Sometimes the most forward looking among us come from the most unlikely places. I’m neck deep in the sustainable business realm, and delight in discovering and sharing new sources of inspiration and innovation with my audiences. And the most powerful mover of green ideological mountains and catalyst for action I’ve seen in 2011? A rancher from Kansas. Bryan Welch.
This former newspaper man turned publisher has had an eclectic background that has helped him develop a broad perspective that doesn’t have the blinders on when it comes to thinking about how living and doing business sustainably can happen.
He recently wrote a book called Beautiful & Abundant: Building The New World We Want, that eschews the dramatic eco alarm sounding and finger wagging that many books and people take, while at the same time not avoiding thinking about and looking at the challenges we face.
He has a clear framework for how to shape what you do and how you communicate it, that could very well be the glue that sticks all the disparate, supposedly separate groups of people in the world, together, in common cause.
For GreenSmith Sessions #8, I had the good fortune to spend just over 30 minutes in frank conversation with Welch about everything from how many environmentalists are stymieing mass scale progress on the important issues at hand, to his desire to see Earth Day and green business become obsolete concepts in the near future. Do stay tuned to the last five minutes, where he deftly explains that how he sees drastic population reduction being achieved, not by government mandates of natural/manmade disasters, but in an organic fair, just, desirable fashion.
This Session was full of gems, here’s two of the best:
“It seems to me illogical that the concept of sustainability would be controversial. Who does not want clean air and clean water? Who does not want, 3 or 4 generations from now, a wonderful place for human beings to live on this planet? Yet somehow we’ve allowed sustainability to be pigeonholed as this wonky, tribal fascination for people who wear Birkenstocks and burn Patchouli. It’s wrong, it’s destructive, and it’s absurd.”
“People who are utterly cut off from the prosperity that we enjoy in the developed world don’t have the time, resources or motivation to think about sustainability. We alienate them if we pose solutions or pursue visions that exclude them, and we can’t afford to exclude or alienate them, because we need a very broad consensus across the planet, or the whole notion of human sustainability is unattainable.”
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Paul Smith is a sustainable business innovator, the founder of GreenSmith Consulting, blogs weekly on green start ups of note at Triple Pundit and has an MBA in Sustainable Management from Presidio Graduate School in San Francisco. He creates interest in, conversations about, and business for green (and greening) companies, via social media marketing.