Speaker Diane OSGOOD


I am the Business Innovation Director at Virgin Unite. At the forefront of corporate engagement on the environment and human rights for more than 20 years, I've worked in non-profits, multinational corporations and the UN. My perspectives are formed by engagement with people deeply embedded in these issues, and by my direct experience on the ground in Europe, Africa, Latin America, Asia and the US. A pragmatic visionary and pioneer, I bring an economist's toolkit, plus what we've learned along the road towards sustainability. I see many profitable business opportunities ahead to create better jobs for more people, restore the environment and enable people to be happy and well. When not working, I'm kayaking, farming and doing headstands – but not all at the same time.

What Change inspire her :


The Western world economies are heavily reliant on consumerism for growth; it makes up 72% of the US economy and 65% in the UK* . However the soulful economy sees the value of consumerism beyond just its role in creating economic growth. It can drive the transition to an economy that resolves many of the underlying social and environmental issues in our societies.

We believe there are four fundamental, related and human based motivations for systemic economic change:

1. UNHAPPINESS. Despite the growth and prosperity of many markets in the last century and into this, rates of happiness are not increasing. Rather depression has become recognised as a global crisis** It has largely been proven that happiness does not rise at the rate of GDP, despite sharp increase in growth in the US in the last 70 years, happiness has remained flat***.

2. POVERTY AND JOBLESSNESS. Mass consumption has dramatically increased mass and centralised production. This has led to many towns and cities losing their industry, affecting wages and jobs. With fewer farmers, factory workers and a decline in service workers, global unemployment has now reached its highest level since the great depression of the 1930s. More than 800 million human beings are now unemployed or underemployed in the world. Source: Converge.org

In the US corporations are eliminating more than 2 million jobs annually. While some new jobs are being created in the US economy, they are in the low-paying sectors and are usually temporary. Source: Fortune

3. STAGNATION OF CONSUMER GOOD REVENUE GROWTH. Incremental rate of profit growth in consumer goods has been declining since 90s. Companies need avenues for growth beyond product line extention.Source : Death of Growth, David Ostrom.

4. ACCELERATING DEPLETION OF NATURAL RESOURCES. Back in 2006 the reputable Stern Report**** stated;

- If no action is taken, there is a 50% chance that average global temperatures could rise by five degrees Celsius over the next 50 years.

- 40% of the world's species face extinction.

- Up to 10% of global output could be lost.

It is also well documented that we use the equivalent of 1.5 planets to provide the resources we use and absorb our waste. Source: Footprint Network.org

The critical question becomes: how can we have economic growth which also addresses these issues?

As shown there is enormous momentum and literacy from people for consumerism.

It is a force and if it can be harnessed to better, more considered ends and, importantly, provided with better means or inputs, it could be the answer to our need for a more sustainable economic system.

A tour session we will discuss how to evolve our economy via consumerism. "


1. source: World Bank 2012 data

2. source: World Federation for Mental Health 2012

3. source: Deloitte briefing

4. source: The Stern Review 2006


stay tune – blogs on HuffPost to be out soon!

Office :
Business Innovation Director
Organization :
Virgin Unite
Country :
United Kingdom