Interview with Flynn Bucy, Ph.D: Nature For Justice’s Advisory Network Leader

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Flynn Bucy, Ph.D. is a well-known senior specialist in the area of Corporate Social Responsibility, Sustainable Development and Futures Studies. He has been a senior executive in both large and small businesses, the Director for the high-profile Center for Entrepreneurship at Baylor University, and worked extensively with World Vision and other major non-profits. He has worked on numerous projects providing education, research and capacity building for sustainable development in over sixteen countries. He has also spent time with EarthVoice, a leading non-profit environmental group, where he developed and implemented numerous projects involving sustainable energy and information technology promoting sustainable development.

“We need a mindset change as well as a ‘heart-set’ change. Ultimately it’s what we care about, not what we’re trying to figure out.”

Lisa Cloete (LC): Can you tell us a bit about yourself:
Flynn Bucy (FB): Since my early professional career I’ve been quite clear about the fact that we have an unsustainable civilizational paradigm. The most tragic of this being that we are plundering Mother Nature with no sense of our responsibility to take care of her. Because of this view, I have been involved with International Development for 40 years. I have a PHD in Organizational Behavior and Development and have been involved in a lot of strategy work, such as, how do you take a problem and turn it in to a plan? I have been paid to work in 62 countries and has been the great pleasure of my life. I have done a lot of work in Africa as well and have lived in Tanzania along with my family who enjoyed it so much my daughter is now in Senegal. I really also enjoyed being immersed in the different cultures and realities of the world.
LC: You lead Nature For Justice’s Advisory Network, can you give us an example of your work with our partners?
FB: I have known Hank for the past decade and what he is doing is what I think is exactly needs to be done, so am thrilled to be a part of this new organization. I now am a part of the Nature For Justice Advisory Network and have been working on a few aspects on this, most recently with Wain Collen of Aliados. We are trying to help leaders in these key organizations such as Wain that are locally grounded but need international support in areas such as financial, technical and policy. For several weeks we have met online once a week to discuss the parts of his organization and business. Through this I have helped him think through some of the challenges he faces as he moves from what I call a ‘Manager to an Executive’ role. Its often very difficult for managers to become executive’s because they are often very used to engaging people to push the process, whereas an executive has to create structure that allows the organization to grow. So, my role is to help support this growth within our partner organizations to ensure their success.
LC: Nature For Justice strives to assist NGO’s and similar organizations in assisting communities to become resilient. What would you say is the most important area that we can offer support to ensure all round success?

FB: There’s a challenge to how we’ve done development work where we tend to focus on short-term outcomes and there’s a very different mindset to how do we support capacity building at the local level that will eventually yield the kinds of outcomes we need. So, when funding is based on short- term target impacts as opposed to longer-term capacity building we need to be able to support these communities to embrace their own capability in order to understand and address the kind of giant climate vulnerabilities they face as well as other challenges.

So how do we help these communities make a viable living that will support the environment, though becoming environmental stewards as well as sustainable earners rather than just clearing land and bringing in the cattle as has been done for hundreds of years? Mother Nature cannot support this kind of plunder much longer, one that supports more growth and more profit which is a really closed system. So we have to figure out how to do this differently very quickly so that we can have resilient communities that also supports our natural world and climate.

LC: Thank you for your insights Flynn, it’s been a pleasure to chat to you and look forward to hearing more about your upcoming projects.

Author

  • As the Creative Advisor and Lead Storyteller, Lisa comes to Nature for Justice passionate about restoring and protecting our natural world and with a wide range of experience in the creative world of storytelling. She has worked in the art industry, publishing, education and literary fields. She has also worked in Communications for an ocean-based NGO and run’s her own small social media campaign for beach clean ups in her city in South Africa.

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