I grew up on the south coast of Devon, follow the cliff path to the highest point in the photograph and take a right for about half a mile. Surrounded by all this natural beauty it was perhaps inevitable that one day I would work in an area that explores the impact that humanity is having on our environment. With that said my career path has by no means been a straight or deliberate one. After spending one year at university at 18 I decided that it wasn't my time to be part of Higher Education and I spent the next seven years travelling and working in different parts of the world. At 25 I continued my bachelors degree through the Open University which gave me the freedom to work and study at the same time. It was during this programme that I was introduced to the term sustainable development and my career and life have been shaped by it ever since.
Sustainable development is one of the 21st Century most important concepts. It is a concept that impacts on every single person on the planet and it encompasses nothing less than the future of the human race and its environment. You will hear the words 'sustainable development' and 'sustainability' uttered in the corridors of power from government to industry. It is integrated into international negotiations, national and regional policies public policy and community development. Organisations adopt sustainability as a strategic vision NGOs and charities champion its cause and demand fair and equitable use of the planets finite resources. But, it is a concept that is ambiguous, contradictory and highly contested. It is also a concept that can hide or expose a multitude of sins depending on your point of view. For twenty years I have explored what sustainable development means in many different contexts as well as communicating these insights to a variety of audiences across the world.