Now a staple of the On Purpose blog, the People On Purpose series has been running nearly as long as the organisation. It’s yet to achieve the cult status of Desert Island Discs, but the format of seven simple questions is our nod to the ultimate accolade in someone’s career. If you’ve an idea of who deserves to be given the People On Purpose treatment, be in touch and let us know.
Fraser Thompson joined On Purpose’s Advisory Board in 2013 having been a dedicated mentor to participants of the 2012 programme. Known throughout our cohorts for his ‘Shock and Awe’ training, he brings into sharp relief the macro scale challenges that threaten our environment, and are our responsibility to wrestle with them. When he’s not flying between continents to get to work, he’s running through Hyde Park to London’s McKinsey offices.
Why do you do the job you do?
I work with McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) – which is the economic research arm of McKinsey, the global consultancy. I specialize in natural resource issue, focusing on both how countries can use resource endowments to create sustainable economic development, and how countries can improve the productivity with which they use natural resources, and hence create a more environmentally friendly growth model.
What are you most proud of?
A few years ago I worked with some provincial governments in Indonesia to help create “green growth” economic strategies, that aim to reduce carbon emissions whilst supporting livelihoods. There is a long way still to go, but it is very pleasing for me to see these governments push this agenda further.
What keeps you awake at night?
I worry about the short-term thinking in society and how we risk sleep-walking into fundamental economic, social and environmental challenges. Too many businesses think on a quarterly basis, too many governments think on the basis of election cycles, and too many consumers think paycheck to paycheck.
What were you doing 5 years ago?
I was at McKinsey even then! I’m starting to think I’ve been here too long. I was based in the Middle East, working with governments on understanding how to diversify their economies away from a sole reliance on oil.
What do you expect to be doing in 5 years’ time?
Working in some shape or form on this resources agenda.
If you were Prime Minister for the day, what would you do?
Sign my country up to a carbon reduction target equivalent to a 450-ppm pathway and invest heavily in helping business and households adapt to a more resource efficient growth model.
Why are you involved with On Purpose?
The world faces unprecedented challenges. We need the brightest minds and most determined people to address them. On Purpose can help make this happen.