A letter from ... Bernd Kolb, who founded the Club of Marrakesh to give impulses for a better world. Because the effect was not strong enough for him, he is now breaking new ground.
Our western world is a wonderful place that makes many things possible: a life in peace and prosperity, without existential worries, with a rich culture and sufficient space for the individual shaping of one's own life. Actually, everything's fine. Didn't I?
In fact, we pay a high price for this prosperity. We do not operate sustainably and use limited resources in abundance. In this way we destroy the natural foundations of mankind and nature in the long term. Just seeing, smelling, we don't feel all that. And we won't be able to taste this uncomfortable truth at all.
Awareness of this misguided development is already in the minds of decision-makers - but it has not yet sufficiently changed their actions. In the West, for example, only a few feel affected by the scarcity of resources. In fact, however, we are plundering our planet in such a way that we are feeling the first consequences, such as climate change. This year we had the warmest June since weather records began - globally. I often ask myself: Was will be in ten, 50 years if we continue like this?
The good news is: Wir doesn't just have to go on like this. It is in our power to find a balance between moderate and qualitatively sustainable consumption and true satisfaction. Then we can compensate again what we caused with our actions. Five years ago I therefore founded the Club of Marrakesh (private wealth, issue 04/2010). On an interdisciplinary platform, the best thinkers of the time will give impulses for intellectual renewal and use their expert knowledge to show where capital can be used most efficiently for sustainable problem solutions.
My interim assessment: We, the 30 Council members of the Club of Marrakesh and the many networked experts from all areas, have found in many discussions that there is a contradiction between knowledge and action. It is as if the decision-makers lack the wisdom to act in a sustainable and preserving manner - even though the knowledge of the undesirable developments that have become visible is proven daily by new studies.
Why is that? Something fundamental has been lost in our culture: the close connection with the wisdom traditions. I went on a search for clues and found what I was looking for. Some wise people in Bali, Burma, Thailand or Nepal still draw from these sources and have given me access. I have documented this in words and pictures on the expeditions of the last three years in order to share my personal experiences and insights from the point of view of a Western thoroughbred entrepreneur.
I would like to remind all decision-makers from business and politics that the pure economization of all actions neglects the most important aspect of life: the wise handling of the elementary connection between body, mind and soul.
The stock portfolio does not really secure the prosperity of the family for generations. The value of having loses its value if we fail to end climate change, pollution and the incredible suffering of many parts of the world's population. When people who bear responsibility expand their decisions to include the aspect of wisdom, they can move great and good things.
I know from my conversations with entrepreneurs that almost every one of them has the knowledge in him or herself where he or she could make more long-term and responsible decisions. And everyone knows about the great influence of their (investment) decisions on social development. Often only a small impulse is missing to act differently. I would like to give this impulse - with pictures and lived stories. So I wrote a book with some special people I got to know on my travels and called it "Atman". I hope that it will inspire you to rethink your inner attitude and then begin to think again and act sustainably. Each individual thus becomes part of the change that our world desperately needs. ®