“All outward forms of change brought by the wars, revolutions, reformations, laws and ideologies have failed completely to change the basic nature of man and therefore society. As human beings living in this monstrously ugly world, let us ask ourselves, can this society, based on competition, brutality and fear come to an end? Not as an intellectual conception, not as a hope, but as an actual fact, so that the mind is made fresh, new and innocent and can bring about a different world altogether? It can only happen, I think, if each one of us recognizes the central fact that we, as individuals, as human beings, in whatever culture we happen to belong to, are totally responsible for the whole state of the world.
We are each one of us responsible for every war because of the aggressiveness of our own lives, because of our nationalism, our selfishness, our gods, our prejudices, our ideals, all of which divide us. And only when we realize, recognize that we are hungry or in pain, that you and I are responsible for all the existing chaos, for all the misery throughout the entire world because we have contributed to it in our daily lives and are part of this monstrous society with its wars, divisions, its ugliness, brutality and greed-only then will we act.”
-Krishnamurti from Freedom from the Known
Reading this piece from Krishnamurti over and over, I have started to feel hope as well as further responsibility to fulfill my existential drive to transform both myself as well as the communities I engage with. The pandemic played its part in presenting how interwoven humanity is; globally as well as how the future might be outlived if we do not fully acknowledge this fact and minimize the scope of what is happening to be local. We cannot secure ourselves if we cannot secure the entire planet as well as its habitants. We have been united by the virus as mere human beings, we have been in pain which is calling us to wake up to take a closer look at our daily ways of being, in unity and in synchrony with the bigger stretch of what is happening around us in the form of environmental and social justice, governance. This realization evokes action and Krishnamurti says that this is the point that we can transform first ourselves and thereafter the world.
The innovation and creativity being shared in areas of regenerative solutions is scaling and the impact funding supporting these projects are encouraging artists and scientists to further their initatives. The SDGs are guiding the companies and the brands to develop universal projects in collaboration with NGOs as well as other cross industries. The supply chains are setting up to include the consumers as a dynamic collaborator and the traditional commerce transactions are being defined with how much positive impact they can contribute to the well-being of humanity and the planet. This is not a dream or a prophesy and we can choose to be a part of the transformation as individuals, as managers, teachers…..consumers. We can choose mindfully at each stage of our being with our actions and this surely gives me hope as well as the ownership, the management, the coaching of the self.
Natura&Co; the Brazilian parent company of beauty brands Nature, Avon, Aesop and the Body Shop has announced its vision for 2030 called the Commitment to Life and has defined the 3 pillars for the project as:
to address the climate crisis and protect the Amazon
to defend human rights and be human-kind; and
to embrace circularity and regeneration
The Commitment to Life aims to preserve 3 million hectares of rainforest in the Amazon, in collaboration with 40 communities working towards to end deforestation by 2025. Natura&Co plans to increase the number of women on their board to 50% as well as working to include under-represented groups in their management. The group confirms its intolerance to human rights infringement across its supply chain and promises full traceability and/or certification for critical supply chains — namely palm oil, mica, paper, alcohol, soy and cotton — by 2025. They have also set up targets for eliminating single plastic use in their packaging. The company has even crowdsourced solutions to fight plastic waste generation and pollution through their Natura Innovation Challenge. The circularity pillar of Commitment to Life also promises 95 percent+ renewable or natural ingredients, 95 percent+ biodegradable formulas; and 100 percent of new formulas will have lower environmental footprint, measured by life cycle analysis (LCA). On the regeneration front, the company has committed to invest $100 million (or more) in developing solutions, such as:
Biotechnology e.g. from waste to ingredients, plastics, etc
Regenerative agriculture in deforested areas to reduce use of chemicals and create alternative to monocultures
Creation of renewable revenue streams (new ingredients) that are more economically attractive than deforestation
Looking at our actions in relation to what is happening in the world lies in the essence of creative transformation and the source of our actions comes with the very realization that we create what we desire to attain both on an individual level as well as society and businesses.