A view under the bonnet of SolarAid’s operations – strengths and weaknesses: Chapter 3 of The Test.

Cambridge, UK, 31st July 2017

I land at Heathrow, take a train into London and then another to Cambridge. I have occasional sessional teaching duties at the University, with the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL). CISL is widely known for running HRH The Prince of Wales’s Business & Sustainability Programme for business executives, and other advanced courses in sustainability leadership for business groups, tailored to individual company needs. CISL also runs part-time graduate programmes for business professionals, including the Master’s in Sustainability Leadership.

My job today is to give the Master’s students a one-hour overview of the state of play in the global energy transition. I run through my slide show, updated overnight on the flight from Johnannesburg, trying not to let my tiredness show. The class is 30 mid-career to senior people doing an intense residential week towards their degrees in Sustainability Leadership. They are from the USA, Europe, Australasia, the Middle East and Africa. They represent companies including Accenture, BT, Deloitte, Ernst & Young, HSBC, IKEA, KPMG, PepsiCo, Proctor & Gamble, and Unilever.

The first three questioners all thank me for lifting their spirits with the positivity of my analysis. I wonder if I have overcooked it. I resisted the temptation to talk about The Test in my hour. I do so now, in synopsis. My optimism is qualified, with a small Q, I say. We have to fix this little aberration of solar lights versus kerosene lamps first.

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