Be (ing) The Change – Andrew Mercer energises the Be The Change audience with a description of how he became a low carbon entrepreneur
Weaving together a mix of interview clips and the Greenpeace video on Anita Roddick’s activism, with a very personal description of the events and the people who’ve influenced and helped him on his journey to becoming a low carbon entrepreneur, Andrew Mercer gave the 700 plus audience some interesting ideas on how they could “Be The Change”.
Andrew was speaking on the third and final day of the annual Be The Change conference at the Methodist Hall, Westminster. The whole event, entitled “The Sky’s the Limit” was dedicated to the memory of Anita Roddick and was focussed throughout on encouraging and helping the participants to make the changes in their lives that we all need to make to tackle both the causes and, increasingly damaging, effects of man-made climate change.
Unlike Ray Anderson who spoke so movingly at Be The Change in 2005, there was no one epiphany moment for Andrew. Instead, it was a series of increasingly large steps taken along the low carbon road, influenced at every stage by a diverse range of people. These people included: polar explorer David Hempleman-Adams; eco-architect Bill Dunster; environmental campaigners John Sauven and Jonathon Porritt; and most important of all, entrepreneur with conscience Michael Edge, to whom the presentation, entitled Postcards from the Edge, was dedicated.
Throughout the presentation, Andrew used his own experiences to stress the importance of engaging entrepreneurs like him in the fight to tackle climate change. These experiences included building the clean energy business, 2OC, pursuing his dream of building a carbon neutral home and working with the environmental NGOs, such as Greenpeace.
To make the most of their talents, Andrew believes passionately that all entrepreneurs should do three things: build low carbon businesses and/or green their existing businesses; support the work of the NGOs in tackling climate change; do what they can to reduce their own carbon footprint. But he acknowledged that the last item was often the hardest thing to do.
Re-emphasising the importance of working with others to achieve the goal of becoming a low carbon entrepreneur, Andrew left the audience with the thought that the challenges we face with climate change mean that life is no longer a marathon but a series of 100 metre sprints. Being part of a team will make it easier to get through the finish.
Be The Change (www.bethechange.org.uk) is an annual forum for discussing and designing the changes we all want to see in the world.