How to create impact

Photo: Private

Photo: Private

This weekend I had the opportunity to meet other young inspiring people who want’s to make a difference in the world through the network Young Sustainability Professionals. As a part of our workshops and discussions we, of course, reflected upon how to make an impact.

In my current job and throughout my life as a coordinator, consultant and project leader in sustainability I have never really reflected upon if I have changed anything. Did I really contribute to a difference or did I not? I personally believe the answer to the question is hard to quantify since so much about sustainability has to do with norms and values. However, what I do know is that I have developed a strategy to do my work which I think can be useful for other people who wants to make a difference.

First of all, for me it’s been clear on what I want to achieve; I want other people to be educated and empowered to make better choices and to get involved. I can’t control how people change their lifestyles or if a certain project really contributes to long-term changes in a specific corporation. However, I can engage others in ways where I believe the change and the fight will go on even if I leave the business or the project.

How do you do that?

  1. Research the business. This means to educate yourself about the circumstances of where you are regardless if it’s a business, an organisation, a municipality and so on. Questions to ask is:

    • What’s the purpose of the business?

    • What do their code of conduct, policies and strategies say?

    • What do they want to achieve?

  2. Set your goals. What do you want to achieve? If you want to make something more sustainable you need to pick your goals. Preferably you’ll do this together with the leading group/project group/boss, but if you think they’re not that open to sustainability, you set the vision and you keep it for yourself.

  3. Choose your prioritise. This should be based on three things; what creates an impact in the world (CO2 cut, better diversity etc.), what can you impact from your current position and what’s the topic that is most likely to be attractive to the business? When you get to start, you have to set a framework with likely areas to change not necessarily your most passionated issue.

  4. Create an attractive scenario and case. Now you map their strategies with your vision and topics to identify where you want to see a change. You might not present “Hi everybody, let’s go vegan” at a restaurant, but you could say “let’s cut food waste, get the media attentions, lower our costs and collaborate with a famous chief from TV - good for the planet, for our business and it’s employees”. The shift to a more plant based menu will come with time when the rest of the company starts to get involved and understands the benefits.

  5. Do tasks beyond your normal working tasks. What you have to realise is that if you want to create change, you will be the person doing most of the work. Changing a company from zero sustainability work to some kind of sustainability work can be done within three years. Changing a minor project from zero sustainability work to some basic can take a few weeks. Be bold and write weekly-emails and letters even if it’s beyond your mandate to do so.

  6. Find your allies. You can’t do everything by yourself and don’t be shy to ask people what they think and see if you have similar ideas or interest to change things. Share your burden and passion outside the business and project to re-fill your energy and to stay inspired.

  7. Be patient and repeat. Keep on talking to colleagues, leaders and other people involved about sustainability and the importance of being a conscious company. Don’t assume people are educated about climate change, don’t judge people for not being aware or engaged and keep on sharing your aspiration and energy.

  8. Make sure the action plan is inclusive. As soon as you have the mandate or someone with a mandate gives you space to really establish a systematic sustainability group it’s all about defining sustainability in policies and guidelines, incorporate it in strategies and make sure it’s a part of the annual planning and budgeting. This is the point you want to reach. You want to create an action plan for sustainability with your colleges that translates your vision into the vision of the company.

Congratulations. You have just made an impact. If you stay you might see/hear/feel diversity next time you say hallo to a new college, you might read a report with CO2 emissions being cut or you might enjoy a vegan meal at the next conference. Or maybe your company will win the prize of the best sustainability report, effort or change makers within their industry. The sky has no limit of what you can do to create impact you just have to start! Good luck!

What do I do?

I’m a sustainability consultant, but what do I really do? At my channels you can read about everything from yoga, mediation to sustainable fashion and living. In this video I'‘ll explain to you what I do and the different roles I have in my life. Sustainability is everything for me and it includes so many aspects. Most importantly, can we work and collaborate together to create more impact?

What to listen to - the podcasts

Photo: Louise Gripenberg

Photo: Louise Gripenberg

I am continuing with my series on how to learn more about sustainability and how to educate yourself on the topic. In recent posts I mentioned some of my favourite programs from the Swedish public radio and other ways to keep yourself updated.

This post is all about the podcasts. The podcast jungle has grown huge the last few years (while the real ones we are more dependent on have not). It can be hard to navigate and honestly, I am not big fan of podcast if I am not convinced I will learn something new (which I cannot know if I do not listen of course).

Here is a list of the ones related to sustainability I believe you should follow. Some I am listening to frequently and some have been recommended by others:

English:

Faces of Food - by Eat Foundation on how to transform food systems for people and the planet, available on Spotify.

Take Action Talks - some episodes in English but most in Swedish. Interviews with specialists and people engaged in different sustainability topics.

Podship Earth - Jared Blumenfeld are one of the leading environmentalists in the U.S.A and have worked for Barack Obama.. worth listening to, available on Spotify.

Green Dreamer - the podcast and multimedia journal illuminating our paths to ecological regeneration, intersectional sustainability, and true abundance and wellness for all. Available on Spotify.


Swedish (all available on Spotify):

Tillväxtparadigmet - by Hannes Anagrius about economic growth and systems and how it relates to sustainability.

Miljöpodden - by Ahmed Al-Qassam & Fanny Jönsson on topics related to environmental science such as climate change and renewable energy.

Hållklarhetspodden - by Food Pharmacy on how to live a more sustainable life.

Slow Fashion - by Johanna Nilsson about sustainable fashion.

Hållbarhetsprofil podcast - by Amanda Borneke. She’s having conversations with inspiring people in the field of sustainability.

Solcellskollens podcast - by Solcellskollen on renewable energy.

#Vi är maträddarna - en hållbarhetspodcast - by Dumpsterdivan on food waste, dumpster diving, environment and sustainability.

Vägen Mot Paradiset - by Johannes Cullberg, the entrepreneur and founder of the food chain Paradiset. He is having conversation with scientists, leaders and athletes on sustainability and food.

Steg för Steg - Inspiration för en hållbar livsstil - By Sustainability Influencers (founded by Tess Waltenburg). A podcast with interviews of inspiring people and influencer about sustainable living.

Fanny och Ila- Hållbar livsstil och holistisk hälsa - By Fanny and Ila (Morotsliv) about sustainable lifestyle and holistic health. No pointers, close to laughter!

I would love to get your tips on podcasts related to sustainable development, especially from other countries and in english! Please, send me an e-mail.

The Art of Happiness

If you want to save the world, you have the save yourself first. For me global sustainable development goes hand in hand with personal development. This subject might not interest you but for those who have experienced a lot of suffering in their lives, and who wants to live a more happy life, should listen. I used to live in darkness while being depressed and happiness was something I chose to become. Not only happier but the happiest version of myself I could possibly be. Today I’m doing very well but I can see that a lot of people around me are struggling. I hope this will inspire you to work on your happiness too!

You can follow my page on YouTube if you want to watch my talks about personal growth, sustainability and happiness.

Listen and learn - the 4 most important radio programs

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I believe people tend to be more concern about their personal opinions being challenged instead of being concern about their personal opinions being wrong. When I say wrong, I mean not based on facts, logic or reason. For example, I might believe that veganism is good for the world and the most sustainable diet. I have chosen to become vegan and I promote it on my networks. I’m so convinced that I’m not willing to listen to research showing that on landscapes in Sweden where there are grassing animals there is a high biodiversity. I claim those research to be wrong and say that animals in Sweden do not grass, they mostly live their lives in cages. The problem here is that instead of acknowledging the scientific fact and say that it might be true that grassing animals are good for biodiveristy, currently not all animals grass. Even if they did the question is if there is enough land for all animals to grass? And if that is the case, who says they need to be eaten or used to supply food. Do we not have grassing horses that keep the landscapes open without being slaughter? That would be a more rational way to challenge the conclusion based on a research of biodiversity without changing your position about veganism. Science says grassing animals are good for biodiversity, human social and economic system makes the conclusion that some meat in the diet is good for the planet.

But that’s not really what I wanted to write about. This post is based on the previous one about knowing the facts and educate yourself. So here comes a little story:

When I started my bachelor studies in Peace and development at Linnaeus University I had a professor who has been working his whole life with humanitarian aid and development. He was in expert in all kinds of development issues and well educated in topics such as philosophy, politics and economics. He knew a little thing about everything. He knew the theories and he knew how to work on the field with humans, especially in Mozambique. Sometimes he spoke loudly about his concerns for our global world, “are we really developing or is everything just going in cycles?”

He was very passionated about his work to educate new students about what he learned so far. I will never forget that day when he the week before had recommended all the students in the classroom (probably 80 sitting in the aula) to listen to four radio programs at the Swedish public radio. The week before people had nod their heads, written the four programs down and now he asked who among us had been listen to them. The room when silent and he looked around seriously. He wondered again who had listen to them and short after I raised my hand. I was the only one. He went angry and asked his student why they do not take his advice and why they have not listen to the programs? Are you not serious about your studies? This is not the only place you have to learn about the world you also have to keep yourself updated about important topics! I can still hear the sound of his voice and after that day I promised to take any advice from any professor regarding where too find information. I took his advice and I have the last eight years probably listen to 80% of all the episodes these four programs has produced since then.

What programs? For swedish listeners:

Godmorgon, Världen!

Filosofiska rummer

Konflikt

Ekonomiekot

Of course these are not the only good programs the Swedish public radio have, I also listen to Klotet i Vetenskapsradion, Kropp & Själv, Människor och tro, P3 Dokumentär, Sommar & Vinter i P1, Teologiska rummet, Vetandets värld, and Vetenskapsradion Historia among others. Not all episodes of course, the four ones mentioned above are still my priority.

I normally listen when I am transporting myself or when I am exercising. I like the idea of educating myself while becoming stronger, faster and healthier. A better holistic version of me.

Will you take my advice and listen?

Educate yourself

Photo: Some of my books at home

Photo: Some of my books at home

In one of my previous posts I wrote about Ways to change the world and I promised I would dig more into these areas on how you can take action towards a more sustainable world. Before one start to make changes in their daily life or become an advocate for sustainability, one must know the facts. Sustainable development is a very big topic and it includes many different aspects. Sustainable development could be anything from global fish trends and the right policy making to regulate those, to local urban bee farming in Sweden or gender equality in the finance sector. To know everything about everything, is impossible. You must find what interests you the most.

However, there are some fundamental things I think anyone who talks about sustainability should keep on eye on and that is; the climate crisis, environmental trends or changes, general global social development and the world economy.

How do you keep yourself updated? In five ways I believe (except “normal news” which you should watch less):

  • Subscribe News Letters from organisations/research centre’s such as Amnesty, Red Cross, Greenpeace, Future Earth, Ellen Macarthur Foundation, AI Sustainability Centre, UN organisations and so on. I’m also following several scientific papers and get updates from Mendeley. For swedish speakers I believe Omvärlden and Aktuellt Hållbarhet are the basic musts.

  • Read proper reports and scientific papers. If you are into social media you’ll probably easy get news about latest report and significant reserach within the field. But you also get people’s opinion about them. Go back to the source and get your own opinion before taking in everyone else. An example would be Living Report by WWF, it’s so easy to read, there’s no reason not to read it yourself.

  • Listen to podcasts, the radio and watch documentaries. However, I would say prioritise public radio if you live in a functioning democratic society. The journalists there have done proper training and are much better at reporting from different perspectives compared to if you just go for Netflix. You’ll get my favourite channels in another post.

  • Read books. Okey, this one is probably among the most important ones. It might not provide you with latest news but it will give you stories with higher quality. To write a book is a much harder work than a twitter sentence and to be able to publish and be trust worthing, in most cases, you actually need to be someone that has knowledge about the topic. I’ll suggest you to read the books of Yuval Harari and Naomi Klien. I think I’ll write a post just about books too since this one is very important.

  • Follow the work of certain researchers (and on social media). I believe far to many people are following people who are not professionals in the area. It’s great that all these sustainable living influencers are coming up and activists that take more space in media. But they are not experts in the field and tend to promote whatever they believe is true, good or right. To actually know what’s better for the world you need to create you own idea based on facts provided by science. You could follow Johan Rockström, Kate Raworth, Johan Kuylenstierna, Victor Galaz, Will Steffen, Line Gordon, Jeffrey Sachs and Sarah Cornell (some of them you’ll find on Twitter), to mention a few. Stockholm Resilience Centre also has a list of female scientists. I would also suggest you to do a diversity analysis of your sources so you get science from all over the world (on my list of things to improve since most of the ones I’m following are from Sweden or western countries).

Get started, do some research, subscribe, follow and let yourself be educated. How to manage? Spend less time on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and watching series on Netflix. Change your source of information from low quality to high quality.

Data more valuable than oil - what should we really care about?

Photo:  Imdb

Photo: Imdb

In 2017 The economist published an article with the sentence; The world’s most valuable resource is no longer oil, but data and I heard or read this statement in many other occasions and on social media. Is it true, is Data the gold of our time? I guess it depends on who you ask. Some would argue that the value of the largest companies in the world such as Amazons, Google, Facebook, Apple and Microsoft, proves it. Others argue that data and oil have very different properties as a recourse and should therefore not be compared in such manners. Data is infinite, you can use data in one area and the same kind of data can be useful in another. Oil when used as plastic can in the best cases be recycled a few times. Data is therefore better compared with renewable energy such as wind power since data might even solve some of our largest problems, not causing a major environmental crisis, such as the use of oil has.

Regardless of what is true, the role of data in the field of sustainability, I believe, is too often ignored. There are pioneer work where data is seen as a tool and method to reach several of the Global Goals. In health (Goal 3), data can be used to map peoples searches on their phone to predict spread of diseases, sensors connected to water pumps (Goal 6) can track access to water and connecting rainforests (Goal 15) to the web, can send real time alerts on illegal deforestation. To use data in sustainable development can create change on a much quicker, efficient and accurate way.

However, there are of course some challenges when it comes to Big Data, AI and Internet of Things. My concerns are:

  • The monopoly and highly screwed market in which the technology is developed

  • The lack of transparency of these business models

  • The lack of ownership, security and privacy

If I only had to write about the short-comings of using data for sustainability, I guess that would be a very good place because we’re not there. At the moment we’re in a situation where data is so highly valued, so unregulated and so many people being so unaware that I don’t know where to start.

Have you watched the documentary The Great Hack (you’ll find it on Netflix)? If you have, you know what I’m talking about. The way Facebook data has been used by Cambridge Analytica to target certain American voters suiting their profile of being “insecure” in the last presidential election, is highly worrying. Because what this implies is that there are no such thing as free elections. Maybe there have never been free elections since there has always been propaganda trying to change people’s minds. But at this scale, this accurate and with this speed? That’s something we have never experienced before. Your mind is already being hacked and it’s going to get worse.

So how does this relate to data being more valuable than oil. Because sometimes we tend to focus on the thing causing problems, such as use of oil causing higher levels of carbon in the atmosphere resulting in climate change. The logic here is to stop using anything produced by oil and tell people to live more climate friendly. But we neglect the areas which could actually lead to a quicker change. If you really want to tackle climate change, the most efficient way is to change policies. How do you change policies? You have a government prioritising actions to transform their carbon dependent society. How do you get that kind of government? In a democracy, you vote for them.

How will people vote for climate-friendly policies when they’re being exposed to communication adressing their fear center telling them they have other things to vote for - such as not losing their job? Think a moment, do you really believe that a large group of people are actually racists, don’t care about the climate and believes in nationalism á la the 19th century? Or can it be that most people just want to have good lives, probably would say they see humans as equals and think a nice environment is a good thing? I believe so. But when it comes to voting and their own lives are at risk, they’ll vote for what’s gives them a quick solution. This is where their data is being used, to nudge them into voting for right-wing parties.

All this might sound as some kind of conspiracy theory, but the documentary shows a true-case where this is actually happening. And even if you disagree and believe I’m taking it to far - wouldn't it be interesting to see how many extreme right wing political parties are buying these services? To be fair, other political parties should be included too in the research. It’s an important question to ask because even if humanity has always had the philosophical debate about freedom of choice we’re suddenly in a situation where that freedom might be non-existing. If not us, who are into sustainable development, takes the debate, we might risk creating a world run by governments neglecting this planet’s capacity to sustain us and its peoples fundamental human rights.

Data might not be more valuable than oil, but surely it can be far more dangerous.

Weekly Read

My suggestion for this week primarily focuses on two things; The EVolution Show and the IPCC Special Report for policy makers on Climate Change and Land (SRCCL) launched this week.

Johan Landgrens new show EVolution Channel has quickly become one of my favourite sources for information and inspiration in sustainability matters. The show that primarily focuses on energy recently launched three episodes on global energy trends. Mikael Höök, from Uppsala University, is very knowledgable on the topic and will provide you statistics and trends on oil, gas, energy and trade. I especially enjoyed the episode on China since I’ve recently been there.

Photo:  WMO

Photo: WMO

My second suggestion is to read, at least the summary, of the latest IPCC report. The intergovernmental planet on climate change is the world body for assessing the state of scientific knowledge related to climate change. This report is the first one taking a global look at the land-climate system and having more than half of their scientific authors from developing countries. The report discusses both how the use of land, such as agriculture and forestry are impacting the climate but also how the change in climate are impacting areas such as food security. The report clearly states that we have to change the way we use land, conserving more land for biodiversity, transit to sustainable farming and last but not least change our diet towards a more plant based one.

You can download the whole report here!

Agriculture, forestry and other types of land use account for 23% of human greenhouse gas emissions. At the same time natural land processes absorb carbon dioxide equivalent to almost a third of carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels and industry
— Jim Skea, Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group III

Ways to change the world

Photo: Last year (2018) climate march in Stockholm, by  Cacaosana

Photo: Last year (2018) climate march in Stockholm, by Cacaosana

The theme of this blog - Take Action - comes from my passion to inspire more people to get involved in sustainable development. I believe all of us can contribute to a better world and by doing so we’ll also feel better. By sharing our passion and inspire each other that doing good also results in being good, the burden, often felt when reading about sustainable development, is being shared.

There are many ways to work with sustainable development. I still believe development is necessary, since humanity is far away, in my opinion, from reaching it’s true potential as a species. The reason why I write “sustainable..” is that the current global society is not existing within the planetary boundaries or easily said, not according to earth systems capacity to sustain us. I’ll write more about what sustainable development is in another post and I’ll get back to how you can make an impact.

If you look at yourself and the way you interact with your surroundings you’ll realise this is done in several ways. I’ll write down the ones I personally experience in my life and if you have any suggestions of other ways, please make a comment and share your insights.

  • Personal relationships - this can be a partner, family, friends or your network

  • Professional relationships - this can be colleagues at work, your doctor, your hairdresser or other people you interact with

  • Voter - if you live in a democracy you participate in elections maybe on local, regional or national scale

  • Worker - this relates to your profession and what you do for living

  • Consumer - what products or services you buy

  • Volunteer - this is similar as the worker except the fact that you don’t make a living of it

  • Freedom of speech - how you use your ability to speak up on platforms available to you

  • Investor - related to your pension, your capital and the funds you have

  • Donator - this is the money you give away

These are the areas, the roles, where you can make an impact and I’ll now write down how you can view sustainability and make changes in different sustainability aspects. Sustainability rests on three pillars; enviromental, social and economic (while some would argue there’s a fourth mostly labelled as cultural). What one must understand is that these are not three equal, replaceable or exchangeable areas. They are dependent and interacting but sustainability is where the environmental pillar sets the framework, the social is embedded within it while the economy is embedded within the social. Today, most scholars would argue that current systems has it the other way around. First comes economy, then social and last the environmental. Here are just a few common sustainability aspects and if you have other suggestions please comment and give your tips.

Environment:

  • Climate change

  • Biodiversity loss

  • Plastic pollution

  • Chemical pollutions

Social:

  • Gender equality

  • Human diversity

  • Education

  • Health

  • Peace and justice

  • Security and safety

Economic:

  • Innovation

  • Trade

  • Equal share of resources

  • Secured income

  • Circularity

  • Long-term resilience

For someone who really wants to live sustainable and make an impact in all areas, you would have to analyse each and every one of the above mentioned roles. Focus on the areas where you get the fastest and largest reduction in your environmental footprint. Then you would view your life and the choices you make from the social and at last the economical. In reality, is not that easy and from a human society perspective to put all the social and economic on the side for maximising the environmental would probably not be so successful. Our society is so far away from being within the planetary boundaries and the environmental ceiling that you would probably have to leave a comfortable life in western style and be self sustainable on a piece of land. But then you might lose the opportunity to make changes in other areas of your life.

What I would suggest you to do is to start to learn about sustainability and find which topic that interest you the most. Then you’ll seek ways to make changes in your different roles. For example when it comes to climate change, start by talking about it with your close ones, how do they feel about it? Are they aware? Start to read about different political parties stand on climate change and what policies they want to create to deal with the crisis. Then you can ask at work what your company, organisation etc. are doing to reduce their impact on the climate and how your work can create higher awareness of the crisis. You can ask whenever you’re in the store or going by transport how that particular company are transiting towards clean energy. You can also change your job (or start your own climate-solution-business?), or search for a volunteer opportunity or participate in climate demonstrations. With freedom of speech you can share documentaries (or make one yourself) on social media, write an article for your local newspaper or start following people that inspires you. As a consumer you can change the way you travel, eat and consume clothes. Divest in fossils by asking your bank about fossil free funds. And don’t underestimate the importance of donating money to organisations working in different ways with climate change. Further, if you have the capital, why not invest in clean energy or more sustainable food options?

Remember that regardless if you are passionate about social issues or environmental, they are mostly integrated and seldom they stand against each other. But sometimes they do. Should I buy fair trade certified honey from a women’s cooperative in Kenya or the local honey in Sweden? Should I vote for the party that call themselves feminists or the ones saying that they want to regulate use of chemicals in clothes? Should I go vegan or eat a diverse diet on local food? Should I change my job, or stay and use my spare time for volunteering?

What you do and how you do it is not so important. You don’t have to change everything, everywhere, at the same time. You can start in areas you’re mostly interested in, is it food, travels or clothes? What inspires you and what would you like to learn more about?

If you choose to be engaged in the rights of animals and people criticising you for not caring about children or organic farming. Well, one thing doesn’t mean that you don’t care about the other. Tell them, at least you have chosen something. At least you care. At least you try to do something, somewhere and that’s far better then doing nothing at all.

We have to start valuing people higher that takes a stand and choose to engage instead of blaming each other for not doing enough. When we do that we encouraging the people who haven’t decide to change to remain in their comfort zone.

More about different areas of change making in the upcoming days. For now, evaluate the areas in your life in relation to the sustainability aspects and ask yourself what will be your next area of change making?

Trans Siberian Railway - how to go from Sweden to China by train

A few days ago I got back from three weeks of traveling from Sweden all the way to China - by train. It’s been on list of journeys to do for a long time. Since several people have been writing to me on Instagram -asking about how to do it, I decided to talk about it at my next YouTube episode. You’ll get a few tips on what to think about regarding all the practical matters such as planning the journey, booking the trip and when to go.

You’re more than welcome to write if you have further questions. I didn’t do this trip because I believe it’s sustainable - but I do believe more examples are needed on how to travel by land if we want to change people’s behaviour. This journey have been amazing beyond words. I highly recommend all of you to do trips far away by train.

Weekly read

If you want to become a change maker, you need a better outlook on how the world looks like. On of my favourite routines is to collect articles over the week that I normally read in the weekend.

Here’s my first blog post about my weekly reads. Every Sunday from now I will share with you articles about human wellbeing and sustainable development I think is worth reading. If you want a more regular update you can also follow my Facebook Page.

The Diet That Might Cure Depression by Olga Khazan

Published in the Atlantic this article is about the lastest science on how a better diet, with whole-grain, fruit and vegetables can play a role against depression. I’m very interested in the way food relates to health and the more research showing the advantage of a diet mainly being plant based the more reasons to change our diets. We already know the benefits of a planet based diet in relation to tackling climate change so the stronger evidence for health benefits, the stronger the incentives to create new policies.

Has humanity reached “peak intelligence”? by David Robson

Published in BBC Future the article takes an holistic perspective on intelligence. It starts with an introduction of the historical research and concerns about the drop of IQ in many societies, the reasons behind it but also biases on IQ, such as critical thinking or rationality. Just the sentence “The cleaner our fuels, the smarter we became” makes it worth reading. Or this one: “.. a lack of rationality and critical thinking can explain why financial fraud is still commonplace, and the reason that millions of people dish out money on quack medicines or take unnecessary health risks”. In the era of AI it’s more important then ever to understand human intelligence and the development of our capacity to think clearly for our own benefit as a specie.

Warren Buffett Says This 1 Simple Habit Separates Successful People From Everyone Else by Marcel Schwantes

Published directly on Pocket. Yes, I love reading “what rich/successful people do”. Not because I necessarily want to be rich, no, I want to make the world a better place and that’s success for me. I love reading them because they’re normally short but consist of wisdom. This articles talks about the importance of saying no, the importance of focus and a good exercise on how to find your most urgent goals.

One of the world’s most influential economists is on a mission to save capitalism from itself by Eshe Nilson

Published in Quarts this article is about the economist Mariana Mazzucato and her work. It’s an interesting read though we know that capitalism is dominating the world economy and has served us well, but also, especially in the lens of inequality and the climate crisis, has it’s shortcomings. Mariana wants to move beyond ideologies and are not interested in any of that sort. Rather, how to reshape economics and mainly capitalism since she still believed it has its role to play. In time of urgent action, her ideas are realistic ones that could help us to solve major issues.

The problem of mindfulness by Sahanika Ratnayake

I might not agree with the author completely but I think it’s very wise to extinguish western trends of mindfulness from buddhist teaching. Also the paradox of knowing yourself in relation to the insight of there is no self. Interesting read for anyone who has ever tried or thinking about trying meditation.

Turn off your phone, notifications on your computer and spend some time to focus on proper reading. It’s good for your mind. Enjoy.

You want to save the world? Have a second thought before taking action

I grew up with the idea that I'm going to save the world. That will be my job as an audult. No one told me, from what I can remember, that it’s my destiny to do so, I clearly chose it to be my path. There’s several issues with that statement. The first thing is that the world doesn’t need to be saved. And this doesn’t come from someone who doesn’t believe in climate change, rather the opposite, this comes from someone who separates scientific facts with morality and actions. What I mean is that “the world” includes a lot of things and all of it doesn't need to be saved. Rather we could wish that some of it would be better off. By taking climate change as an example, it’s clear that it would be beneficial for humankind to do everything we can to stop the realise of greenhouse gases and invest in carbon offset innovations, technologies and environmental practices such as planting trees. So who needs to be saved? Humans of course. Some might argue the thousands of species being extinct due to climate change also needs to be saved, but why would humans care? The obvious answer is that we like the idea of tigers in the djungel, elephants on the savannah and bees in our garden but the most rational answer would be; for our own survival. It’s cheaper and less risky to let ecosystem serve humanity as it has during the last 10 000 of years then inventing technologies that will replace them (even though I doubt humanity has enough knowledge to create such advanced systems). If climate change needs to be dealt with, and thousands of species, and not to mentioned all the social and economic issues, why can’t we say that the world needs to be saved? For something to be saved it needs to be saved from something. If you look at it, this means humans. We are the creators of all these issues so what what really needs to be saved from what? My conclusion is that humans should then save themselves from themselves. And you still believe you want to be that person that saves humanity from themselves? So how to do that? The obvious answer is saving yourself. What you really say is that you want to save yourself - and from what? From yourself of course. If you have reached that conclusion but still wondering - what about climate change? Well, you’re being a part of it every single day and you participate in the system creating this huge error in beneficial development for humankind. Some of you might say that you don’t care about humans, all you care are about is animals, then have a second look at the hierarchy among species and see who’s in charge. You might acknowledge this and still want to save the animals from humans, then you probably have a better chance of helping animals by helping humans.

So before you go on your mission to save the world. Acknowledge that the world doesn’t need to be saved, it needs to be changed (if you have ideas of what to be good otherwise I would say that even the word “need” is not really valid) and change is happening rather if we consciously participate or not. So you can chose to do your best to contribute to a change that you might find beneficial for animals, humans, both or nature (regardless if you view humans as a part of nature or not). How to create a better world then?

Well that’s for another post.