Managing Sustainably: Protecting NZ for 2050

For the past six months this column has told you what the Vision 2050 programme is all about. You’ve heard from the project champion, the project manager and from two of the future leaders involved with the programme.
But enough of the what, now it’s time to talk about the why.
To quote visionary thinker Simon Sinek, “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. Inspired leaders and their organisations, regardless of their size, all think, act and communicate from the inside out.”
It’s now time to tell you why we are embarking on this ambitious project and start communicating from the inside out.
I personally want to ensure that by 2050 New Zealand is place where people still want to live, work and play. I don’t have to live in New Zealand – I choose to live here. I am fortunate enough to be able to live and work anywhere in Europe, yet New Zealand is where my family is, and where I grew up and I would love my children to have the same opportunities I did. I want them to run on the beach, sail on our beautiful harbours and camp at remote spots around the country.
I also want to ensure there are innovative organisations for them to work for in 40 years’ time; I don’t want all our head offices ‘offshored’ to Australia, Asia or even Europe.
This theme is echoed by the future leaders in the programme – they want their children to have the same opportunities and advantages they had, and for them to know their parents tried to make difference while they still could.
However, even more important, is the fact that we know we cannot continue applying unsustainable pressure on the earth’s already dwindling natural resources, particularly as we face challenges around decreasing food supply chain, increasing levels of poverty and water security. When you add climate change and the accelerating population growth into the mix, the reality is that we have to act now to ensure that in 2050 our planet is still habitable.
Rest assured, the Future Leaders group is not bunch of greenie hippies out to save the world. We’re all business-minded individuals, under the age of 35. We’re not managing directors, we’re not CEOs and we’re not heads of our business departments – yet. But we will be in the future, and this project is about us ensuring the economic sustainability of the country and of NZ Inc. Naturally, environmental and social sustainability must form part of that vision.
If we don’t act now we will need 2.3 planets to live on by the time we get to 2050. The last time I checked there was only one habitable planet in our solar system so we need to act now if we all want to be able to live well by 2050.
I hope this helps explain the reasoning behind Vision 2050. Keep an eye out for the report we will be publishing in February – it will be game changer.
On behalf of the Future Leaders group, I ask you to tell me: why is this project not important? Why do you not care about the future of our country and of our planet? I also leave you with the following challenge: what are you personally doing to protect New Zealand for 2050? M

Dee Crooks is group communications manager at HSBC and future leader for the Vision 2050 Project.

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