Working at Forum We asked Forumites to describe Forum as a workplace. Here is what they said: Fern Yu Marketing & Communications Manager, based in Singapore Joined Forum in: 2021 Fern explains why Forum is a prismatic place to work: like the shape of the window in our logo, but with light passing through, scattering across a multitude of directions–Forum has felt like that prism, transmuting pure light from thoughts into tangible colour, bringing new insights and solutions into a world that can, at times like these, feel very dark and dismal. … and what her most memorable moment working here has been (so far): there’s a meme about how “meetings without food should just be emails’, and I’ve been happy to find out that’s not at all the case in Forum. Never in my life did I imagine I’d look forward to all my meetings! Ambition for 2022: grow the profile of Forum’s programmes in Asia, meet more colleagues in-person, and make more people smile at work!Ambition for 2022: grow the profile of Forum’s programmes in Asia, meet more colleagues in-person, and make more people smile at work! Cristóbal Donoso Amenábar Project & Systems Accountant, based in the UK Joined Forum in: July 2021 Cristóbal explains why Forum is a futuristic place to work: no, this is no science fiction. During my time in Forum, I have been around one of the most heterogeneous forward-looking bunch of people I’ve ever met in my life. Every single challenge posed to Forum is read, analysed, and questioned with a futuristic lens. Every question is inquisitively asked taking into consideration the impact and scenarios of our decisions adopted today. And it’s great, and it’s difficult, and it’s challenging and it’s not easy to digest, but Forum has been doing it for 25 years. And we are succeeding, and more and more partners want to join us in this future crusade! … and what is his most memorable moment working here has been (so far): Ah! Difficult to point out since my work involves understanding (huge word!) a little bit of all our programs and projects in order to give financial support. I love interacting with all the game players, so being involved in the strategic process has been one of my highlights so far. Ambition for 2022: From a Forum’s perspective, to convince more partners to work with us and embrace the just regenerative motto. From my personal perspective, to finally meet most of my colleagues in person this year! Amy Langridge Associate Director - Head of Marketing and Communications, based in the UK Joined Forum in: January 2019 Amy explains why Forum is an emergent place to work: emergent is defined as something ‘in the process of coming into being’. Whether it’s your working day, week, month or year, you never quite know where each project will take you at Forum - and getting on here is about embracing that. Forum goes with a very unique flow and just like the systems we’re trying to change - and the challenges we’re trying to tackle - is always evolving. So be curious. Be flexible. Be open-minded. … and what her most memorable moment working here has been (so far): About six months in, the penny (to some extent!) dropping on what ‘system change’ actually means and beginning to see our world as a set of interconnections. That – and my first foray into our futures work: it’s fascinating to project yourself years into the future, embrace ‘what if…?’ and get imaginative about just what our world could look like if we tackle our intensifying environmental and social crises. We all need a vision, sprinkled with hope – and Forum has both. Ambition for 2022: continuing to build and strengthen Forum’s international Communications and Marketing team across our UK, Singapore and India offices. The result: creating real connections with people to our work that drive awareness of issues and engagement with our cause. Samantha Veide Associate Director (US), based in the US Joined Forum in: 2018 Sam explains why Forum is a Pluck(y) place to work: The word pluck stands out. Determined. Bold. Spirited. And perhaps a bit cheeky too? One of the reasons I joined Forum was that I was so inspired by the sheer audacity of our ambition and this is still true today. I love working with people who hold to the hope that we CAN achieve a just and regenerative future (serious business!) and still laugh at themselves later over a beer. We are hardworking and have “courage of the heart” but we also try to center playfulness. … and what her most memorable moment working here has been (so far): Hmm. Just one? After a big workshop in Brazil to address inequities in the coffee sector, myself and some other Forumites along with representatives from across the value chain sharing a meal and dancing with multiple languages and laughter swirling all around. Ambition for 2022: Bring Forum’s new strategic plan to life, continue learning about regenerative practices and celebrate my kid’s completion of his freshman year in college. James Payne Associate Director (Transformational Strategies), based in the UK Joined Forum in: May 2019 James explains why Forum is a visionary place to work: I think the clue is in the name–thinking about what’s needed to shape a thriving, positive future in the face of some really huge challenges–but Forum isn’t visionary in a dreamy or academic way, people here are practical visionaries, managing to set out a really stretching, inspiring vision, while simultaneously getting on with the tangible steps needed to start making deeper and more systemic change happen. I’ve learned a huge amount since I joined; people here have such a depth and breadth of knowledge; I’ve also had the space and freedom to be reflective and to follow up opportunities that interest me. … and what visionary, most memorable moment working here has been (so far): the incredible opportunity to participate in our School for System Change, a six-month long part-time course focused on building the capacity to think and act more systematically; it was amazing to interact with visionary thinkers like Bill Sharpe (3 Horizons) and Pamela Mang (Regenesis). Ambition for 2022: Continue our exciting learning journey about what it would take for business to be part of shaping a just and regenerative future and improve my flexibility by getting to at least one yoga class every week. Jael Chew Team Coordinator, based in Singapore Joined Forum in: July 2021 Jael explains why Forum is a ‘siao onz’ place to work: Super smart, genuinely caring, crazy dedicated bunch of people who walk the talk, and never choose the path of least resistance - but leave room for individuals to mess up and grow. And always with a sense of humour! Hard to beat. That’s why Forum deserves the Hokkien/Singlish accolade of ‘siao onz’: out-of-this-world enthusiasm and relentless positivity regardless of the challenges that come our way. … and what her most memorable moment working here has been (so far): every Zoom call that has veered wildly off-tangent into cats, childhoods and questionable life choices. Ambition for 2022: have loads of great meals, yummy drinks and passionate conversations with amazing people both within and outside of Forum – our project partners and stakeholders! Sumi Dhanarajan Associate Director (APAC), based in Singapore Joined Forum in: 2018 Sumi explains why Forum is an inquisitive place to work: “Curiouser and curiouser! cried Alice”. The wonderful thing for me about working at Forum is being constantly steeped in questions of “why?” and “how might we…?”, and then being blessed with colleagues who are ready to jump in and find ways to answer them together, and invite others to come along on the dig. We also work with a strange mix of impatience to do things that meet the urgency of the ecological and human rights challenges of today but simultaneously an innate patience with the long game of systems change. It is a place where I experience an ability to define my purpose. … and what her most memorable moments working here has been (so far): Facilitating a role play activity with an apparel manufacturer - spanning from senior management to line operators - to provide as-close-as-possible insights into what their migrant employees experience during the recruitment process. It brought out a level of empathy from the participants that I had never observed previously in the many years I have worked in this field of business and human rights. A second would be the moment when our Responsible Energy Initiative became a real thing. The initiative critically identifies what a deep transition to a decarbonised energy system would need to look like i.e. one where the production and deployment of renewable energy is ecologically safe and socially just. The initiative - one of only a few - advocates for a whole systems change approach to the energy transition. Ambition for 2022: For Forum to find ways to support those working to transform systems to push to the edge, to be acutely attuned to potential blind-spots and risks of unintended consequences, and to be bold in creating the conditions for change. Ulrike Stein Senior Marketing and Communications Manager, based in the UK Joined Forum in: October 2010 Ulrike explains why Forum is a challenging place to work: ‘challenging’ for me has many different facets when I think of Forum. We work to tackle many of today’s most urgent and complex global challenges; we constantly challenge ourselves and our partners to be really ambitious with the change we seek to create whilst also recognising that we don’t yet know how we will get there. Being so acutely aware of how much work there is still to do and how unsettled the coming decades will be can be emotionally very challenging, so I’m glad that as an organisation, we really focus on our collective wellbeing. Lastly, as a communicator, my job challenges me every day to translate system change terminology and complex issues into content and formats that our audiences can understand and engage with. … and what her most memorable moment working here has been (so far): I’ve been at Forum for 11 years, and there have been too many fun, strange, eye-opening and proud moments to single out just one! I’d definitely call out our annual all-staff away days, Forum’s 20th anniversary celebration in the middle of London’s Hyde Park, bringing our futures work to life through theatre, film and illustrations, and most recently securing a live broadcast interview with Sky News for our CEO Sally on the impacts of climate change on global cotton production. Ambition for 2022: Using communications to increase the visibility and impact of Forum’s multi-stakeholder collaborations working on cotton, regenerative agriculture, the just transition and the climate and health nexus; building our profile in the UK, Europe and the US, and meeting all our wonderful new joiners in person this summer. Dhaval Negandhi Associate Director (Climate), based in India Joined Forum in: August 2021 Dhaval explains why Forum is a nimble place to work: Forum is nimble in several ways. What stands out to me is the kind of entrepreneurial, innovative approaches people take when thinking about a sustainability challenge and experimenting with their ideas. Forum provides that freedom to express yourself. And this shows how creatively we are able to think about systems, not being afraid of moving out of our comfort zones and doing something unconventional. … and what his most memorable moment working here has been (so far): I would say some of the action inquiries I have been part of, both as a participant, and then as part of the organisation itself organising these inquiries. I have had several aha moments during these, amazed at uncovering parts of a system, relationships and assumptions I had been blinded to, despite working on it for years. Ambition for 2022: Drive collaborative work that is commensurate with the climate challenge and is leading to tangible, lasting impacts; and meeting colleagues in-person.