Born in 1968, one of 4 siblings, I had a loving and supportive family. I remember a caring local community in Kiskeam, Co. Cork and an amazing playground, the Irish countryside.
There were few material possessions but that did not seem to stop people being happy. Growing your own food, home cooking and baking, reusing and repairing and helping out in the local community were the norm.
My siblings, friends and I spent our spare time playing outdoors. If we needed something like a raft for the river we made it. Usually from whatever discarded materials we could find.
Looking back I realise that they were challenging times. Many families were struggling to put food on the table.
I was lucky as we were one of the earlier generations in our family to get the opportunity to get a University education.
In 1988, during my undergraduate degree, I had a chance conversation on environmental responsibility with a chemistry lecturer called Dr Peter Childs. This made the connection between my upbringing, education and passion.
Since then I have devoted a large chunk of my life advocating for environmental and social responsibility. This has taken me across the World. I’ve met heads of state, advised the United Nations, the European Commission, House of Lords as well as numerous national governments, businesses, educational institutes and charities. I was awarded a PhD in ecodesign in 2000.
I’ve worked with all kinds and size of company from start-ups through to established multi-nationals, in a diverse range of sectors, including food and drink, retail, furniture, fashion and textile, consumer electronics, industrial equipment, automotive, information technology, office automation, materials, solar energy, packaging, waste and recycling.
Most importantly I’ve had the privilege of working with amazing people from so many diverse cultures and backgrounds.
In 2006 I set up the award winning non-profit research organisation, the Ecodesign Centre (EDC). And in 2012 I co-founded the European Network of Ecodesign Centres (ENEC).
I left both EDC and ENEC in November 2013 to reflect, recharge and come back with fresh insight.
I believe, that irrespective of the consequences, I should stay true, follow my passion and do my utmost to make responsibility the norm.
I love working on strategy and am particularly intrigued by why we do what we do. I am very excited to be working with Jude on bringing anois to life over the coming years.
For further details on my career to-date check out my linkedin profile.
Acknowledgement: The image is a photo taken by Frank of graffiti in Amsterdam.