FX talks: Sir Jonathon Porritt 'A time for radical disruption'
“Think about yourselves as competitors in the greatest race that the human species has ever known."
These were the opening words of leading British environmentalist Sir Jonathon Porritt’s 2017 FX talk. Porritt, is talking about the race against global warming which he warned is happening faster than experts anticipated. This is due to summer ice caps in the Arctic melting at an alarming rate.
“This is not some story that is going to unfold over decades this is your reality now.” Porritt warns.
Porritt informs us that we have two options:
“we either as the human species continue on the path that we are on today, in which case we irreversibly screw up the planet ,or…we celebrate the genius of the human species and we create brilliant sustainable lives for nine billion people on this planet by 2050.”
Jonathan Porritt thinks you should do the latter.
Porritt says the time is now for the people in power and the everyday person to radically rethink their approach to sustainability. He points to companies that already have a head start including Unilever and Tesla.
Unilever recently carried out a consumer survey called “Making Purpose Pay” interviewing thousands of people from the UK, Turkey, Brazil and the United States about their views on sustainability.
Out of that survey, 34 per cent of consumers said that they already make purchasing decisions with sustainability at its heart, and 21 per cent would like to if they trusted the companies involved.
Porritt explains that Unilever splits its brand portfolio into purpose driven brands (brands that care about sustainability) and ordinary brands (brands that don’t).
In 2016, 60 per cent of Unilever’s growth came from the purpose driven brands with the brands themselves growing 50 per cent more than the ordinary brands.
Porritt notes that this is encouraging and that everyday people are already starting to radically rethink what products they consume regularly. This has a knock on effect and encourages brands to produce more sustainable products.
The other company Porritt mentions is energy company,Tesla, and its forward thinking founder Elon Musk. He claims that Musk is altering the approach to energy by partnering with companies radically restructuring energy systems.
Elon Musck, CEO of Tesla
One of which is Vector, a small energy company in New Zealand who believe that every energy system is ripe for totally radical disruption, all they need to do is design a totally disruptive system. After recently teaming up with Iraeli software company 'mPrest' they believe that they now have acess to a software platform which will totally transform the energy system in New Zealand to improve sustainability.
Porritt quotes the CEO of Vector:
“Welcome to the internet of energy, don’t forget the internet of things don’t forget all of that stuff but think now about a completely different design configuration for energy systems in the future our partnership with mPrest brings together Artificial Intelligence, machine learning, monitoring sensing, big data analytics, data mining, in such a way that we can now manage and control energy systems to a degree that would have been unimaginable even three years ago.”
Porritt deducts that the reason Tesla Newzealand and Australia have chosen this small company to partner with is because:
“Tesla is currently seeking out disruptive partners all around the world to find ways of shattering these incumbent power bases that control so much of the economy today.”
Poritt also offers an insight into the speed of which transportation and cars will change, looking at Uber style transport service systems converging with driverless cars and electric cars to decrease our carbon footprint.
“The point point at which they come together is the point at which the transportation and the internal combustion engine is totally disrupted.” Said Porritt.
Porritt said that by 2030 experts predict that “95 per cent of all passenger miles in the United States will be in electric vehicles.” This would change the transport system entirely.
To conclude, Porritt emphasises the importance of all these businesses working together to solve the problems we face when it comes to tackle global warming and win ‘the race.’
“What if these convergent stories begin to happen so fast that the solution to the problem becomes available in a very, very, rapid period of time?” he ponders.
Porritt ends his talk with a call to action for his listeners:
‘Every single individual choice or decision you make is part of that race … Part of the race that means we either screw up planet irreversibly for all of time or we make such astonishingly creative brilliant interventions in the economy that we actually create a genuinely good sustainable world for nine billion people.“
Watch Sir Jonathon Porritt's full FX talk below: