Professor Jem Bendell

Notes from a strategist & educator on social & organisational change, now focused on #DeepAdaptation

Archive for July, 2012

Join some meaningful fun in Crete

Posted by jembendell on July 14, 2012

View from ESA

View from the Academy

An important milestone arrives in October – my 40th. I’ll be in Crete, where friends in the field of sustainability have created a unique place for experiential learning about sustainable enterprise and living. Lovely people doing great things across Europe will come together for the ‘end of summit’ party, and my birthday, in true Cretan style with lots of tasty local food with far too much wine and raki accompanied by raucous Cretan music and dancing!

Would you like to join us in a stunning state of the art eco-building in an ancient Cretan olive grove with 2000m snow capped mountain backdrop? I would be chuffed if you did.

Outside the Academy

Outside the Academy

My birthday, Friday 12th October, will be the final day of the Inaugural Summit of the European Sustainability Academy (ESA). So, if you are interested in sustainability or social change, then you would enjoy arriving earlier in the week for some of the courses and events. And especially if you are inquisitive about wellness practices, such as Yoga or Qi Gong, which will occur at various times that week. Then on Saturday 13th October there is an organised tour of local eco-enterprises and a boat trip.

Nearby Almyrida

Nearby Almyrida

The party will be happening at Liberta Villas, 2km from ESA in the village of Palaloni. I’m promised its an exquisite location with a stunning 2600m mountain backdrop. ESA is on the edge of the village of Drapanos. Liberta has some accommodation, as do the two villages, and there is still more at the nearby beach town of Almyrida (email Sharon for info: Sharon.Jackson at

Liberta Villas

Liberta Villas

I hear that in Greece right now there is an exciting air of change and thirst for new ideas and innovations. On the 10th I will co-lead a seminar with Matthew Slater of on creating and participating in alternative exchange systems and community currencies. We will be joined by Greeks who are pioneering these solutions to the current crisis. On the 11th I will support my Lifeworth colleague Ian Doyle in leading the now-famous ‘Giving Voice to Values’ training, which helps us to understand our values and express them in difficult situations. On the morning of the 12th there will be a ‘sustainability leadership’ round-table involving some Young Global Leaders of the World Economic Forum. Then Eva Voutsaki, from Crete, will guide us through a process of developing autobiographic narratives for clarifying our personal goals, and Ed Gillespie, from Futerra, will helps us explore the importance of authenticity in our communications. Greek pioneers of sustainable enterprise and lifestyles will also be attending during the second week of the summit (which starts Oct 8th).

Inside ESA

Inside ESA

The programme will be uploaded and updated soon at The nearest airport is Chania, and Heraklion is an hour and a half away: and are places to find out routes. At least one guest is coming by ferry and trains. See or ask me for info on overland/sea transport (as you could travel with other sustainability adventurers).

ESA opening

ESA opening

There’s no cost for attendance on the 12th or for the party. No presents either, please. Just support something local if you want to (we’ll come up with ideas). If you want to come earlier in the week for some of the events, which makes total sense, or even the full 2 week sustainability summit (what a treat!), then please email Sharon Jackson about details and fees: Sharon.Jackson at As the academy building isnt huge, and transport is cheaper if booked earlier, you should go for it now!

I do hope you can come and help me celebrate in a meaningful way.

The address:

European Sustainability Academy
Jackson A.S, Drapanos, 73008 Vamos, Chania.
Inaugural Sustainability Summit
2nd October – 14th October 2012

The address of my party on the 12th:

Posted in My Life, Sustainable Development, Talks | Tagged: , | 4 Comments »

Award for Outstanding Paper 2012 on Scaling CSR Standards

Posted by jembendell on July 3, 2012

Yesterday I was awarded a prize by Emerald publishers for Outstanding Paper 2012. Here is my recollection of I said during the cocktail party at the EABIS colloquium, IMD, Lausanne, July 3rd, 2012 (minus the dirty joke).

Getting grips with the mic before remarks at EABIS/IMD

Thank you for the Outstanding Paper award 2012. The paper is about mainstreaming innovations in sustainable and responsible business; about ways governments can help to scale up positive innovations. In the aftermath of the Rio conference, talking about progress in government policy could seem rather naïve. However, this paper shows what some governments are already doing with innovative policies to scale voluntary initiatives. Since the first Rio summit 20 years ago businesses and NGOs have worked together to create innovative certification systems. They are widespread, but they are not mainstream. For instance, the certification system of the Forest Stewardship Council, which was the focus of my very first job after leaving university, now accounts for about 11% of the world’s trade in wood and wood products. That is great, but it also means that 89% of wood products could come from trashed forests. Some governments, from all continents of the world, have been adopting innovative policies to help scale such voluntary initiatives, to achieve public goals. We present a typology of those policies.

The paper grew out of a UNCTAD study I worked on, which also informed the G20 discussions on greening international trade. So I thank my colleagues at UNCTAD who are coauthors of the paper. The support from Griffith helped me to re-purpose the research and set it in a wider context to share with academe. My research has always been shaped by what I considered relevant to change, whether in policy or practice. I haven’t always been able to have it published academically, and have previously been rejected for being too interdisciplinary. So I’m grateful for this new journal and the accolade from Emerald publishers. I supports the notion that theory should be the servant, not master, of our inquiry, and that disciplines should be our foundations, not cages.

The Outstanding Paper 2012 is available for free download for another month:

Jem Bendell, Anthony Miller, Katharina Wortmann, (2011),”Public policies for scaling corporate responsibility standards: Expanding collaborative governance for sustainable development”, Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, Vol. 2 Iss: 2 pp. 263 – 293

Posted in Academia and Research, Corporations, Sustainable Development | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

The answer to financial chaos lies on an island in Sweden

Posted by jembendell on July 1, 2012

The financial crisis is actually a monetary crisis, and you can do something about it now.

On an island next to Stockholm, leaders in systemic solutions to financial chaos are gathering at a sustainability festival. Join them at the Future Perfect festival in Stockholm on 23-26 August, and hear a panel on monetary reforms and innovations for sustainability, and a workshop for executives who want to start, scale or participate in alternative means of exchange.

Panel: “Currencies of Transition: monetary reforms and innovations for sustainability.”

Chair: Professor Jem Bendell (Lifeworth Consulting, Community Forge and Griffith Business School)

Ben Dyson, director of Positive Money, which campaigns for a systemic solution to monetary crises, by full reserve banking.

Josh Ryan Collins, New Economics Foundation, the Brixton Pound and co-author of “Where does money come from?”

Lynnea Bylund, Board Member, Ormita, the international business barter network.

Matthew Slater, Board Member, Community Forge, a leading provider of open source software for community currencies, and editor of Community Currency magazine.

The panel will address the questions: Is a fair and sustainable economy possible with our debt-driven money system? If not, what needs to change? What is being done already? What can we do to get involved, personally and professionally? How can we make this a movement? What mistakes can we avoid?

Workshop: “How alternative exchange systems work and how to get started”

Trainers: Professor Jem Bendell and Matthew Slater

The trainers work with Community Forge, which provides free open source software for community currencies. This video explains why, what and how Community Forge operates.

You will be able to interact with these experts and others attracted to the topic, at a world class music festival! To book your tickets to the festival, visit

The workshop will also be offered in Greece in the second week of October. Contact the European Sustainability Academy for more information.

Posted in Corporations, Counter-Globalization Movement, Lifeworth, Occupy, Sustainable Development, Talks | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »