August 30, 2017

I'm Back...Also, A Free Online Summit

Hi all,

Two things:

1) I'm back

As many of you may know, I took some extended time off this summer. Did anything happen while I was away?

I called my time a mini-sabbatical because it didn't match the breaks that academics take, either in length or productivity. I did nothing work-wise (with one exception: a trip to speak at Expo 2017 in Kazakhstan).

A friend asked me if I enjoyed my ‘walk-about', but most of my time was stay-about. I was mostly at home with the family, cleaning up, watering the garden, playing a ton of tennis (which I find really zen), etc. But last week, we took a family vacation to see the full eclipse -- truly unbelievable -- and then go to the gorgeous Smoky Mountain National park. One day, as we prepared to hike one of the most popular trails, Rainbow Falls, a dozen park rangers were blocking off the parking lot for a photo op visit from Ryan Zinke, Secretary of the Interior. So I couldn't avoid "work" entirely as I found myself thinking about where Zinke sits on the spectrum of climate denial in the cabinet.


Anyway, I don't have any grand conclusions from my time off...yet. I plan to mull it over the next couple of weeks and write something soon. I can say that I recommend taking mental breaks of varying lengths to stay refreshed. I also discovered that the world kept turning without me and diving back in has been rough: Houston looks like hell on earth right now and knowing that this kind of storm was coming does not lessen the blow.

All that said, we have a great deal of work to do, and need a way to care...but not too much. I hope I've developed some useful mental distance from the stressful parts of sustainability work in these troubled times (I've been reading, on the recommendation of another sustainability professional, "The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck" which advocates being more selective about what you suffer over).


2) The Doing Business & Doing Good Summit

A quick plug for what looks to be an amazing assortment of interviews with sustainability leaders, with one being posted daily starting in a few days -- first up, Paul Polman, then me!.

Here's some material from the summit's creator, Sophie Wisbrun.

More than 20 sustainable leaders from all over the world are participating, gurus & pioneers from the corporate world, entrepreneurs, community leaders & bestselling authors. In a series of educational interviews they will share their inspirational stories, practical tools, frameworks, tips and strategies. So you can instantly use them to excel in being a force for good in your work, create a better world through business and champion sustainability in your company.

Get inspired to ACT now and use your business as a force for good.
Join via my link:


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Andrew's book, The Big Pivot, was named a Best Business Book of the Year by Strategy+Business Magazine! Get your copy here. See also Andrew's TED talk on The Big Pivot.


On August 31, 2017 8:57 AM, Phil Dahlin said:

I gave my wife the very same book (The Subtle Art...) but she subtly put it under a stack of other books. I think she took offense at my suggesting she maybe was raising her blood pressure a little too much these days by giving too many f***s but just like anything in life, you need to channel your energy and you can just spray it around like a fire hose or you will soon be drained.

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