There is perhaps only one certainty about the future in any aspect of our modern world. It is that we will do things differently. The source, nature, extent and impact of “doing things differently” are not predictable. They are not linear extensions of the past. The future is an alien place in that respect – dark and uncertain.

However, we embrace the prospect of this alien place (the future) in a wonderfully ambitious and visionary way in our personal lives. Darkness and uncertainty do not faze us. We choose our partners, settle down to a life of family and career and long term financial commitment – huge leaps of faith.

We choose our future and seek to create the best version of it that we can, without any guarantees or risk assessment. We make choices where we back our vision and our certainty of a positive outcome. We embrace new ways of thinking and new ways of doing things with people we don’t yet know. We are ambitious, some of us visionary, in seeking to thrive and flourish in our own definitions of these.

Then we go to work. We lead and manage and drive and analyse. We consciously (and unconsciously) perpetuate the status quo and a BaU approach too much, and do not focus enough on creating the sustainable future we aspire to. Our personal ambition and vision, that are second nature to us, are left in the car park all too often.

Therein lies the conundrum which Anglian Water’s Growing Innovation seminar seeks to tackle, starting with the event next week and continuing through a network of businesses, communities and partners with one common goal. We all agree on the need for a sustainable future. Current practices and paradigms and business models are, for the most part, redundant. The imperative to act is there, the imperative to embrace the future of doing things differently. Come to ‘Growing Innovation’, and contribute to going beyond agreeing on the imperative. Come and create the future where we act on this imperative.

If acting to secure a sustainable future is like a wedding dress, then Oliver Goldsmith’s quote is very apt: “I chose my wife, as she did her wedding gown, for qualities that would wear well.”

For the gents among us, choose your buttonhole – wear it with pride, then preserve it for the sustainable future it is an emblem of.