Worst of times? Or best of times?

<p>Overwhelmed by endless bad news about environmental degradation, social injustice, war and all the rest of it, I used to feel burdened with a responsibility to do something about it.</p>
<p>But over last year or so, my perspective has shifted. I now see that I'm living at an exciting and fertile time. It's not that the environmental and social indicators are any better (they're worse).</p>
<p>What's different is that more and more people, in all walks of life, now recognise that the earth's in a bad state and that we need to change the way we organise our lives, our businesses, and our economy. Acceptance of climate change is, in my experience, just the most visible sign of this awareness.</p>
<p>And this awareness is liberating. Those of us who care are no longer dismissed as worthy but essentially irrelevant idealists. We can now, more than ever, work to help bring about positive change, rather than arguing the need for it.</p>
<p>But the real revelation for me is this: being in business now is truly exciting - it's an adventure! The old rules are crashing down as all over the world people work out how to create and develop businesses that thrive by making the planet a better place.</p>
<p><em>Osbert Lancaster is a director of <a href="http://www.footprintconsulting.org/">Footprint Consulting Ltd</a> - working with organisations to make the world a better place.</em></p>