On our current trajectory, Earth's climate and biosphere could enter a runaway state in just a few decades. If IPCC and other science-based models are correct, the exponential increase in food & water insecurity, natural disasters, chronic inflation, mass migration, and the resulting erosion of democratic norms and civil institutions could lead to a collapse of the global economy, protracted resource wars and geopolitical confrontation on a scale not seen before - all in just a few decades.
That is if we do nothing.
If we do take the right action, however, not only can we overcome the first waves of the above, but crucially, we can set the foundations for a beautiful, vibrant future in which we will have solved most of our societal issues and (re)learned how to live in harmony with the rest of Nature. In fact this crisis may well be our greatest opportunity!
So what exactly do we need to do to make this a reality?
At a basic level, to solve the Environmental Crisis, we need to rethink and redesign all the technologies, materials, infrastructure and processes that have created the problem, whilst at the same time, support the development of all of humanity. In practice, this means finding a compromise between our standards of living (established or aspirational), the profit-first logic of the global economy and the non-negotiable limits of our Planetary Boundaries.
Simply put, we need to transition our economies from a ‘degenerative’ state to a Regenerative one.
The faster we do this, the 'cheaper' it will be. Yet we are still failing...
Fortunately, rising from the mists of the Covid age, a global movement of an unprecedented scale is upon us. One that spans all continents, countries and communities. A new era in which, driven by existential necessity, more and more of us are starting to rethink our relationship with the rest of the Natural world - and ourselves.
Nearly every country has signed up to the Paris Climate Accord, its equivalent for the protection of Nature, and the UN goals for the just development of all of humanity (SDGs). Civil rights action is booming. From gender equality to financial inclusion, racial justice and many more - despite the unavoidable setbacks - the stage is now set for a fairer and safer world for all.
Globally, citizens, consumers, employees and investors are rallying to the call. Sustainability has now become an essential factor in our collective decision making process.
Yet, these groups alone will not be enough to tip the balance. Responsible for the vast majority of Nature’s degradation and GHG emissions, the private sector has the lead role to play if we are to succeed.
“There will be industries, sectors and firms that do very well during this process because they will be part of the solution. Companies that don’t adapt will go bankrupt without question.”
Mark Carney - Former governor of Bank of Canada & Bank of England. UN Special Envoy on Climate, co-lead of Gfanz & TSVCM
The problem, in essence, is that Sustainability is a very complicated thing. Our research suggests that most business and finance leaders simply don't understand why it is so important (education & motivation), what they need to do (planning), and how to do it (implementation). Even we, the sustainability sector, don't fully understand it - as of yet. In fact, despite the extraordinary momentum of the last decade and now billions in spend, little has actually been achieved...
Intaconnected is a mission driven consultancy and research group that was set up in 2020 to explore how innovative processes, collaborative networks and multimedia technologies could be leveraged to help overcome these challenges and facilitate and accelerate our transition to a Net Positive economy. Whilst still in its infancy, Net Positive is a macro framework and a movement that seeks to understand the essence of the Environmental Crisis and set the guidelines for what constitutes a truly sustainable entity. One that is in balance with all nine planetary boundaries and is a positive force for society (i.e. Regenerative).
Net Positive is where an organisation contributes more value into society, the environment and the global economy, than it takes out. It is a North star for defining true sustainability.
To help drive its realisation at scale, we have been drawing on a growing network of academic, public and private sector partners to try to solve the most pressing challenges we believe to be in its way.