What you're working on

Ever wonder what your peers in The Crowd are doing? We know that everyone in The Crowd is working towards business doing better for society in some way. In this short series, we’ve asked experts from The Crowd to talk about what 2016 might look like for them.

Its not often that we delve down into the new projects, hopes, challenges and focuses of the individuals that make up The Crowd. From tackling shopping addiction to intensive retreats for ‘super-entrepreneurs’, collaboration on developing skills for the 21st century to aligning commercial strategy with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) there is much to be inspired by.


Peter Hughes, director, sustainability, Pearson

2015 could well go down as a seminal year. In September, the United Nations adopted the SDGs to replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). These new goals go beyond the poverty alleviation focus of the MDGs by introducing new broad based commitments on issues including peace, stability, climate, human rights and good governance. And then in November, COP21 in Paris delivered the long awaited and much needed breakthrough agreement on climate change. Together, these two developments mean that we truly are the first generation with the opportunity to eliminate poverty as well as being the last to make a meaningful impact on climate change. So, what does this mean for Pearson? Our priorities for 2016 are three-fold:

1. To reflect on how our commercial strategy can align with and amplify the Sustainable Development Goals. The SDGs provide a unique lens to help identify new ways to drive our future growth and profitability.

2. To review how we report on our performance. There is an expectation for companies to go beyond profit to purpose, and show the value they are delivering to society as a whole.

3. To further engage our employees in our social impact programmes. Our people are our best advocates and source for innovation when it comes to ever improving our impact on society.


Wouter van Tol, director of sustainability and citizenship, Samsung

Technology has the potential to create societal and business value; just think back to The Crowd events on Peers Inc. and Data for Humanity. The question that is central in my mind for 2016 is what role technology can play in achieving the SDGs. ‘Acceleration’ is one factor. Think about breakthrough technologies – in batteries, the Internet of Things or robotics for example. But don’t dismiss the cumulative power of relatively ‘un-sexy’ incremental changes: this is how Samsung Electronics reduced the energy consumption of our entire portfolio by 60% compared to 6 years ago. ‘Collaboration’ is another factor. Over the past 2-3 years Samsung Electronics has been collaborating with hundreds of education institutions, Governments and thousands of teachers across 28 European countries. The aim is to give young people – often from disadvantaged backgrounds - the skills that are in high demand in the 21st Century jobs market. In 2016 we will open this programme to like-minded companies, so that together we can be a force for good education.


Trewin Restorick, CEO & founder, Hubbub

In 2016 Hubbub will be seeking to continue to develop new ways to engage a mainstream audience in sustainability. We have ambitions to launch three new initiatives.

‘The Street that Shared’ will be our attempt to bring the concept of the circular  or shared economy to the attention of households. In one street in the UK we will carry out a social experiment to see how receptive people are to sharing possessions and promoting more circular thinking. Our findings will be openly shared and a ‘How to Guide’ will be created encouraging others to replicate successful elements. ‘Drain Brain’ will be a physical interactive game demonstrating in a simple and fun way how decisions made in the home have wider environmental impact including drain blocks, marine pollution and flooding. Finally we will be using Black Friday to question our addiction to fast fashion by promoting positive alternatives.

They are bold ambitions for a small, resource limited team but we believe that the ideas are sufficiently compelling to encourage corporate partners to take the plunge with us.


Darshita Gillies, co-founder, Blu-Dot

With the adoption of the SDGs, the success of COP21 and an approximate $3trillion commitment to divest assets out of fossil-fuel, 2015 could go down in history as the year when things began to change. That said, many questions remain on how to deliver on 2015’s big commitments.

At Blu-Dot, we enable world leaders, institutions and systems to address complex challenges in a more sustainable, conscious, and strategic way. We use breakthrough technologies to facilitate meetings, conferences, intimate geo-political dialogues that make the how clearer and build the capacity to actualise the emerging future collectively. In 2016 we look forward to stretching business’ aspiration for supporting and embedding the SDGs, and chartering the unmapped territory of system change by integrating and engaging inter-sector dialogues. Simultaneously, we will be leading select 1-on-1, deeply personalised "Intensive Immersion” retreats, with super-entrepreneurs to enable them to scale new game-changing ventures that will revolutionise business, economic architecture and society as a whole.

If 2015 was 'lift-off, we are keen to add 'momentum' for 2016.

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