Andrew Winston, my guest today on Inside Ideas, is an internationally-renowned expert on megatrends and how to build companies that thrive by serving the world. His strategic vision and insight has been called on by some of the world’s biggest brands, including PepsiCo, Unilever and Marriott.
“My job in the world is generally a kind of synthesis,” he explains. “Seeing what’s happening in the world, bringing megatrends together, seeing what companies are starting to do and saying ‘ok this is where we’re headed’ it’s not futurism, its really presentism and saying: this is the stuff that’s already accelerating, and where do we need to go?”
Winston is also the author of the bestsellers Green to Gold and The Big Pivot. His latest book, Net Positive: How Courageous Companies Thrive by Giving More than They Take (co-authored with renowned CEO Paul Polman), is a finalist for the Financial Times & McKinsey Business book of the Year Award.
“One of the key messages of Net Positive is that outside-in is this incredibly important input into how you think about your business and about an organisations meaning, as there are thresholds in the world,” he said. “There’s only so much stable climate, water, air and there are physical thresholds and minimum moral thresholds like you want, you hope, that everyone can have a level of sufficiency in the world, all 8 billion of us that have a chance to thrive. And it is in between that minimum human threshold and the maximum ‘stuff’ threshold, in what the economist Kate Raworth calls doughnut economics, that we need to operate in, and that takes investment.”
Targeting investments in ways that can support the lives of all citizens is simply a matter of will though, Winston says.
“We spent something like 20 trillion dollars in governments around the world to fight the pandemic, so the money’s there, we have the resources so I feel like, we’re gonna wake up to that at some point, that we can do this, we actually can make a thriving world for all.”
I am delighted to welcome Andrew onto the show to talk about his new book and the net positive future he believes is on the horizon.