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From workshops to skunkworks

– Hi readers!

My streak of no international travel came to an end in April. In the last couple months I have been to San Francisco to work with our Stanford-based research team, Switzerland for a World Business Council on Sustainable Development conference, Stockholm to work with the Stockholm Environment Institute, and most recently Barcelona for the McKinsey London office retreat!

A few weeks ago was a landmark moment in my secondment, as I coordinated and ran a four-day workshop of nearly 60 people from our partner institutes around the world. While this is the third such workshop for the project, it was the biggest and most significant, as we near finalization of our report. It was great to see all the wonderful research that our project has supported, on topics including cities, land use, economic modelling, energy and of course my topic, innovation. And perhaps even more fulfilling, I enjoyed connecting with the various passionate people who have somehow wound up on this project. Now the report is really taking shape, and I can't wait for it to formally launch in September.

dance floor

As our research comes to a close, I'm trying to get more involved in the McKinsey office to ease my transition back from secondment. I've volunteered to be part of a skunkworks team promoting entrepreneurship in the office, and have some big plans for how to do so (to be divulged at a later date!). I'm also connecting with the various directors, partners and associate principals involved in energy work, which is where I'd like to focus. And of course, I attended the office retreat in Barcelona last weekend! I must have met dozens of people, so it was a great opportunity to get to know new faces and make some friends.

A summer outing to the opera

On a separate note, an article I co-authored with a McKinsey colleague has just been published in a book! You can download it free online here. The book is about how to make cities, regions, companies and economies more resilient in the face of climate change and resource strains. The piece I authored gives seven tips to organizations engaging in cross-sector collaboration to address sustainability challenges.

Next time you hear from me, I will be back in normal McKinsey life!



About the blogger

Associate Partner


Kimberly’s expertise in environmental science and economic policy has carried her from nonprofit work in South Africa to an associate position in McKinsey’s São Paulo office to a secondment with the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate. Now an associate partner based in our Chicago office, she is a committed member of our cleantech practice, following her passion for renewable energy and addressing climate change. Interested in more on this topic? Follow Kimberly on LinkedIn and Twitter.