Last week Alan Moore and Giles Hutchins led a weeks course on ‘The Radical Redesign of Business’ for international participants at Schumacher College as part of the three week Enterprising Futures course.
The course explores the rapidly changing world of enterprise forms and models, helping to make sense of the revolution currently sweeping through the ways in which we do business. Information technologies are permitting the emergence of more dispersed, distributed and localized forms of enterprise and facilitating a resurgence in cooperative models. In parallel, many large-scale businesses are explicitly looking to nature as their model and mentor for the development of new technologies and forms of organization. New, dynamic and innovative partnerships are emerging involving multiple stakeholders – large-scale business, social enterprise, charities and the state – in the delivery of goods and services of true social and environmental, as well as economic benefit. The course explores all these trends and provides the tools to would-be social entrepreneurs seeking to create their own initiatives.
Here is Alan Moore’s take on the first week of the course:
I was co-teaching with my good friend Giles Hutchins The Radical Re-Design of Business. A cohort of 20 people from around the world came to explore how we might create enterprises of the future. What they would like, how they might operate and how they might be funded.
Presenting the 6 principles of No Straight Lines and discussing them in some depth with the group was immensely enjoyable. The teaching of transformational business and enterprise and helping the group translate that knowledge into their own world views and perspectives, sometimes with a little fun and creativity was rewarding.
A photo of Dr Stephan Harding teaching on Dartmoor
Tim Crabtree brought a very special way of opening each session, that brought space for our hands, hearts and minds to rest to become open and ready to engage with the days events. The walk on Dartmoor with Dr Stephan Harding, Resident Ecologist and MSc Co-ordinator is something that I will remember and I reflected as I lay on my back on Dartmoor with my eyes closed that this was without doubt a memorable experience.
Giles was a great travelling companion and partner. His work on leadership was thought provoking for us all causing many to stop and reflect mindfully on what leadership truly is.
Robin de Carteret was a wonderful and generous facilitator. I left feeling I had meet 20 strangers, and made 20 friends. Discussing with leaders from Brazil the challenges and opportunities they face excited me with the possibility of returning to Latin America. Chile and Brazil are on my mind. There is no doubt Schumacher has real spiritual energy and connects us deeply to ourselves and the world around us. We need more of what Schumacher has to offer us if we want to live in a more sustainable world.
A photo of some participants discussing leadership at Schumacher
So it was a privilege teaching, and I hope that I get the opportunity to do it again. We need to navigate from our linear world which currently is not serving us as individuals or as a society nor even economically to a non-linear world – a better post-industrial future. That offers new viable alternatives for the ways that, in the past, our societies, economies and organisations were run. These alternative ways produce outcomes that are more humane, regenerative, sustainable, redistributive of wealth, ideas and resources.
Here is some feedback from one of the participants from Brazil:
The first week had Giles Hutchins and Alan Moore as teachers, two generous teachers! Very friendly and kind, simple people with great heart and mind. And to my surprise they talked about things that have been in my mind for quite a long time: purpose, values, communication, language, the meaning of leadership, how to engage people, and so on…
For the first time in my life I caught myself thinking that I could start my own business, not alone of course, but with friends that share the same values and purpose, that are driven by the same desire to change things in a way that is inspired by Nature and Beauty. A business to help others be more open to different ways of learning, different ways of seeing, becoming more connected with their inner self, that are connected with their true sense of purpose.
And then I think I’ve started to understand why so many friends say that I am an ‘entrepreneur’ type of person. For me that word was always related with the idea of ‘being someone good in setting up business and make money’, but after this week with Giles and Alan, I believe it is something different, something more to do with realising my dreams.
My friends also say that I’m a good leader too, and quite a few people say that I’m doing a good job as Senior Volunteer at Schumacher. I must confess that I have a hard time to see it, but if a good leader is ‘someone who has a very clear purpose of what drives him/her’, as someone said during that week, then this is something that I do know I have… I really need to work a lot on my ability to follow as part of leading, as a good leader should also be able to ‘follow’, to ‘be flexible’, and to ‘serve’ .
To finish, I want to share this quote that Giles used to start one of his class:
‘Learn how to see. Realize that everything connects to everything else.’ (Leonardo da Vinci)
What an amazing experience! What and amazing week! New friends, new learning, new ideas, new dreams… What can be better?
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View a short video clip on business inspired by nature here