Courage to Dare – a choice and opportunity to make a difference and to ‘act for life’
After having spent a week back in Denmark after my attendance at the “Zermatt Summit – Humanizing Globalization” I have the whole time had the conference in the back of my mind, processing all the inspiring impressions. This year the theme of the conference was ‘Courage to Dare’.
Christoffer Wasserman – Founder of the Zermatt Summit
This was my 3rd year as Danish representative and every year I am reminded and supported in my view that ‘there is an urgent need in the world to replace the old paradigm of greed and welcome instead visionary change’.
Inspiring speakers shared their stories of how they had dared to make a difference, some even risking the safety of their lives, and all participants from around the world was invited for the same reason – all game-changers wanting to make a positive impact and most certainly all have ‘the courage to dare’ to make a difference. In an ideal world we would all be considered normal – not avant-garde as journalists call us, we would not be asked constantly ‘how dare you or what drives you?’. Because all we do is to combine what we do and choose to combine it with the ‘act for life’.
All participants and speakers come from different fields of business and like everyone else they are making a living and participating in creating growth and/or support for people in their countries and the world and have great success in their different areas of lives. What was different in this group than most business settings is that they combine what they do with creating a better world – being aware of their choices and the impact they can create in the world we are living in for a ‘common good’. For me personally it was a great atmosphere at the summit of daring to speak about growth, finance and humanity at the same time – and the fact that it can all co-exist. As I write in my book The Treasure: How to Change the World:
“There is an urgent need in the world to replace the old paradigm of greed and welcome instead visionary change to create a positive impact as we go about in our daily business. This way we are supporting the society we live in and still earning an acceptable return on investment. In quantum physics, equal attracts equal, so by investing in life, we will always attract solutions to expand our life force by creating growth with new innovative solutions. There is a choice and opportunity to act differently from how we did before.”
Jochen Zeits Co-Founder of the B-Team and Hisham El Sherif.
The conference itself I believe to be a spiritual version of Davos – very forward thinking discussions on growth from the development of new leaders, how common good is essential in political leadership, positive journalism as it impacts our motivation and engagement, innovation for social and human development, servant leadership, the courage leaders need to challenge, capitalism and the purpose for business enterprise, empowering leaders for global change, and to encouragement of integrity and ethics in politics, business and civic organizations. In essence I am always surprised that we can continue to drive change compartmentalized from life it self – in my point of view life is what we are here for, what at least fulfill me – to do something meaningful that benefits the people I work with and surround myself with. It is fulfilling to have the opportunity to share the responsibility to support positive change, social and sustainable growth. And more than ever is it necessary.
In the below picture I am at a ‘casual’ evening function with the winner of the Social & Business Co-Creation Prize at the Zermatt Summit: Ana Bella Estevez, founder of the Ana Bella Foundation enabling abused women to empower themselves as global change makers and Ester Ezquerra, responsible for CSR from Danone. They won the competition with the co-creation of the project ANA BELLA SOCIAL SCHOOL FOR WOMEN EMPOWERMENT. This project is co-created by the Ana Bella Foundation, led by an Ashoka Fellow, and Danone. It aims at empowering women victims of domestic violence by creating useful and qualified jobs while providing a better performance for the company in promotion activities. Fact: 1/3 of women worldwide still suffer in abusing relationships, and this is just the official number. I sincerely hope that initiatives like the above and the many other impressing initiatives in the competition can help lowering numbers like above. Furthermore, I see an increase the awareness of the fact that the urgent need for co-creation and social enterprises is there now.
The greatness of these initiatives is that they create a ripple effect of inspirational energy for some to take the first steps in creating similar co-creation in there own areas. Secondly, many of those I spoke to at the conference felt similar to me that through these examples we are reassured and gained renewed strength to put the extra effort into our work to make a difference, not only for own benefit but for the good of all. Empowering more people in the world will also mean more demand, new jobs and completely new markets – it’s a win win creating hope and opportunities instead of greed and old ways trying to get more for a few that in the long run creates more desperation, more ego centric behavior and lack for everyone – dare to care and make a difference even though it might feel strenuous and hopeless. It is worth it in the long run.
An observation I made this year, the last day of the conference, was a change in energy – a more heavy energy surrounding the participants for a shorter while. Most participants – all leaders in their own countries and used to handle great challenges – I spoke to had experienced an unknown feeling of sadness, sorrow, or tiredness in their bodies. When I took my time to sense and interpret the energy it was clear to me that these amazing and inspiring people either on a conscious or sub-conscious level realized that also they had to do things differently, whether it was a rethink of process, communicating, financing, listening to that inner voice more or alike. The energies was picturing the group of 180 people more or less ready to let life go as they knew it, and to be guided towards new ways and living life fully while creating the results they wish for in the world. That experience was important and left me with a privileged feeling that a place like that exists so that great minds and souls can meet, recharge and find the courage and new solutions to take the next necessary steps also in our lives. After the walk-and-talk the last hours the energies was once again high and the participants were leaving, more inspired and light at heart – as almost healed by the summit itself to be ready for new chapters. This observation was of the energy, not the ambiance nor the content. The day was full of inspiration, network and professional presentations.
I feel privileged to once again this year having been invited for these 3 exciting and important days. The opportunity to act differently from how we did before is there – it is only a choice away.
Have the Courage to Dare and Dare to Care!
Best of energies
Christel Rosenkilde Christensen