Sunday, 09 August 2020

Henley 41 Club

FOR any local club or service organisation, the coronavirus pandemic lockdown has demanded a creative approach.

Henley 41 Club’s scheduled April meeting was to be with a guest speaker but had to be postponed due to the restrictions on gatherings and contact.

With a little creativity, the speaker event was very successfully rescheduled for a May virtual meeting via the Zoom web service.

The guest speaker was Mike Barry a well-known leader in his field of ethical and sustainable business.

Mike has had an impressive career of delivering change for major companies and organisations.

Having held a leading role at Marks & Spencer as director of sustainable business for more 14 years, he is known throughout the corporate world and responsible business community as a key figure.

He has helped M&S become world-renowned for its root-and-branch approach to sustainable retail.

Mike has now established a consultancy business to work with organisations to assist how they evolve and thrive in this time of immense change.

He delivered a fascinating talk about how we are coming to the end of a 40-year business cycle in the face of three great disruptions that it has spawned:

• Inequality — a global economy that’s failing to deliver for the many.

• Environmental — burgeoning consumption is driving climatic, biodiversity and pollution crises.

• Technology — the fourth industrial revolution with the interlinked emergence of big data, personalised wellbeing, drones/sensors and the internet of things etc.

As a virtual meeting, it worked well in facilitating a lively debate and it was highly relevant for members to be meeting in this way as the pandemic was felt to be a major factor in accelerating change.

Mike was given a vote of thanks for bringing a really thought-provoking discussion to the club.

He is clearly a very genuine and thoughtful person and passionate about creating change.

We would like to thank him for a fascinating and far-ranging discussion about how to create change and what needs to happen to make businesses more sustainable over the coming decades.

Matthew Davis

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