Skip to Content

News: Environment

#Nexus2020 Twitter Chat Summary – “The Most Important Questions for Business”

Farming First Farming First

In celebration of World Environment Day (5 June 2015), Farming First and the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) hosted an engaging twitter chat on the Nexus2020 project around the most important questions for business.

Over 300 tweets were shared during the chat; exploring what research is needed to help business manage their dependencies and impacts upon food, energy, water and the environment (FEWE). Asking the right questions is an important first step for enhancing business sustainability – and CISL are calling for input from people from all backgrounds and expertise. If you’d like to help them collect more questions, email [email protected]

The expert panel included Dr Bhaskar Vira (Director of the Conservation Research Institute), Richard Black (Director of the Energy & Climate Intelligence Unit), Chris Gerrard (Climate Change and Biodiversity Manager at Anglian Water), Eileen Hoffman (Director of the Economic Growth and Trade, Chemonics International) and Gemma Cranston (Senior Programme Manager at the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership). (Check out the full biographies of the panelists here)

Did you miss our chat? Want to submit more questions? Tweet your question using #Nexus2020 or submit it via the electronic submission form here.

Discussions were based around five guiding questions that Farming First put forward to the panel:

Q1 How do businesses impact & depend on food, energy, water & environment (FEWE)? What can be done to make these impacts and dependencies more sustainable?

Q2 How can research help businesses manage FEWE impact and dependencies? Research needs to be relevant and practical for business. Should business play an active role in this research design process?

Q3 How do business practices affect other stakeholders operating within FEWE? What research could improve interaction? Business impacts can have a ripple effect on many other stakeholders and considering these interactions is crucial. Can research alleviate some of these trade-offs and tensions? 

Q4  How does policy influence business practices around FEWE? Could research around policy interventions enhance management? There are a number of political frameworks in place that help guide business towards better management, but these policies need to be backed by some thorough research.

Q5 How do consumers influence business practices around FEWE? Could research in this space improve management? Civil society and consumers also have a role to play in guiding business practices and management. Do we need more research about the dynamics between consumers and businesses?

Panelists responded with insightful and provoking responses:






A number of other participants enabled the discussion to spontaneously evolve through real-time questions of their own:

b1 b2 b3 b4 b5 b6 b7 b8 b9 b10

Everyone, from audience to panelists, reinforced the idea that not only a larger amount, but also better targeted research is necessary for businesses to sustainably manage their impacts and dependencies on food, energy water and the environment. Important questions were raised about the role of policy and legislation, ecosystem markets, tools and techniques, education and awareness, data and analytics, scalability, and incentives for action in influencing business practices.

Thanks to all of you who submitted questions – keep in the loop and submit more questions using #Nexus2020 or by clicking here.

Did you miss the chat? Explore the chat’s main content below:

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.