So welcome to the programme. My interview today is with Zoe Cohen; she is a management consultant and executive coach. But this is about Zoe Cohen from Coaching to Rebellion
Zoe had the traditional success model education and career, was accepted into an Oxford University to study human sciences, and that lead her into the health profession.
Her career started in the health service in the UK and became one of the youngest ever Executive Directors of a health trust in the NHS (at 27). Going on to serve in various companies at board level for over nine years.
She started a management and coaching consultancy in 2009 and has been in that industry for over 10 years.
A Change of Mind Set
I invited her on to the show because she has had a significant change of mindset and shifted her focus; Zoe is now an active member of Extinction Rebellion.
While it was a shift of thinking it was more of a return to her roots. As you will hear on the interview her the choice of university degree and the study of human sciences was one of those pivotal points. She could have been just as happy studying ecology and may have followed that career path.
The IOCC Report
The big shift for Zoe was the IPCC report last November and the growing realisation in what we are doing to the planet is unsustainable. And not enough was happening fast enough.
I wanted to explore Zoe’s transition. Professional people like Zoe are changing their views on activism; they are standing up for what they see as wrong and demanding action, even if that means coming into conflict with the state.
Zoe Cohen from Coaching to Rebellion
Zoe was a management consultant and coach; now she is actively involved with Extinction rebellion; in fact, she was arrested in London during the last protests.
Our conversation flows and is funny sad dark and hopeful. Now I recognise that this podcast may be awkward for some people to hear. So I apologise in advance, Zoe Cohen passionately believes that humanity is on a trajectory towards extinction unless we do something. That something must be big and must be quick, time is running out.
There is more to this conversation than climate change
If you followed this podcast for any length of time, you would know my story, and how have struggled over the years in my relationship with consumption based businesses and the world of marketing. I stepped back from mainstream marketing 15 years ago, and I now choose to work with companies or people that are making a difference in the world.
Our current level of consumption is pushing this planet to the edge, and what’s becoming increasingly clear, is we have to start making positive changes in lifestyle there is just not enough stuff to keep this up and we are sinking in stuff we are making.
As an example, there is a large manufacturing plant called Grangemouth in Scotland owned by INEOS they produce polyethene, which is the primary material for plastic bags.
This one plant produce 1000KG every minute, that is over 1440 tonnes of plastic for bags every day. They are planning to put another plant next to it, which would do the same.
When you think of plastic bags, how many of them get recycled, how many of them end up buried in the ground. how many of them end up in the sea, killing fish and getting into the food chain.
That is just one material, one item. How many plastic things are there around you now, this moment. Where will they go when you have finished with them? Toothbrushes, pens, mobile phone cases, bags, suitcases presentation cases, the list goes on.
Where does it all go?
Where does it all go? That is the question that I have been asking for quite a while. There are options, it is possible to change it is called the circular economy, but it won’t happen unless we are determined to make it happen.
Zoe Cohen is one of many people leading the change and demanding that our politicians start to face these difficult issues because of business, as usual, is not going to cut it any more.
I hope you enjoy the conversation with Zoe Cohen
This podcast is long because as we got into a big conversation, so it has been split, this is part 1 and part 2
If you would like to connect with Zoe you can find her on Linkedin