Can we afford to have a future?

Gil Friend
2 min readApr 27, 2022

As Andrew Winston (co-author of Net Positive) wrote recently: “A banker approached me after a talk and told me that it would be great to invest in the clean economy and other sustainability priorities, but the numbers ‘just don’t pencil out’.” His response: “Yes they do.”

Head shots of Gil Friend and Andrew Winston

Which led me to wonder: “Why do so many otherwise capable business people think that we can’t afford a future?” (Since, as Interface founder Ray Anderson was fond of saying, “If your sustainability program is costing your money, you’re doing it wrong!”)

Or, put another way, “Why do so many otherwise capable business people think that they can have a business at the expense of a future?”

In this video of my latest Living Between Worlds* webinar, Andrew and I — and 100 or so of our friends and colleagues — explore this mess: both why it’s so, and how how we attempt to untangle it with our clients, by engaging narratives, habits, tools, practices, incentives, and more.

You can watch our conversation here. Please comment, like, and subscribe — and let us know if you’d like to bring this conversation into your organization.

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*Living Between Worlds explores the challenges of navigating the world of messes we’ve inherited and built — from climate and Covid to biodiversity and fascism to identity and pluralism. “New worlds don’t just happen. We speak them into being.”

So please join us — third Wednesday of every month, from 12:00–1:30pm Pacific — for dynamic, provocative conversations exploring how to live in these times — with grace, dignity, and power. (You must pre-register to attend.)



Gil Friend

Gil Friend is CEO of Natural Logic Inc., founder of Critical Path Capital, and an inaugural member of the Sustainability Hall of Fame.