What kinds of management education and development services are you involved in?
Developing a community sustainability group
What is your main interest in the AMED network?
education, inspiration, collaboration, personal development
Please share your favourite management development insight or quote.
If we are not modelling what we teach, then we are teaching something else (Helen Flanagan)
What kind of person are you?
More about you (Short Bio or any other details you’d like people to know)
I am approaching the end of the two year 'national graduate development programme for local government' (www.ngdp.co.uk), sadly disillusioned with the sector. I entered Local Government with conceptual ideals surrounding the adaptive superiority of distributed systems, thinking I would be part of a responsive decision-making node embedded in its environment. What I got was a down-trodden delivery arm for a pre-decided central agenda to whose driver it displays almost Stockholm Syndrome-like deference. As a sector we are excluded and distrusted whilst being told to include and trust; given no power to relinquish whilst being urged to let go. To make a meaningful contribution to an equitable and sustainable future, Local Government needs to be prepared to consider and question what it is told to implement, demonstrating leadership by resisting directives where they are judged unhelpful. As yet, I have seen precious little of the courage required to do this.
What I’d like from the AMED network is…
I would like to make a living doing something which is truly helpful. I am interested to hear about how other people go about it!
Hi Bethan, I saw your request for support for your North Wales project. I've been trying to do something similar with my own home and lifestyle. I don't claim this is best practice, but some learnings would be:
- To keep it simple and track most of the likely changes you would make, you can focus on domestic electricity and fuel (gas, oil, others), plus car fuel. These are easy to quantify and to convert to CO2 content.
- You also have to decide whether you consider it OK to buy electricity on a renewable contract - some argue this adds impetus to for generators to invest to "green the grid," others say it makes no difference (certainly in the short term) to the actual balance of power generation.
- If you want to be more sophisticated include other forms of travel, water consumption (because water utilities are themselves big power consumers), and embedded carbon in bought items (from day to day groceries to construction materials). But it's harder to measure these things and it may be simpler to apply rules of thumb about maximising public transport use, local food sources etc.
- It's harder to retrofit old houses to be energy efficient, than to build new ones (or even retrofit relatively new ones). This is driven by physical design and materials, and sometimes by planning constraints. Assuming your group have a variety of buildings, you may want to focus on CO2 reduction rather than absolute levels, because different people's homes will have very different potential.
- Real-time information makes a real difference to behaviour. We have a real time electricity meter in the kitchen and it does drive us to go and check what is switched on and makes us aware of the relative consumption of different appliances. The real time fuel consumption meter in the car is even better because you can use your right foot accordingly!
I hope that's some help - good luck and please do share your learnings!