The GSN Strategy Session

The 6th & 7th December 2016. Dubai. United Arab Emirates

THE FOUNDING MEBERS OF THE GLOBAL SUSTAINABILITY NETWORK GATHERED N THE CITY OF DUBAI — THE UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

1. The Background

The Strategy Session Was Held Over 2 Days & Across 2 Venues — The Palazzo Versace and The Site Of The Dubai Expo2020.

This week was the fifth round of stakeholder meetings to take place through 2015/16. It was the final opportunity for general conversation and input. We are now moving to the first stage conclusions and action in equal measure.

You Can See The Outcomes Of The Prior Sessions Here:

2. Please Read This First:

There’s two quite short documents — this one takes 5 minutes to read — the second one (the strategy) takes 15 minutes. That’s compressing over 12 months of work by us all.

  • It’s important to understand each part. Remember that it emerged from all your contributions over the year.
  • If you don’t read it there will be gaps in your own understanding of the strategy. It will become easy to identify those that won’t have read it fully.
“In Dubai we used the metaphor of the football referee. Two Yellow Cards for not following the rules and then there’s a Red! Not spending 20 minutes reading the summary would be a Yellow Card!…”
  • At this stage the words aims for simplicity as well as completeness. That means it will take a little time to appreciate it all.
  • There may be some ideas and phrases that need further exploration and explanation. These can all be found by going back through the history. (Link Above)
  • This document gives a brief overview of the aim.
  • The second document (Linked Below) explains the Strategy.

3. The Challenge:

  • To focus, to distill, to shape direction.
  • To work together as founder members and agree the best way to go forward — to achieve the aims of Goal 8.
  • To create a meaningful strategy to achieve our vision and stay true to the preceding conversations.
  • To reach our first set of conclusions — decide where to ‘place our bets’.
  • To create this document.

4. The Realities We Face:

  • We all know we can’t continue to discuss things indefinitely — we would never achieve our aims.
  • Successful strategy must continuously evolve. New discoveries and challenges will emerge. The world shifts all the time.
  • Evolution will happen but our Vision remains— that’s the dream we all share. That’s the achievement we all want.
  • We have to declare that we are good enough to start — to get going and to learn — and that time is now.
  • Strategy contains what will be done to achieve the vision. It also contains what won’t be done.
“Buckle up and get ready for the ride...”

Strategy is the story we tell about how we will achieve our dreams. It explains the principles and rukes that we believe will get us there. It won’t be more complex than that. But we ARE tackling a complex challenge so there’s a lot involved.

5. 2015–16 — It Was A Momentous Year:

Well over 200 souls were involved during our year long discovery period. We worked together to help identify what else ‘could’ be done to achieve Goal 8. The majority of the people involved are already working on initiatives to deliver one or more aspects of Goal 8.

The Dubai session proved once again that there’s a powerful contribution the GSN must make and that collaboration and connection are essential for our success.

THE SIX SECTORS — THE STAKEHOLDER PERSPECTIVES. (ACADEMIA IS AN ADDITION SINCE DUBAI)

6. We Stay On Target

Keeping Faith With The Unique & Founding Ideas:

  • We have a unique contribution to make because we have the commitment and heritage of the Faith Leaders.
  • We are not creating new initiatives. We exist to help those already with initiatives and do more.
  • We will seek to find partners for growth capital to help increase efficiency and outcome for established initiatives.
  • We aim to scale, accelerate, amplify and augment whatever is needed — to enable and support establised or important initiatives and ideas. We do that through our ‘platform’.
  • We embrace the vital sectors and connect with the main actors to create change — Faith, Media, Government, Business and the Community/Non Profits & Academia*
* Action Groups created to make sure no barriers/gaps are left untackled.
IN NEW YORK WE STARTED TO HIGHLIGHT THE EMERGING FOCUS
  • We know that our aim is around the entirity of Goal 8. We recognise there’s been a big emphasis on 8.7. Our net will widen out from here.
  • We recognise the deep interrelationship between all the Goal 8 targets. It’s a complex and interwoven set of challenges.
  • Our overarching aim is for sustainable economic development. It is based on believing in the balance required by the triple bottom line (people, planet and profit). We appreciate the enormity of everything wrapped up in that.
WE LEARNED HOW HARD THE CHALLENGE IS TO CREATE AWARENESS AND CHANGE HUMAN BEHAVIOR
  • Our Strategic Focus has always been on ‘Connection & Collaboration’ These are the ‘single minded’ foundations at the core of the GSN.
  • The GSN’s Mission is to amplify/scale the impact of existing Goal 8 initiatives. To do everything we can to bring about the outcomes, achievements and (measurable) results — to achieve Goal 8 by 2030.

In February at the Vatican the next aim is to further agree the details of what ‘will’ be done at this stage.

7. The Process We’ve Been On:

2016 Was About Discovering The Correct Strategy Through Collaboration.

We Developed The Strategy Together:

  • Our first sessions thought what ‘could’ be done?
  • As we learned we asked what ‘should’ be done?
  • Next we’ll agree what ‘will’ be done and after that…
  • We’ll make sure we report back the outcome and what we agreed we would do.

That’s sustainability.

IN DUBAI WE WORKED IN TEAMS TO FOCUS ON WHAT SHOULD BE DONE

8. As A Result Of Dubai:

We started to zero in on what ‘should’ be done.

  • Over the next few days and weeks a more formal operational structure will be published.
  • It will contain clarity around governance — it will explain the make up of the panels of expertise and advisory capacity that will be formalised for the benefit of all.
  • It will describe the global and distributed nature of the ‘platform’. It will explain the platform itself.

It’s An Important Moment In Time. The Strategy is now emerging — the second document:

And Now In The Vatican