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Working the Future blog: our latest insights and future of work sensemaking

Nov. '23: Bringing People, Planet, Pint to Amersham

2023-11-15 11:33

Cathryn Barnard

Sustainability, FUTURE OF WORK, SUSTAINABILITY, BUSINESS TRANSFORMATION, CLIMATE CRISIS, CSR, BUSINESS SUSTAINABILITY,

Nov. '23: Bringing People, Planet, Pint to Amersham

On a stormy evening in October, I co-hosted a People Planet Pint event in Amersham, in partnership with Sustainable Amersham.

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On a stormy evening in October, I co-hosted a People Planet Pint event in Amersham, in partnership with Sustainable Amersham

I’ve volunteered for Sustainable Amersham since the summer. It’s an all-volunteer community group set up to address the impact of climate change, pollution and biodiversity loss in the local area. I thought I knew a lot about sustainability, until I got involved in local action. I realise I was naïve. Setting up community sustainability projects in the face of public apathy is no mean feat. It requires resilience, fortitude and energy. 

As co-owner of a local business, I recognise the role organisations must play in local community sustainability. At a micro-level they can provide much needed support and resources, financial or otherwise, when such community endeavours are non-profit by nature. At a macro-level, they can provide employment opportunity which helps feed the local economy. If all businesses fully recognised the impact and responsibility of their actions within their locality, I’m sure we’d make far faster progress towards meeting collective sustainability targets.

One goal of Sustainable Amersham is to raise awareness of the issues it’s addressing. Another is to recruit more volunteers and create a strong sense of community around shared goals. This is where I felt I could help.

Over on LinkedIn, I’d heard lots of positive things about People, Planet, Pint. As a concept, it was devised by Adam Bastock, founder of Small99The first People, Planet, Pint was held during COP26 to encourage people concerned about the climate crisis and sustainability issues to meet, network, share knowledge and brainstorm ideas for local community action. From there it’s snowballed and there are now regular events held up and down the country. Its sponsor Krystal offers a free first drink to newcomers. 

I thought it could be useful to introduce People, Planet, Pint to Amersham and see what might happen.

On the night itself, I wasn't sure what to expect. But what happened was extraordinary. 

People from across Buckinghamshire turned up to meet and chat with like-valued others. Although our gathering was still small (25 or so) by usual standards, it was still fascinating to observe the dynamics.  

People of all ages sat and shared their stories and motivations, across the generations. People interested in rewilding, people interested in creating plastic free towns, people deeply concerned about the continued ineffectiveness of our Government, politicians and policy makers.

Businesspeople, parents, grandparents, students and concerned citizens. The sense of connection, goodwill and inspiration in the room was palpable.

All too often, the climate crisis feels like an insurmountable problem. But when we focus on creating the spaces for community building, people soon realise they’re not alone. Which is, of itself, galvanising. Very quickly, motivation and intention take root and amazing things start to happen. 

This is the nature of what we can do. What we’ve always done as human beings to overcome our greatest challenges. 

Collaboration is hardwired into our DNA. If my contribution is to convene gatherings where individuals can feel a sense of belonging and connection to something bigger and where they can catalyse energy and turn ideas into action, then that’s a part well-played.

Onwards. 

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