Mac McKenzie, Chief Executive Officer, Bridge Institute

Mac McKenzie, Chief Executive Officer, Bridge Institute

  • Mac is the Chief Executive Officer of the Bridge Institute, which works to bring together the senior leaders of government, businesses, and civil society to solve pressing societal problems of our times.

 

Podcast

Overview

The world we live in today has myriad challenges ranging from climate change to social issues of child marriage, inequality, gender violence, etc. Numerous NGOs and civil society are dealing with the challenges at different levels, trying to bring whatever change they can to make this world a better place.

However, what is needed is the partnership of governments, NGOs, civil societies, and activists to come together not for the vested interest but for the larger good. Today, we discuss how this partnership leads to a better world.

[00:34] – About Mac McKenzie

  • Mac is the Chief Executive Officer of the Bridge Institute, which works to bring together the senior leaders of government, businesses, and civil society to solve pressing societal problems of our times.
  • Mac is also a passionate sportsman and mountaineer.

[02:32] – Tell me about Bridge Institute and what are some societal challenges.

  • If you look at the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, most of them are systemic. It means that solving the problem is everyone’s responsibility.
  • There is no one entity that can solve the problems. It requires the coming together of different parties to bring a change.
  • We aim to sit in the middle with government, corporate leaders, societal leaders, NGOs, and philanthropists to coordinate the breakthrough and implement the challenge.
  • The three biggest challenges of our time are climate change, gross inequality, and loss of biodiversity.

[06:15] – What are you doing with the Afghan refugees?

  • In August 2021, around 20,000 refugees came to the UK. The UK made a significant commitment to help them all thrive. However, it is complex and systemic.
  • We work to bring all the partners together who can help create this reality. We need big employers, as they are aware that Afghans are well-qualified.
  • Furthermore, we also work to look at processes to get better housing quicker.

[13:48] – What are your thoughts on how we get people to become activists?

  • Activists change the conversations. And when we change the conversations, we change the mindsets.
  • To do that, it needs to come from a place of respect, listening, and empathy.
  • Some forms of activism can do more damage than good if not done the right way.
  • One of our clients, Dr. Praveen Kumar, is a police officer who now wants to be a politician in India. He built numerous schools in Telangana in an attempt to combat human trafficking, child marriage, and gender violence.
  • There were around 1,20,000 students above 13 who introduce themselves as activists. He gave them a project for two years in a row to persuade a community to create zero tolerance for the stated problems. The results were incredible. A teacher is an activist for students, who become activists for the community.

[20:36] – How does culture impact change at the level at which you’re trying to make a change?

  • In the corporate world, studies have shown that when an organization embarks on a big change, about 70% of the time it doesn’t deliver the aspiration that it wanted to. And when they look back to understand the issue, they realize that they didn’t invest enough in culture.
  • In any change, the culture needs as much attention as the strategy you are adopting to bring a change.
  • It also boils down to the levers that we have for changing culture as leaders and the four things are signals, skills, systems, and stories.

RESOURCES:

You can connect with Mac McKenzie – LinkedIn

Visit: Bridge Institute

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Profile

  • Mac is the Chief Executive Officer of the Bridge Institute, which works to bring together the senior leaders of government, businesses, and civil society to solve pressing societal problems of our times.
  • Mac is also a passionate sportsman and mountaineer.

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