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“Unprecedented Change”? What does a corporation in transition look like? - notes from the Shell AGM 2016

“Unprecedented Change”? What does a corporation in transition look like? – notes from the Shell AGM 2016

“Innovation and care are in our DNA”, says the soft female voice-over that accompanies the new promotional video by Shell. We, the attendees at the corporation’s 2016 Annual General Meeting in the Circus Theater, Scheveningen, sit comfortably in our red velvet seats watching the massive screen above the heads of the Shell directors on the...
Drawing Red Lines - from Paris to Ffos-y-fran

Drawing Red Lines – from Paris to Ffos-y-fran

I watched the twitter feed and followed the news early last December filled with a mixture of excitement at what unfolded in Paris and mild envy of companions who were immersed in the ebb and flow of events around COP 21, the 21st Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC. As the reports of the...
2015 - The End of the Eternal Present

2015 – The End of the Eternal Present

Notes after a conversation with Doreen Massey, which took place ten days before the one-year anniversary of Syriza’s landslide victory of 25th January 2015. We were reflecting on the past year. What an extraordinary set of events has unfolded in those twelve months – the Syriza election, The Green Surge of last Winter, the transformational...
This Bitter Earth - rendering the invisible visible

This Bitter Earth – rendering the invisible visible

During my leave over the summer I was really glad to catch the performance Arctic Requiem outside the Shell Centre in August. Here’s a piece I wrote about it, prior to Shell’s decision to cease drilling in the Arctic Ocean. The rain lashes down. A strong south westerly drives it along the Thames, across Jubilee...
"This is a victory for the people, especially the Inupiat"

“This is a victory for the people, especially the Inupiat”

Seven years, $7 billion, and hundreds of protests was what it took. Shell is leaving the Alaskan Arctic. This morning we were outside Shell’s HQ on London’s South Bank to celebrate.  I ended up sharing the stage with Aurora – Greenpeace’s spectacular bus-sized polar bear puppet – and Emma Thompson. But I really wish I...
Stranding the Leviathan - a report from the Shell AGM in Den Haag, Netherlands

Stranding the Leviathan – a report from the Shell AGM in Den Haag, Netherlands

We are in the dim light and red velvet of the Circustheatre in Den Haag for the Shell AGM. Up on the podium are the assembled bishops of the company. Eight in the back row all non-executives. Five in the front row: the Chief Financial Officer, the Chief Executive, the Chairman and two non-excutives. Behind...
The Management of Democracy - a report from the BP AGM 2015

The Management of Democracy – a report from the BP AGM 2015

The low hanger of the ExCeL building – the London Exhibition Centre – squats grey and devoid of windows on the northern quayside of the former Royal Victoria Dock which was closed and privatised in 1981. Despite having visited this hall for most of the BP Annual General Meetings of the past decade, the place...
#MuseumWeek special: British Museum's BP secrets revealed & more

#MuseumWeek special: British Museum’s BP secrets revealed & more

The latest just in: British Museum’s BP secrets revealed BP Or Not BP? forced British Museum to reveal: BP sponsorship was just £596,000 per year from 2000- 2011 – around 0.8% of the Museum’s income. The figures were revealed under Freedom Of Information Act, just a few weeks after we forced Tate to admit that BP’s...
Artwash: Big Oil and the Arts

Artwash: Big Oil and the Arts

If you missed Take the Money and Run? – a discussion-packed day on ethics and arts funding – you also missed our sneak preview of Artwash the new book written by Mel Evans. Fear not! Mel recorded this short intro so you don’t have to miss out… 20 April 2015 is the fifth anniversary of...