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Focusing on business from the mid-1970s, John has worked with scores of large corporations, particularly at board and C-suite level, as well as with the financial community, industry bodies, government, the media, NGOs, academia, innovators and entrepreneurs.
His favourite description of his role: “grit in the corporate oyster.” As a provocative friend both of the future and of business, his aim is to help identify and create new forms of value.
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Its premise is wrong, however -- buying green is only the thinnest of band-aids atop our monstrous systemic problems of overconsumption and non-sustainable production.And, sadly, this is an area I covered extensively way back in 1985 in my book for Viking/Penguin/Pelican, .That was the book that poet Ted Hughes sent to Margaret Thatcher when she was Prime Minister – and then wrote a poem about in his role as Poet Laureate.He is currently a Founding Partner and Chairman & Chief Pollinator at Volans, John Elkington was described by Business Week in 2004 as "a dean of the corporate responsibility movement for three decades." In 2008, the Evening Standard had named him 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.” But his first involvement in the field dates back to 1961 when, aged 11, he raised money for the newly formed World Wildlife Fund (WWF).He says he has always struggled to come up with a suitable elevator pitch to describe what he does, but he suggests that one way to think of it is that he and his colleagues serve as "grit in the corporate oyster," providing a "pro-business, pro-future" irritant around which new forms of value can form. Somewhat to his own surprise, he turned out to be a serial entrepreneur.