A safe and just future is all of our business

Below is the introduction to our latest newsletter. To read newsletters in full, sign up now or subscribe on Linkedin.


Dear Planetary Steward, Dear friend of the Global Commons Alliance,

I was so happy to meet many partners and friends of GCA who braved the snow and ice to be in Davos last week. Experts from all fields – from scientists and innovators to youth and civil society groups – came together in those beautiful Swiss mountains to discuss some of the most pertinent issues of the day, including how we can accelerate systems change and become better guardians of the global commons. The need to understand our place in nature and to bring all efforts together across sectors, geographies and scales to build back resilience, underlined the relevance and urgency of our work as an Alliance.

A strident and sobering tone was set by Earth Commission Co-chairs Joyeeta Gupta and Johan Rockström, who stressed in their WEF Agenda post why a Safe and Just future is everyone’s business. Al Gore’s impassioned speech at the Nature Positive dinner brought home the fact that social media disinformation is causing confusion, and stifling the very action we need to hasten in this big year of elections and beyond.

I had the pleasure to moderate a panel that took stock of progress towards mobilizing Nature Positive actions, which included Erin Billman, Executive Director of SBTN as well as the CEO’s of TNFD and UNEP-WCMC. The general take was that the frameworks, tools and methods are aligning, thanks to collaboration across NGOs and knowledge networks. Many pioneering companies are doing the right thing by committing to climate and nature frameworks, however, the speed of adoption and implementation is glacial compared to that required by science.

Some companies still question why the need to address nature as well as climate. Encouragingly, some others are being incentivized by the opportunity to collaborate with other companies and stakeholders in a landscape context. Companies piloting the first-ever science-based targets for nature have shared positive insights of their experiences so far– including many business benefits beyond risk management – ahead of wider roll-out of the targets later this year.

The SDG tent, with the generous support of InTent, was the usual hub for many nature positive events and friends of GCA. Here, several events explored the role of family business, philanthropy and future generations to drive impact, as well as the need for more focus on intergenerational strategies. In the latter conversations, it was pointed out that older people reflect on progress, while young people only count breakthrough change. It’s also a fact that all revolutions to date have been led by young people. We must listen and give youth more agency!

I’m soon in Stockholm to engage with the Earth Commission, and to hear more from Professor Xuemei Bai on the key principles for translating Earth System Boundaries for application in cities and businesses.Connecting global and local partnerships to translate theory into action on the ground is when things start to get really exciting. That’s going to be a big focus for GCA in the coming months and years.

With all my best wishes,


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