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Join the Global Conversation - Make the Future You WantW e would all like to know what the future holds, but life has a habit of surprising us. The song "Que sera, sera" (whatever will be, will be) is a sufficient guide for some people. However, most try much harder to define what might happen in their personal lives and in the environment in which they live. They may extrapolate current trends but these often warp in unexpected ways. For instance, in Western countries the Industrial Revolution changed life 200 years ago, the harnessing of electricity transformed it 100 years ago and we are currently in the throes of the Internet Revolution. The future is, in fact, increasingly unpredictable. The world is changing fast. As well as change itself the impact of change is felt immediately and directly through the media. The financial system acts as a lightning conductor in taking money to the safest haven. Technological change is bringing the death of distance as ideas and money move instantaneously. It is also bringing the collapsing of time as competitive reactions become ever faster. As in nature, the sharks have to keep swimming or they die.Two key factors are causing these changes. The first is technology, with more scientists working today than have worked in total before in all of mankind's past history. New ways of doing things are advancing the world in which we live - from life saving drugs to communications for political revolution to better sources of renewable energy.The second key trend is globalisation - partly fuelled by the improvements in transport and communications technology. When we look at our world we must remember that only about one billion of the seven billion people on our planet have a similar lifestyle to Sir Paul Judge, Chairman, The International Green AwardsT 20 November 2012, Battersea Power Station, London, UKthose here in the UK. Six-sevenths of the human population live outside Europe, North America, Japan and Australasia. The lucky 1 billion have an average GNP per capita of around US$30,000. The other 6 billion humans have an average of only US$5,000. It must be unrealistic to expect that this disparity can continue. The invisible hand of Adam Smith will ensure that the greatest good is achieved by the greatest numbers and that resources flow to where they can be best utilised. Jobs will move in line with those resources. If you believe in free enterprise then you should expect it to work across countries and continents as well as within countries or regions. Who predicted, for instance, in 1960 when South Koreans were on average poorer than Kenyans that as a result of the South Korean emphasis on education, linking it directly with economic development, by 2012 they would be 25 times richer than Kenyans?It is therefore, clear that while we can make assumptions based on anecdotal evidence and past experiences, there is no real likelihood that the "future" will be as we foresee it. The future, like déjà vu, is not what it used to be.The power of imagination brings with it the possibility to innovate and redefine traditionally accepted notions. In the absence of a "known tomorrow", imagination and adaptation are vital for long-term financial, social and environmental success. This is especially true for business, where it is now imperative to spot trends and create innovative business models that have the agility to respond to the dynamism that tomorrow will bring. This is what we at the International Green AwardsT call "business resilience". It intrinsically links sustainability with the financial bottom line.114 SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS

" If you believe in free enterprise, then you should expect it to work across countries and continents as well as within countries or regions "Pictured left: Sir Paul JudgeBelow: 2011 WinnersSustainability is now a common phrase but not everyone recognises its inherent dynamic and the implication it can have on all aspects of a business. Companies tend to focus on elements in isolation, rather than their interconnections. However, all modern businesses are linked not only within themselves but to all of their stakeholders including their customers, suppliers and the communities within which they operate.Businesses, therefore, need to reflect on their current business models and evaluate their robustness. At the International Green AwardsT we are helping businesses fully to understand the implications of any changes and to ensure they comprehend, adapt to and aim to mitigate any potentially adverse effects.In 2011, the Awards received entries from over 108 countries. Now, in 2012, for the 7th year of the International Green AwardsT, our mission on a local and global scale is to accelerate the journey towards sustainability, challenge current thinking and recognise innovative solutions in business and communities. By identifying and highlighting best practice we can educate and inspire others to follow suit to provide our 7 billion fellow human beings with a blueprint and framework for sustainable living now and in the future. With a key focus on sustainable business, the Awards act as a change agent to support collaboration, leadership, knowledge, innovation and value. We are supported by some of the most influential bodies including the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), Sustainable Consortium, World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Forum for the Future, International Union Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Green Cross International and the International Business Leaders Forum (IBLF). In 2012, we have moved beyond just awarding success to supporting sustainability initiatives and bringing people and markets together. With the aim of learning and knowledge sharing, the Awards have organised free to attend and best practice summits in key international cities (Rio de Janeiro, New York, Dubai, Mumbai, Hong Kong, Singapore and Sydney) on a broader and more topical theme - sustainable profitability. Each attendee will receive a free business review to help to evaluate their organisation's performance and to streamline their sustainability strategy towards a more resilient model with a profitable economic bottom line.The International Green AwardsT play an exciting role in the new global economy and if you are a true game changer, do not miss the opportunity to join our growing community of thought leaders who are entering, partnering and judging this year's Awards. This year, the International Green Awards is recognising the "most sustainable" organisations, as exhibited by the implementation of a holistic sustainability strategy across nine disciplines - energy, water, waste, resources, carbon, supply chain, transport, environment and social. Based on your organisation's size and status, you will be competing in one of the following six direct entry categories:n Most Sustainable Large Corporaten Most Sustainable Medium Businessn Most Sustainable Small Businessn Most Sustainable NGOn Most Sustainable Governmentn Most Sustainable Educational InstitutionIn our constant quest of innovative ideas, the awards will also feature a separate category called "Future Game Changers". To find out more please visit our website and I will look forward to joining you at one of our international thought leadership summits or welcoming you to London in November. nABOUT THE AUTHORSir Paul Judge is Chairman of the International Green AwardsT. He is an Alderman of the City of London, the President of the Chartered Institute of Marketing and of the Association of MBAs and Chairman of Schroder Income Growth Fund plc. He is a former Chairman of the Royal Society of Arts and Ministerial Adviser at the UK Cabinet Office.  SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS 115