Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Vivienne Westwood to come to IFLAS in Cumbria


Vivienne Westwood, iconic fashion designer and environmental activist, will come to the Lake District to give a talk and take part in a question and answer session at the University of Cumbria’s Institute of Leadership and Sustainability (IFLAS) on Tuesday, 20 June 2017.


“Exploring and Challenging Ideas on Sustainable Leadership, Climate and Social Change”

Vivienne Westwood (Image by Jürgen Teller)



“We’re delighted to welcome Vivienne to our Ambleside campus in the heart of the Lake District and offer her an ideal platform to deliver her thoughts and inspirations on subjects close to her heart and ours,” Prof Julie Mennell, Vice Chancellor, University of Cumbria said. “In our 10th anniversary year we could not think of a better place than Cumbria and the University of Cumbria for this kind of debate. We’re sure Vivienne will spark a stimulating and exhilarating discussion as she is exactly the kind of thought-provoking guest we love to welcome at our university.”

Vivienne is looking forward to talking about steps she believes everyone can take to help make a difference to one’s own life and the future of locations such as the Lake District.

“My fashion and my activism support each other; they are driven by the same motor. I want a better world. I say “Buy less, choose well, make it last.” Quality not Quantity. I use my green politics for graphics on clothes and my shows carry my activism themes. I use every opportunity to open my mouth.  I try to select, analyse and concentrate the most important information so people can cut through lies and propaganda and see what is real,” the designer said. “People ask, what can I do to help save the environment? In all my time as an activist, I’ve never had a satisfactory answer to give: Inform yourself, talk to your friends, support the NGOs, save a plastic bag; every one of your decisions count. This is the answer, but doesn’t go very far to solving the total problem which is overwhelming. Now we realise the answer: SWITCH to a Green Energy supplier.”


“It’s a war for the very existence of the human race. And that of the planet. The most important weapon we have is public opinion: go to art galleries, start to understand the world you live in. You're a freedom fighter as soon as you start doing that.” 

Vivienne is a Trustee of human rights organization Liberty and Patron of Reprieve. She has continually campaigned for the release of Leonard Peltier for many years and is also a campaigner for Amnesty International.

As well as Human rights, Vivienne is passionate about the environment and actively supports the charity, Cool Earth, in their efforts to save the rainforest and stop climate change, as well as supporting the Environmental Justice Foundation and Friends of the Earth- amongst others. Vivienne is also an ambassador for Greenpeace and in 2013 designed their official ‘Save the Arctic’ logo and in 2015 launched a global campaign to stop drilling and industrial fishing in the area.



Vivienne has worked with the United Nations, Environmental Protection Agency to re-establish the fragmented forests of Europe, and has also joined forces with the International Trade Centre- a joint body of the UN, since 2011 to produce bags through their Ethical Fashion Initiative. The programme currently supports the work of thousands of women from marginalized African communities and empowers informal manufacturers and craftspeople to enter the international value chain - providing an income for some of the poorest people in the world. The collections are created using recycled materials from slums and land fill and the income helps to stop the need to continue deforestation in the area.

Vivienne inaugurated the 'Climate Revolution' at the 2012 London Paralympics closing ceremony and continues to rally charities, NGO's and individuals to join forces and to take action against disengaged political leaders and big business.

Vivienne has also written her ideas in a Manifesto called “Active Resistance to Propaganda”. The AR Manifesto evolved through her fashion shows which she uses as a platform for her cultural and environmental concerns.  It is a call to become more cultivated and in doing so gain the strength and wisdom needed to live life well now and to save the planet for the future.  Vivienne’s monthly diary and more information on her concerns, passions and campaigns can be found at www.climaterevolution.co.uk


Vivienne Westwood will appear from 5.30-7pm in the Percival Lecture Theatre, University of Cumbria, Ambleside LA22 9BB
The event will be open to all with a percentage of tickets reserved for students. Tickets will be free and will be released shortly.

To register an interest email rsvpevents@cumbria.ac.uk

Friday, 7 April 2017

Doctoral studies on sustainable leadership - welcoming Aimée

The doctoral research community on sustainable leadership at the University of Cumbria continues to grow. This month we welcome Aimée Leslie to begin her research on leadership in environmental organisations in the context of increasing concern about progress on conservation.

Working with Professor Jem Bendell at the Institute for Leadership and Sustainability (IFLAS), with support from Dr Maria Mouratidou of the Business School, Aimée will be looking at how environmental professionals evolve as they learn about the variable impacts of their strategies.

Aimée Leslie works as a senior manager at the environmental organisation WWF International and will research with IFLAS part time:

"I’m from Costa Rica. Originally I studied and worked in communications and the media industry, but I have always been passionate about conservation, so when the opportunity to change a volunteer role into a full-time job came, I took it and have dedicated to marine species conservation ever since. I’ve worked for different NGOs over the years, but have spent the last 6 years in Switzerland, working for WWF International. Sustainability, more than a concept is a way of life; one where we care as much about others (people, species, and the environment) as ourselves, and where we put common good above our own interest. This is something I truly believe in and hope, that for the benefit of future generations, more of us choose having a more satisfying life by consuming less and giving more."

Aimee will be joining the internal research symposium on leadership at the University in Carlisle on July 17th and the week-long module on Sustainable Leadership this September in our Lake District Campus in Ambleside. Starting on Sept 12th, that module is open to other professionals in the sustainability field as well as those working on staff development or organisational development and change. Information on that course is here.

To contact Aimee about her research, or Professor Bendell about doctoral studies, email iflas@cumbria.ac.uk

Monday, 3 April 2017

Free Place on Professional Fellowship for our MOOC alumni

Financial Health Fellowship - looking for the best ideas to tackle financial exclusion and exploitation 
**Free place available for a Money and Society MOOC graduate**
DEADLINE APRIL 10TH 2017
1.7 million adults remain unbanked in Britain today. Only 41% of British households are saving, while 12 million people lack access to affordable credit. Financial exclusion damages mental and physical health, undermines social relationships and can affect households’ ability to fulfil basic needs such as food and heating. We can and need to do better than this.
 Financial Health Fellowship brings together the Finance Innovation Labs experience incubating innovation and Toynbee Halls expertise tackling financial exclusion and exploitation across the UK.
The six-month Fellowship programme, running May to November 2017, is designed for start-up businesses, but we also welcome applications from later-stage innovators facing significant change and innovators within existing financial organisations who want to repurpose a product or service to support financial health. It will boost strategic know-how, transform leadership skills and prepare Fellows to scale their businesses. You can find out more here. 
IFLAS at the University of Cumbria is delighted to host the retreats of the fellowship in our beautiful Lake District campus. We have an active research programme on the topic of currency innovation for sustainable development and outreach via our free Money and Society online course.
If you did that course then if you are accepted on this competitive programme, you can attend the fellowship for free. The Finance Lab are looking for people with the best ideas to address financial exclusion and exploitation, offering access to fairly priced financial products that are easy to understand and control, and support people’s financial welfare.
Apply now! Deadline: midnight 10 April 2017.
MOOC graduates – write “MOOC” in the contribution box of the application form. One free place is reserved for a MOOC alumnus who fulfils all of the Fellowship selection criteria, to be selected at the Fellowship team's discretion. 
Wonder what IFLAS does on this topic? See our paper for the United Nations on currency innovation, and this interview about the MOOC with Professor Bendell.

IFLAS is also celebrating the 10th Anniversary of our University's formation with a free summit on monetary reform and currency innovation, at our London Campus. 60 alumni of the MOOC will be attending (only MOOC alumni may attend).

The summit occurs during our 5 day residential course on sustainable exchange. There is still time to enrol for the non credit bearing option here.

Join some of our past students, including many currency innovators...
 

Want to know more about this area and our future courses? Contact iflas@cumbria.ac.uk

Monday, 20 February 2017

The IFLAS Open Lecture series for spring 2017


Here at the Institute for Leadership and Sustainability we are just putting the final touches to our spring series of free Open Lectures. This year we will be presenting them as part of the University of Cumbria’s 10 Year celebrations, which will gather pace during 2017 towards the official birthday of the 1st August.


On Tuesday 21 March, we have our very own Professor Jem Bendell. His talk, entitled “The Future of Collaboration for Sustainability: in the company of revolutionaries?"

Over twenty years ago, large companies and environmental groups started teaming up to address global problems like deforestation and overfishing. Suddenly both sides realised the benefits of collaboration for sustainability. In 1997 Jem Bendell co-wrote "In the Company of Partners" about this phenomenon, with IFLAS Deputy Director Dr David Murphy. Today such partnerships are widespread. But what are they delivering on their original promise? As indicators of Sustainable Development give little cause for optimism, what might collaboration look like in future? In this 20th anniversary retrospective, Professor Bendell argues for a more revolutionary approach for partnership that focus on transforming economic and political systems to achieve a more rapid transition.



Dr Jem Bendell


 Dr Jem Bendell is a Professor of Sustainability Leadership and Founder of the Institute for Leadership and Sustainability (IFLAS). A graduate of the University of Cambridge, he has twenty years of experience working on business sustainability, as a researcher, educator, facilitator, advisor & entrepreneur, having lived & worked in six countries. He is co-author of “Healing Capitalism” and founder of the Post-Graduate Certificate in Sustainable Leadership. Previously he helped create innovative alliances, including the Marine Stewardship Council, to endorse sustainable fisheries and The Finance Innovation Lab, to promote sustainable finance. The WEF appointed him a Young Global Leader in 2012. Professor Bendell now specialises in leadership development, offering coaching and training to senior executives from around the world who have an interest in sustainable enterprise and finance.

Next in the Spring series is a welcome return to a speaker who we first heard back in 2015. Mick Fowler is an award winning author, lecturer and climber. He was voted the ‘Mountaineers' Mountaineer’ in a poll by The Observer newspaper and in 2012 he was awarded the King Albert Mountain Award for his “outstanding contribution to mountaineering”.  In 2016 he and Paul Ramsden became the first pair to win a Piolet d'Or award for the third time, after their ascent of the 6,451-metre (21,175 ft) Gave Ding in the Nepal Himalayas. He was a senior leader in HM Revenue and Customs for many years. He has served as President of the Alpine Club and led numerous cutting edge mountaineering expeditions in the Himalayas. Mick has written two volumes of memoirs - On Thin Ice & Vertical Pleasure - both of which were shortlisted for the Boardman Tasker Prize for Mountain Literature.  He won the Jon Whyte Award for Mountain Literature at the 2005 Banff Mountain Book Festival and the best book prize at the Bormio Mountain Festival (Italy) in 2012.  Eric Vola compiled segments of books by Fowler and Saunders and published the collection in French as "Les Tribulations de Mick et Vic." It won the Grand Prix award at the Passy Book Festival in 2015.

Mick Fowler

 Mick’s talk, “On Thin Ice: Business Ethics and Climbing Ethics” will take place in April, the 25th to be exact. He will be exploring ethics and ethical choices in the field of climbing and parallels in the workplace. He will be discussing what steers climbers to make the ethical choices that they do, the consequences of those choices and whether or not those consequences were foreseeable or intended. Against a backdrop of stunning imagery Mick will be taking us through some of the heated ethical debates in the world of climbing, linking these to business and engaging the audience in discussion of those issues.

In May, a speaker new to IFLAS and The University of Cumbria – David Saddington. Influencing UK & international policy, fronting a pioneering climate media campaign that reached over 3 million people and giving a TEDx talk at London's O2 arena are just a few of David Saddington's achievements as a climate change activist since experiencing a stark introduction to the impacts of climate change as a thirteen year old. 

As a climate change communicator David works to raise the profile of the issue through blogging for media outlets like the Huffington Post, writing book contributions and organising innovative large scale public awareness events in the centre of UK cities involving outdoor cinema, interactive science experiments and panel debates. He is constantly looking for new and innovative to engage with the public and is currently exploring using Virtual Reality technology to tell the story of climate change. 
 After leading education reforms to get climate change on school curricula David has pursued his own academic work studying climate science and a broad range of climate impacts from the environmental to economic, security & health implications. 

David continues to be a contemporary voice and advocate for climate change action, speaking to a range of audiences around the world - from United Nations Conferences to MTV. David speaks about the opportunities and challenges from tackling climate change from his experience consulting on the implementation of carbon and energy policies and on sustainability initiatives with multinational corporations. He always seeks out innovation and ways to re-energise the conversation around this global challenge.

David Saddington


 On the 16th May, at this talk – “Turning science into stories: How do we get people to care about climate change?” David will say that most people are now aware of climate change and the threat it poses - but still, too few of us care enough to take action.

David has been a strong advocate for rapidly moving away from talking about climate change as an environmental issue and instead start getting to grips with the economic, health, security and social aspects.
In this IFLAS open lecture, which follows a year where ‘post-truth’ and ‘populist’ politics have reshaped the western world, David will share his ideas about what all of this means for climate action and how sustainability leaders need to respond. By turning science into stories David believes we can reenergise the conversation around this global challenge and create a more inclusive and diverse voice for change.

 

For June, we can reveal we will be welcoming iconic fashion designer and environmental activist Vivienne Westwood to Ambleside. For further details on this very special event, click here


Paul Rose
...and then on July 4th, we welcome broadcaster, explorer and adventurer Paul Rose. Paul's talk is entitled The very wet side of sustainability: Changing the world - one dive at a time!
The finest investment for a sustainable future must be ocean protection. Paul explores the last wild, pristine places in the ocean, communicates their value to the world and helps get them protected. To get this done he’s been lost under icebergs, bitten by moray eels, run out of air and attacked by a polar bear. Paul brings to life the challenges and successes of ocean protection with glorious images, film and enlightening tales. He invites us to bring enquiring minds and difficult questions!
A man at the front line of exploration and one of the world’s most experienced science expedition leaders, Paul Rose helps scientists unlock and communicate global mysteries in the most remote and challenging regions of the planet.


Former Vice President of the Royal Geographical Society – representing Fieldwork and Expeditions, Paul is Expedition Leader for the National Geographic Pristine Seas Expeditions.
In his work for BBC Paul presents television programmes focused on science and the environment.
As a Polar Guide, Paul has led Greenland Ice Cap crossings, first ascents of previously unclimbed Arctic mountains and new ski-mountaineering routes.


He was the Base Commander of Rothera Research Station, Antarctica, for the British Antarctic Survey for 10 years and was awarded HM The Queen's Polar Medal. For his work with NASA and the Mars Lander project on Mt Erebus, Antarctica, he was awarded the US Polar Medal.


A mountain in Antarctica is named after him!


 

All Open lectures are free to attend, and will take place in the Percival Lecture Theatre, at the Ambleside campus of The University of Cumbria, from 5.30 until around 7pm on the dates indicated.

 

To register a place on any of the Open Lectures, contact iflas@cumbria.ac.uk



For further information about IFLAS, see our website www.cumbria.ac.uk/iflas, follow us on Twitter (@iflasinfo) or on Facebook (@IFLAS.info)


Friday, 6 January 2017

Money and Society Summit in London - Celebrating 10th Anniversary

Our free online course on Money and Society is now in its 3rd year, with over 300 alumni from around the world. We hosted the first Money and Society Summit in Bali in December, bringing together 30 people interested in currency innovation for sustainable development. In April 2017 we are organising the same free event in London. It is one of the 10 free public events that IFLAS will be offering in 2017 to celebrate our University's 10th anniversary.


The Summit is open to people who have completed, or are enrolled on, our free Money and Society MOOC. The next cohort begins on February 19th 2017. Read about it and enrol from here.

The Summit will also be attended by participants on our Sustainable Exchange certificated course, which is one of the few University qualifications in currency innovation. Read about it here.

To read more about and register for the Summit on April 22nd see here.

Click here to see more about the other events we will run in 2017.


Friday, 16 December 2016

Building the Credit Commons - 1st Money and Society Summit

On December 12th, IFLAS, Community Forge and Complementary Currency Resource Centre hosted a free event for alumni of the University's free online course, and other interested persons.

The course and summit looked at the potential for innovation in currency and credit to promote sustainable development. In particular, the summit focused on the concept of building a "Credit Commons" whereby people and organisations can issue credit to each other in ways that enable trade and sharing without needing access to money or having to pay interest.

Co-author of the online course, Matthew Slater, presented this concept (video here). Professor Bendell facilitated the meeting, which convened 25 people from across the region.  He drew on their joint UN paper on collaborative credit systems, to set the scene of currency innovation for sustainable development.



One of the questions from a Bitcoin proponent led to discussion which inspire Matthew to write a blog on what cryptocurrency enthusiasts could learn from old school monetary activists and local currency practitioners, who have been working on this topic for a decade or more.

The discussions focused on how to engage people in an idea and initiative that are still very new. Three ways that people are becoming interested in the concept and project to build the Credit Commons were discussed. 

First, some people are (or will be) working on complementary currencies or collaborative credit systems, and want to align their work with the credit commons for mutual benefit.

Second, some people are interested in applying their skills, resources or networks to develop the credit commons concept and initiative.

Third, some people are interested in simply staying updated on how this initiative progresses.

For the first group, recommendations on how to engage include:
1 - read the credit commons whitepaper
2 - study the Money and Society MOOC (next iteration Feb 17th 2017)
3 - use a self assessment tool to help align your own work on complementary currencies with building the Credit Commons (this tool is in preparation)
4 - share your insights, for instance by a blog, on any changes in approach, software or governance to align your efforts with building the credit commons and send to matslats at fastmail dot com
5 - register your initiative on www.creditcommons.net and add a Credit Commons Champion badge to your website and app (linking to www.creditcommons.net); this registration system and badge will be launched in the new year
6 - include in future funding proposals the budget for upgrading systems to be able to relate to a future Credit Commons clearing system on a blockchain

For the second group, recommendations on how to engage include:
1 - read the Credit Commons whitepaper
2 - study the Money and Society MOOC (next iteration Feb 17th 2017)
3 - clarify what skills, resources or networks you can offer to the key functions of either communications, software development, fundraising or organisational development/management, to what degree (how much unpaid time) and join the Credit Commons task force by sharing these offers on an online Slack group (email matslats at fastmail dot com to request an invite)
4 - tell other relevant people about the whitepaper, MOOC and activities of the Credit Commons and work on things agreed within the slack  

For, the third group, recommendations on how to engage include:
1 - read the Credit Commons whitepaper
2 - if still interested, email matslats at fastmail dot com to request asking to be kept uptodate (rather than join the task force)

For any interested persons who want to deepen their knowledge and become qualified in the topic, then the 5 day residential Certificate in Sustainable Exchange starts in London on April 19th 2017. 

The 2017 Money and Society Summit will take place on April 22nd 2017, at the University's London Docklands Campus. It is free but only open to alumni of the Money and Society MOOC and relevant practitioners. It will focus on ideas for better communicating the Credit Commons and relevant collaborative credit initiatives. It is hosted by Professor Bendell, Matthew Slater and Leander Bindewald. To register, email iflas@cumbria.ac.uk

To sign up to the Money and Society MOOC (a free online course starting again February 17th 2017), see here.

A Year of Leadership Research and Commentary at the University of Cumbria

For many people 2016 was a year for wondering how we end up with the leaders we have. Some respond to that concern by calling for more and better leadership. At the University of Cumbria, leadership development has been a cross-cutting theme of our work for years, due to our focus on the public professions. With the Institute for Leadership and Sustainability (IFLAS) we extend that into the field of private sector management, supporting the performance of business leaders in addressing social and environmental issues.

Resignation
Although primarily focused on education, the University of Cumbria is increasingly active in research on leadership and its development. The following are some of the highlights of our research outputs in 2016.

Leading schools is a key task in any country, and difficult within a context of budget cuts. Dr Paul Cammack, Senior Lecturer with our Institute of Education, worked on a new ‘Guide for the Evaluation of School Leaders’. This was an output from an Erasmus+ Project called ‘Evaluation of School Leaders and Teachers’ Practice’ with School Inspectors from Italy, Basque Country in Spain, Italy, Romania, Lithuania and the Open University, Cyprus. You can read more about the project here and follow them on twitter. Also in the education sector, Dr Sally Elton-Chalcraft presented research with Cumbria colleagues on the use of coaching techniques in leadership, at the British Educational Research Association. Sally can be contacted here for a copy.

At IFLAS, one of our research activities is to chronicle the leadership development practices we use on the suite of MBA programmes taught out of Ambleside. The Institute Manager Philippa Chapman and Dr Grace Hurford presented lessons from that on the University’s “Perspectives in Experiential Learning in Higher Education” conference last March. To read about this approach, contact Philippa.
As a Professor with IFLAS, I continued to develop a theory of sustainability leadership, working with Dr Neil Sutherland of UWE and Richard Little of Impact International. In the process, I presented a conference paper on the impasse in leadership studies, which is available here. In a related vein, we are now in the final stages of editing a special issue of the Sustainability Accounting Management and Policy Journal (SAMPJ) on Leadership and Sustainability.

That special issue came out of the Leading Wellbeing Festival in 2015, and in 2016 IFLAS continued to work with the Brathay Trust on curating engaged scholarship in this field, with the “Leading Wellbeing in Rural Contexts” conference in November 2016. Opened by our new Vice Chancellor, Professor Julie Mennell, and co-facilitated by IFLAS-associated Senior Lecturer Tony Randall, the event has inspired a special issue of the Journal of Corporate Citizenship. That will be edited by IFLAS Deputy Director Dr David Murphy, Professor Alison Marshall and Dr Elaine Bidmead, of our Cumbrian Centre for Health Technologies (CaCHeT). The deadline for abstracts is the end of January. Our 2017 event theme and date will be announced in the new year.

The UK referendum result on leaving the EU triggered a lot of debate about leadership, and there were leadership contests for the two largest parties. In the media, many refrains of leadership were heard, with ideas like “strong” leadership quoted unquestioningly. Therefore, I wrote an article for the Huffington Post that critiqued the narratives about leadership and suggested social movements require a different form. Then I was asked by the Young Global Leaders network of the World Economic Forum to share thoughts on spirituality and transformative leadership, also on the Huffington Post. I returned to some of the themes on a more conscious and reflective form of leadership in a Keynote speech on Climate Leadership, at Griffith University in Australia. I shared my background notes on the talk here.

In 2017 I begin a research project, backed by Impact International, to explore how successful leaders in business, government and civil society, who operate internationally, perceive leadership on global dilemmas, like climate change, inequality, financial crisis and extremism. I would welcome enquiries from anyone interested in cosponsoring this work to help us reach a wider audience (iflas@cumbria.ac.uk). I will be sharing some of the initial insights of this research with colleagues at a one day event “Questioning Leadership” on July 18th in Carlisle. The event is primarily for internal collaboration, and will be marketed in February, but if interested already, contact Professor Pete Boyd.

In 2017 I anticipate welcoming two new PhD students to IFLAS to work with me on leadership development in the face of environmental dilemmas. Both the sustainability and leadership fields have been pervaded by ideas of potency and positivity. At first glance, that may sound sensible. But  in our research, we will be exploring how this framing is being shaken by recent information, and how it might even be restricting creative and collective responses. These PhD students will join a growing team, including Jo Chaffer, who started with IFLAS in 2016 to conduct doctoral research on leadership development through outdoor influences on identity.

If interested in experiencing our approach to leadership development, I recommend our 6 day course in September, which forms the start of either a Post Graduate Certificate in Sustainable Leadership or the new MA in Leadership Development. We were delighted that a senior leadership trainer at Impact wrote an article explaining why, in his opinion it is such a good course for reflective professionals. You can see a video of where we are based and why study with us here. If interested, please get in touch via iflas@cumbria.ac.uk 

I look forward to engaging in 2017.
Professor Jem Bendell
Founder, IFLAS