Are we only hearing the Echo?
Are we actually making change, are we moving fast enough? Is the break down of life as we know it inevitable, okay that’s not the most positive start to a note, but are we?
As we come to the end of a long cycle of summits, conferences, meetings, webinars, and have a 2-3week hiatus before it all starts again, are we getting it right. Soundbites and social media campaigns are great, they raise awareness, they promote the ideas to a new and distributed audience they make concepts pervasive, but what is the point, if nothing actually changes.
It is always very easy to think the world thinks like you, especially when you are surrounded by likeminded folks, speaking the same language, experiencing the same social-economic challenges, and nodding to your narrative as you attempt to inspire. But then what, what next?
When you last stood on your soap box, what actually changed. Your network grew, your business card pile expanded, you made some new friends, but how did you quantify your impact. These are the questions I continue to ask myself, and it is getting more difficult to find the right answers. Okay sometimes you need to stand and talk. Action is great, but action for actions sake, in the wrong direction, is never better than in-action. So, understanding the complexity to the challenge, is always important.
Again I don’t mean to set a down-trodden tone, but even last week we saw the amazing news that the US plastic Pact had been launched. A coming together of business, government, NGOs and educators on how to meet the real challenges that are currently faced in the US to tackle the plastic crisis. But in the same week we read that the American Chemistry Council (ACC) — the lobbying group that counts Shell and Exxon among its members — is lobbying the Trump Administration during COVID-19 to use the upcoming US-Kenya trade deal to expand plastics across Africa. How do we make changes for the future when the system only allows bad choices?
So next time you appear on a panel, attend a workshop, give a keynote, host a webinar, ask yourself what now? And also if you are not challenged on your words, and your narrative, ask yourself why not? Whilst for many, it’s nice to stand in the spotlight, talk is cheap, your impact will always be what you do next. Thank you. JG.