the latin: Futura (future) + Terra (earth) = FUTERRA
The germ of the idea for Futerra arose from the experiences of the co-founders, on the Forum for the Future Scholarship Programme in the late 1990’s (www.forumforthefuture.org.uk). We felt frustrated at the lack of good communication on sustainable development, the constant glazing over of all our friends’ and relatives’ eyes whenever we mentioned it, and the general paucity of public understanding of what seemed to be (and still does!) the only really sensible way of thinking about the world.
The reaction reminded me of the time my sister who works for a major company in the procurement department for their janitorial supplies. When she first started work, her boss told her to do a search online for the best e-commerce janitorial supply store. Once she found what she thought was a really good online with the best prices, she was then instructed to order paper towels and toilet paper for the company. She was overwhelmed by the choices! Who knew there were so many different types of paper towels – more than 60 options! She was so engrossed in telling us about all the different options for paper towels, that she never noticed how our eyes glazed over, although I noticed. SO I can understand that although we are all passionate about Futerra, we do have to slowly build awareness.
When our ideas were suitably refined we pitched the Futerra concept to the National Endowment for Science Technology and the Arts (NESTA – www.nesta.org) and in Spring 2001 we were awarded 2 years core funding to turn our ideas into action.
Our first few months were spent rigorously researching the communication of sustainable development and corporate social responsibility, exploring previous campaigns nationally and internationally and conducting interviews with an array of people from advertising agencies to change management consultants – in order to construct what would eventually become Futerra’s 10 Rules of Sustainable Development Communication.
Building on this work we developed two short film scripts to test some of our ideas in reality. We shot our first two films ‘One Minute’ and ‘The Seasons Alter’ in January 2002. We officially launched these films at an event at BAFTA in July of that year.
After the film shoot we moved to Brixton, a wonderful (if a little chilly in winter) space with a vaulted wooden ceiling and, most importantly, room for expansion.
Since then the company has grown from strength to strength.
We now work in trendy Borough, in slightly warmer premises with the added bonus of a training room, where we work with clients and hold Futerra masterclasses. We now have a more diverse range of talents, experience and expertise in Futerra than we’ve ever had before and we’re all excited about the future!
So we promote sustainable development. How does that translate into the way we run our business?
Our biggest impact is through our work. Be it consultancy for a corporate, communications strategies for government or a launch event for an NGO, the work has to promote sustainable development. We have even written that requirement into our articles of association, so we are legally obliged to do it.
We do operate a screening process, based on the FTSE4Good exclusionary criteria, but are more interested in engaging with organizations than telling them they’re not good enough.
As a small consultancy our other impacts are small but we have created our own policy and processes that seek to minimize our environmental impact and increase our social and economic impact on our local community.
We Appreciate all of our readers!