This Sustainable Life
000: What Leadership and the Environment is about
Why Joshua Spodek created Leadership and the Environment, what it does, and how you can help.
EDIT: A team has formed and we changed the podcast name to This Sustainable Life.
645: Hamilton Souther, part 1: Living Among the Matsés in the Peruvian Amazon
Suggest to people in our culture that we consider not growing the GDP nonstop and most react with fear at what they see as the inevitability of recession leading to depression leading to the tax base declining, infrastructure crumbling, hospitals closing, mothers dying in childbirth, thirty become old age, and reverting to the Stone Age.Yet there remain many cultures that don't buy into our culture at all. Despite our culture invading their lands, what many of us consider the pinnacle of human culture, they choose theirs, and not out of ignorance. They know our culture.If our culture is so great, with electric vehicles, fruit flown overnight around the world, and iPhones, why do they resist it?If we believe we have so much, why do we keep taking their land?Hamilton lived among the Matsés in the Peruvian Amazon for 4.5 years. He shares how he arrived there, how they took him in and trained him to be a shaman, and what differences and similarities he saw there compared to here. We talked a bit about ayahuasca, but as I see one of our greatest challenges is to learn to live sustainably, and electric vehicles move don't help, I was more interested in what I and we can learn from people who still leave things better than they found them.Hamilton shares about how they live and the interface with a westerner who lived with them not as a tourist. I found his experience and education fascinating and accessible. Expect more episodes with Hamilton to come.
644: Janet Allacker, part 1.5: Joy first
In our second conversation, Janet reveals that she did part of her commitment, but found traveling not by car took longer than she expected and didn't do it often.At one point in this conversation, she shares she felt she had to reduce pollution. I point out I didn't say she had to reduce pollution. I invited her to manifest emotions she liked.Our society burdens us with thinking we have to ACT BIG! SCALE! SOLVE GLOBAL PROBLEMS!, which create obstacles to starting and prime us to expect it takes work and sacrifice. Environmentalists create that burden as much as anyone. Yet nature is a joy!The Spodek Method aims at first at the modest effect of leading someone to act on intrinsic motivation, which makes acting meaningful and purposeful. I contend the fastest, most effective way to act big, scale, and solve global problems is to start where you can, engage intrinsically, and keep going.After the Spodek Method's mindset shift comes the process of continual improvement, which I distinguish from lots of people doing small things. It's leading to where you enjoy it so you want to keep improving so you do big things because doing them improves your life, so you do more. Big things that spread out of joy, fun, and freedom scale.You'll hear Janet reset her feelings of obligation---extrinsic motivation---in favor of intrinsic motivation to continue joyfully.She also asked me many questions about what I'm doing and following up many episodes she's listened to.
643: Gaya Herrington, part 3: Five Insights for Avoiding Global Collapse
At the end of our second conversation, Gaya was finishing her book, leaving KPMG, and soon starting at Schneider Electric. The book just came out, Five Insights for Avoiding Global Collapse: What a 50-Year-Old Model of the World Taught Me About a Way Forward for Us Today (a free download), and she's worked at Schneider a while.We talk about the book, how the world has tracked two of the Limits to Growth simulations, and how working at Schneider is.The book treats how to respond to a complex, systemic problem, which is different from how to respond to a simple, linear problem. I consider the advice right on, rare to find, even among environmentalists. To change a system, some of the best levers are its goals and values. Don't change them and you retain the system you're trying to change, which most people are doing.Gaya's views are a breath of fresh air that give direction for people who want to lead to act.Gaya's new book, Five Insights for Avoiding Global Collapse: What a 50-Year-Old Model of the World Taught Me About a Way Forward for Us Today (a free download)About the book: Looming environmental and social breaking points, like climate change and massive inequalities, are becoming increasingly apparent and large in scale. In this book, Gaya Herrington puts today’s key societal challenges in perspective. Her analysis, rooted in her research on a 50-year-old model of the world that forecasted the onset of global collapse right around the present time, brings some structure to what otherwise might feel like the overwhelming task of achieving genuine societal sustainability.Herrington's research, first published in 2020 in Yale‘s Journal of Industrial Ecology, went viral after it revealed empirical data tracked closely with the predictions of this world model, which was introduced in the 1972 best seller The Limits to Growth. Her book Five Insights for Avoiding Global Collapse contains an exclusive research update based on 2022 data and is written in a more personable and accessible style than the journal article. Herrington also elaborates more in this book on the many interlinkages between our economic, environmental, and social predicaments, and on what her findings indicate for future global developments.Herington lays out why “business as usual” is not a viable option for global society and identifies the root cause of this unsustainable path. Most importantly, her book teaches us what systemic changes humanity still has time to make to achieve a better tomorrow. A future in which society has transformed beyond the mere avoidance of collapse and is truly thriving.