By: Reiss Salustro
Even as I write this, I can recall my father's words "whatever you do I am proud of you, but whatever it is that you chose to do, that is down to you." As a young man in my teens I took very little time to process or understand his words. Leaving school with little direction or plan of what I wanted, or the potential impact if any I could have on the world.
Bouncing from job to job with a weighted sense of emptiness and confusion, enhanced by an implanted direction of what society wanted me to become, I made a decision to return to education. I enhanced my knowledge through study, reading for a BSc in Business Management. In turn, this directed education instilled in me the drive, direction and focus I believed I required.
Thrust now into a more corporate, white collar world it was not too long before the inevitable recurring patterns of loss of impact, purpose and direction emerged. Was this my impact on the world? Was this my personal legend?
Now my father's wise words became clear. I was now ever more aware that change and the understanding of my own personal legend required me to not look outward in search, but to look inward, achieving mindfulness and enlightenment on a personal level first. Fortified by encapsulating the philosophy from the likes of Paulo Coelho, this awakened me to understand 'a force that wants you to realise your personal legend' and a catalyst for my everyday drive in the formidable work of Robin Sharma, teaching me to lead without a title, to not become a prisoner of my past but the architect of my future.
To awaken my life's mission and focus my influence, channelling self-mastery to solidifying my 'moment of obligation' to bring change to our world through a journey of social entrepreneurship.
I do not claim to be a scientist neither a climatologist and if truth be told I probably do not bare the credentials to pen a piece on such a prestigious platform giving previous writers are inspiring leaders within their fields.
I'm a regular 28 year old guy transitioning from employee to entrepreneur, with a passion for our planet and environment. Working full time to self-fund and create impact ventures that bring about societal change and tangible solutions to some of the growing issues the world faces today.
Maybe that's enough for me to be here today. I believe that business should be a force of good, to act and operate in a way that enhances our lives and our planet, not escalate the problems we see today. Sustainability must evolve from a buzzword and become the foundation of business across the globe under an oath of Planet, People and Prosperity. It is us that holds the key to unlock the change we wish to see in the world through enterprise.
That inevitable decision must come now as an ever growing population is faced with finite resources from our planet. To this day 50% more natural resources were depleted than thirty years ago with a mere 20% of a global population consuming 80% of the world's resources. An endless list of increased landfill, waste, dwindling water supplies, unrecognisable landscapes, unstable climates and species pushed ever closer to extinction.
So you see, we must act immediately to collectively protect our home by shaping our ecological impact through building businesses that work and collaborate for the good of humanity and nature. This singlehandedly will change the world faster than any legislation can. These unprecedented issues are now too large in scale to be solved by any one actor be it individual, start up, corporation or government. The world must transition from a linear based economy to a more circular, resource based model. Instilling a collaborative global coalition of individuals, start-ups, corporations and governments. Unifying all industry and countries with one single common goal.
We must utilise and embrace our technological advancements to harness nature and our resources in an ethical and sustainable manner for mankind to continue to prosper. Just like my own journey has begun and a weighted sense that my journey will inspire others around the world.
It will be through education that we can seize the opportunity of enabling the platforms and funding for future agents of change a chance to spark tomorrow's pioneers of change that this world requires.
Most importantly, I will leave you with this. Strip away the businesses, the brands, economies etc, as human beings, as a species on our beautiful planet, we are merely a flash in time.... But our impact lasts forever!
Pioneers for Change is a seed-bed for innovative thought. An activator of personal potential. A catalyst for collective energy. A community to drive social change.
Our annual, international Fellowship is open to anyone aged 28 - 108 years old. We gather changemakers - a business person, a community person, an investor, a thinker or doer - who are willing to harness their talents, energy and resources as a force for good. 2016 dates available soon. Pioneers for Change is an initiative of Adessy Associates.
About Reiss Salustro:
Reiss is Co-Founder of start-up impact venture Enviromate, an innovative platform that offers a solution to waste in the construction industry. Enviromate, through an online marketplace, corporate internal platform and surplus donation element, offers the industry a tangible solution to re-use leftover material, increasing the product lifecycle, reducing landfill and decreasing the burden on the planet's natural resources.
Most recently Reiss, a final 5 nominee for the Guardian's Observer Ethical Awards - Green Briton of the Year has partnered with fellow social entrepreneurs and through Enviromate and Humantico plan a future of creating impact ventures and funding social entrepreneurship on a global scale.