“What on earth is Conscious Business?” It was over a year ago now that Jeroen Maes and I sat down to explore how to collaborate on an online project to explore that very question. Being good friends, and sharing a passion for new ways of doing and being in business, the ideas just seemed to flow out of us right from the start. We were joined last summer by Jeroen’s business partner, and also a good friend of ours; Diederick Janse. Together we set off down the path of building something…
We got inspired, and we got stuck. We worked hard, and we let it slip. We got encouragement, we got criticism. But throughout, we stuck like glue to the real burning question we all shared – how can business be a vehicle for genuine global transformation? This series is the culminations of those ideas.
So, as a kick-off to this blog, and the series in general, let me take some time to tell you a little more about why we created the series, what we hope to achieve through hosting it, and all the things that we’re inviting you to co-create with us along the way.
We are idealists. We have this intensely passionate, and of course, utterly idealistic belief that the world can be changed, and that we have some role to play in this change. Each through our different routes, we have arrived at the workplace as the arena in which we feel called to contribute to this transformation. I had to traverse the world of performing arts for years until I realised that it sapped my creativity, and that business was the thing that really excited me. Jeroen and Diederick took their own route through business school and the world of consulting. For their story, you can check out this video of them talking with philosopher Ken Wilber.
So why did we create this series? Well, we are just totally curious to explore what on earth Conscious Business is! We have some ideas. But we have even more questions.
We also created this series in a very deliberate way that perhaps runs counter to the conventional wisdom on these things. And I want to tell you as transparently as I can about why we did it in the way we did.
We could have created another one of those teleseminars series that promises to give you the tools to triple your bottom line, and find the secret to the life you really want to live while at the same time being totally ethical, sustainable and conscious. To be honest though, we don’t really know how to do that. Even more importantly though, we don’t think that’s the biggest acupuncture point, or indeed, the way to really create a new way of doing business.
We could have made a series promising to give you all the answers. But for us, there are bigger questions.
What is the new version of business that wants to emerge in the world? What does it look like, and feel like? What is the role of work in the 21st century, anyway? What really works and has massive impact, and what doesn’t? What feels like it resonates deep down inside, and what feels like a sheep-like joining of the indomitable conscious band-wagon?
Does business even need to become more conscious at all, or is it ok just as it is? What are the questions that the 21st century is asking us? How do we live, and how do we work in ways that can truly address those questions?
We don’t know. But we’re totally psyched about finding out, and committing fully to everything that the journey entails.
And this is where you come in. We’re pretty damned sure that no-one of us can see the entire big picture, but we do have the questions that we think will invite the type of conversations that may reveal this bigger picture.
You will have your own questions, and we invite you to bring them to the table. Challenge us, and help us challenge the speakers. Get curious about what business is, and what it could be. Bring your enthusiasm, and bring your scepticism. Bring your success stories, and bring your struggles. Bring whatever it is you feel called to bring, in service of the exploration of how we can wake up the workplace, and maybe even change the world.
If we do that, I think we’re in for a ride!
Why don’t we start right now? What are your burning questions? What do you think we need in order to wake up the workplace to its full and glorious potential?
Comment below and we can get this conversation rolling…