Shekhar Pula: “Protecting ecosystems by stopping Ecocide”

Summary: Shekhar Pula presented the work of Stop Ecocide Foundation. Their mission is to bring about a legal duty of care to protect and preserve life supporting eco-systems on the planet, which continue to suffer damage and destruction of an unprecedented scale. They work with international lawyers to make environmental crimes punishable at the international level through the International Criminal Court (ICC) and other bodies. To reach that goal they work on raising public awareness, instigating political leadership and facilitating legal dialogue. In terms of the ICC, they seek to promote and amplify the voice of the States that are directly threatened by sea-level rise and other impacts, in order to hasten the adoption of laws that better protect the Earth’s eco-systems.

Kit Lykketoft: Wonderful Copenhagen and Sustainability

Summary: Kit Lykketoft shared with us the sustainability aspects of tourism in Copenhagen. The city is using a benchmark tool to compare with other cities, it stimulates accommodation to go for the green key certification and it aims at including the Sustainable Development Goals in their policies.

Jacob Mayne: Is CSR Changing Business?

Summary: Jacob presented a unique new study that analysed the opinions of 130 senior and middle managers working for leading corporations in 25 countries, half in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) roles, half not. Jacob shared hopeful stories with us about companies that really make an effort to be more sustainable. Main conclusions
(self-reported by managers, compared to 5 years ago):
1. Business case finally recognised;
2. Sustainability becoming part of management;
3. Business outcomes seen as more important than PR and compliance;
4. Middle managers take the lead;
5. Barriers are short-term focus and top management ignorance.
There is more interest in the change aspects of CSR.

Rowan Gillies: Sounds and Silences of Leading Sustainable Change

Summary: Rowan Gillies made us aware of the ongoing loss of species, with the extinction of numerous birds and their beautiful sounds.

Mark Clark: “Forget ‘Getting to Yes’ Practices of Transformative Dialogue”

Summary: Mark Clark, CEO of global peace-building organisation Generations For Peace, shares the Premises, Principles and Practices of a new way of communicating, called transformative dialogue. It’s an approach that values autonomy and relatedness to support pro-social conflict interactions. Mark argues that there are times when we should forget “Getting to Yes”; and that whilst facilitating transformative dialogue is not easy, nor is it some magic bullet, it offers an important possibility for improving conflict interactions in our relationships, organisations and communities, and offers a valuable additional option for coaching and consulting practice.

Esmeralda Hemels: “Developing Leadership Teams – Where the Magic Happens”

Summary: For Leadership Teams that want to thrive in today’s complex world, team members’ intention should be to ‘complete rather than compete’ each other. Esmeralda presents the 5 steps approach she developed based on her work with Leadership Teams over many years combined with contemporary leadership and change frameworks and field research. The 5 steps provide an approach to reach the depth needed for sustainable development of effective Leadership Teams. The paradoxical nature of some steps seems to be crucial elements for success.

Dennis Vergne: “Stop Trying to get Buy-in”

Summary: Get more work done by reducing consultation and increasing participation in decisions

Lisa Francis-Jennings: “The Subtle Perspectives of Resistance”

Summary: How many Organizational Change Projects fail because the project team does not connect with, or understand their audience? Lisa Francis-Jennings uses a composite story-telling technique to illustrate cultural disconnect and engagement failure. This disconnect, she posits, is the root of much Project failure. She encourages Change Agents to ask themselves three simple questions, that set perspective and that guide the OCM project team to focus on their audience and the ‘user experience’ of Change.

Oxford SPREAD Talks 2014: Storytelling Change

Oxford SPREAD Talks 2013 : Exploding Organizations