Nature is the fundamental idea around which our Association was formed.
From the very first, this has been a journey of many – a journey of inter-dependence. Of emergence. Of Adaptation and change. And in common with all that we know of nature, ASP has lived through a number of cycles of change. This is a Phoenix organisation – full of renewal, magic and surprises – and the story of the whole is a fractal kaleidoscope of individual transformations.
This introduction is being written by Mike Zeidler, who struck the match. In the spirit of learning and peer to peer support which we originally pledged to serve, we invite all associates to contribute their versions of ASP’s history. There may be differences of opinion – but all of it will be true. You can read them here.
Here below is a statement of our intent. Using what seems to be a common structure for wikipedia entries, we’ll start writing ours now. Be patient, and it will emerge!
Description: The Association of Sustainability Practitioners (ASP) promotes learning that transforms behaviour from unsustainable to sustainable practices. It supports, challenges and connects people on this journey. The association was founded in September 2004 by a large group of people, gathered and coordinated by Mike Zeidler, who led the development of the form they devised together.
ASP has never had any staff. It is a company limited by guarantee, with four directors, 1397 Linkedin group members, and 1984 subscribers to the newsletter. The association facilitates maximum engagement at low cost and with minimal structure. The association results in projects, events and reports whenever its members create them according to the criteria set out in the membership agreement (link to document to follow).
1.3 Phases of development
1.4 Brand & web presence
2 ASP Today
5 See also
7 External links
ASP’s roots can be traced back to Anita Roddick‘s New Academy of Business. Anita was an entrepreneur, who with her husband set up The Body Shop in 1976. Anita and Gordon became more and more concerned about the social and environmental impact of business, deciding to make these issues a key interest for their own. After campaigning for improved ethical and moral standards in business for around 10 years, Anita grew frustrated with the standard approach to MBA studies, which neglected to effectively address issues now known as Corporate Responsibility. She approached a number of prestigious Business Schools to see if they could work together, and was snubbed by all. So in 1995 Anita founded the New Academy of Business as an ‘Independent business school whose purpose is to help change the way business works through education, learning and action’1.
Under the leadership of Gill Coleman and David Murphy, the New Academy struck a partnership with Judy Marshall and Peter Reason at the Centre for Action Research in Professional Practice at the University of Bath. Together they developed the Masters Degree in Responsibility and Business Practice which launched in 1997. Anita’s involvement gradually diminished as the degree took on a life of its own and she pursued new interests.
In 2003, organisation was struggling with both purpose and income. David Murpy and Rupesh Shah invited Mike Zeidler to become a Trustee of the New Academy of Business, and to lead an independent strategic review. After several months of stakeholder consultation, Mike presented three options to trustees in 2004. They were:
i) Die – Celebrate 10 years of achievements and shut down the organisation
ii) Rebuild – Update the organisational purpose, adapt to the new mission and re-energise
iii) Phoenix – Celebrate 10 years of achievements, invite others to build on ‘the best bits’ in their own way, and shut down.
We chose option iii) and ASP was born.
1.3 Phases of development
This ‘official’ history is a highly condensed journey emergence and inter-dependence, adaptation and change. The ‘whole truth’ is a fractal kaleidoscope of individual stories. You can dip into the riches of these individual perspectives here.
There have been four main phases of development: 1. High price, high barrier; 2. Low price, low barrier; 3. No price, no barrier; and 4. Name your price, low barrier.
1.4 Brand & Web Presence
As ASP evolved, the organisation refreshed its brand and completely re-vamped its web presence twice.
The first version of ASP’s website was put together by (citation needed).