Planning for the long term

2nd October 2020

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  • Sustainability


Alice Babb

Hello again, and welcome to the October edition of Transform magazine. I hope this finds you safe and well in these challenging times.

Autumn is a favourite season for me. As the nights begin to draw in here in the UK, the setting sun casts a golden glow, the shadows lengthen, and the boughs and branches hang heavy with stone fruit and berries.

One of my favourite journeys at this time of year is to take the train from Cambridge to Ely. The cathedral affords awe-inspiring views from miles away, dominating the flat Fenland country that surrounds it. I often imagine that the view is not dissimilar to the one that would have been seen hundreds of years ago by pilgrims and worshippers.

It took more than a century for Ely cathedral to be completed, not including the additions and renovations that have continued almost until the present day – nearly a thousand years of development. Many of those who started work on these architectural wonders did so knowing they would not live to see their completion, and indeed that the final stone may not be laid for two or three generations. This 'cathedral thinking' is considered by Nick King in a fascinating article about planning for the long term.

“I get to hear about ground-breaking technologies that will help us on our way to a zero-carbon economy“

One of the fantastic things about being CEO of IEMA is celebrating the passion and enthusiasm our members have for the work they do. I get to hear about some really ground-breaking technologies that will help us on our way to a zero-carbon economy. Alan Asbury writes this month about an exciting new innovation that could create boundless energy from sea water.

One of IEMA's core functions is to support members on their professional journey, providing training, development and learning opportunities. However, Uchechukwu Okere poses a relevant question as the autumn term gets fully underway: should we be pushing for sustainable development as a compulsory part of the higher education curriculum?

I hope this month is a fruitful one for you, wherever you are in the world, and that this edition of the magazine provides plenty of food for thought!


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