Creatively Creating Sustainable Impact
Review & Reflection 6 Year Update
When you’re busy delivering day to day, it can sometimes be difficult to remember to step back, reflect why you started and what you wanted to achieve. The big question being, particularly as a social enterprise, sustainability focused vision and mission, are you actually making a positive difference?
For organisations with a social or environmental purpose (or both), this is even more important. Continually questioning, are you making a positive difference, solving the problems you want to solve, serving the need you identified and wanted to improve? Could you be more effective, and how can you ensure that how you are solving them is not creating other environmental or social damage?
Alongside this, as a small business with limited resources to understand your impact and where often the really impact is longer term and linked to that of your clients, it can be difficult to know where to even start.
When I founded TechnicalNature I set out to support and accelerate the move to a sustainable society, bridging the gap between technology and social and environmental consideration and creating caring, open and questioning spaces and collaborations to do this. I wanted to do this as a transparent, personal organisation, walking the talk and living my values. Practically bridging vision and theory with action (and enjoying it along the way).
“To facilitate, inspire change and provide practical action towards a sustainable society and positive design consequences”
Impact (as ever) is extremely hard to map and derive outcomes and impact from the initial work and predominately, easier to measure outputs. However, I want to be transparent about what I’ve learned, celebrate the successes, share some of the lessons and challenges, dig deeper into some of them and follow up with some of the background stories more and how this can support me (and perhaps others) strategically moving on in effectiveness towards sustainability, as well as greater wellbeing. Sustaining yourself and career.
Examples of outcomes and impact
- Igniting awareness, global discussion and practical action and collaboration around Open Source and the Circular Economy, cofounding OSCEdays. The online community hub and resources have been accessed well over a million times and events have taken place in over 70 locations around the world, bringing all types of disciplines and ages together. This has also been referenced and a case study in Kate Raworth’s book Doughtnut Economics and inspired further thinking around the role of open design and collaboration, for a circular economy. The Ellen MacArthur Foundations Disruptive innovation Festival also collaborated with this, utilising the format and community.
- Drafting the design element in particular of the British Standard Institute’s worlds first practical framework on the Circular Economy BS 8001 Framework for implementing the principles of the circular economy in organizations. Guide . This has now gone on to be a key input into the ISO Circular Economy Standard in development.
- Supported the creation and development of over 100 sustainably and socially focused start-ups, Social Enterprises, CIC’s and CBS, through collaboration, programme and resource development. workshops and mentoring (Climate KIC, Central Research Laboratory, Brunel Entrepreneur Hub). Examples include, Biohm, Aceleron, Mimica Lab, Keda Music, Ostique and Reading Hydro CBS. All of these have gone on to grow their own impact, developing their product further and raising funding. Some of which have now raised millions in ethical investment.
- Delivered workshops, programmes and talks directly to over 1500 school aged young people, encouraging creativity, design, critical thinking and problem solving for tackling the complex issue of our time, climate change, through the SDG’s and circular economy.
Ultimately, I’ve worked and collaborated with some amazing people and organisations all around the world. Inspiring, activating, giving and getting strength and guidance, innovating and finding opportunity and value, growing and developing, together making products, businesses and the world, that bit of a better place.
For this and more, I am extremely grateful and it gives me strength and hope for our shared future.
The Journey Continues…………. (see the initial 3 year review below).
3 Year Review and Reflection