You can never have an impact on society if you have not changed yourself. — Nelson Mandela
Arianna Huffington recently said at Urban Zen NYC’s Conversations on Sustainable Wellness series: “If there’s one thing the world is starving for it’s wisdom, and health is connected to wisdom.”
We couldn’t agree with her more, as we need wise and productive change now! The world is in turmoil and, until we can come together in a healthy way, life will be even more challenging than it need be. Amidst the confusion, there is a crucial need to bring business leaders to this same understanding, as they are in a position to make lasting and effective differences. Which is the very purpose of LOHAS, aka Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability.
As we are all well aware, times have changed. What we were talking about three years ago is now happening: bringing bags to the grocery store, using CFL light bulbs, driving a hybrid car – thankfully, these are all accepted as normal. We’ve got the green bit going, got recycling sorted, so now it’s about ensuring green assets are fully sustainable so that everyone participates. We need to be inspired. It may be the right thing to do but it has to be worth it to turn computers off at night or refit a whole office with recyclable materials.
LOHAS is a wonderful and innovated global phenomena, bigger in Asia than even in the west. In Chinese LOHAS translates as ‘happy living’ and has spread like wildfire. The concept wraps traditional values of Asian believes, philosophy and cultural understanding in with a cool western packaging, which is very attractive to the younger generation. There are LOHAS department stores, energy bars, and restaurants, to name a few. Amazingly, director Ted Ning has conducted LOHAS tours of Boulder, Colorado, for Japanese businessmen who are fascinated to see what healthy and sustainable lifestyle looks like in a living environment.
As change is where it’s at, the theme of this year’s forum is the Future of Possibility. “If we took a snapshot of how everyone is right now, there’s a real frantic energy,” believes Ted Ning. “Everyone seems to be on the run going everywhere and anywhere, busily trying to make things happen. Two words that reflect the world this year could be instability and uncertainty. If we look at Japan, the Middle East, the weather, everything is changing and is really uncertain and no one knows what’s going to happen next.”
Times of doom and gloom can be depressing, but the upside means there are numerous possibilities ahead. Out of the mud comes new growth, such as a beautiful lotus flower.
The Future of Possibilities is at the cutting edge. Among many speakers is brilliant futurist Jean Houston, founder of the Mystery School and author of many new thought books, talking on “Understanding the Great Mystery;” and Dan Millman, bestselling author of The Peaceful Warrior and The Four Purposes of Life, talking on “The Business of Living — on Purpose.”
“We must find the way that speaks to our innate capacity for knowing, for being, for entering into those wisdom states that give us the intuitive knowledge of what we are and what we must do in this most important time, for what we do now will most profoundly make a difference to our future.” — Jean Houston, from our book Be The Change
Also speaking is Chris Kilham, named by CNN ‘the Indiana Jones of Natural Medicine,’ who will tell “Tales From The Medicine Trail,” while John Peterson, founder of the Arlington Institute, will talk on “2012: The Shift We have Been Waiting For.”
And to top it all, the former keyboardist for Santana, Freddie Ravel, will be headlining the closing in a “Tune Up for Success.”
Participants come looking for meaning and value-based purposes. That’s why LOHAS is a beacon showing how business can be profitable, even in these difficult times. Yogis and successful ‘green’ companies will be rubbing shoulders with Coca Cola, Walmart, a Russian trade association, as well as prominent Chinese and Japanese business leaders, as they share new ways of thinking and sustainable practices.
‘Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability’ describes a marketplace focused on health, the environment, social justice, personal development and sustainable living. One in four Americans is part of this group—nearly 41 million people. They are the future of business and also the future of progressive social, environmental and economic change.
We will be at this exciting event as we have been for the past few years, for you never know who you will meet —last year we found business cards made from elephant pooh while Ed overdosed on delicious organic chocolate!
The LOHAS Forum is June 22-24th in Boulder, Colorado. It provides a cross section of thoughtful and progressive executives, and is known for fantastic networking with decision makers who are involved in LOHAS business. There will also be a special regional event on May 12th in Minneapolis, MN
Photo by emdot at flickr.com