maandag, juni 8, 2020

Due to the intelligent lockdown the team 'Buro EU' had to cancel the meetings to listen to young people at school, on the streets and in parks this spring. Instead we have asked some of them to share their points of view about the sustainability. Please read here below the first blog of Anubhav Kandpal, founder of Conscious Kitchen in The Hague.


MindrootsSustainability is a mindset

For a long time, sustainability has been associated with words such as ‘green’, ‘eco’ and mostly with concepts and images of nature, forests and landscapes and more often than not with the plant world and the animal kingdom. It’s absolutely true that the impact we as a species have had on the Earth has not been positive and does not, in any way, look sustainable.

Waking up one sunny day, I look out at the world and wonder, ‘How did it come to this’ and then I might try to point a finger in every direction trying to place blame or find a culprit. But when pointing a finger at someone else, I humbly remember that four fingers are pointing right back at me. So, how did the world come to this? We did it.

Following the Systems Approach(1), which was pioneered by Fritjof Capra and Francisco Varela (among others) in the 80s – Our world is an interconnected organism, which also means it needs to be treated as such. We all breathe the same air, it knows no national boundaries. The same water, through the water cycle, reaches us in all its different forms wherever we are in the world. Economically the 2008 financial crisis gave a very clear picture of how interconnected the world’s markets are and currently with COVID-19, we get a sharp reminder.

Slowly our current issues are taking us beyond our national boundaries and is leading nations to cooperate with each other. It is happening on a small scale such as Germany offering IC beds to their neighbouring countries for COVID-19 patients, which gives me hope. It’s about thinking globally and realising that we need to make this step to a sustainable world together. Because the world is far too small for all our egos but yet big enough for all our hearts. We need to connect to our hearts because in my opinion that is an example of sustainability that’s close to home. The heart connects to all parts of your body and carries the task providing oxygen & nutrients to all cells and to remove waste. It keeps our body ‘system’ functioning, keeps on beating, day in day out.

Sustainability means our ability to sustain the world we have today and to be able to adapt it to the challenges of tomorrow. I believe our current challenges can be solved in the future by organisations and institutions which have the ability to bring together people and move resources towards achieving a common goal. Thus, we need to aim for our structures to empower flexibility, creativity and resilience and to recognize the living networks already existing within our organisations and institutions.

In the end, to be able to create and preserve these transformative structures which serve the wellbeing of our planet’s system, including all its living parts, I believe it is time to develop the mindset of sustainability as a mindset. The small activities that come from this mindset are wonderful like separating the trash, saving water where possible, trying to eat healthy and plant based more often and caring for the community I’m part of. But it’s the mindset of sustainability, involving an awareness of the interconnectivity of all things that I try to connect to everyday and these are the activities that it inspires and sustains.

Can the actions lead to the mindset? I believe they can, however these actions could become an end in themselves. While I believe that it’s the mindset, the perspective of interconnectivity, that determines which actions are necessary depending on situation and context. Such a mindset of sustainability also embraces matters of social sustainability. How we deal with each other and how we sustain these structures that develop this vision and inspire each other with. Otherwise, who will convince the corrupt politician or a profit-driven industrialist to give up his greed, who will make the government official see past his apathy, who will make warring nations see that they were once united.

This world is ours, we come from it. In a way it is ours and, in a way, it can never be ours. We need to connect to the global mindset and see these connections which are not always apparent. We need to see that if we are not part of the solution, we are unknowingly part of the problem. Everything we do counts and small acts in the right direction can inspire people to act. And finally, we need to understand that we are all in it together not just as lone individuals but as members of a collective. This mindset builds the morality for all future actions.

Sustainability is a mindset.

Anubhav Kandpal


Anubhav KandpalBIO:

I’m Anubhav Kandpal, I work as a Consultant & Facilitator in Sustainable leadership, Systems thinking and co-founder & Director of Conscious Kitchen. Growing up in India, community has been a big part of my life and it is times like these that we need community the most. I decided Sustainability was important to me when I chose to write my Master’s thesis on Sustainability in Supply Chain Management. From there I went to working with smaller non-profits, setup a community owned packaging-free shop and then a youth led non-profit initiative – Conscious Kitchen. Each day, I try to understand how our world works a little better and it keeps me going to know that slowly we are all creating a better world together.