What should a Board of the future look like?

By Sophie Marjoram

In the lead up to COP26, B Lab UK challenged businesses to host a future-focused boardroom meeting, and radically reimagine the people, priorities and processes needed to meet our world’s challenges by 2030.

A first observation for us at Forster was ‘2030 is not that far away…’ so what changes do we need to make right now to ensure we keep pushing ourselves as a progressive and leading small business, driving change for our people and planet?

“What we mean by a responsible business will have changed by 2030. We need to keep pushing forward” – George Ames, Client Services Director

This was about bringing different ideas and energy to the table. Firstly, we scoped out a new ‘table’ – Whitechapel’s IdeaStore – a local community space teaming with people and energy. Secondly, we brought new voices to the table. Myself and colleague Georgie, ran sessions across the company to understand what our colleagues deemed as being the biggest risks to our company in 2030. I also had a great conversation with our Advocacy Advisor, Sophia Moreau and from there we had the groundwork for our Boardroom 2030 activation. It included thoughts, opinions of different people and perspectives on what we need to address as a responsible business. Just transition, gender based discrimination and safety and extreme weather events to name a few.

“This is about moving away from being a bubble board and introduce more diversity of thought” – Peter Gilheany, Charity Director

It’s both rewarding and exciting that our Boardroom 2030 discussion has already resulted in action. The Board has committed to build in a structure for greater representation at Board meetings from across and beyond the company – something I feel will have tangible positive impact across our business. We’ve also agreed to update our risk register by end of Q1 next year to better reflect our values and culture.

“The conversations we’ve had as part of Boardroom 2030 will fundamentally change the way we run the Board going forward – it’s been a really exciting process” – Amanda Powell-Smith, Chief Executive

As perhaps demonstrated at COP26, showing leadership and driving change, is a real opportunity for businesses. Let’s set our sights on 2030 and push beyond everyday decisions to engage with our urgent future, today.

“Our Boardroom 2030 was a fantastic experience – being able to bring a fresh perspective to the table and represent the voice of our colleagues was so exciting and rewarding.” – Georgie Smith, Consultant

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