The current insurgency of social enterprises is happening against a grim backdrop that weighs heavily on the hearts and minds of many. Our oceans are dying, the wealth gap is widening, suicide rates are increasing, economic growth is stalling, AI is displacing vast numbers of the workforce and species are becoming extinct.
Although educated about the causal factors, our addiction to consumerism, material wealth and convenience in our busy western society overrides the type of true decisive action required to really turn the tide. At the core, something is fundamentally missing.
It’s easy to ‘like’ a Facebook page educating us about the impact of plastics on our oceans, yet the very next morning pack a school lunch from which all purchased ingredients were packaged in plastic. It’s easy to take medication to manage symptoms and yet carry on working in an organisation that suppresses your sense of personal freedom and self worth.
It’s easy to design an ad campaign promoting your organisation’s philanthropy in a third world country, yet turn a blind eye to the devastating impact your operations have on your local community’s natural resources.
It seems we are in need of a new approach. A way forward that is practical and transformational, to help us navigate the much needed changes that will lead to a more harmonious, equitable and sustainable world.
‘Ecology’ is a soft science that deals with the relationship of organisms to one another and to their physical surroundings. ‘Consciousness’ is the state of being aware of and responsive to one's surroundings. Ecology Consciousness is a mindset and approach that when understood, and practically applied, has the capacity to guide us into the future and reveal solutions that lead to a world where everyone wins.
It recognises that our lives takes place in a series of dynamic, ever-changing ecosystems that require our constant care and attention. Relationship, family, community, business, social, economic, environmental, global and more. At it's core, Ecology Consciousness is about knowing the ecosystems you belong to, understanding their needs, recognising the role you play in meeting them, and then committing to making that happen.
It’s also about being aware of the impact you are having on your ecosystems at any given time. Be it positive, negative or neutral. Every thought, action or non action has a ripple effect out into the world. Being at work with this dynamic is Ecology Consciousness in action. A way to optimise the value you bring to the ecosystems you inhabit and the people who live within them.
The transformative power of an ecological mindset is that it has you in service, meeting the needs of the ecosystem and its people.
This is a shift away from a ‘what’s in it for me’ perspective that so often leads to win/lose or lose/lose situations.
Ecology Consciousness is not about selflessness or serving others at the expense of ourselves. The most important ecosystem whose needs you need to be in tune with and meet are yours! We are each an ecosystem in and of itself. Personal Ecology is the science of being in tune with the ever changing needs of the self - physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. It is a pathway for optimising wellbeing, experiencing happiness and achieving success.
Without a healthy personal ecosystem, you are limited in the value you can bring to the other ecosystems you impact. Everything you say, do and even how you feel has a ripple effect out into the world. For example, if you go to work in a bad mood, as the well researched concept of ‘emotional contagion’ reminds us, your mood will ripple out to effect the vibe of everyone in the office. As such, your personal ecosystem is a key determinant of how effectively you operate in the wider world. Its is the stuff of true leadership.
Maintaining impact awareness at an individual level requires ongoing self reflection and fine tuning. In the case of an organisation this is the practice of capturing and analysing customer, and employee, data and feedback. Organisations that don't understand the real needs of their people, and customers, risk being displaced by someone who does.
This is very relevant to Millennials who won't stick around in organisations that say one thing and then do another. They want to work for authentic organisations, with a deeper purpose, that is actually lived up to. This matters because having an opportunity to make a positive impact in the world is important to them. Organisations who ignore this will have a hard time retaining talent.
Ecology Consciousness requires high levels of awareness of self and others, and a deep commitment to stand for and act towards a higher ideal for the good of all involved. At its core, it is an act of love, and as such it is not always the easy option. Remaining in tune with the ripple effect of our attitudes, words and actions means taking time to understand and stay informed, because the impacts are not always obvious.
Ecology Consciousness is the exercising of our greatest freedom. The freedom to deliberately choose. However this too comes with a responsibility. Exercising your freedom to buy from a brand that shares your values means you may also need to research their broader activities. This requires an investment of time. Fortunately the digital age has radically increased the accessibility of information which means we are more easily able to fact check what advertisers and established media institutions tell us.
And yes this is all easier said than done. Because when the chips are down, even for the most loving and well intentioned of us, we human beings have an inbuilt default to self protect and calculate for our own good.
The principles of Ecology Consciousness can help us stay on track. In times of stress we can work together to solve our challenges in a way that takes care of the whole ecosystem’s needs, not just our own.
It’s not about being perfect or making radical changes overnight. The ripple effects of any incremental changes made from a place of impact awareness, add to the collective changes we are all making. Ecology Consciousness is a social movement that you can contribute to in your own way.
The team at ecology six are committed to bringing Ecology Consciousness to the world. We have chosen to do this by partnering with organisations who want to take better care of their people, customers, and the planet we share. In this context Ecology Consciousness is about helping organisations adapt to the rapidly changing commercial landscape, while positively impacting the ecosystems they affect.
ecology six support by helping organisations optimise and align their key ecosystems - people, team, leader, organisation, brand and customer. This enables them to attract and unlock the potential of the worlds brightest minds, then direct their energy and passion towards providing solutions to real world problems faced by customers. Solutions that don't compromise the health of their people, customers, community, or environment.
So this is an invitation to join us in this movement. To embrace Ecology Consciousness in your own life and to find out how it can be the pathway to sustainable success in all of your endeavours.
By working together we can create a world with organisations we'd want our children to work for and a planet in good shape for future generations to come.