Uncertainty is a hallmark of the 21st century. As we envision the possibility of global equilibrium and collective wellbeing, we are challenged to confront the reality of having exceeded the limits to growth. With that, sustainability has become an ethical imperative for all leadership.
With sustainability at the forefront, it is important to remember that the challenges to be transformed are what David Orr described as “a miscalibration between human intentions and ecological results, which is to say that they are a kind of design failure.” When approached as a matter of design, it becomes evident that leadership plays the critical role in solving the current social-ecological design problem on Earth—a charge to meet by co-creating with collective intelligence. Fortunately, the framework of restorative leadership provides guidance for what it takes to lead for resounding impact at this planet-critical time.
According to a new White Paper, published in May 2014 by the Rodale Institute, switching to widely available and inexpensive organic farming practices can help curb the effects of global warming in a big way.
“Simply put, recent data from farming systems and pasture trials around the globe show that we could sequester more than 100% of current annual CO2 emissions with a switch to widely available and inexpensive organic management practices, which we term ‘regenerative organic agriculture.’ These practices work to maximize carbon fixation while minimizing the loss of that carbon once returned to the soil, reversing the greenhouse effect, said the study’s authors.
In fact, claims Rodale, organic farming practices and improved land management can move agriculture from one of today’s primary sources of global warming and carbon pollution to a potential carbon sink powerful enough to sequester all of the world’s current annual CO2 emissions.
With its reduced energy inputs, the Wall Street Journal reported in May 2014 that, “Organic practices could counteract the world’s yearly carbon dioxide output while producing the same amount of food as conventional farming…”
I wish I could say I learned to take risks on a summer night with mushrooms as my guide, or traveling on the night train in India with a risk guru. But, really, it was business that forced me to drop the drug of risky behavior.
Business was my risk boot camp. Without a playbook in hand I ventured towards the edge of the high dive as the kids in my head yelled, “Jump. Jump. Jump.”
Launching a company wasn’t risky because I merely had $200 in savings and couldn’t secure a credit card, or because I didn’t have any beverage or manufacturing experience. For me, the nauseating risk was that I was the sole financial provider for my two children and there was nothing to fall back on.
Forget A-bombs. Moms have to be the most powerful force on Earth.
A few weeks ago I woke up at 6AM with this script rattling in my head. I tried to go back to sleep but couldn't so I got up and wrote it down. The next day I sent it to Robyn McCord O'Brien but I didn't hear back all day. I figured she must really hate it since I usually hear back from her. Then late in the afternoon she wrote saying that she had been trying to write all day but the tears kept making it too difficult to type. Robyn is very emotional so I imagine she cries watching Spongebob, but it was really nice to hear. She was planning to launch a thing called Moms' Voices and asked if she could use it. Of course I said yes and we called David Littlejohn and the crew at Humanaut to make it happen, and we wanted to try to make it by Mother's Day. It would be a mad scramble.
When my dad was in hospice he asked me out of the blue, "Do you know what today is?" Before I could come up with the calendar date he answered his own rhetorical question - "One month since I had my last cigarette."
My dad wasn't dying of lung cancer. He had melanoma. He'd started smoking as an adolescent and smoked into his early 40's. He and my mother quit for a decade. Their divorce sparked up the addiction all over again. And dad battled the coffin nails, as we called them, for the rest of his life. Even into his dying. Of cancer. But my dad was proud of this achievement. He highlighted it from his deathbed, literally. That spoke volumes to me. I was proud of him.