Event Report: “Business as Usual?” North West Sustainable Business Quarterly

It’s not every day you get to eat free grub while surveying Manchester from 24 floors up. For free! MCFly co-editor Marc Hudson feels the lure of the dark side…

Tonight I attended the latest “North West Sustainable Business Quarterly,” on the theme of “Realising a Green Economy – the social challenges.” These events, organised by the Macclesfield-based M4C, have a pretty straight-forward format. There’s mingling (and some of the aforementioned grub). There’s a brief intro and house-keeping, followed by two talks, followed by a question and answer session. That’s the first hour. Then there’s facilitated round-table discussions, with about 6 to a table, with different themes (you select when you book).

What could go wrong? Well, quite a lot (Murphy was an optimist) ; but tonight not much did. One of the speakers was (more than a) bit overlong and under-structured. Not the end of the world. The food was good, the views from the City Tower (in Bruntwood‘s eyrie, donated for the evening) superb, and the networking dead useful.

Is this “the solution” to climate change? Don’t be ridiculous. Does it claim to be? No. It’s a swapping-of-business cards and mild-expansion-of-intellectual-horizons for people in the field. It’s well-organised, welcoming (even to semi-feral journalists with axes to grind) and well-worth the time of anyone who runs a small business or social enterprise.

The next one is on Thursday September 13th and is on “Why Business should be taking climate change seriously” If you are in business or social enterprise, then hold the date…

Additional points

Table rules were simple: Chatham House rule (you can report what was said, but not who said it), no selling and let everyone have a say. Every event should have these rules!

In the Q and A session I asked “what went wrong with the Rio process [between 1992 and 2012]?” Came the answer-

“Failure of political will… we all got greedy – for the first 15 years life was getting better and better, and we understand now the basis on the which it did that… unfettered corporate power… mechanistic production… mechanistic organisational structure…”

That’s a pretty good summation, imho. “Human stupidity” would be one addition. Others, gentle readers? (Don’t all say “capitalism” at the same time!)

There was a detailed but not insanely-long feedback form, which I suspect they actually learn from.  They’re slick without being intimidating about it…

About manchesterclimatemonthly

Was print format from 2012 to 13. Now web only. All things climate and resilience in (Greater) Manchester.
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3 Responses to Event Report: “Business as Usual?” North West Sustainable Business Quarterly

  1. Thanks for the feedback – we really do appreciate it. We want the event to be useful and interesting – that’s why we are taking the time to organise it. We’re particularly please about being thought of as slick and are now considering taking on “a mild-expansion-of-intellectual-horizons” as our tag-line!

    Hope to see you next time, The M4C team

    • !! MCFly is trying to “inform, inspire and connect”. We certainly can’t “connect” everyone to everyone on our own, and it makes sense to publicise the work of “connectors” who are working with different constituencies than the people who probably are the most regular readers of MCFly (campaigners, activists, curious ‘maybe’ people). We will certainly publicise your next event, and it makes sense to do so via the mechanism of an interview (can be email) with one of your two speakers. Do get in touch about that closer to the time.

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