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John Elkington

Cannibals with Forks, 1997

Photograph of John ElkingtonAbout the Author

John Elkington (born 1949) is widely regarded as a world authority on corporate responsibility and sustainable development and prodigious coiner of new concepts (like the 'triple bottom line'). In 2004, BusinessWeek described him as “a dean of the corporate responsibility movement for three decades”.

Elkington is co-founder of SustainAbility (Chair from 1995 to 2005), and Founding Partner and Director of Volans Ventures, Established in 1987, SustainAbility advises clients on the risks and opportunities associated with corporate responsibility and sustainable development. Volans Ventures, launched in April 2008 aims to find, explore, advise on and build innovative scalable solutions to the great global divides that overshadow the future. Volans is carrying forward John’s work with The Skoll Foundation on a $1 million, three-year field-building programme in relation to social entrepreneurship.

Over time, John has authored or co-authored 17 books, including 1988’s million-selling Green Consumer Guide. He has also written hundreds of articles for newspapers, magazines and journals - and has written or co-written some 40 published reports.

Elkington is a Faculty member of the World Economic Forum (since 2002) and a Visiting Professor at the Doughty Centre for Corporate Responsibility at the Cranfield University School of Management. He chairs the Environment Foundation and the Aflatoun Impact and Policy Analysis Steering Group. He has numerous advisory roles with, among others the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, WWF, Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership and the United Nations Global Compact Cities Programme (UNGCCP).

Top 10 Ideas

Download John Elkington's Top 10 Ideas from the interview.

Interview Transcript

Download a transcript of the interview.

John Elkington: Part 1, Historical and Religious Influences

In this video, John Elkington, author of Cannibals with Forks (1997), one of the most influential books on sustainability, talks about reflections on heat and the climate challenge with Senior Associate Wayne Visser, on 23 May 2008. The interview was part of the Cambridge Top 50 Sustainability Books Project.

John Elkington: Part 2, Reflections on Mystics and Hippies

In this video, John Elkington, author of Cannibals with Forks (1997), one of the most influential books on sustainability, talks about reflections on heat and the climate challenge with Senior Associate Wayne Visser, on 23 May 2008. The interview was part of the Cambridge Top 50 Sustainability Books Project.

John Elkington: Part 3, The Journey from the Green Consumer Guide

In this video, John Elkington, author of Cannibals with Forks (1997), one of the most influential books on sustainability, talks about reflections on heat and the climate challenge with Senior Associate Wayne Visser, on 23 May 2008. The interview was part of the Cambridge Top 50 Sustainability Books Project.

John Elkington: Part 4, Why Cannibals With Forks?

In this video, John Elkington, author of Cannibals with Forks (1997), one of the most influential books on sustainability, talks about reflections on heat and the climate challenge with Senior Associate Wayne Visser, on 23 May 2008. The interview was part of the Cambridge Top 50 Sustainability Books Project.

John Elkington: Part 5, The Triple Bottom Line and the Power of Ideas

In this video, John Elkington, author of Cannibals with Forks (1997), one of the most influential books on sustainability, talks about reflections on heat and the climate challenge with Senior Associate Wayne Visser, on 23 May 2008. The interview was part of the Cambridge Top 50 Sustainability Books Project.

John Elkington: Part 6, Corporate Cannibals and Creative Destruction

In this video, John Elkington, author of Cannibals with Forks (1997), one of the most influential books on sustainability, talks about reflections on heat and the climate challenge with Senior Associate Wayne Visser, on 23 May 2008. The interview was part of the Cambridge Top 50 Sustainability Books Project.

John Elkington: Part 7, The Role of Markets in the Chrysalis Economy

In this video, John Elkington, author of Cannibals with Forks (1997), one of the most influential books on sustainability, talks about reflections on heat and the climate challenge with Senior Associate Wayne Visser, on 23 May 2008. The interview was part of the Cambridge Top 50 Sustainability Books Project.

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Other Books (Selection)

The Green Consumer Guide: From Shampoo to Champagne, How to Buy Goods That Don't Cost the Earth (Gollancz, 1988)

A Year in the Greenhouse (Gollancz, 1990)

The Chrysalis Economy: How Citizen CEOs and Corporations Can Fuse Values and Value Creation (Capstone, 2001)

The Power of Unreasonable People: How Social Entrepreneurs Create Markets That Change the World (with Pamela Hartigan, Harvard Business School Press, 2008)

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