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John Elkington    

Co-Founder & Executive Chairman of Volans

John Elkington is a writer, thought-leader and strategist, a serial entrepreneur and known as an ‘advisor from the future’, working with large corporations, particularly at C-Suite level, as well as the finance & investment community, industry bodies, intrapreneurs, media, academia, government, innovators and entrepreneurs across the globe.

At the age of 11, in 1961, he raised money for the newly formed World Wildlife Fund (WWF), and went on to dedicate his life to helping influence, inspire and stretch the thinking of business leaders through informed ‘story-telling’ and delivering ‘constructive discomfort,’ all in service of true sustainability and breakthrough innovation.

John is considered a world authority on corporate responsibility and sustainable development and is credited with coining the ‘triple bottom line’ concept for business. In 2004, BusinessWeek described John as “a dean of the corporate responsibility movement for three decades.”

In 2008, The Evening Standard named John among the ‘1000 Most Influential People’ in London, describing him as “a true green business guru,” and as “an evangelist for corporate social and environmental responsibility long before it was fashionable.”

In 2009, a CSR International survey of the Top 100 CSR leaders placed John fourth: after Al Gore, Barack Obama and the late Anita Roddick of the Body Shop, and alongside Muhammad Yunus of the Grameen Bank—though he thinks Nobelist Yunus should rank way higher!

Awards and Recognition

John has received many awards and honours, including from the United Nations (Global 500 Roll of Honour, 1989). More recently, he was awarded the Spencer Hutchens, Jr. Medal by the American Society for Quality (ASQ), for his “outstanding leadership, as an advocate for social responsibility, and for bringing about positive social change.” In the same year, he was named among the ‘100 Global Sustain Ability Leaders for 2011’ by ABC Carbon and the Sustain Ability Showcase Asia, based on nominations and recommendations received from around the globe. John has completed a Fellowship at the Bellagio Centre awarded to him by The Rockefeller Foundation. In May 2013, John was inducted into the Sustainability Hall of Fame by The International Society of Sustainability Professionals (ISSP) in honor of his extraordinary contribution to the field through research, publication, teaching and innovation. In 2005, John landed a “Social Capitalist of the Year” award from Fast Company, and at the end of that year he was awarded a 3-year, $1 million field-building grant from the Skoll Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, at SustainAbility and Volans, 2006-2008.

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