or What Chipotle and the Dali Lama have in common. (hint: They are able to touch and transform a lot of people)
Lately I’ve been spending quite a bit of time thinking about gifting and inviting abundance into my life. I’ve also been very focused on personal transformation. I’ve done breath work, dream analysis, meditation, et cetera. I’m following this path because I can feel and see changes happening in my life and in the lives of those around me and its powerful stuff.
But much of the change that I’ve seen is localized or only affects a certain sector of the population that can afford it. While I see the consciousness of the business world shifting through my friends’ businesses at SVN I wasn’t seeing much mainstream or popularized that really grabbed our transforming planet by the balls and… ok maybe a different metaphor. Not that they weren’t doing enough. They just hadn’t gone off the high dive. I’ve been seeing the change as we live the words of Ghandi, and even some cool new products and businesses, but holy crap Chipotle just did a cannon ball into a pool that’s only had a little splashing.
We all see initiatives and products advertised as being green or sustainable. Whether this is done as a component of corporate strategy or arises from a true belief of inherent ‘goodness’ most of the time on the scale of true worldwide sustainability, they are not without some impact.
My answer is that there is no black and white definition.
Within communities, corporations, small businesses, governments, and families there are different degrees of progress. When a corporation is announcing a greening strategy or movement, good for them. They have made progress. But by no means are they now officially GREEN with nothing left to do.
Think of this situation like being in a dim room. In a room that the occupants are used to they can see and because that is what they know, they accept it as being good, normal or right. There is no questioning whether or not the light can get brighter. They think it’s as bright as it can be perhaps, or they might not even question that more is possible.
If additional lights were added to the room it would be obvious to the occupants that at first the room was dark and now there is more light. Who is to say that it can’t get brighter still? Why settle for what we have if we can have and create a better world and society for ourselves?
It’s obvious when you see a green product. It’s obvious when you see a sustainable community. I think the question that we need to ask is can it get brighter? Can it get greener? And I believe it can.
Big Bucks advertising and marketing have got it down. They know how to begin marketing to someone at a very early age. They know that the wording of a slogan matters. They know that how you phrase an ad changes people perception. They know the colors and symbols used evoke emotion and connection. We should be using the same effective principles when we’re trying to help people to understand the new ideas and creativity we need to see in our world.
Too much of the green movement and those driving sustainability have been operating by making documentaries, writing books and doing talks. If that were the best way to get a product or concept to be purchased and believed in, well you’d have tons of pro-Wal-Mart documentaries. The bookshelves would be lined with books about Target being the solution. Scientific conference sessions would be dedicated to Nikes conforming perfectly to the feet of most humans. But you don’t see that. My intuition tells me that one of the reasons those tactics are not primary to corporations is because they don’t create a big demand in a short period of time.
We need to learn from this. We, as in those of us who are interested in the sustainability of the planet. We need to take a lesson from the corporations who have been so effective in getting their goods and products into our minds. We need to market positivity and transformation in a way to generate ‘fanatic evangelists’ for these life sustaining practices. Gloom and doom, end of the world, ‘you need to change’, and non-interactive mediums will not create vibrantly alive communities. Interactive, hands-on, culturally aware, co-created approaches will.
‘How?’ You ask. Well that’s something for me to continue writing about, and for you to hire me to implement. Check back in as these ideas unfold through my writing and feel free to share your thoughts via commenting.