DiscoverOutsideVoices with Mark BidwellJohn Elkington: Green Swans, Exponentials and Super Wicked Problems
John Elkington: Green Swans, Exponentials and Super Wicked Problems

John Elkington: Green Swans, Exponentials and Super Wicked Problems

Update: 2022-02-17


John Elkington is an advisor on sustainable development and corporate responsibility, an area he’s been working in for almost 40 years. He is the author of 20 books on this topic, and he has given a remarkable contribution to shifting capitalism and business towards a more balanced and sustainable path. We talk about his new book called "Green Swans: The Coming Boom in Regenerative Capitalism," we also talk about wicked and super wicked problems, exponentials, why he reads Chinese science fiction books, his visit with past guest Kevin Kelley and what he's both terrified of and excited about in the coming ten to fifteen year. 

What is Covered: 

- Who or what are ‘green swans’ and where the idea came from 

- Human struggle with exponentials and the role of technology in systemic change

- Wicked and super wicked problems, and what is unique about them in today’s world

- The issues with discounted cash flow in today’s economy 

- The role of young generation and why we need intergenerational cooperation to solve existential threats we’re facing

Key Takeaways and Learnings: 

- The green swans are very often market or societal or political shifts. A company or an individual could play into those changing realities, but it’s not about individuals as such.

- Super wicked problems, such as the climate emergency, make us see our future ahead of us, but we seem to be completely unable as a political species to address the challenge in a sufficient scale and with sufficient urgency. 

- Reengaging young people in a multigenerational and intergenerational battle for a systemic change at the right time and in the right way is a major opportunity in the next 10 to 15 years

Links and Resources Mentioned in This Episode: 

- “Green Swans: The Coming Book in Regenerative Capitalism” by John Elkington 

- Volans Ventures 

- Connect with John Elkington by email, LinkedIn or Twitter

- “The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable” by Nassim Nicholas Taleb 

- UN Sustainable Development Goals 

- “Exponential: How to Bridge the Gap Between Technology and Society” by Azeem Azhar  

- “New Rules for the New Economy: 10 Radical Strategies for a Connected World” by Kevin Kelly 

- “Out of Control: The New Biology of Machines, Social Systems and the Economic World” by Kevin Kelly  

- “Ministry for the Future: A Novel” by Kim Stanley Robinson 

- “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions” by Thomas S. Kuhn 

- “Regeneration: Ending the Climate Crisis in One Generation” by Paul Hawken  

- “Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming” by Paul Hawken 

- RethinkX 

- “The Wandering Earth” by Cixin Liu  

- “The Postman” by David Brin 

- “Dune” by Frank Herbert  

- Jim Mellon: Moo’s Law and Investing in Cellular Agriculture 

- Kevin Kelly: The Formula for the next 10,000 Startups, Failing Forward and Becoming a Teaching Organisation  

Connect with Mark Bidwell:

- LinkedIn 

- Twitter

- OutsideLens 

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Kevin Kelly on AI


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John Elkington: Green Swans, Exponentials and Super Wicked Problems

John Elkington: Green Swans, Exponentials and Super Wicked Problems

Mark Bidwell