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ABOVE: Bloomfield House (or ‘Bloomers’), where Bloomers may bloom…

 

SAFEGUARDING OUR CHILDREN’S FUTURE (and why Nigel Farage is SOOOOOOO WRONG)

A sign of the times: Nigel Farage said, in a City of London speech:

“In many, many cases, women make different choices in life to the ones that men make simply for biological reasons. If a woman has a client base and has a child and takes two or three years off work, she is worth far less to the employer when she comes back than when she goes away because her client base cannot be stuck rigidly to her.”

We, on the other hand, believe the parents of young children (particularly, in these days of Farage, Brexit, Trump and May, the mothers of young children) represent a vast, under-recognised force for beneficial change. If you have children and wish to celebrate, commiserate, live, love, laugh and leave a world-changing professional legacy, you may be a Bloomer. We invite submissions from those of any career background who, between nappy changes, school runs, bedtime stories and marmalade fights can write, code, pitch, facilitate, present, close and consult. We would also like to speak with lawyers (especially in Intellectual Property, Gain-Share, Social Impact Bonds and other complex contracts), as well as statisticians and actuaries who agree that measures must be taken to address climate change, injustice and poverty (see what we did there?).

We work in environmental and social responsibility. Our consultancy, Groundswell, was born in 1989, at almost exactly the same time as our first baby (well, within months). We went on to have five children and to co-launch several more social and eco-enterprises, among them an eco-guest house, an eco-artisan bakery business, a monster composting company and the UK farmers’ markets movement. All of these enterprises, like the children, have grown and matured and are thriving.

We have always worked from home; we only do stuff that feels meaningful; we have built careers while being around the family throughout. Now the children are fledging: three have their own homes, the fourth is at university and our youngest daughter is finishing her A-levels. We are now ready to grow our other child, Groundswell, to the next level.

Not only do we believe the parents of young children can change the world, we believe that becoming parents brings a vocational passion to doing so. Certainly this was our experience. If the human race is to make a U-turn and find a way out of the evolutionary cul-de-sac we’re in, it seems obvious we’re going to have to find solutions for climate change, the growing poverty gap, neo-liberal economics, terrorism and the other sui-genocidal problems of our time. As a legacy to our children and grandchildren, these apocalyptic horsemen do not seem optimised for surviving and thriving. Hence the need for what we call ‘evolutionary enterprise’.

Our home – which is also the eco-guest house – is Bloomfield House, a slightly eccentric 18th-century pile in Bath, one of England’s most beautiful cities. The family know the place as ‘Bloomers’. We also call the parents of young children ‘Bloomers’ if they are part of the evolutionary solution. We would like to bring together a group of Bloomers at Bloomers!

Working with NHS leaders over the last two years, we have developed an evolutionary enterprise model that improves health and social equity outcomes, reduces environmental impacts and yet also significantly reduces costs. In fact our clients’ return on even their more modest investments can range from 10x to 40x. The model works equally well in other sectors too. Right product, right place, right time.

We now need a team of proactive, self-responsible, far-sighted professionals to help us roll out and continually improve this evolutionary system. We don’t aim only to train our Bloomers in the Groundswell evolutionary enterprise system, however. We would like to build a mutually supportive community of people looking to do what we have done for 27 years:

  • Make their own decisions as to how, when and with whom they work
  • Identify, learn and teach each other the skills we need to flourish
  • Support each other in individual, team, company and client evolution
  • Build careers around, among and in the best interests of our children
  • Change the world for good before it’s too blooming late

If you believe you are a Bloomer, please contact karen@groundswell.co.uk or robert@groundswell.co.uk and tell us how you can help. Thank you 😀

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