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Innovation Infusion Series: Rob Abbott

Rob Abbott is the first-ever Executive Director of Business Strategy for the Ministry of Environment, Province of British Columbia (CANADA).  Previously, he was Executive Director of Carbon Neutral Government and Outreach with the Province of B.C.’s Climate Action Secretariat. In this latter role, he led the Provincial Government’s efforts to innovate in the design and delivery of services to progressively reduce greenhouse gas emissions and leverage the learning and expertise that flows from that work into the wider economy.  He also oversaw provincial stakeholder engagement and local government activities related to climate action, notably the Climate Action Charter.

In his 20 years prior to coming to government, Rob helped businesses all over the world discover wealth-creating opportunities through a deeper integration of sustainability with organizational and competitive strategy. He was the first Certified Management Consultant in Canada to focus on sustainability as a strategic business issue, and he worked with many of the companies and organizations throughout Canada and internationally who defined what might be called sustainability 1.0 - the first generation of sustainability thinking and work (Starbucks, NIKE, Walmart and others).  This was a natural extension of Rob’s PhD research and consulting focus on "future proofing" both for-profit and not-for-profit organizations.

Rob is committed to new forms of stakeholder identification and engagement - dialogue, deliberation and the co-creation of solutions that go far beyond the normal "announce and defend" style too common in natural resource decisions.  Done well, he believes this can change the operational and competitive space within which decisions at the heart of the energy/environment/economy nexus are made.

An increasingly large focus of Rob’s work is the way in which trust (self-trust, relationship trust and organizational trust) must be created to enable the collaboration that will create and accelerate the ideas that can transform our communities and society.  

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