101. Mike Robinson: Collaborating for climate solutions

In this podcast Mike Robinson, Chief Executive of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society talks to host, Sue Stockdale, about his adventurous and philanthropic background, and how experience on an expedition to Borneo inspired him to give back to the environment, and gain self-confidence. Mike outlines his work at the Royal Scottish Geographical Society, its function as a small charity, and how he believes that it is not enough for the charity to just inform and influence things, its needs to inspire people that it is possible to change and create solutions that are appealing and ambitious.

Mike has been Chief Executive since 2008, overseeing the RSGS move to Perth and rejuvenating the charity’s purpose, positioning and profile – and that of geography and geographers in Scottish civic society too. Through this role – and over the course of the last 25 years – Mike has been instrumental in informing policy through joined-up, collaborative action, particularly in sustainability and climate change. In 2006 he established Stop Climate Chaos Scotland (SCCS), the largest coalition ever formed in Scotland, which was so instrumental in delivering the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009, the Scottish Climate Justice Fund, and the 2019 Emissions Reduction Targets Act. He is an advisor to Government and trustee on several boards, mostly in the spheres of education, agriculture and transport, and is hosting a series of Climate Emergency Summits with more than 40 organisations to identify suitable responses to the emergency, and to inform government thinking.

He is also leading development of a new qualification, Climate Solutions, for business leaders with the University of Stirling and University of Edinburgh Management Schools, and the Institute of Directors. Amongst others, Mike sits on the Board of Transform Scotland and is Chair of Perth City Development Board (PCLF) aiming to make Perth the most sustainable small city in Europe. He is an Honorary Fellow of Scottish Environment Link and the Royal Canadian Geographical Society (RCGS), and has won a number of awards for his contribution to climate change, including the 2001 Best Renewable Energy Initiative, the 2009 Glenfiddich Spirit of Scotland Award for the Environment, and the 2017 Bernier Medal of the RCGS.

Connect with Mike Robinson on LinkedIn and Twitter and via the RSGS website

Key Quotes

  •  “Felix could name every plant in the rainforest and had something to do with every plant. Everything had a use and he knew all of it and it was absolutely inspiring.”
  • “It’s possible to change”
  •  “One of the great joys in my role is I think we’re focused on the best of people”
  •  “You need scale, so whatever you do- it could always be bigger, it could always be better, it could always be more”
  • “I am probably most proud of Scotland’s climate change leadership”
  • “Ambition is not meant to be achievable – because an ambition that’s achievable isn’t ambition.”
  • “I believe that if everybody understood what I know they’d probably want to do something about climate change.”
  • “They’re not going to still be in business in 10 years time if they don’t wake up”

Partners and Supporters

We partnered with the Royal Scottish Geographical Society to bring you this series. Take a look at their Climate Solutions course, developed by leaders and experts in climate change and endorsed by the Institute of Directors.

We are also supported by Squadcast –the remote recording platform which empowers podcasters by capturing high-quality audio and video conversations.

Connect with us on Twitter : Facebook : Instagram : LinkedIn : Read our Impact Report

Action to take after listening to the podcast


  • [00:04:09] Raleigh International expedition.
  • [00:05:27] Rainforest destruction and motivation.
  • [00:08:38] Sense of place in geography.
  • [00:12:51] Age of solutions.
  • [00:17:06] The impact of legislation.
  • [00:20:52] Achievability of ambition.
  • [00:27:46] Education as a climate solution.
  • [00:31:05] Leaving the world a better place.

Mike Robinson transcription

Sue  Welcome to the podcast Mike, it’s great to speak to you today.

Mike Thanks so lovely to be here.

Sue Now you and I share a common connection and by that I’m talking about not just being Scottish but also the connection with Stirling University where I understand that your son attends and you met your wife and perhaps it was after a particular escapade with a pole vault. What happened there?

Mike You are worryingly well informed. Yes, it’s not one of my finest moments. I’d been competing in the university athletics championships, not as any sort of hopeful contender. I was really just filling spaces and the athletics team captain asked me to fill in where I could and then I didn’t actually realise until I got on the bus on the way to Falkirk that I had to do 14 events and one of them was the pole vault. In fact one of them was decathlon technically and I’d never done the pole vault before. I don’t know why I vaguely fancied myself as being maybe this was the sport I’d not discovered and I really actually might be okay at it after all. I had a couple of attempts and short version is on my third attempt I got to the top hanging onto a pole several feet above the ground and the umpire walked towards me and said you need to fall on the mat, and I said yes I realised but I couldn’t do anything about it and I fell sideways and broke my arm. So yes I went back to university, something of a cult hero with my arm in a sling and that was the night I met my wife.

Sue So I’m just wondering whether that adventurous streak by the sounds of it is something that is then prevalent through your career and your life since then, and I’m sure we will get on to some of those adventures and pioneering activities that you’ve done Mike because you’ve done certainly many in your life.

Mike  I’m certainly always interested in variety and having a go I suppose and that’s definitely something that’s persisted.

Sue Now moving on from there, there’s also another activity that I understand you were involved in that shaped what you’re doing today and that’s being involved in the charity Raleigh International. Tell me about that.

Mike Well once I left university I was working for a large organisation and friends of mine had been on Operation Raleigh and I thought actually that it had shut down so I was a little bit disappointed because I quite fancied the idea and purely through serendipity discovered that actually it was still running. So I put in an application to it and ended up being selected to go on expedition and actually ended up not only spending three months in Borneo but I used to help run the selection weekends for Raleigh and I ran the Edinburgh support group with friends and it was a very active group, it was a really good social group and we did lots and lots of volunteering all over Scotland and Northern Ireland and it was fantastic, social and physical experience.

Sue And from that experience of expedition in Borneo and having those social interactions,how do you think that has shaped your life since then and your career?

Mike The thing about Raleigh is like a lot of things, I assumed seeing rainforest destruction first hand that it would affect everybody but it didn’t, it depended on your sensitivities I think and the things you were interested in. So for me it was very profound and I made a friend who was one of our guides on the expedition who was a Dyak tribesman, Felix. I became very close to him and had an incredible respect for him. He could name every plant in the rainforest and had something to do with every plant, we thought we’d found one that he couldn’t cook or turn into a tool and it turned out the one we’d found was actually a children’s game so it’s just everything had a use and he knew all of it.

It was absolutely inspiring and because I witnessed that rainforest destruction and always been sensitive to environmental concerns I pledged to him to do more when I came home and so that was a very important moment because it gave me a sort of motivation beyond a normal motivation I suppose. But the other reason Raleigh was really important was that I was very painfully shy when I was younger and probably lacked a lot of self confidence and the one thing I do think you get out of an expedition like that and pushing yourself like that is you do have a lot more self confidence. So I came home with a renewed sense of self belief but also a really strong desire to give back to do something positive.

Sue So it sounds like it was very impactful for you not only experiencing deforestation first hand as you said also about then having a bigger vision. Now I know you’ve been the chief executive of Royal Scottish Geographical Society for quite a number of years now I think is it over 15 years?

Mike It’s 15 years this August yes.

Sue For those that haven’t heard of the RSGS before, as its acronym is, what is it and what does it do?

Mike So the Royal Scottish Geographical Society is a small charity it isn’t particularly as high profile as we sometimes wish it was.Even my friends think I work for National Geographic which is the American magazine. It’s a small Scottish charity been around since the 1880s and it’s an educational charity we’re largely concerned with informing people about real issues and current issues influencing change. It’s not enough just to inform people if things can be made better then we should help to influence that and it’s also we don’t believe it’s enough to just inform and influence things you need to inspire people that it’s possible to change and that things are are appealing and actually things can be better than that.

So those are sort of the key strands of what we do and we work with schools through to universities through to multinational businesses. We work with government, do a lot of government advisory work but ultimately we’re a membership charity and we run a very large talks programme, our own magazine and all the usual sorts of things you would expect in terms of communications.

Sue So that sounds like quite a big remit and I love the way you just threw into the conversation, oh we’ve been around since 1881, as if it was a norm for many organisations. So given that history and that legacy that you are stewarding as a leader how do you then preserve the past, maintain the present, and bring that all-important inspiration that you were talking about for the future in the role that you perform?

Mike Oh yeah what a good question. The first thing I suppose is that an organisation with a heritage like ours is very precious and there is a really strong sense of stewardship and responsibility we have worked with the likes of Ernest Shackleton and Nansen and Amundsen and Thor Heyerdhal and Neil Armstrong and all of these sorts of people over the years. Who are those people today, what would they be doing today, where is the space that they occupied in their own era, and if you also look back at our history we’ve been involved in things like national parks debates since the 1920s and actually set up the university departments of geography back in 1907, 1908, 1909.

There’s been so many different eras during that time and that time and we’ve always been actively putting a spotlight onto key issues bringing forward people that are inspirational or are helping to shape the way that we think or challenge the boundaries and I think that sort of an understanding of that history and that sense of place and where we’ve come from is critical in shaping how do we then respond to where we are now and what is our role in modern society.

To me our role has always been about the change it’s always been about the margins the periphery what’s possible where are people pushing and those areas now are very much I think around more in a sort of solutions agenda. We’re not finding out what’s a white space on a map anymore that has changed significantly and our knowledge has grown in lots of different ways. I don’t think we’re always a lot cleverer than we think we used to be but we’re definitely in a different phase and I think we understand that we need to behave differently. And the circumstances changed a lot more people around now a lot of different industries much bigger than it was so there’s a lot of different pressures different changes you’ve got to adapt to that time.

For me the interesting part of my role is embracing the best of our past which actually for me means to be ambitious. We dealt with some of the most famous people in the world in their day doing incredible things you know first to climb Everest and all these sorts of things who are they today what are they doing today and we should be reaching out to those globally so we’re a small charity but with a very big sort of global perspective and we just want to celebrate the best of everything going on in the world. We hear so much in the news about the worst of people and humanity and society on occasion and actually one of the great joys in my role is I think we’re focused on the best of people.

Sue Well that sounds like quite a big role and responsibility that you have. Given that you then came back from your Raleigh expedition experience I know you had roles within the RSPB, the Royal Society for Protection of Birds, and the Botanical Gardens in Scotland sounds like you were building on your knowledge and experience all the while until you are nowin the RSGS I’m wondering then how with the sense of ambition that you had at the outset in your job with this massive remit. How do you go from the big picture like that making change at scale to making it happen?

Mike  it’s probably worth saying that of course I didn’t always have that scale or ambition in mind like everything else it’s stepping stones really. I’m very passionate about the environment, about sustainability, about equality, all these sorts of things. And so I was very keen to to have a career in that space in a way that I felt I could help make a difference and initially that was very much just raising money helping big projects happen on the ground. Some of them were small some were quite big but all the time because you care about the issue and you’re constantly learning there’s always a recognition I think actually that whatever that thing is that you’ve just done isn’t enough.

So what else could I do or maybe it’s just that I’ve learned something I didn’t know before. And then well where can I go and apply that again. So it’s a combination of those two things and certainly when I worked for the RSPB I was involved in quite a lot of work in acquiring nature reserves and turning places into space for nature and wild land and the more you did that the more you realized that to do it well you needed scale.

So whatever you did it could always be bigger, it could always be better, it could always be more, and every time I set myself a challenge and try to go and deliver a project or an idea and I do have far too many ideas. Then each time you deliver one you’re bolder for the next one and so it’s actually quite addictive.

Sue It strikes me that earlier you used the names of Nansen and Shackleton and so on and while they were exploring and setting bigger challenges for themselves in terms of exploration, it almost seems that you’re the modern day explorer in a different context because you know you’re exploring how we can impact positively the environment to preserve the world for the future.

Mike I certainly think we’re in the age of solutions I wouldn’t go as far as comparing myself to those individuals. But there’s a lot of people at all levels doing inspiring things and making good things happen and I’m very pleased to know quite a lot of those people. I’m very pleased to help celebrate that because I think we need to be reminded of the fact that most people are good and trying to do good things and are trying to make things happen but we need more momentum. If that’s what we think is important, it needs spotlight, it needs momentum, it needs encouragement, and it needs support and so actually I think that’s a really important role. And yes I do think we’re in the age of as I said solutions.

I get asked a lot about various sorts of ideas around which which age of exploration are we in at the moment, and for me we know enough now that things we were doing in the past aren’t sustainable. We need to reinvent stuff and and actually in a way whilst that’s really intimidating it’s also quite empowering as well. It’s a message I certainly give to a lot of young people who do talks at some of the universities around Scotland and and my view is that I’ve never known a time when almost everything that we take for granted is in some way up for grabs.

There’s question marks about  – well is that really the right path, is it actually sustainable, should we be doing this, and those questions pertain to everything. So it doesn’t really matter what your interest is there’s an opportunity to genuinely help to be a force for change in that space. I would argue things like climate change at least until the 1980s were the accidental consequence of being unsustainable. I don’t think anybody set out to create that. I would argue since 1980s the science has been pretty settled and it’s been a sort of a conscious choice after that period. But the reality is it was an accident of being unsustainable and we just know better so so let’s go and do better now.

Sue Out of all the activities the initiatives, the projects that you have been involved with Mike, what are you most proud of?

Mike I am probably most proud of Scotland’s climate change leadership and that is something that I have worked within for a long time. Scotland took a very bold decision back in the early 2000s to set world-leading legislation and I had a very strong hand in helping to make that happen. Andit has then led to a whole raft of other activities, other consequences that we probably couldn’t have imagined at the time and it doesn’t mean that anybody’s done enough or hasn’t got more to do but it’s actually very reassuring in lots of ways.

I was approached just before the COP came to Glasgow a couple of years ago by a couple of filmmakers who were basically asking the question of,  well why did Scotland have such world leading legislation and has it made any difference. And truthfully we didn’t really know the answer for sure at that point we had achieved the 2020 target a little bit early so that looked superficially as if we’d done something.

But it was quite difficult to say hand on heart how much of a change of that really made. And so these filmmakers set about trying to answer that question and I’m pleased to say that not only have they made a very beautiful film but it’s actually quite optimistic. It’s not unrealistic, but it is very optimistic and in the climate space that’s actually quite an unusual thing. And actually the consequence of that legislation and all of the actions around it they’re not as simple as there’s some legislation in place, because obviously legislation alone is on one level. It’s sort of rhetoric it’s a little bit better than rhetoric, but it’s not much. But it doesn’t necessarily mean that people then follow legislation. So what is it that brought about the biggest change and for me one of the things it did most successfully, was it empowered.

It emboldened people in every walk of life who understood the need to do something but didn’t feel that they had the traction to do it or the agency to do it. And what legislation does is it empowers and emboldens those people and it gave them a remit to go and make a change in their own sphere. Whether that was at home or at work or in some broad way or in their community. And it’s those those little balls that have started rolling that have probably created the biggest difference and that’s probably what I’m most proud of having a hand in helping to start. So it’s that ripple effect, being a catalyst for change.

Sue And from what you said Mike you seem to be very much an initiator and an enabler of change, so getting things going using those ideas to bring them into reality. I’m wondering then how do you also give attention to the sustainability of those ideas – because I understand for example at one point you were chairing over 20 committees. And I’m thinking wow that sounds like you’re a really busy person. How do you then ensure that that energy that you’re putting in then is continued in the longer term?

Mike A very good question. The one thing about being involved in so many committees is a fundamental belief is that we have become too siloed and we’re not always very good at connecting things back up again. Now the benefit of those silos is that there’s a lot of expertise in very detailed areas but actually if they don’t take the time to connect with other areas of expertise and other knowledge and other perspectives, the danger is that we just have lots and lots and lots of little tiny spinning plates in all sorts of different arenas. But nobody’s creating momentum for change. And so actually the two things I’m really interested in one is actually bringing people together genuinely across society, across spectra. Really bringing a lot of people in around an issue to talk about it to get a much more holistic sense of perspective around it. And also invite people to participate in solving these problems.

I think the other slight thing that we sometimes get wrong I see this with some organisations more than others, is that they don’t really consult they come and tell you what they’re going to do to you and ask if that’s okay. That’s not the same thing you know. And so one thing I have learned to do, and it didn’t come easy, is actually to share ambition. To share these mad and wild ideas before they’re fully formed and not apologize for that. Because actually what I’m trying to do is ensure that I don’t have all the answers.

I want people to help shape the answers. So I’ve got an idea sometimes that we should be doing this but I don’t necessarily know how to get there or what will work, and what won’t work. And actually it’s really important you get other people and practitioners experts academics whoever all around the table to talk about it. Because they’ve all got a different reason why that can work or why that can’t.

So the first thing is to share that and to share ambition. It’s not to try and do it on your own. And the other thing I learned actually I think I knew it but I was told it by a fundraising guru last year that made me laugh, and he said ambition is not meant to be achievable because an ambition that’s achievable isn’t ambition. If you’re going to get people around a topic you have to be ambitious for it and you need to be really bold because otherwise we have this habit of whittling away at that ambition, and oh but, but, but, but. Before you know it you’re left with nothing, so that’s another reason to be quite bold in the ambition that you said.

But the other thing I think we’ve got to do and actually being involved in too many committees which I was for a period and probably still am, is that it helps literally helps with that joined up process. So I would sit on a board and they’d say oh we need this other organisation to know about that. And I’m like well that’s fine I sit on their board as well so it sounds really silly but it was that sort of literal. Well I can connect it up and although that looks like it could be really onerous in terms of time commitment, and if you ask my wife it probably was, it’s also very efficient because immediately I can connect at the right level to 12 different other organizations. But also I’ve got people giving me digested information and it actually allowed me to be really quite well informed in a way that I would never have had time to read to that level of depth.

Mike I didn’t necessarily always need to know the information but I always knew somebody I could ask and that again ended up being quite a strong efficiency. So if anybody’s listening and wants to do too many board roles I reckon the first three or four are quite hard but after that actually not really because this sort of efficiencies kick in.

Sue Well maybe there’s one opportunity that you’re inspiring our listener to think about that Mike, and to that point who or what provides inspiration for you?

Mike I’d have to say I mean it’s people around me that inspire me. It’s people that are making a difference. I’m very lucky in my work that I actually get to meet some of these people quite regularly and I think for me they’re people that I can learn from. Or there’s people you meet and you’re just you’re in awe of their presence, so it’s just a pleasure to have time with them, and you feel very honored to have that time. There’s been one or two examples like that there’s others that as I say the way that they behave the way that they operate you just think, gosh I wish I could be more like that.

Recently we had the journalist Lyse Doucet the BBC correspondent, she ran an event for us and we were actually awarding her one of our medals for her contribution to particularly war correspondency and journalism generally. And the way she handled an audience was fantastic.She had no real ego to speak of, she always wanted to talk about other people, and she’d only met everybody in that room two hours before this public talk.

She referenced everyone in the room that she’d met personally and it was so beautifully done. There was a warmth to it and everyone in the room felt engaged in what she was saying even though none of us have really got life experience in the way that she has, and have seen some of the things that she’s seen so it was just really really artful and beautiful and charming and just a huge learning curve. I’m very lucky I meet people like that probably every six months or something.

Sue Sounds like a great opportunity to learn and maybe have some of their magic rub off on you in terms of how to conduct yourself in different situations.

Mike Absolutely yeah I know I’d love to think it does rub off but I can’t say it does but it’s a wonderful thing to watch and witness.

Sue  So given that you are a pretty busy person Mike how do you relax if you ever have downtime?

Mike I’m really annoying I relax through variety. I don’t really stop much I just do different things. I do quite a lot of running. I used to play a lot of squash, I do a bit of mountaineering, I do have a family so variety is the way that I relax. I don’t really want to stop I just want to do something different so particularly sports where you have to focus on the moment that you’re in is how I really relax.

If you’re climbing and you’re afraid you might fall off something you really have no space to think about a board meeting next week or a staff issue or why some funding didn’t come in you know you really need to be in the moment and so I get a lot of pleasure out of that. And I’ve actually done quite a lot of wild swimming and things as well recently which I guess is also quite a well understood relaxer.

Sue Yes all that cold water I’m sure it does take your breath away initially.

Mike  Well yes it does and actually almost literally did once I did take on one event that I couldn’t quite finish it was a 10k swim on the Spey and I actually got quite severe hypothermia so yeah it doesn’t always work.

Sue I don’t know if that’s better or worse than your pole vaulting experience at university.

Mike  The funniest bit of the swim experience is I’d been left to sort out the food for my friend who was coming with me and I hadn’t had no time so I just literally dived into supermarket and grabbed the first two things I saw and all I managed to pick up was a set of sweets, fizzy sweets, and some cans of coke that was it. And we got to this food stop on this 10k swim and all he had was fizzy sweets and coca-cola and he was actually frothing at the mouth and he was livid he was absolutely livid with me it was sort of too late really you know there’s nothing we could do about it but he’s never let me buy the food again it has to be said.

Sue Now with the ambition that you have for the RSGS and the impact that you want the organization to have in the world. I understand you’ve been developing some climate solutions courses am I right?

Mike Yes.

Sue  What does that involve? what purpose is that serving in your kind of grand vision for the organization?

Mike Well the grand vision starts with trying to solve climate change globally of course and worked backwards. I’ve been involved in climate activity for probably 25 years in all sorts of different guises, but I’d like to think in fact I was talking to a friend of mine yesterday who said he thought was probably the most constructive climate campaigner that he’d ever come across because I’m always trying to problem solve and sort out the next problem what’s the next step?

I think that’s part of it understanding that we’re all on a journey it’s not an optional space. We’re all on this journey in some way I’m not interested in polarising the debate I’m not interested in singling people out for fault. I believe that if everybody understood what I know they’d probably want to do something about it and one of the forums that I sat on was for Scottish business leaders called the 2020 group. And I sat on that forum for probably six years and I wondered why more businesses weren’t doing more and you start from a position thinking, ah they don’t want to it’s not in their interest. But actually I came to the conclusion that most of them just didn’t know what to do and didn’t know what they needed to do and didn’t understand the role that they could have and that’s quite a different philosophical position to start from.

So my only regret is it took me 15 years to realise that education was one of the answers and so I set about producing a climate solutions qualification and that’s important too. It wasn’t about I don’t need to badger you about the science and go round in circles if the science was enough to persuade everybody to do something differently we would have done it in the 1980s. The science is is just telling us the same thing, but slightly more urgently every year.

So the science isn’t enough. What is it that we’re not doing and actually one of the big problems is we’re not all pulling in the same direction. We don’t all know what the answers are and we’re not all working towards those ends, but until we understand that and have more clarity and certainty around the solutions how can we expect people to invest in the right places or innovate in the right spaces. So it’s really important that we give that certainty back so what I wanted to do is use the integrity that we have as a scientific learning society and work with the best climate science group I could get which was the Edinburgh University Centre of Carbon Innovation, one of the management schools. We’re actually working with two, so Stirling University and Strathclyde University management schools and I also recruited the Institute of Directors.

We created a course. We know people are time starved so we created a course that only took 90 minutes focused on the solutions primarily and helped people understand why not just that they should know about climate change for moral and other reasons. Because actually they’re not going to still be in business in 10 years time if they don’t wake up. That was really brought home to me by a finance group that I was talking to who said about four years ago that they were surprised in the financial sphere that coal had become uninvestable and I was gobsmacked because coal was predictably uninvestable 25 years ago because it’s such a dirty fuel. So how they could be surprised by that. That really threw me and made me realise yeah this communication and education about what to do just isn’t in the public domain. So that’s what we’ve done we’ve produced this course and then pushed it as far and wide as we can.

Sue that sounds like something that’s worth learning about for anybody that wants to be more informed and educated in this space Mike?

Mike Yeah we’d like obviously everybody to do it as ever my ambition is always ridiculous. I was hoping that we could find a way of making it somehow universal and ultimately that would be wonderful it has had good uptake we’ve already translated it into a number of other languages and looking to translate it further. It’s been very popular globally not just within Scotland and the UK well.

Sue given that we have listeners in over 25 countries perhaps listener if you’re not based in Scotland then it’s worth a look at from whichever country you’re listening into this podcast from. Finally Mike I want you to fast forward a little bit in your career and your life and I’m wondering what you hope your legacy is going to be?

Mike I did joke once that I would my epitaph would be ‘died trying’. I think really I just want to look back and not regret changing something I could have influenced. I want to be able to look back and know that I’ve done everything in my power to make the world a better place to hand over the world in a better form than I inherited it. And I know that sounds very grandiose but that’s how I that’s how I’m motivated. And I believe that most people have that same sense of responsibility and stewardship and I think I want to tap into that more. I want to sort of reach to that in people because I’ve met so many people in the last few years who really are sad about the state of the world they’re passing over to their children or grandchildren, so I want to do things. I want to put something in place that just changes that narrative.

Solve climate change and biodiversity loss and all the other things but I mean more than that. One of the projects that we’ve started is a Future Generations fund and the plan is simply to create a pot of money to actually start investing in things that young people need. And what part of the reason I’ve started one within my own organisation is because we’ve realised almost everything we do is actually for the betterment of hopefully society, the environment, for future generations. So we should make that more clear cut, but I’m also using it as a tool to try to persuade government that that’s what they should be doing that. They should be putting one percent of GDP into a fund and saying that’s for the next generation and the one after that and the one after that. A little bit like the Norwegian sovereign wealth fund that they’ve built up in 25 years from oil revenues and it’s now the largest investment fund in the world. We haven’t done that but why don’t we start now because there’s no time like the present.

Sue well what a lovely thought to leave us with Mike, I think what you’ve shown me and what you’ve said today is you’ve got to see it to be it. And you’re prepared to create something that other people then can be inspired by and secondly I think what you’ve eloquently shared with us is your approach in a non-judgmental fashion so in a way that’s a desire and a hope for people to engage in something rather than I’m feeling blamed or criticized for not joining in so far so I really enjoy the conversation with you mike. If people want to find out more about you, and the work that you’re doing, how might they do that?

Mike they are very welcome to follow me on Twitter or Linkedin and all the usual things but we do the best place to find out the bulk of the information is through our own website rsgs.org and I would thoroughly encourage people to look there.

Sue wonderful thanks again Mike for your time and I wish you well in your big ambitions in the future.

Mike thanks, been a pleasure.


Sound Editor: Matias de Ezcurra
Producer: Sue Stockdale