White paper: Green skills for green futures

Published 03 December 2023


Our white paper, Green skills for green futures, delves into the critical need for transformative capabilities in organizations and leadership to navigate the challenges of the green transition. Drawing on over two decades of experience, we distil key insights to illuminate a path toward a sustainable future.


Understanding the need for bold leadership

We must address the root causes shaping organisations and societies to lead through current crises. Green skills for green futures emphasises the need for leadership with a future-oriented vision, recognising not only the profound impact of the green transition on organisations but the impact of organisations on green transition.


Transitions are not only about technical skills, but about building the right skills that can empower a just transition in the first place.




Key elements for green transitions

Our white paper identifies key elements for meaningful impact, emphasising leadership embracing long-termism, experimentalism, and collaboration. When embedded into organisational culture, these elements become the building blocks for wider adoption in the face of continuous change.


Three pillars of transformative leadership

1. Connect the everyday with long-term aims: Empower mid to senior management to orient the organization toward a bold vision of the future.
Case: See insights from our strategic foresight model for Finlands’s Ministry of Interior and the RATP, the world’s fourth largest public transport operator.

2. Build a transformative and inquisitive culture: Actions should reflect organisational culture.
Case: See an experimentalist approach we carried out for Meta’s global strategic problem Open Loop, that embraces uncertainty and continuous iteration.

3. Create coalitions for change: Green transitions necessitate collective action.
Case: See how we built coalitions of actors to co-create change for Finland’s Circular Economy Green Deal.


Transformative leaders driving change

Throughout our 20 years of experience and through this white paper, we advocate for transformative leaders who understand and harness long-termism, experimentalism, and collaboration. Whether you’re a CEO, trade union leader, public official, or philanthropist, you can drive change within your organisation and beyond.


These starting points outlined in the white paper are crucial steps toward transforming how we embed sustainability across actors, industries, and societies. We are committed to supporting organisations in embracing the green transition contributing to a sustainable future. Join us on this transformative journey by exploring the white paper and unlocking the green skills needed for a future in which we can all thrive.


You can also join us for a panel discussion on this topic, hosted at COP28 this Friday, December 8th. More information on the panel discussion here.


Demos Helsinki experts can help you and your organisation build green skills and green leadership. Get in touch to learn more:

Otso Sillanaukee
Team Lead, Demos Helsinki

Lily Evergreen (Lead Author)
Expert, Demos Helsinki



We authored this white paper in relation to a panel we are hosting at COP28. You can find out more about the panel and the discussion here