Future sustainability leaders: Zoe Draisey



What will business look like in the future and who are our future leaders?

This is the fourth instalment in a new feature, in which we speak with a group of young people who are making waves in sustainability. All 12 are scholars on Forum for the Future’s renowned master’s course in leadership for sustainable development.

Zoe Draisey is up next to tell us about what she has learnt while studying what businesses are doing in sustainability.

Tell us about your experience on the Forum for the Future master’s course. What have your placements involved?

It has been a diverse and eye-opening experience! My placements have ranged from small start-ups to charities and large government-sponsored bodies. I have enjoyed shadowing staff to get a more in-depth view of the organisations’ contributions to sustainable development.

My projects have mostly been research-based. For example, my project at Natural Resources Wales was to compile a presentation detailing the next steps to be taken following the development of the diffuse pollution plan, on how to ‘sell’ the diffuse pollution message in relation to septic tanks and misconnections.

Other projects have included compiling a design brief for infographics to be displayed in a brand new supermarket concept called hiSbe (which stands for ‘how it Should be’). This involved researching the current issues relating to sustainability in modern mainstream retailing and presenting the facts in a customer-friendly way whilst simultaneously portraying the key messages of the brand.

Where does your interest in sustainability come from? 

It’s difficult to pinpoint as I think I have always had an interest in sustainability in one way or another, but I suppose it has mainly come from my interest of food supply chains.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given during your course?

Know when something is ‘good enough’!

What’s most important business lesson you’ve learnt? 

That sustainability has to be completely integrated and clearly communicated throughout the business for true impact.

What one idea do you think could change the world for the better?

I can think of a few things! More closed loop systems and shorter and more locally based supply chains.

What do you see of the future in terms of sustainability, business and the environment?

That business should be held accountable for the indirect, unintended consequences of supply and consumption… the polluter should pay.

Where will you be in 10 years’ time?

Hopefully working in sustainability!

Further reading:

Future sustainability leaders: Rebecca Trevalyan

Future sustainability leaders: Sam Gillick

Future sustainability leaders: Patrick Elf

The business case for sustainability – an exceptional Forum for the Future event

The Guide to Corporate Social Responsibility 2013


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