Skip to main content
Ages 13+
Under 13

Reconnecting with Nature: the key to creating sustainable corporations

Evolve, Inspire

The editor in chief of The Guardian advises CEO's to consider themselves sons and daughters of the Sun and Earth and to regain a sense of the sacred.

Beyond consumerism or the use of non-renewable energies, maybe the central problem our ecological crisis is a deep disconnection with nature. By not considering the Earth, with its forests and seas, as a living being that is intimately connected with our lives, we offset a profound imbalance. That is the thesis of the editor in chief at the The Guardian, Jo Confino, for whom finding a sense of the sacred is the key to developing sustainable businesses and corporations.

Confino describes an interesting exercise. Take a walk down a valley while blindfolded and experience nature through smell and touch. Then, after a while, stop in the middle of the exercise and try to sense how nature is experiencing you at that moment. By inverting the roles, this simple task encourages us to think of nature as a living being and thus fosters an awareness of otherness.

Confino’s sacred-corp vision is inspired by Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh. Recently, the editor in chief went to visit him in his retreat center, Plum Village, in France. For Thich Nhat Hanh, the key to operating a change towards respect and away from an exploitation of the biosphere is in having a simple epiphany –– in recognizing that we are part of the Sun and the Earth. And, we should remember, in reality all of the pieces of our bodies originated in the Earth, which itself came from the Sun.

“We are indeed very intelligent, but we have to learn how to love Mother Earth,” says Thich Nhat Hanh. “When you look at the sun during your walking meditation, the mindfulness of the body helps you to see that the sun is in you; without the sun there is no life at all and suddenly you get in touch with the sun in a different way."

You see the relationship between you and the sun change … Before, you see the sun as something very far away and not having too much connection, but the connection is very, very deep. You are a child of the sun, you come from the sun, and that is something true with the earth also … your relationship with the earth is so deep, and the earth is in you and this is something not very difficult, much less difficult then philosophy.

If you can feel that Mother Earth is in you, and you are Mother Earth, then you are not any longer afraid to die because the earth is not dying. Like a wave appears and disappears and appears again.

The benefits of this planetary consciousness are manifold. On the one hand they seem to offer spiritual support against the fear of death, and on the other they allow us to weave together a sustainable future based on the basic principle of not harming ourselves. Once we truly understand that what we perceive to be a far off conglomeration of things —nature— is in reality ourselves, respect is conjured. Although many may think it to be some sort of extravagant paganism, it would be interesting to see CEO’s of great corporations reconsider themselves as children of the Earth and the Sun.

Related Articles