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Sustainable Innovation

Force4Good: From Wasdale to Japan

Force4Good: From Wasdale to Japan
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Sue Hunt, Non-Executive Director of Impact 

Previously: Director of Strategic programmes London 2012 Olympic Games; MD Goldman Sachs; Chartered accountant 

What is your connection to the Lake District? 

I grew up in the Lake District with a sense of adventure and a school motto of 'Aim High' – something that has always stayed with me. Strangely that inspired me to leave the Lakes, to see the world and explore and it is only then that you truly realise what a special place it is. Not only for its stunning beauty and natural landscapes but also for the people. There is such a sense of community in the Lakes. I have lifelong friends that I met on my first day at primary school and my childhood memories are of endless hours of fun 'up the lanes', on the beach, and walking the fells - such a blessed 'Swallows & Amazons' existence and a sense of being happy in nature and being safe (apart from when a horse ate my bobble from my bobble hat while wearing it at age 2!). My 'back garden' is Wasdale with the deepest Lake, the tallest mountain Scafell Pike, the smallest church and awesome scenery - so it is no surprise I had a fascination with physical landscapes and studied Geography for my degree.  

No matter how much time I spend away from the Lake District, I will always be back, there is always more to explore, and it will always be home to me.

I feel I can breathe in the Lakes. 

sue hunt

What is your connection to Impact?  

I first came across Impact as a client while working with Goldman Sachs in Japan. We had a new team and wanted to do some team building and we worked with Impact to do that. I was so impressed with the work that Impact did and the team they fielded to do the work with us, multi-cultural and multi-lingual which was impressive. They very quickly worked out what we needed, how best to achieve it and utilise experiences in the 'great outdoors' to do it.

Just so you know, I am not good with heights and small spaces, but I will always give anything a go to attempt to conquer my fears.

They had us abseiling down volcanic plugs and 'potholing' through to the next one. This was such a 'leveller' across our team, a terrific bonding exercise, we all felt a huge sense of achievement and learned how to work well together. 

Imagine my surprise to find out that Impact is headquartered in the Lake District and I had to travel halfway around the globe to meet them! The more I found out about Impact, the more I liked them, I think we share the same core values and I love the work Impact does in the broader community and in supporting the SDGs.  So I didn't hesitate to say yes when sometime later I was asked to join the Board of Impact as a non-executive director. 

Force4Good at Impact is all about inspiring action on the Sustainable Development Goals and Climate action, what does this mean to you?  

I feel really strongly about the SDGs, but there are so many of them and it can seem overwhelming. So, a message would be, don't be overwhelmed, pick something to do and although it may feel small, lots of small things add up to a difference. Force4Good does that in spades, which is brilliant; it's such a constructive way of getting focused. I have spent my entire career trying to make a difference with gender equality, or more broadly equality in general. My non-executive roles really focus on health, well-being and education so I hope I am doing my bit on Goals 3,4 & 5. Covid19 has shown us that health issues need to be addressed at a global level, so I am trying to focus my attention there. Plus, on a personal level, I am trying more than ever to get about by walking, cycling or under sail and not being a consumer of 'stuff'. I love our planet and I would like to do my bit for future generations to enjoy it too. 

If Force4Good makes each of us focus on a positive change just imagine what we can achieve!