90 Seconds with Jonathon Porritt NOW talks to the founder director of Forum for the Future

90 Seconds with Jonathon Porritt


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NOW talks to Jonathon Porritt, an author, campaigner for the environment and social justice, and the founder director of Forum for the Future.

One word that describes you?


In your own words, what do you do?

Wherever I can, whenever I can, I seek to persuade others, personally and professionally, to commit to working for a sustainable future for all of us – and to get on with it NOW!

Which is your favourite part of your job?

Finding ways of inspiring people (particularly young people) about a sustainable world, rather than depressing the hell out of them with endless tales of doom and gloom.

Which is the part that you enjoy the least?

Having to fundraise, endlessly, to carry on doing this work.

Best advice you’ve been given?

Back in 1974, my mother told me that I should give up trying to be a lawyer (which I found I was hating at that time!), qualify as a teacher (which is what I’d always wanted to be), and get stuck in on some of the environmental things that were then beginning to interest me. And the rest, as they say, is history!

Your personal indulgence?

My favourite (there are a few) is good malt whisky – difficult to imagine a sustainable world without it.

How do you like to travel?

I love my bike (seriously!), and I love going by train – which is handy, as I don’t have a car.

Favourite sustainable hotel or other place to stay?

Every summer, we organise a family holiday on the north coast of Cornwall, which is probably my favourite get-away place – but I do love the occasional stay in really nice hotels.

What must happen NOW to help make our planet more sustainable?

We already know everything we need to know to ensure a sustainable world for nine billion people by 2050, but it must be now that we have to get on and implement it just as fast as possible.

If you could have one hour with a world leader, who would it be and what would you say?

I would choose to have one hour with President Xi Jinping, in a bid to persuade him to start turning his rhetoric about ‘our ecological civilisation’ into reality.

Any regrets so far?

Not really – other than the usual nagging doubt that I could always have been doing more.

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