A scientist, entrepreneur and student walked into a bar ...

Jun 12, 2019

'... and shared stories of what pledges and commitments they have made to climate action. '

Ok. It's not a joke, but it tells the story of how various actors of the civil community have built mini tribes #ForFuture and making statements, demands and commitments to a more sustainable future.  #EntrepreneursForFuture and #ScientistsForFuture put the commercial and scientific power behind the #FridaysForFuture

The #ForFuture has evolved out of concept to movement, and when we think about it, it well hits what Seth Godin described in his book about Tribes:

‘A tribe is a group of people connected to one another, connected to a leader, and connected to an idea.’

#FridaysForFuture has evolved into other parts of society, and inspiring other civil actors to claim their goals for climate change and environmental protection. From various standpoints, there are concrete commitments outlining actions and goals. Personally, as the founder of a company, I have pledged to #EntreprenuersForFuture and and a researcher in environmental science, I have pledged to #ScientistsForFuture; thus committing both my commercial and business activity, as well as scientific research to a sustainable future.

Seth Godin explains more about Tribes in his book:

‘There's a difference between telling people what to do, and inciting a movement. The movement happens when people talk to one another, when ideas spread within the community, and most of all, when peer support leads people to do what they always knew was the right thing.’

As students take to the streets themselves on friday marches, each part of the community can take their own contribution to the movement. Recently I was in Brussels for a meeting at the European Commission regarding investment in green innovations and eco-entreprenuers. As the friday climate strike marched directly in front of our building and meeting, we stepped outside and joined them for some minutes. We hooped and hollered with the students, and chanted our own activities - ‘sustainable investment for green ideas, circular economy innovations to be prioritised’ our ‘tribes’ converged for a few blocks and we went back to the office to continue nutting out how to support sustainable entrepreneurs to grow and flourish in the economy. Our way of contributing to the climate strike. In fact, for us in business, it was less about striking, and more about action.

Taking action from the where we stand in society and the economy is the best contribution to environmental sustainability. As the over 23 000 #ScientistsForFuture toil to make climate data understandable and actionable for governments and influencers, they continually push the edge to get a greater insight on the anthropocene and planetary boundaries while finding out how we can feed 10 billion people in 2050. Practical science for better decision making.


In my work here consulting companies how to evolve more green practices in their processes and business, I see every day how positive and do-able making #GreenTurnaround is. Green business has been at the edge of innovation, technology and unique products and services for the last decades. What is needed, is ambitious policy to create the conditions whereby these technologies and business models can compete on a more even playing field and generate the flow of change to tip the market into more sustainable standard practices. As we head into the 4th hottest summer on record, we collectively head the warning from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the projected impacts of what happens when the earth warms an extra 1.5 degrees C https://www.ipcc.ch/sr15/ .

 In 3 minutes here find out from a baker, #EntrepreneursFromFuture and the chamber of commerce about what and why it is important. Dr Katharina Reuter, CEO Unternehmensgruen, clearly explains the link:

Seth Godin goes in in his book on Tribes:

‘Organizations give us the ability to create complex products. They provide the muscle and consistency necessary to get things to market and to back them up. Most important, organizations have the scale to care for large tribes. Organizations of the future are filled with smart, fast, flexible people on a mission. Thing is, that requires leadership.’

Leadership in this sense is both the topic-centrered-interest tribes of #ForFuture as well as the culmination of that turning the entire tide. We have the ability to connect science, business, youth and other special interest groups on the positive climate action and reducing net greenhouse emissions.

Here in english is the #ScientistsForFuture claim and I suggest you read through and take note of the box on the second page which in easy language outlines the scientific proofs about the current state. https://www.oekom.de/fileadmin/zeitschriften/gaia_leseproben/GAIA_2019_02_079_087_SCIENTISTFORFUTURE.pdf

‘As people who are familiar with scientific work and deeply concerned about the current developments, we consider it as our social responsibility to point out the consequences of inadequate action. Only if we act quickly and consistently can we limit global warming, halt the mass extinction of animal and plant species, preserve the natural basis for life and create a future worth living for present and future generations. This is exactly what the young people of Fridays for Future/Climate Strike are calling for. They deserve our respect and full support.’


Here is the commitment from #EntreprenuersForFuture:

  1. Effective CO2pricing mechanism for all sectors with planned price increases. This will encourage investment in low-carbon infrastructure and technologies.
  2. Speed up the energy revolution. We need a faster and legally binding exit from coal that meets Germany’s climate targets. We also need an energy efficiency strategy, with tax breaks for improving the carbon footprint of buildings, an ambitious law to reduce the energy used by buildings, and government to act as a role model with its own building projects. We have the technology to meet the energy demands of Germany, Europe and indeed the whole world with 100% renewable energy.
  3. Divestment and elimination of subsidies that damage the climate by 2025. This is what the G7 countries agreed. Now we need to do it.
  4. A transport revolution with an emphasis on reducing total kilometres travelled, encouraging public transport and transport-sharing, and environmentally-friendly zero carbon mobility.
  5. An agricultural revolution. Subsidies to farmers and food industry regulations must be structured so that climate targets can be reached. Effective measures are needed to help to expand organic and climate-friendly forms of farming, and healthy environmentally friendly consumption.
  6. Create a circular economy. It is almost always better to use secondary recycled materials rather than primary raw materials, as they can be provided using less energy and usually need less transport. Targets for recycling and reusing resources not only need to be set, but also met.
  7. Creation of a climate-innovation fund for established companies and start-ups which have innovative ideas to combat climate change.
  8. An ambitious climate protection law to decarbonise the economy and meet the 1.5° C target.
Are you part of the tribes making commitments and action and proof towards a positive future? Want to be part of one?

Inform yourself more about science https://www.scientists4future.org/stellungnahme/statement-text/

Inform yourself more about business https://www.entrepreneurs4future.de/statement

Given Seth Godin’s work on Tribes inspired me to write about this post, it makes sense we close with a statement from him:

‘The most powerful way to enable is to be statue-worthy : by getting out front, by making a point, by challenging convention, and by speaking up.’

Finally, something that always makes me think about movements and leadership, is the classic ‘lone nut dancing guy’ from Derek Sivers https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fW8amMCVAJQ .

Where are we on this field, and are we out there as the lone nut making our sustainable products and services and celebrating our customers as they join the movement!


Godin, Seth. 2008. Tribes: we need you to lead us.