Jonathon Porritt CBE

Sustainability Writer and Campaigner

Jonathon Porritt is an eminent writer and campaigner on sustainable development.For the last 30 years, Jonathon has provided strategic advice to leading UK and international companies to deepen their understanding of today’s converging environmental and climate crises. He is also focused on intergenerational justice, supporting young people in their activities around sustainable development issues as they face a future defined by the twin crises of the Climate Emergency and Biodiversity Emergency.

Jonathon- known for his talent of speaking truths- did just that at _shift. Whilst avoiding talking about the horseman of the apocalypse, as best as he could, Jonathon focused on the bigger picture and where the climate story is to date based on science, policy and technology. In his hour-long keynote presentation, Jonathon skillfully structured his talk by alternating between discussing matters and fielding questions from the audience, captivating everyone in the room and online. He moved on to speak directly to the difficulties facing the industry, such as the many questions we have about low-carbon imperatives. Shifting from speaking of professional responsibility to personal responsibility, he asked the consequential questions of the next generations - "What did you do about the carbon war? Did you sign off on projects that were manifestly not doing what they should have done? How much do you feel a responsibility to become an activist in your professional role?"


He is President of The Conservation Volunteers and is involved in the work of many other NGOs and groups. In 1996, he co-founded Forum for the Future, a leading international sustainable development charity, working with business and civil society to accelerate the shift toward a sustainable future.

Jonathon was formerly Co-Chair of the Green Party (1980-83) and Director of Friends of the Earth (1984-90). He stood down as Chair of the UK Sustainable Development Commission in 2009, after nine years providing high-level advice to Government Ministers, and served a ten-year term as Chancellor of Keele University (2012-2022).

Jonathon was awarded a CBE in January 2000 for services to environmental protection.


Get inspired and stay informed with our LinkedIn Newsletter "_shifting mindsets"