Can Business Gurus Inspire Consumers To Live a Sustainable Lifestyle?

Via on Jun 22, 2011

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Can Business Gurus Inspire Consumers To Live a Sustainable Lifestyle?

That’s the question the folks in the natural products industry and other big brand businesses are exploring in Boulder, Colorado this week. LOHAS is the acronym that translates to Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability. Stay tuned for the latest cutting edge ideas coming from the heart of “Organic Land”.

Changing individual human behavior is the key to our future. This issue has been a passion of mine since 1985 when I was fortunate to help design the first “Choices for the Future” symposia at the Windstar Foundation. We wanted to know if  love, joy and a positive alternative vision could be the catalyst for measurable behavioral change, or if fear, pain and suffering was the primary path to awakening. Answering that question would require another article. Ultimately, I discovered what I already knew, consciousness is at the heart of the matter. How we think is as important as what we think. What we think affects what we say and what we say affects how we act in the world. All of our behavior is affected by our consciousness. It’s a nicely woven tapestry of interconnectedness that few people explore. For Elephant Journal readers this may be patently obvious, most of our population prefers the comfort of a “go along and get alone” existence, remaining in a sleep walk, accepting their unexamined lives.

Improving the quality of life is often the purpose of non-profit organizations. Julia Butterfly Hill (the courageous protector of Redwood trees) likes to call the so called non-profit entities For Benefit Organizations. That’s a really nice way to think about the essence of their work. Benefitting the whole requires a consciousness that we are all in this journey together – some refer to this as enlightened self interest.

Dynamic business leaders are gradually grasping these concepts of integral awareness and the importance of deep ecological principles. In Boulder, the for-profit sector will explore how their business practices can affect our society for the better. Anyone interested in the triple bottom line approach to corporate social responsibility will find many members of their tribe at the St. Julien Hotel for the next few days! Participants will be doing their best to determine the optimal path to a happy and healthy future. It is worth noting they are not alone in their inquiry. Helena Norberg-Hodge has recently released a film entitled, The Economics of Happiness. This film is an important contribution to an often avoided subject.

Greening our world at the LOHAS conference

Whole systems, ecological thinking will most definitely be in vogue.

This conference is where connecting the dots between business practices, human behavior, ecological balance and the quality of life on Earth will not be avoided.  There will be lots of advocates for a transformational shift away from  ”business as usual”

Many presenters and attendees alike want to see a radical transformation toward authentic sustainable business practices implemented immediately. A shift in consciousness and behavior are both necessary to green our ailing world.

The next order of business is to determine how to effectively invite the so called “main-stream consumers” to join in this movement. Can we call it a movement yet?

Onward with courage!

About Bud Wilson

As a student-athlete-activist during the tumultuous era at Harvard University Bud emerged with an interdisciplinary degree combining, child development, innovative education and urban social policy. To recover from academia, he moved to the mountains of Colorado and devoted his energy to hosting professional conferences and seminars in Snowmass Village, followed by a few years working with John Denver's Windstar Foundation. He has lots of stories to share about those formative years living in the Roaring Fork Valley. Bud continues to consult with many organizations including Newfield Network, Environmental Communications, Inc. and The Living Green Foundation, Next Culture Network, The Unified Field Corporation, Regenerative Community Development of Colorado and The Agora Projects. Bud has 25 years of experience as an awareness instructor and wilderness guide for Sacred Passage and the Way of Nature. As Global Director of Eco-Regional Leadership for The Way of Nature, in May 2011, he co-created and coordinated the first World Nature Quest. More than 35 groups in 17 countries on 5 continents simultaneously communed with the Earth for healing and renewal. His articles have been read by more than 70,000 Elephant Journal Readers His adult son, daughter and son-in-law are the source of great joy in his life.

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