NESsTing Upon the Thames

This journey combines a number of my interests: London and its history, entrepreneurial businesses, ambling along a riverbank, and thoughts about how to cope when things go wrong.  

In early April, I was appointed to the UK Board of NESsT, a charity I’ve followed and supported for the last decade. NESsT provides finance and business expertise to fledgling social enterprises in emerging economies. It helps people into dignified employment.

I admire the way NESsT engages and mentors those with drive and vision in creating jobs and improving lives.

In terms of charitable giving, alongside disaster and crisis relief, I believe in the longer term goal of providing the means for people in need to take charge of their own futures and to be treated with dignity and respect as partners.

Have a look at the rest of NESsT’s website.

I enjoy a relaxed walk and a companionable en route chat. The Thames Path offers a great balance of industrial and rural landscapes with a continuous theme of the power and value of riverside existence. I’m looking forward to seeing London’s varied life from the water’s edge.

The plan is to take our time over days off to navigate the length of the Thames from the barrier to the source before the clocks go back. We won’t average much more than ten miles a day unless Adrian persuades me to cycle.

I’ll post a blog entry per section. As the path is 184 miles, I’m hoping friends and family might donate £18.40 each to encourage us on our merry way.

In recognition of research published this week indicating that the most successful corporate adventurers are those with least optimism, the goals are modest. Walking the length of a river will be wet, cold and dirty at times. Undoubtedly there will be sore feet, rainy days, diversions, rail replacement bus services that meander more than the Thames. Mr. Rhodes will be my encourager. We are complementary and contradictory. In the moments when I feel joyously omnipotent, his grim realism restores perspective. He will offer a hand to cajole me through the last bitter three miles each day. He won’t let me give up.

These thoughts of resilience bring me neatly back to thinking of the common threads uniting NESsT and the Thames - lifelines to the entrepreneurial.

Wish us luck in our enterprise!