I was born in 1950. The next couple of decades flowed by effortlessly at Eton, Magdalen College, Oxford, and messing around planting trees and farming in New Zealand and Australia.
I first got involved with environmental issues in 1974, at the same time as I became a teacher in a West London comprehensive, which I absolutely loved. Ten years later (during which I was also very involved in the Green Party), I left teaching to become Director of Friends of the Earth where I stayed until 1991, just prior to the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 – which for me, was a life-changing experience.
In 1996, we set up Forum for the Future, which remains my ‘home base’ in terms of all the different things I do today. I was Chair of the UK Sustainable Development Commission between 2000 and 2009. I got married in 1986, and we have two daughters Eleanor and Rebecca.
At the moment, I'm on the world tour for my latest book, The World We Made.
That’s about it – in a nutshell! Still hard at it nearly 40 years on.
Jonathon Porritt, Co-Founder of Forum for the Future, is an eminent writer, broadcaster and commentator on sustainable development. Established in 1996, Forum for the Future is now the UK’s leading sustainable development charity, with 70 staff and over 100 partner organisations including some of the world’s leading companies.
He is also a Non-Executive Director of Willmott Dixon Holdings. He is a Trustee of the Ashden Awards for Sustainable Energy, and is involved in the work of many NGOs and charities as Patron, Chair or Special Adviser, see Affiliations.
He was formerly Director of Friends of the Earth (1984-90); co-chair of the Green Party (1980-83) of which he is still a member; chairman of UNED-UK (1993-96); chairman of Sustainability South West, the South West Round Table for Sustainable Development (1999-2001); a Trustee of WWF UK (1991-2005), a member of the Board of the South West Regional Development Agency (1999-2008).
He stood down as Chairman of the UK Sustainable Development Commission in July 2009 after nine years of providing high-level advice to Government Ministers.
Jonathon was installed as the Chancellor of Keele University in February 2012.
His new book, The World We Made, was published in October 2013. His recent books are Capitalism As If The World Matters (Earthscan, revised 2007), Globalism & Regionalism (Black Dog 2008) and Living Within Our Means (Forum for the Future 2009).
Jonathon received a CBE in January 2000 for services to environmental protection.