Principal Change Designer

Background

I work in Forum’s London office on a wide range of projects aiming to transform the food and fashion sectors. Since 2012 I’ve worked with a host of organisations, pushing their levels of ambition on sustainability by helping them understand the systemic risks, and opportunities, that face them in the coming years.

I’ve managed strategic partnerships with businesses including Marks and Spencer, PepsiCo, Diageo and Pukka Herbs, to name a few. I led Forum’s Feed Compass project in its initial stages – working with an ambitious consortium of organisations seeking to radically reduce the environmental footprint of the livestock sector (bring on the crickets!).

Before I joined, I spent a year doing Forum for the Future’s MA in Leadership for Sustainable Development. During this time I worked for international supermarket business Delhaize Group, UK responsible investment NGO ShareAction, the Department for Education and global travel company TUI, assessing their progress on tackling complex sustainability challenges. Before fully leaping into the world of sustainability, I worked for local and national government on urban regeneration and housing, after completing a graduate leadership programme with the Homes and Communities Agency.

 

My dream project?

I’d love to be part of an experiment to see what would happen if a major businesses or government were run by a truly representative group of people, in terms of gender, race, class, age, educational background, etc. Imagine the types of decisions and initiatives that would come about if an organisations leaders were truly diverse…

Inequality and lack of diversity in organisations is a desperately urgent to address, not least because it creates a lack of empathy and understanding of the people that could help to solve today’s challenges. It’s common to read about the need for women’s ‘empowerment’ as if it were a nice ingredient rather than a fundamental foundation for a sustainable world. As Audre Lorde said, ‘there is no such thing as a single-issue struggle because we do not live single-issue lives.’

 

What floats my boat outside work?

I’m learning a lot about how to play and make up games (as well as the basics of reverse psychology) from hanging out with my toddler. I have a passion for learning languages, and can hold down a conversation in Spanish, Portuguese and French. I’m a member of an East London choir and, when the sun comes out, I love a game or two of tennis. Most of all I love exploring the great outdoors, and plan to see as much of the UK’s beauty spots as I can, while simultaneously reducing my carbon footprint!

Contact Sarah