Paul’s Perspective: 30 Months as a Green Thought Leader in the US
Penned by Paul Hannam, Founder of Bright Green Talent
At the end of 2006 I moved with my family from the UK to California. My goal was to be at the forefront of the Green Business Movement as I felt that the US has to lead the world in this essential mission. For the five previous years, I had taught environmental business and leadership at Oxford University, yet at heart I am an entrepreneur and believe that business is the #1 agent for change in the world right now.
So my first step was to set up Bright Green Talent with Tom Savage, who I met at Oxford, and then Nick Ellis who I met in California. Our goal has always been to recruit and develop the next generation of Green Leaders, and to coach and place these talented people into positions to make a positive contribution to our world. I had previously set up and owned a very successful technology recruitment business in the UK, and it has been a great adventure working with my colleagues at Bright Green Talent to build what we believe will be the world’s leading Green Recruitment and Career Coaching Business.
Given the attention and buzz around the concepts of “Green jobs” and “green careers,” a lot of people ask us to share our perspective on the market. As such, I have given a number of presentations over the last few weeks to hundreds of green job seekers, and I also did a TV interview here in San Diego.
Though less “green” than San Francisco, there is still a lot happening here in San Diego and, of course, we have to make every city and every community in the US sustainable. With this in mind, I set up Bright Green Leadership to provide consulting and marketing services to green and socially-responsible organizations. One of my clients is the Marshall Goldsmith School of Management at Alliant International University in San Diego. I am now the thought leader for the first Green MBA in Southern California – the “Bright Green MBA.” If you’re curious to learn more, you can watch this video in which I explain the 5 main reasons for getting a Green MBA.
Recently I have also launched a very exciting new business called Big Green Breakthrough with Diane MacEachern who is one of the top experts in the US on Environmental issues. We have put together consulting, coaching and online training products specifically to help small businesses gain the green advantage. And one of our first products is specifically aimed at women executives and business owners – here’s the video.
So these are very exciting times, and after a lot of hard work I really feel that the Green Business movement is advancing rapidly. And this is a movement – of entrepreneurs, executives and professionals who want to transform our society. There is a new mood in the country since President Obama’s election. People are looking for success and significance in their careers, and businesses are beginning to realize that they need to be transparent, responsible and authentic if they want to be successful.
I see green careers and green entrepreneurship as the ultimate means to integrate our professional and personal development. Indeed, last year I wrote a book about personal, organizational and social/environmental change that tried to capture my philosophy of life. The book, The Magic of Groundhog Day and explores how the movie “Groundhog Day” can help transform your life. This movie is all about how we get stuck in repetitive patterns and ultimately provides an invaluable blueprint to break free. In a parallel fashion, I believe our whole civilization is stuck in very dysfunctional and destructive patterns, and that we have to change every element of our lifestyles, our culture and our infrastructure to break free and live sustainably.
Though we face a very tough and long struggle ahead, I am very optimistic. As so many people have realized, now is the time to choose a green career and dedicate your life to social, economic, and environmental aims. Our generation and the generations to come need you!
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