From conservation to conversation

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On conservation…

A recent story in the Cambridge papers got us interested. An ancient college was keen to put solar panels on its roof. Seems a good idea? A nice example of leadership by one of the most privileged institutions in the UK? English Heritage said no…in the name of ‘conservation’. The College replied they were focused on conservation –but of a form well beyond preserving local vistas. So we have a battle between fossilised buildings vs fossil fuels – involving two organisations who are keen to be modern, relevant and non-archaic.

In our work linked to CSR, we note there are different tools for different purposes. Which you favour relate to personal priorities which are frequently framed in opposition in this field: buildings or bio-diversity, people or the planet…

How we talk about the purposes that seem important to us is at the heart of our interest in noble purpose organisations. Transvestite potter Grayson Perry has a famous piece of art (embroidery actually) encouraging us all to ‘hold our beliefs lightly’. This might be especially useful in noble purpose environments – especially when conversations about conservation are involved!

[Post script: However, logically we think this postmodern mantra should probably extend to holding the importance of lightly held beliefs lightly too. So maybe, from this philosophical point of view, fundamentalism is ok after all?]

All very circular eh…

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