I suspect that, alongside others interested in Conscious Capitalism, I’ve been so busy watching the activities of Occupy Wall Street with its uprising of young liberals against the hardened moguls of Wall Street, that I’ve completely forgotten about our new generation of conscious leaders coming through. And then, hallelujah! – through my Google alerts arrives a link to a catalogue for Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado, Boulder, advertising a university programme for Socially Conscious Business Leaders. And what hits me right between the eyes is how young the people on the front page look. I feel positively ancient in comparison. And what hits me a moment later is – these leaders are our future! I’ve been guilty of wracking my brains on how to shift the mindsets and consciousness of existing, powerful leaders and, sure, that’s very important because we need change now not at some distant point in the future, but let’s not forget the hoards of business graduates coming through the ranks who are potential conscious leaders in the making. Conscious leadership is as much about the making of new leaders as it is about transforming existing ones.
I see that John Mackey, Raj Sisodia and others from the Conscious Capitalism Institute regularly talk to graduates in business schools – and I believe we can take this so much wider. Wouldn’t it be great if business schools in every university across the globe included Conscious Capitalism in their curriculum? If it were seen not as some quaint ‘alternative’ to traditional economic theory, but as the real, preferred future for business practice?
Some of modules that the graduates at the Leeds School of Business receive are: Exercises in Moral Courage (yes!); Learning through Service (awesome); and Sustainable Operations (oh yes). This is exactly the kind of education that the new generation of leaders needs – and more. Conscious Leadership is still in its infancy. We need all the development and thought leadership we can get if it is to take root in the mainstream of business graduates entering the world of capitalism and forming our future.
Leeds School of Business also hosts the Conscious Capitalism conference. Come to think of it, I’ve begun to notice that Boulder, Colorado seems to be a hotspot for conscious business thought leadership. Boulder appears regularly in Google alerts in relation to Conscious Capitalism activity. Even Sounds True, the publishers of choice for conscious capitalists like John Mackey, Patricia Aburdene and Fred Kofman is based there.
Another promising, related link arrived via the Corporate Social Responsibility Newswire. This one was entitled ‘The launch of Conscious Box’. Conscious Box is a monthly subscription service of eco-friendly, fair trade, organic goods. Fair enough. But what caught my eye was this: “The creators, Jameson Morris, 23, Jesse Richardson, 21, and Bjorn Borstelmann, 23, seek to connect subscribers with both small and large purpose-driven businesses working to make a difference on environmental and social levels. ‘At Conscious Box, we aim to help people discover businesses and people that are working hard to make a difference in the world…With each purchase we make as consumers, we reflect our core values. Here at Conscious Box, we’d like to see those values align with authenticity, not greenwashing or unsustainable business practices,” said the team. “It can be hard to find that business with the highest quality products and ethics – we hope Conscious Box can make it easier.'”
21, 23 and 23, huh? Suddenly I feel uplifted. If these are the kinds of leaders and entrepreneurs coming through the ranks of the next generation, I think we’re in for a promising future.
I might even move to Boulder.