a new breed of innovators, entrepreneurs, investors and policy-makers who are pushing towards zero targets. John is a columnist for publications in USA, UK, China, Brazil, Denmark and Japan and writes a weekly column for the Guardian Sustainable Business website. As a public speaker, he has addressed over 500 conferences all over the world. He was a Faculty member of the World Economic Forum from 2002-2008.