Hi and welcome to my website.
I grew up on a farm in Buckinghamshire and was fascinated by the living world around me. But I was also alarmed by the seeming ease with which we were damaging our planet, evidence of which I saw first hand on the farm, despite my dad’s best endeavours. So I decided I had to do something about it.
I studied zoology and environmental sciences first and then psychology later on at University. My first job was as an environmental consultant working on the environmental impacts of a new airport in Hong Kong, which only further strengthened my resolve to do more.
A brilliant twist of fate led me to a brief career in advertising when I first moved to London, which revealed to me why so many people do not know the true impact we have on the environment. I saw just how skillful and powerful the lobby could be. And so, one day I walked into my account directors’ office and handed my notice in, much to his surprise. I would love to say I had told him that I thought his agency were nothing more than a pretty shop for the oil industry (they had several big car clients), but I just mumbled something about it not being for me. It was a great lesson to see just part of what I was up against.
My next step was into the NGO sector, where I learned a lot about some of the key issues from some brilliant people. But I felt constantly compromised by the need to raise money – and often from companies who were not truly committed to change.
So I decided to go to where the money was, the corporate world, hoping I could influence from within. I worked for Virgin and M&S in their sustainability teams for over five years in total. Again I learnt a lot from some brilliant people, but most of what I learned was about how to be patient, strategic and how to negotiate, because none of these companies were set up to save the world.
But my patience wore thin and I felt I personally could have more impact elsewhere and was not achieving my potential. So I decided to go it alone, and work for different organizations (companies big and small, NGOs and social enterprises) to understand better how I could do this. I began the journey being very client focused – promising returns on any investment made in my time – which I consistently delivered. And I always maintained that if I believed someone else (whether an existing employee or another advisor) could do the job better than I, then I would not get involved. And I also turned down projects where I felt the organizations were trying to use my work as window dressing.
It was a roller coaster – I worked with some incredible people who also wanted to change the world, on some really important projects, and I also worked with some companies on some quite basic but fundamental work who saw me as an irksome necessity – but of course those were the companies who needed my help more than anyone else.
But still I felt I hadn’t yet found where I could make the most impact. I still do some of this work, but only where I believe the effort of everyone involved is going to result in more than incremental change. I have been helped to see by some other brilliant people along the way, that a lot of incremental change will not change the world quickly enough for what is needed to avoid irreversible change. Or for my patience levels for that matter.
So alongside this work, I am currently exploring some other ways of making waves. I am on the board for a couple of exemplary organizations that I believe will start to make bigger waves over the next few years. I also support several start-ups who I think also have the same potential to change the status quo.
I am also doing a lot of writing – I write articles for a few different publications (trying to reach beyond the converted), and I also have my own radio show which I use to talk about issues. I am now also writing a sitcom and a children’s book series in the hope to engage a wider audience on some serious stuff but in a fun way.
So please get in touch if you want some help or advice on a project that goes beyond the incremental. Or if you want to commission my sitcom – it really is hilarious….and if you know me, you might even recognize a character or two in it!