Andrew Bakonyi

Director, AB Finance2017 Sydney Fellowship

Andrew Bakonyi Syd FMF17 P1150933

This program helped me reassess my path within my business, but also made me think deeply about my role as a citizen and a leader.

What was the most valuable thing you got out of CSL?

A deeper understanding of myself and a new way of seeing the world aided by my new friends.

Why are you passionate about sustainability? 

I got lucky and grew up in some very naturally beautiful places close to nature in Italy, Holland, Norway, Scotland, USA and Australia. This seeded the appreciation and enjoyment of being outside in "nature" and experiencing both manicured and natural beauty. But, perhaps my earliest memory of being shocked by "environmental issues" was watching documentaries in my early school years of the Amazon rainforest getting cut down. Perhaps it was because it was so visible and relatable. As the producers framed it as many football fields an hour, and I love football and knew the size of a football pitch, which was huge at the time, and the concept of an hour, which was the length of a game. It's not something I've ever given much thought to, but sustainability has always felt like something I've cared deeply about, and always will.

How did CSL play a role in directing your current path or project?

It refocused sustainability and personal growth as part of my life. Thanks to CSL, sustainability became that thing I intentionally practice every week. It's a commitment to improving and "re-seeding" myself as someone who's willing to work (and fight) for a better world.

It was also the realisation that you'll never get there alone, and although many hands mean less work, there is so much work that "we" need so many hands. So many hands that better be decent at working people within groups, whilst not forgetting to work on yourself, care for yourself and love yourself.

This program helped me reassess my path within my business, but also made me think deeply about my role as a citizen and a leader. Where's the best use of one's energy? How can we be more effective and continue stretching ourselves without snapping? 

Why is leadership for sustainability so important?

Because the forces working against sustainability are very strong. To prevail, the counterforce must be stronger, and that's where leadership plays an important role.

What do you plan to do next on your sustainability journey?

Whatever the compassionate version of "start kicking some unsustainable ass and taking names" is.

The future is such a mystery, and I'm a rogue wildcard even to myself. My list of ideas is long. So long that most people are tired of listening to them. But hopefully, it's something, and hopefully, it's radical.

What are three words you would use to describe the Fellowship Program?

Warm Fuzzy Actions

Project worked on during program:

Good to Go








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