Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Talks from John Elkington

One of my biggest happiness and also one of my biggest sadness is that every day, there are so many interesting events/lectures/speeches in Oxford held by all the top researchers or experts.

Tonight, I attended one of them: a speech given by Mr. John Elkington. John is a big name of social sustainability who founded sustainability.com 22 years ago and volans.com last year. 

Social sustainability is not a new concept and I keep my attention on this since years ago. It's a great opportunity having chance listen and exchange ideas with such an expert from the front line. By his talk, John shared with us his story from childhood to all these years' fails and achieves. 

I asked two questions during the Q&A session:
1. Does the increasing attention on CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) Reports helps the awareness of social sustainability?
2. How is current situation of the awareness and activities of social sustainability worldwide?

I'm very happy hearing John mentioned China's increasing attention on sustainability when he answered the second question (he even used the word: "anxious" to describe how eager Chinese people on this topic). John shared his interesting experience in his answer:
When I visited China not long time ago, after the meeting during the dinner, the man sat next to me only spoke mandarin and I only spoke English. But we talked a lot. I was like a lemon that he wanted to squeeze all the knowledge about sustainability from me.

John described Sustainability.com as "still a small organisation". When I told John that next term, SBS will provide a "sustainability" course, he felt quite happy since behind this is the whole society's increasing attention to this area.

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