And here we are. It’s the last working day for us in 2023.
What a year. 🎉 I look back to what we knew about the world and where businesses were at a year ago, and it’s a world of difference. Take a look at the graph (below) as an example (corporate references to just transition). And we know that behind this data point there has been a significant shift in thinking and action within companies on human rights, social sustainability, the environment and climate, and the inter-connections between these areas.
And do you know why? Because of you.
Those of you working in companies and consultancies - day in day out, pushing boundaries, bringing people along with you, striking the right balance between advancing with ambition - but not too fast that you lose your company. We see you.
Those of you working in government - juggling the short-termism of elections, taking a stand and bringing reticent players along, devising stategies so that we advance on regulation, policy and procurement contracts. We see you.
Those of you working in civil society, trade unions and stakeholder associations - relentlessly placing people’s rights front and centre, advocating for change, shining a bright light that does not fade, speaking truth to power. We see you.
And so many other professionals on this listserv playing a role in pushing the private sector toward a net zero rights-respecting nature-loving future that we all need to see.
It all matters, and it all makes a difference. The power of the collective is very real.
So we’ve made this listserv this week about you (see here). What are the reports we know you’ve really enjoyed reading that we have highlighted for you this year, and what are the themes that you have been talking to us about - or that we know you will be soon.
And here are my presents to you this Xmas:
- If you are in London, go and see The Little Big Things (@sohoplace) 🎭. It is the beautiful true story of Henry Fraser. I sang, I laughed, I cried, but most of all, I left reminded once again of the hope, determination and resilience that people have. And to pay attention to the little things in life. Because they truly are the big things. I think you’ll love it. ❤️
- If you love African songs as much as I do 🎶, listen to Loliwe by Zahara. Zahara passed away this month, and ever since, I have been listening to Loliwe on repeat every day. I do that with songs. I’ve lived in a number of African countries over the years and while there I’d always have a song on repeat. Here are some of my faves over the years: Vuli Ndlela by Brenda Fassie, Pi Pii by Marlaw and Youné by Dobet Gnahoré. And now it’s Loliwe. But this time, in London.
- The book that I’ve got for all my team members this year is The Good Ancestor: How to Think Long Term in a Short-Term World (Roman Krznaric). 📖 This book was recommended to me by one of you on this listserv (you know who you are - and 🙏). This reminds me of a conversation I had with one of you in Geneva. We were talking about the process in Japan of having residents sit face to face with same-aged residents in 2060 - symbolised by people (of today) wearing purple robes (to shift their thinking to the future). This face to face with the future generation led to significantly more transformative city plans. (See here for more). We have got to find ways to bring future generations into our decision-making a lot more consistently. This will be a key focus for 2024.
Take the time to rest, recharge, rejuvenate as we start to wind down. We have work to do in 2024.
Speaking of, if you feel that you have the qualifications - or that you’re pretty close - for our newly released Business and Human Rights Senior Advisor and Manager role based in our London office, we would love to hear from you. The steps to apply are outlined here. We will also be considering other positions (London, New York) so feel free to reach out if you have fewer years experience as well. We’re always on the look out for brilliant professionals who can help push from within companies. ☀️