With Cop26 underway, how do you feel? I’m a bit jittery — it’s so important, and I find myself moving from upbeat optimism to pessimistic defeatism in the space of a nano-second. After all, what are the odds that this Conference of Parties will ultimately achieve more than exhaling a lot of hot air?
And yet they must, while the rest of us sit it out, holding our collective breath. The alternative is unthinkable. We, humans, are an increasingly fractious and divergent bunch. We squabble over which statues and people to cancel, ‘doing a Nero’ and fiddling while our world burns. Imagine how much worse these divisions will become if we don’t pull our heads in and find the global will to grasp the nettle and get ourselves off the horns of the climate dilemma.
It’s so easy to get disillusioned and question the point of individual action. And yet, every day, so many people and organisations demonstrate that we all can make a difference. We all do what we can as individuals, families, communities. But we need more. We need our global leaders to liberate the genie in the lamp and pull at least one giant rabbit from their magic hats. Where are Harry Potter and his “Expelliarmus” spell when we need them?
Wouldn’t it be nice if some high wizard could just wave their wand, utter the magic words, and hey presto, all the bad stuff like Covid and Climate Change, war, famine, and aggro of any sort are sealed back into the contemporary Pandora’s box we opened through our carelessness. So far, so good though — it does look like there are a few wins coming through. I'm keeping my fingers well crossed that hope triumphs over experience this time.
It’s so easy to get disillusioned and question the point of individual action. And yet, every day, so many people and organisations demonstrate that we all can make a difference. My own business, Moxie, is a design studio. We’re a small business with a modest carbon footprint which we regularly review for options to improve. As a service provider, we bring years of sustainable market insight and thinking to the table to help other people find dynamic and sustainable ways of building their brands. We also sponsor events, undertake pro bono for causes aligned with our values, and run awareness-raising campaigns off our own bat — most recently as advocates for the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.
Our most significant way of making a difference is to build on our expertise as brand strategists and try to make sense of the impact on brands of issues like Covid and climate change. During the first lockdown in 2020, Michelle Ibbetson and I produced two thought pieces — Re-set Your Brand for A Better Tomorrow and Brands, Take A Stand.
Against the COP backdrop, Michelle and I decided to get thinking and create another piece. The Five Ps of Purpose aims to bring a little inspiration to individuals and businesses while we wait to see what our leaders achieve. As sustainability pioneer Anita Roddick famously said, “if you think you’re too small to make a difference, you’ve never been in bed with a mosquito”. Even though we so badly need the big powers to step up, there’s still plenty the rest of us can do, even if it’s only pushing out positive vibes and hoping they go viral as fast as … er … Covid.
We took purpose as our theme intentionally. Let’s face it; life is infinitely more precious with purpose. So is business!