Jonathon Porritt

Jonathon Porritt spent six years as Friends of the Earth's Director and then switched from campaigner to business leader in his role as co-founder and director of Forum for the Future.

Since 2000, he's also been chair of the Sustainable Development Commision (UK) advising the PM. He's just published Capitalism: as if the world matters (Earthscan, £17).

We need to do something

We've made this assumption that it's the next generation that is going to have to deal with climate change. For a politician it is classic not-in-my-term-of-office stuff. It is absolutely right now, not one generation versus another. And it's our generation that needs to start.

Will you like the book?

Reading Capitalism is like having a conversation with a mentor: part telling you off, part challenging you to raise the bar. Green groups get a cuffing, but his main argument is that if capitalism doesn't deliver sustainability, then it's time to find something else.

Like it or not capitalism is the only game in town.

Jonathan Porritt, Capitalism: as if the world matters


Blueprints and route maps are not what the book is about. It's about asking activists and people in business how they are going to deal with this issue. If there is a route to reconciliation, let's work out what it is and deliver it.

Is he a green guru?

Jonathon claims that he's never set himself up to be an eco-paragon, despite 30 years of trying to big up the economics of sustainaility.

He does not own a car, instead using his bike to get from his home in Cheltenham to the train, and on to meetings in London. He's also in charge of the family shopping and lists cooking as a hobby.

On the green movement:

We've [the green movement] persuaded people that the world is in trouble and that's a huge achievement. The paradox is having won the argument we are still losing the world. So you've got to stop and say, why?

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