Future Stewards is a 4-year project to foster the personal and collective leadership needed to achieve breakthrough progress in addressing climate change.

Outcomes, 2016–2020

Our aim is to help shape the leadership behaviours, collaborative culture and actions needed to achieve two goals by 2020:

  • The peaking of greenhouse gas emissions.
  • The changes in policy and practice needed to put the world on a sub 2-degree trajectory.

Vision: New narratives for a sustainable future and enhanced wellbeing for all.

Networks: A more connected, supportive network across business, civil society and government – delivering impact in climate and related fields.

Leadership and impact: The development of wise, compassionate leaders to partner across sectors. Fresh endeavours to reduce the environmental impact of business.

Language and tools: The development and embedding of language, insight and collaborative tools to create and implement solutions.

We also hope to contribute to the broader movement towards regenerative economies that promote a more inclusive, sustainable way of living.

Why is this work needed?

We need urgent, global action.

The COPs in Paris and Marrakech signalled a shift from challenging the status quo to delivering solutions. We now need to move from pursuit of a mandate to address climate change, towards fast-paced, complex implementation at scale. To do so requires a new level of response.

We are struggling with complexity.

The vanguard of people trying to initiate change finds itself overwhelmed by the complexity of the issues. Its achievements – while notable – are failing to meet the demands of the situation. A vocal minority of the world’s population remains unconvinced that climate change is a serious problem. This, combined with increasing polarisation and nationalism, means the stakes are even greater.

We have the means to improve our capacity to act.

The current situation calls for extraordinary levels of collaboration between parties with differing perspectives and priorities. Essentially, we need to transform how our economies work. We must address not only climate change, but also some of the inter-connected social and environmental challenges that are fomenting so much division in the world today. By enabling a community of leaders to innovate radically, we can increase the scale and pace of action.

Why focus on leadership?

We know that many of our current ways of working – from business to politics and more – are faltering. We know that we will only thrive if we adapt. But the scale and nature of what’s required look daunting. And it’s hard to pin down – and take responsibility for – our individual role in the task ahead.

Many collaborative efforts are underway, addressing everything from social inclusion and conflict resolution to mass migration and climate change. Yet there’s little focus on the personal leadership qualities required to succeed.

We believe it’s not enough to recognise the need to work across disciplines and sectors. Science, innovation and policy will shape global strategy, but without the necessary inclusive culture, strategy fails. We need leadership that embodies this culture.

Today, more than ever, leaders need to see the larger whole. To recognise that everything is intrinsically connected. To listen to diverse voices and acknowledge our part in the system.

Developing the capacity to lead in this way calls for people who can reach beyond short-term self-interest. Who can harness collective leadership. It means developing self-awareness, turning difference into compassion and fostering mutual trust. If we want to change the systems we’re part of, we must be willing to change ourselves.

Our work in 2017 will involve three core programmes:


1. Pathfinders

Cultivating a network of global leaders of influential organisations who are committed to the personal growth, compassion and bold action needed to lead on climate change.

Deep Practitioners

2. Deep Practitioners

Convening cohorts fast-track leaders who will develop fresh language, tools and practices to deliver radical collaboration between people, sectors and industries.

Global Influencers

3. Global Influencers

Leading experiential learning programmes (Quests) for senior leaders across sectors to help them reimagine how we live and work, and build sustainable businesses.

Find out how you can join Future Stewards in leading new ways to counter climate change.