Club of Amsterdam Journal, September 2022, Issue 246

Journals Archive
Journals – Main Topics
The Future Now Shows



Lead Article

Our business schools have a blindspot that’s hindering a more co-operative culture
by Gregory Patmore, University of Sydney

Article 01

Zach Bush, MD on The Sovereign Journey Into the Self
by The Fullest

The Future Now Show

Inner Development Goals
with Tomas Björkman, Jakob Trollbäck, Caroline Stiernstedt Sahlborn & Leif Edvinsson.
Moderated by Mario de Vries.

Article 02

The Revival of Empires?
by Leif Thomas Olsen

News about the Future

> Smiling Gecko
> Sand Battery

Article 03

To break unhealthy habits, stop obsessing over willpower – two behavioral scientists explain why routines matter more than conscious choices
Asaf Mazar, University of Pennsylvania and Wendy Wood, USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences

Recommended Book

Leader As Healer: A New Paradigm for 21st-Century Leadership
by Nicholas Janni

Article 04

Stephan A Schwartz and Thomas W Campbell on Science, Consciousness, and a Better World

Climate Change Success Story

Synthetic Fuel

Futurist Portrait

Nick Jankel
Transformational Futurist

AI research, Consciousness, Energy Storage, Healing,
Health, Inner Development Goals, Leadership, Microbiome,
Neuroscience, Psychology, SDG, Synthetic Fuel

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Felix B Bopp

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Zach Bush: "My work is dedicated to the health of humanity and the planet we call home. It is critical that our pursuit of optimal health and longevity begin with an effort toward a collective rise in consciousness such that we would begin to thrive within nature, instead of fighting that nature that is life itself. My experience as a physician specializing in internal medicine, endocrinology and hospice care with a focus on the microbiome as it relates to health, disease, and food systems led me to found *Seraphic Group and the non-profit Farmer’s Footprint to develop root-cause solutions for human and ecological health."

Thomas W Campbell: “Love and love heals are not just nice ideas, it is the fabric of our reality.”

Tomas Björkman: "We live in crappy times? No. We live on the threshold to a new world. Let's give birth to it. Together."


Lead Article

Our business schools have a blindspot that’s hindering a more co-operative culture
by Gregory Patmore, University of Sydney

Gregory Patmore


Tranby is an Indigenous adult education school in the inner-city Sydney suburb of Glebe. Founded in 1957, its graduates include Eddie Mabo, who went on to win the most significant land rights legal battle in Australian history – overturning the fiction of terra nullius.

What makes Tranby special is not just being Australia’s oldest not-for-profit independent Indigenous education provider. It is the type of education it provides – teaching the skills needed to manage organisations and communities democratically.

It teaches co-operation, and the skills to run co-operative organisations.

This makes it a rarity in business education.

Tranby Aboriginal Co-Operative is Australia’s oldest Indigenous adult dducation provider. Tranby, CC BY-NC-ND

Though co-operatives exist throughout Australian society, making a hugely valuable economic contribution, their distinctive nature and management requirements are largely ignored by university business schools.

This neglect is costing us all.

Part of the social fabric

Australia has a rich history of communities forming co-operatives to provide services where for-profit businesses or the state have been unwilling or unable.

They run shops and schools, offer banking and mortgage services, and provide housing and health services.

The first co-operative in Australia is thought to be the Brisbane Co-operative Society, which set up a store in 1859.

Over the next century came many agricultural co-ops. In the 1950s and 1960s, co-workers and communities pooled funds to form building societies and credit unions when banks were unwilling to lend money.

More recently regional communities have established co-operatives to replace shuttered businesses, to spearhead renewable energy and manufacturing projects, and to provide better conditions for cleaners and care workers.

When the northern Victorian town of Sea Lake was left without a pub after one hotel shut and the other burnt down, locals formed a co-operative to reopen and run the Royal Hotel.
When the northern Victorian town of Sea Lake was left without a pub after one hotel shut and the other burnt down, locals formed a co-operative to reopen and run the Royal Hotel. Kerry Anderson, CC BY

Co-ops range in size from small neighbourhood operations, such the Gymea community preschool in Sydney to major enterprises such as Cooperative Bulk Handling in Western Australia, which reported a $133 million surplus in 2021.

All up there are more than 1,700 in Australia. It’s possible you’re a member of one – or a closely aligned “mutual” organisation (such as the NRMA or RACV). About eight in ten Australians are, yet fewer than two in ten realise it.

Improving co-operative education

This general lack of recognition is reflected by the sector’s almost complete invisibility in educational courses.

In 2016 a Senate committee inquiry found neglect of co-operative and mutual businesses in high-school and university courses was a clear impediment for the sector.

It could easily be concluded this neglect has also actively damaged the sector – notably through the 1980s and 1990s with “demutualisation” of big member-owned organisations such as AMP and the St George Bank.

This effectively involved privatising these organisations for the benefit of existing members, who got windfall profits at the expense of future members.

Demutualisation was pushed by managers and consultants educated in business, but not in the distinctive values of co-operative business.

They often regarded the co-operative and mutual structure as less competitive than an investor-shareholder model focused on maximising profits.

Subsequent developments have proven how flawed these assumptions were. AMP, for example, featured heavily among the wrongdoings exposed by the Hayne royal commission into financial services. No co-operative or mutual business did.

Levelling the playing field

The Senate inquiry report recommended the federal government look to improve understanding of co-operatives and mutual through secondary school curriculum. It also recommended universities include topics on co-operatives in their business and law programs.

In 2017 the University of Newcastle established Australia’s first postgraduate program in co-operative management and organisation.

But it axed the program in 2020 due to pandemic-related cutbacks and insufficient student numbers.

Now, apart from the University of Sydney’s Co-operatives Research Group and the University of Western Australia’s Co-operative Enterprise Research Unit, the landscape is bare.

What’s needed are both specialist courses and recognition within general business or law courses. You’d be hard placed to find a business degree that gives co-operatives more than fleeting attention.

The focus instead is on individual entrepreneurship, investor-owned businesses and vague ideas of social business.

Economic viability with social responsibility

The 2016 Senate inquiry report noted co-operatives have an important economic role to play. They increase competition in highly concentrated markets (such as banking). They provide services in areas where investor-owned or state enterprises do not work.

It singled out Tranby College as an excellent example of what can be achieved – both for members and the broader community:


Evidence suggests the co-operative model is ideal in delivering services in remote areas, such as Indigenous communities, where issues can be complex and service provision through the private sector is often not suitable or available.

As former United Nations secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has said, co-operatives show “it is possible to pursue both economic viability and social responsibility”.

It is important students at all levels be aware of what makes co-operative businesses different and valuable.

Hopefully the Albanese government will not neglect them. They have a lot to offer communities and reinforce democratic values. The Conversation

Gregory Patmore, Emeritus Professor of Business and Labour History, University of Sydney


This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license.


Article 01

Zach Bush, MD on The Sovereign Journey Into the Self
by The Fullest



"Today, we welcome Zach Bush, MD, a renowned, multi-disciplinary physician of internal medicine, endocrinology, hospice care, and an internationally recognized educator on the microbiome to THE FULLEST. However, more than that, he is a profound voice on the journey to self awareness, acceptance, and sovereignty.

In this episode, we dive into many emotional (yet comforting) themes including:

- The universal message from patients who experienced a near death experience

- The importance of intuition and sovereignty as a patient in a medical system

- The spiritual wisdom that can be found in cells under a microscope

- His thoughts on sovereignty, abortion, and Roe v. Wade

- Reframing “death” as a way to truly embrace life

If you're trying to make sense of the more existential aspects of life and death, listen closely and we’re sure you’ll walk away with a full heart."


Zach Bush, MD is a physician specializing in internal medicine, endocrinology and hospice care. He is an internationally recognized educator and thought leader on the microbiome as it relates to health, disease, and food systems.

Dr. Zach founded Seraphic Group, Inc. to develop root-cause solutions for human and planetary health, extending from biotech to energy to information technology for a multi-faceted approach to the challenges we face globally.

His work in for-profit and nonprofit arenas is creating avenues for collaborative action for all stakeholders in our global community for a regenerative future of health for the planet and our children.



The Future Now Show

Inner Development Goals
with Tomas Björkman, Jakob Trollbäck, Caroline Stiernstedt Sahlborn & Leif Edvinsson.
Moderated by Mario de Vries.

Inner Development Goals (IDGs) is a non-profit organization for inner development. We research, collect and communicate science-based skills and qualities that help us to live purposeful, sustainable, and productive lives.

The Inner Development Goals framework is fundamental in the work to reach the Sustainable Development Goals.

In 2015, the Sustainable Development Goals gave us a comprehensive plan for a sustainable world by 2030. The 17 goals cover a wide range of issues that involve people with different needs, values, and convictions. There is a vision of what needs to happen, but progress along this vision has so far been disappointing. We lack the inner capacity to deal with our increasingly complex environment and challenges. Fortunately, modern research shows that the inner abilities we now all need can be developed. This was the starting point for the 'Inner Development Goals' initiative.







IDG Cards







Inner Development Goals (IDGs)
The Inner Development Goals is a not-for-profit and open-source initiative founded by the 29k Foundation, Ekskäret Foundation, and The New Division.

is a non-profit organisation and community on a mission
to make personal growth available for everyone, for free.

Tomas Björkman
Founder and Chair, Ekskäret Foundation
Stockholm, Sweden

Jakob Trollbäck
Founder, The New Division
Founder, Inner Development Goals
Creator of the Communication Language for the SDGs
Stockholm, Sweden

Caroline Stiernstedt Sahlborn
Partner, The Inner Foundation, Board member Ekskäret Foundation, Inner Development Goals.
Stockholm, Sweden

Leif Edvinsson
Professor emeritus and Brain of the Year

Mario de Vries
Media Specialist
The Netherlands

Felix B Bopp
Producer of The Future Now Show

The Future Now Show

You can find The Future Now Show also at

LinkedIn: The Future Now Show Group
YouTube: The Future Now Show Channel


Article 02

The Revival of Empires?
by Leif Thomas Olsen


This article was first drafted as a reflective piece on the Russian-Ukrainian war as it moved beyond Russian efforts to reinstate a Ukrainian leadership loyal to Moscow (like Viktor Yanukovych) to be an outright war between two equally persistent sides. This topic however gained even more currency from Club of Amsterdam Journal, July / August 2022, Issue 245, where both Tony Walker's article "Has Xi Jinping miscalculated in aligning himself with Vladimir Putin?" and Hardy Schloer's and Chris Edwards' webcast "New World Order" discuss matters very similar to that of this article.

The war in Ukraine may seem like an unexpected aggression by a hungry Putin in search for control. This interpretation, supported by the hegemonial West, however risks to be a dangerous simplifi-cation of things, since it is more likely to be an early - albeit not first - step in a much larger global political evolution.

Following the end of the Cold War 'the West' has ruled supreme on the international political stage. China has indeed challenged the US in economic terms, but officially remained silent politically. Their economic ambitions have nevertheless had clear political trajectories for any analyst to observe. Their large investments in Africa and their 'Belt and Road Initiative' throughout the developing world is not simply a matter of trade. It is also a matter of influence. China's effort to set up 'Confucian Institutes' around the world also have socio-political intentions, similar to those of bodies like the Ford and Fulbright Foundations, the British Council and Institut d'Echanges Culturels avec la France. And the Taiwan issue is not a guessing game. Beijing is not waiting for Taiwan to join freely, but for China to become strong enough to take Taiwan 'back' without problem. Around twenty years ago, in the now since long discontinued periodical The Far Eastern Review, Beijing spokespersons noted that Taiwan would be integrated within fifty years or so. There is no reason to believe they do not retain that schedule. US President Biden's recent statement that the US will defend Taiwan militarily is not going to change that. And how many different presidents will the US have in the next thirty years? The recent developments in Hong Kong can also be seen as a test on which level of resistance Beijing can come to face locally. China has thousands of years of experience from quelling social uprisings - and they still end up with an absolute majority of its population being enormously proud of being Chinese.

Russia, relegated to the back of the classroom by the collapse of the Warsaw Pact and Comecon, has over the last ten years re-started its involvement in international affairs, most obviously through its roles in the Libyan and Syrian wars. Although Russia's role in Libya was not crowned with success, their role in Syria certainly was - a war 'the West' thought they could easily win through weapon deliveries and proxies. Sadly enough, Russia's historical tactic of simply destroying contested territory is now gaining traction in Ukraine. It can also be noted that the only time the US contributed directly to a Russian military defeat was in Afghanistan, where the US armed and trained the Mujahedeen to fight against the then Soviet Union - an armed force that later developed into the only military force to systematically attack US targets, both around the world and on US soil. The latter being a totally unique incident which shook USA even more than their traumatic loss in the Vietnam war.

Turkey is by some seen as the new kid on the block. Seen over a longer period of time nothing could be less true. Turkey's predecessor the Ottoman Empire had a history of significant regional influence, and is probably the most influential Muslim country throughout history, if one disregards the indirect economic influence Saudi Arabia had since the post WW2 deal between them and the US, whereby the US undertook to military protect Saudi Arabia in exchange for reliable oil supplies from Saudi Arabia, that oil prices are set in US dollars, and for Saudi's support for US foreign policy across the world - including abstaining from opposing to the formation and support of Israel. Although Turkey stayed backstage for very long following its imperial collapse during WW1, even trying to join the western Christian community though NATO and EU, it has more recently shown clear indications of renewed political ambitions. Like Russia they were active in Libya, where they rendered quite some success, and in Syria, where they are the only outside power successfully opposing al-Assad's Russian and Iranian backed government.

Turkey also took an active role in the 2021 Armenian-Azerbaijan war where, just like in Libya and Syria, Russia supported the opposite side, hence bluntly reaffirming Turkey's role in the region. Its resistance to Sweden's and Finland's NATO-applications also shows they are not willing to be shoved into a corner by 'the West' - in spite of them being members of the very same defense alliance. Turkey lifting its veto against Sweden's and Finland's memberships was based on an agreement that Sweden would lift its arms-embargo on Turkey, and that both Sweden and Finland agreed to act against those organizations Turkey consider terrorist organizations - including the Gülen movement. Immediately after the agreement was signed, Turkey sent a list of 33 terrorists that they wanted extradited. Since each NATO member state's parliament have to rectify new members, Turkey still has an excellent upper hand. If those on the list are not extradited, Turkey's parliament can refuse to rectify their memberships, claiming non-compliance, once again staying ahead of the pack. Turkey's modest but nevertheless notable efforts to mediate in the Russian-Ukrainian war can also be seen as an indicator of their ambition to once again play a role on the international stage.

So, why do I mention these three countries in combination? Because they are all former empires with proud histories and once-upon-a-time far-reaching influence in their respective regions. These histories are still deep-rooted in their nations' DNA - and still capable of uniting their populations in opposing foreign powers' dictates. All these three nations' leaders are now ready to openly oppose western hegemony, considering the internal socio-cultural rot of 'the West' as an indicator that time is now ripe to challenge it. Just like all empires - including their own - came, and will come, to a point where its 'best-before-date' is well surpassed, its power-structures are obsolete, its systems are corrupt and its populations dissatisfied, 'the West' is now at the end of the road, and its era as the leader of the world is about to end. Xi, Putin and Erdogan are not madmen. They represent their nations' ambitions to regain the status they once had. And these ambitions will not end with the demise of these individuals - albeit all three of them have in one way or another secured life-time leadership roles. The unique thing is not these individual countries' ambitions, but that they coincide in time. Even if these leaders may have significant differences, and sometimes competing interests, their main and joint ambition is to rid themselves of western hegemony. One can see it as the perfect storm. The revival of three former empires on a parallel, at first likely to support each other in their joint opposition to western hegemony, later to compete for the spoils that the fall of this western hegemony will offer them. This is not a matter of three to five years. This is a matter of thirty to fifty years. Just like UK is now an isolated island trailing its former colony USA in all its doings, USA and EU will become victims of their own self-glorification, complete lack of vision and severe political short-sightedness. How this will pan out, and how it will affect the population of 'the West', is far too early to guess. But that it would not happen one way or another is a deceptive assumption. The Chinese Empire fell, the Russian Empire fell, and the Ottoman Empire fell - just as the Roman and Mongolian Empires once did. All empires eventually fall, to be replaced by new forces. This is a lesson already learned. The lesson we still not learned is how to see the fall coming.

All empires consider themselves eternal, until it is too late. 'The West' is no exception. It may remain a bastion of its own values, but its control over the non-West will subside, and eventually ebb out.

Saigon, June 30, 2022

Leif Thomas Olsen
Leif is a former management- and management-training consultant turned property investor. During this millennium he also dedicated around half of his time to research on cross- / multicultural interaction, and its socio-economic consequences. A Swede by birth he spent half his life elsewhere and lived in South-East Asia since 1993. In 2005 he completed a Master of Philosophy and a Master of International Relations.




News about the Future

> Smiling Gecko
> Sand Battery

Smiling Gecko

Traditional NGOs tend to focus on a single topic (e.g. the construction of wells, the running of orphanages, medical aid, etc.) that they then roll out at various locations with similar needs. While this approach often brings tangible short-term improvements to people in the project area, it does not solve the underlying problems.

Smiling Gecko has adopted a holistic approach aimed at improving the quality of life of an entire community through cluster projects. This vision guided the organisation from its very start in 2014, and Smiling Gecko has since created many jobs and apprenticeships in agriculture, tourism and the catering industry, crafts, trade and teaching. Until 2025, there are many more projects in the pipeline, focusing on crafts and industrial production. As the cluster projects are based on commercially viable business plans, they are closely interlinked with the existing economy in the region. The individual projects are to be self-financing in the long run. They are to generate sufficient funds to run the local school and thus secure the education of the next generation. Cluster projects thus create model rural communities that operate as self-sustained entities and offer education and training for gainful employment in proper jobs.

The cluster project model is of course transferable to other regions, and will make a substantial contribution to the sustainable growth of the Cambodian economy by 2050.


Sand Battery

A “sand battery” is a high temperature thermal energy storage that uses sand or sand-like materials as its storage medium. It stores energy in sand as heat.

Its main purpose is to work as a high-power and high-capacity reservoir for excess wind and solar energy. The energy is stored as heat, which can be used to heat homes, or to provide hot steam and high temperature process heat to industries that are often fossil-fuel dependent.

As the world shifts towards higher and higher renewables fraction in electricity production, the intermittent nature of these energy sources cause challenges to energy networks. The sand battery helps to ambitiously upscale renewables production by ensuring there’s always a way to benefit from clean energy, even if the surplus is massive.

The first commercial sand battery in the world is in a town called Kankaanpää, Western Finland. It is connected to a district heating network and heating residential and commercial buildings such as family homes and the municipal swimming pool. The district heating network is operated by an energy utility called Vatajankoski.

Polar Night Energy
Tommi Eronen, Founder and CEO, Finland


Article 03

To break unhealthy habits, stop obsessing over willpower – two behavioral scientists explain why routines matter more than conscious choices
by Asaf Mazar, University of Pennsylvania and Wendy Wood, USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences

Asaf Mazar


Wendy Wood


Many people attribute their coffee drinking to the need to feel more alert, but research shows that habit is just as big a driver behind caffeine consumption. Westend61/Getty Images

Asaf Mazar
, Postdoctoral fellow in Behavioral Science, University of Pennsylvania and Wendy Wood, Provost Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Business, USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences

If you’re like many Americans, you probably start your day with a cup of coffee – a morning latte, a shot of espresso or maybe a good ol’ drip brew.

A common explanation among avid coffee drinkers is that we drink coffee to wake ourselves up and alleviate fatigue.

But that story doesn’t completely hold up. After all, the amount of caffeine in a cup of coffee can vary wildly. Even when ordering the same type of coffee from the same coffee shop, caffeine levels can double from one drink to the next. And yet, we coffee drinkers don’t seem to notice.

So what else might be driving us in our quest for that morning brew?

That’s one question we set out to answer in our recent research. The answer has far-reaching implications for the way we approach major societal challenges such as diet and climate change.

As behavioral scientists, we’ve learned that people often repeat everyday behaviors out of habit. If you regularly drink coffee, you likely do so automatically as part of your habitual routine – not just out of tiredness.

But habit just doesn’t feel like a good explanation – it’s unsatisfying to say that we do something just because it’s what we’re used to doing. Instead, we concoct more compelling explanations, like saying we drink coffee to ease our morning fog.

This reluctance means that we fail to recognize many habits, even as they permeate our daily lives.

Habits are formed in specific environments that provide a cue, or trigger, for the behavior.

Unpacking what lies behind habits

To test whether people underestimate the role that habit plays in their life, we asked more than 100 coffee drinkers what they think drives their coffee consumption. They estimated that tiredness was about twice as important as habit in driving them to drink coffee. To benchmark these assumptions against reality, we then tracked these people’s coffee drinking and fatigue over the course of one week.

The actual results starkly diverged from our research participants’ explanations. Yes, they were somewhat more likely to drink coffee when tired – as would be expected – but we found that habit was an equally strong influence. In other words, people wildly overestimated the role of tiredness and underestimated the role of habit. Habits, it seems, aren’t considered much of an explanation.

We then replicated this finding in a second study with a behavior that people might consider a “bad” habit – failing to help in response to a stranger’s request. People still overlooked habit and assumed that their reluctance to proffer help was due to their mood at the time.

The gap between the actual and perceived role of habit in our lives matters. And this gap is key to understanding why people often struggle to change repeated behaviors. If you believe that you drink coffee because you are tired, then you might try to reduce coffee drinking by going to bed early. But ultimately you’d be barking up the wrong tree – your habit would still be there in the morning.

Why habits are surprisingly difficult to change

The reason that habits can be so difficult to overcome is that they are not fully under our control. Of course, most of us can control a single instance of a habit, such as by refusing a cup of coffee this time or taking the time to offer directions to a lost tourist. We exert willpower and just push through. But consistently reining in a habit is fiendishly difficult.

To illustrate, imagine you had to avoid saying words that contain the letter “I” for the next five seconds. Pretty simple, right? But now imagine if you had to maintain this rule for a whole week. We habitually use many words that contain “I.” Suddenly, the required 24/7 monitoring turns this simple task into a far more onerous one.

We make a similar error when we try to control unwanted habits and form new, desirable ones. Most of us can achieve this in the short run – think about your enthusiasm when starting a new diet or workout regimen. But we inevitably get distracted, tired or just plain busy. When that happens, your old habit is still there to guide your behavior, and you end up back where you started. And if you fail to recognize the role of habit, then you’ll keep overlooking better strategies that effectively target habits.

The flip side is also true: We don’t recognize the benefits of our good habits. One study found that on days when people strongly intended to exercise, those with weak and strong exercise habits got similar amounts of physical activity. On days when intentions were weaker, however, those with strong habits were more active. Thus, strong habits keep behavior on track even as intentions ebb and flow.

It’s not just willpower

American culture is partly responsible for the tendency to overlook habits. Compared with residents of other developed nations, Americans are more likely to say that they control their success in life.

Accordingly, when asked what stops them from making healthy lifestyle changes, Americans commonly cite a lack of willpower. Granted, willpower is useful in the short term, as we muster the motivation to, for example, sign up for a gym membership or start a diet.

But research shows that, surprisingly, people who are more successful at achieving long-term goals exert – if anything – less willpower in their day-to-day lives. This makes sense: As explained above, over time, willpower fades and habits prevail.

If the answer isn’t willpower, then what is the key to controlling habits?

Changing habits begins with the environments that support them. Research shows that leveraging the cues that trigger habits in the first place can be incredibly effective. For example, reducing the visibility of cigarette packs in stores has curbed cigarette purchases.

Another path to habit change involves friction: in other words, making it difficult to act on undesirable habits and easy to act on desirable ones. For example, one study found that recycling increased after recycle bins were placed right next to trash cans – which people were already using – versus just 12 feet away.

Effectively changing behavior starts with recognizing that a great deal of behavior is habitual. Habits keep us repeating unwanted behaviors but also desirable ones, even if just enjoying a good-tasting morning brew. The Conversation

Asaf Mazar, Postdoctoral fellow in Behavioral Science, University of Pennsylvania and Wendy Wood, Provost Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Business, USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences


This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license.


Recommended Book

Leader As Healer: A New Paradigm for 21st-Century Leadership
by Nicholas Janni



Leaders of today must possess potent powers for logic, reason, discernment and strategic forecasting. Yet, they must also be empathic and therefore embodied; grounded and therefore intuitive; present and therefore awake. They must be skilled in mindfulness and deep listening, able to inspire authentic engagement and collaboration, and possess a clear and wholehearted sense of service, mission and purpose - restoring coherence where there is fragmentation and unity where there is division. Nicholas Janni presents this new and necessary leadership style as the Leader as Healer.

The book outlines both a theoretical and practical map towards a new form of leadership, one that embodies the 'skill, heart, and wisdom' that the current moment demands. The pathway Janni describes is one of integration and restoration, which is designed to reawaken the innate human capacities - physical and emotional, individual and transpersonal - that were previously discarded and forgotten during our perilous journey towards profit-maximization and "infinite" economic growth. It offers a way to grow ourselves as leaders and to heal our organizations.


Nicholas Janni

Over the last 20 years Nicholas has gained an international reputation for his transformational coaching and leadership development seminars. The clients he has served include FedEx, Rolls Royce, Swiss Re, Centrica, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, Amdocs, Intel, Motorola, Microsoft, eBay and Lafarge, as well as the UK Permanent Secretaries and several cabinet ministers.

He bridges the worlds of creative, personal, spiritual and professional development in a uniquely powerful, relevant and accessible way. In his first career Nicholas was a theatre director. He taught acting at The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, and directed his own theatre company.

He has spent 30 years researching the theory and the practice of ‘the zone’ of peak performance, and studying multiple mind/body disciplines. In 1998 he became a Visiting Fellow at the Cranfield School of Management, and in 2001 he left the theatre to co-found the arts-based leadership development consultancy Olivier Mythodrama. In 2013 he founded his own consultancy, CORE PRESENCE.

He was an Associate Fellow at the University of Oxford Said Business School 2010–15, and currently teaches regularly at the IMD Business School in Lausanne. He is based partly in Israel, where he has worked with numerous corporate clients, The Interdisciplinary Centre, Tel Aviv Recanati Business School and various Israeli and Palestinian NGO’s.



Article 04

Stephan A Schwartz and Thomas W Campbell on Science, Consciousness, and a Better World


When two brilliant researchers with nearly a century of experience and experiments between them, agree on the commonalities of their findings on consciousness, a truly fascinating discussion follows!

In this interview, Stephan Schwartz, interdisciplinary scholar, remote viewing research founder, and one of the preeminent remote viewers in the world, and Tom Campbell, physicist and consciousness researcher, each present their views on how science and their discoveries on consciousness can help inspire you to create a better world.

Scientist, futurist, award-winning author of both fiction and nonfiction Stephan A. Schwartz is a Distinguished Associated Scholar of the California Institute for Human Science, Distinguished Consulting Faculty Saybrook, University, and a BIAL Foundation Fellow. He is a columnist for the journal Explore, and editor of the daily web publication in both of which he covers trends that are affecting the future. For over 40 years, as an experimentalist, he has been studying the nature of consciousness. Schwartz is part of the small group that founded modern Remote Viewing research and is the principal researcher studying the use of Remote Viewing in anthropology and archaeology.

In addition to his own non-fiction books and novels, he is the author of more than 250 technical reports, papers, academic book chapters, prefaces, and introductions, and has made over a thousand presentations to universities, institutions, and government agencies around the world. His work has been covered worldwide by numerous magazines, newspapers, and television productions, and he is the recipient of the Parapsychological Association Outstanding Contribution Award, the U.S. Navy’s Certificate of Commendation, OOOM Magazine's (Germany) 100 Most Inspiring People in the World Award, and the 2018 Albert Nelson Marquis Award for Outstanding Contributions, and is listed in multiple Who’s Who.



Stephan A. Schwartz is an internationally known researcher in the field of extraordinary human functioning. He is the former Research Director of the Mobius Society, editor of Subtle Energies, and a founder and past-president of the Society for the Anthropology of Consciousness. His work has been widely reported in print and electronic media, including programs such as NOVA.


Thomas W. Campbell is the author of the My Big TOE trilogy that “unifies science and philosophy, physics and metaphysics, mind and matter, purpose and meaning, the normal and the paranormal”, as well as shines a light on the common spiritual basis of the world’s major religions, while placing belief, dogma, and creed into a bigger picture.


Climate Change Success Story

Synthetic Fuel



What are synthetic fuels? Synthetic fuels are liquid fuels that basically have the same properties as fossil fuels but are produced artificially. They can be used in the same way as fossil fuels are used all around the world.

Synhelion: Synthetic fuels explained

There is a lot of talk about renewable synthetic fuels recently. They are generally seen as a technology that will play an important role to reach net zero in the transportation sector. Terms like “biofuel”, “synfuel”, and “e-fuel” are often used interchangeably. But there are important differences between the various types of synthetic fuels regarding their production, scalability, and sustainability. So let’s shed light into the seemingly complicated world of synthetic fuels and learn about the basics of synthetic fuel production. It’s not all that complicated – we promise!
What are synthetic fuels?

Synthetic fuels are liquid fuels that basically have the same properties as fossil fuels but are produced artificially. They can be used in the same way as fossil fuels are used all around the world. For example, it is possible to produce synthetic jet fuel, diesel, or gasoline for conventional planes, ships, trucks, and cars. The main difference between fossil and synthetic fuels is how they are produced: fossil fuels are formed over millions of years underground from organic matter that is turned into coal, natural gas, or oil. Synthetic fuels are produced by mimicking these natural processes using renewable resources.

How are renewable synthetic fuels produced?

To understand the production of renewable synthetic fuels, you have to understand what fossil fuels are made of: put simply, they are made of chains of the elements hydrogen (H) and carbon (C). Or in other words, they consist of hundreds of different hydrocarbon molecules.

The key to producing synthetic fuels is syngas, a mixture of hydrogen (H) and carbon monoxide (CO). Think of syngas as a brick. Once you have bricks, you can build any shape of house. Syngas is the universal brick you need to produce any type of liquid hydrocarbon fuel, such as jet fuel, diesel, or gasoline. Turning syngas into fuel is an established industrial process that has been applied on a large scale for decades, using coal and natural gas as feedstocks, which is of course not sustainable. So that’s exactly where the challenge lies: producing syngas sustainably. The production of syngas requires a large amount of energy. To produce it in a sustainable way, this energy needs to come from a renewable resource, such as biomass, solar, wind, or hydro.

What types of renewable synthetic fuels are there?

To date, three methods for the production of renewable syngas, and consequently climate-friendly synthetic fuels are known: biofuels, which are produced from biomass, e-fuels, which are produced with renewable electricity, and solar fuels, which are produced with solar heat. All three methods mainly go through syngas, a mixture of hydrogen and carbon monoxide. The syngas is subsequently turned into liquid fuels via industrial gas-to-liquid processes. That’s why these three methods are sometimes also referred to as “Biomass-to-Liquid”, “Power-to-Liquid”, and “Sun-to-Liquid” respectively.

Biomass-to-Liquid produces biofuels

While several processes exist to convert biomass into liquid fuels, the most scalable and most versatile in terms of feedstock goes through the gasification of biomass. More specifically, biomass is converted at high temperatures into syngas. The heat input required to drive the process is usually generated by burning a part of the biomass itself.

Feedstocks can be ad-hoc grown plants (i.e. energy crops such as sugar cane or corn), waste biomass, or algae. Biofuels are the only type of renewable synthetic fuels that are already available on the market in small quantities. They are often criticized for competing with the food industry for arable land, their water consumption, and their limited scalability.

Power-to-Liquid produces e-fuels

E-fuels are produced from renewable electricity, such as solar, wind, or hydro power. The Power-to-Liquid process relies on a series of energy conversion steps. First, renewable electricity is generated, which then drives an electrolyzer that splits water in hydrogen and oxygen. Next, the hydrogen is mixed with carbon dioxide and turned into syngas via the reverse water gas shift (RWGS) reaction – a process that is conducted at high temperatures and driven with electricity. There are several projects planned, but to date no industrial e-fuel plant exists, which also means that e-fuels are not yet available on the market. E-fuels can be produced with any type of renewable electricity, thus they could theoretically be produced around the world. However, electricity storage for continuous operation remains a challenge, which limits the application to few regions with an extraordinarily cheap and continuous renewable electricity supply or requires the integration of expensive battery technology.

Sun-to-Liquid produces solar fuels

Solar fuels are produced from solar heat that drives a thermochemical reactor. In the reactor, carbon dioxide and water are converted into syngas. Just like e-fuels, solar fuels are not yet available on the market. Sunny regions offer ideal conditions for the production of solar fuels, in particular deserts and semi-arid regions with high solar radiation. The solar heat generated during the day can be stored by inexpensive thermal energy storage to enable round-the-clock production of fuels. Storage makes solar fuel plants self-sufficient and independent from any grid, giving them the potential to be scaled quickly and broadly.

Where can synthetic fuels be used?

Synthetic fuels are fully compatible with the existing global fuel infrastructure. They can be used in conventional internal combustion engines and jet engines, meaning that regular cars, planes, and ships can be fueled up with synthetic fuels without being changed or refitted. Furthermore, they can use the established fuel infrastructure for storage and distribution.
Renewable synthetic fuels are generally seen as a solution to decarbonize in particular those transportation sectors that cannot be electrified. Long-distance transportation needs energy carriers with a very high energy density and, therefore, will continue to rely on liquid fuels as they contain 60 to 100 times more energy per mass than lithium-ion batteries. For long-distance aviation, batteries are simply too heavy and bulky. Therefore, the aviation industry counts on renewable synthetic fuels – which they call Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF) – to reach net zero in the future.



Some of the major companies in the global synthetic fuel market are Sasol, Indian Oil Corporation Ltd., Royal Dutch Shell, Phillips 66, ExxonMobil, Petrochina, Reliance Industries Ltd., and Bosch


Sasol Energy

Sasol is a global chemicals and energy company. We harness our knowledge and expertise to integrate sophisticated technologies and processes into world-scale operating facilities. We safely and sustainably source, produce and market a range of high-quality products in 22 countries, creating value for stakeholders. Our purpose “Innovating for a better world” compels us to deliver on triple bottom line outcomes of People, Planet and Profit, responsibly and always with the intent to be a force for good.

We have prioritised four Sustainable Development Goals to ensure our business is environmentally, socially and economically sustainable. We are a public company listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in South Africa and the New York Stock Exchange in the United States. We strive to deliver sustainable and superior value to all our stakeholders.

Sasol’s Energy Business comprises the Southern African value chain and is responsible for the management of its liquid fuels marketing and sales channels through which the business provides various petroleum products to consumers.

In addition, the business manages the gas sourcing and marketing value chain in South Africa.

We are investing in low-carbon activities by working with local and global partners and investing in innovation and research to support South Africa in positioning itself as a global producer of green hydrogen with our current natural endowments.

Our Energy Business has a strong regional position across Southern Africa and is a customer centric organisation that leverages our unique technologies and advantaged assets to create value for our stakeholders.

We currently operate integrated value chains with feedstock sourced from our Mining and Gas operating segments and processed at our Secunda and Sasolburg Operations and Natref.

We also have associated assets outside South Africa. These include the Pande-Temane Petroleum Production Agreement (PPA) in Mozambique and ORYX GTL (gas to liquids) in Qatar, a joint venture with Qatar Petroleum.



Green Fuel Alternatives

In recent times, there has been a marked shift from use of conventional fossil fuels to new and renewable sources of energy that are cleaner, safer and inexhaustible. Against the backdrop of a widening gap between supply and demand, it becomes imperative to diversify energy sources and explore alternative ways to meet the country's energy need and sustain economic growth. Growing environmental concerns also pose a serious challenge for energy companies, underlying the urgency to usher in cleaner and sustainable energy resources.

In the country's pursuit of alternative sources of energy, IndianOil is focussing on CNG (compressed natural gas), Autogas (LPG), ethanol blended petrol, bio-diesel, and Hydrogen energy.


CNG is being marketed from select IndianOil outlets in Mumbai and Delhi as a franchisee of Mahanagar Gas Ltd., Mumbai, and Indraprastha Gas. Ltd., Delhi, respectively. As on date, CNG is available at 13 IndianOil outlets each in Mumbai and Delhi. As demand picks up, IndianOil will set up additional outlets.

Compressed Bio-Gas (CBG)

Bio-gas is produced naturally (through a process of anaerobic decomposition) from waste / bio-mass sources like agriculture residue, cattle dung, sugarcane press mud, municipal solid waste, sewage treatment plant waste, etc. After purification, it is compressed and called CBG, which has high methane content. Further, Compressed Bio-Gas is exactly similar to the commercially available natural gas in its composition and energy potential. With similar calorific value and other properties similar to CNG, Compressed Bio-Gas can be used as an alternative, renewable automotive fuel. Given the abundance of biomass in the country, Compressed Bio-Gas has the potential to replace CNG in automotive, industrial and commercial uses in the coming years. In a significant push that has the potential to boost availability of more affordable transport fuels, better use of agricultural residue, cattle dung and municipal solid waste as well as to provide an additional revenue source to farmers, an innovative initiative titled SATAT (Sustainable Alternative Towards Affordable Transportation) has been kicked-off by PSU Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs, that is, IOC, BPC and HPC) inviting Expression of Interest (EoI) from potential entrepreneurs to set up Compressed Bio-Gas (CBG) production plants and make available CBG in the market for use in automotive fuels. This developmental effort would benefit both vehicle-users as well as farmers and entrepreneurs.

Autogas (LPG)

AutoGas (LPG) is a clean, high octane, abundant and eco-friendly fuel. It is obtained from natural gas through fractionation and from crude oil through refining. It is a mixture of petroleum gases like propane and butane. The higher energy content in this fuel results in a 10% reduction of CO2 emission as compared to MS. The use of LPG as an automotive fuel has become legal in India with effect from April 24, 2000, albeit within the prescribed safety terms and conditions. Hitherto, the thousands of LPG vehicles running in various cities have been doing so illegally by using domestic LPG cylinders, a very unsafe practice. Using domestic LPG cylinders in automobiles is still illegal. The fuel is marketed by IndianOil under the brand name 'AutoGas'. Indian Oil has setup 352 Auto LPG Dispensing Stations(as on 01.11.19) covering 204 cities across India. AutoGas impacts greenhouse emissions less than any other fossil fuel when measured through the total fuel cycle. Conversion of petrol to AutoGas helps substantially reduce air pollution caused by vehicular emissions The saving on account of conversion to AutoGas in comparison to petrol is about 35-40%. Low filling times and the 35-40% saving is a reason enough for a consumer to convert his vehicle to AutoGas.

Ethanol-blended petrol

In the year 2003, a new eco-friendly fuel popularly called 'Gasohol' was launched. This fuel combines petrol with 5% ethanol obtained from the sugarcane molasses available throughout the country. IndianOil's R&D centre has established a feasibility of ethanol blending up to 10%, which is now gaining acceptance of vehicle manufacturers. India has also signed a MOU with Brazil in April 2002 for transfer of technology in blending ethanol with petrol and diesel at higher properties.

Doping of ethanol with petrol supplies extra oxygen for complete combustion, which reduces carbon monoxide levels in auto emission and therefore, it is considered more environment friendly as it lessens air pollution. For now, its biggest advantage is for the macro economy. When fully implemented all over the country, the programme can provide tangible benefits to our economy on the energy front.

Based on successful completion of the pilot project initiated by the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas, Government of India and studies conducted by IndianOil R&D, supply of 5% ethanol-blended petrol has been initiated in 10 States and three Union Territories in the first phase, and will be further extended to all parts of the country subsequently.


Biodiesel is an alternative fuel, having diesel like properties, synthesised by a simple chemical reaction of alcohols with vegetable oils. It is commonly made from edible oils like soyabean, rapeseed and palm oil in the world. However, non-edible tree borne oil seeds of Jatropha and Karanjia are material of choice for India. These trees are energy fixing, fast-growing and yield appreciable quantity of seeds.

IndianOil R&D has perfected a process to produce biodiesel from various non-edible oils, especially from Jatropha and Karanjia. The biodiesel produced has been tested for its properties and meets the stringent international standards. Extensive field trials have been conducted using 5 and 10% bio-diesel blends in collaboration with Indian Railways, Haryana Roadways, TATA, etc.

The R&D Centre is now taking a number of initiatives for promotion of biodiesel in the country. A state-of-the art quality control laboratory has been set up to check the quality of biodiesel, as per ASTM/BIS specifications. IndianOil has entered into an MOU with Indian Railways for plantation of Jatropha on railway land. It is also setting up 10 biodiesel procurement centres. A reduction of 10 to 15% in smoke density has been observed with the use of biodiesel blends.

Hydrogen Energy

Hydrogen holds the potential to provide a clean and reliable source of energy that can be used in a wide range of applications, including the transport sector. Besides ensuring energy security to the nation, the environmental benefits of using Hydrogen in a fuel cell vehicle could be significant.

IndianOil R&D in collaboration with SIAM (Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers) and other vehicle manufacturers, had undertaken extensive field validation exercises to arrive at the optimal Hydrogen percentage to be spiked in CNG for deriving maximum benefits in fuel economy and emissions reduction. Further, IndianOil is also extensively working with heavy duty automakers to optimise the catalyst recipe of three-way catalytic converters fitted on buses and trucks to bring down the NOx levels within the permissible range of the BS-VI emission limits when CNG is replaced with H-CNG.

Royal Dutch Shell

Synthetic Kerosene

Decarbonisation is one of the biggest challenges faced by aviation, and the pathway to net-zero emissions will take innovation, collaboration and legislation. Find out how Shell is continually working with its industry partners to significantly scale sustainable aviation fuel.

Synthetic kerosene – the future of aviation?

As the aviation sector seeks to decarbonise and reduce emissions, sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) has a key role to play but requires bold action from airlines, fuel providers, and policymakers in order to reach the necessary scale. One challenge the industry faces is finding more ways to make SAF at commercial scale using different feedstocks and processes. Therefore, we are proud to share a breakthrough from Shell Aviation that shows the feasibility of an innovative, lower-carbon pathway for making SAF.

In May 2020 Shell accepted a BHAG challenge (Big Hairy Audacious Goal), from the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management to produce an amount of sustainable synthetic kerosene beyond labatory scale at the Shell Technology Centre Amsterdam.

What started with an innovative industry challenge, ended with the world’s first flight using certified, synthetic kerosene made from hydrogen and recycled carbon. Synthetic fuel is not new, as we have been producing it for decades with the help of fossil resources.


Phillips 66

With nearly 150 years of experience, we are well-positioned to help fulfill global energy needs. We are a diversified energy manufacturing and logistics company with unique businesses in Refining, Midstream, Chemicals and Marketing and Specialties.

Today, Phillips 66 is a diversified energy manufacturing and logistics company. With a portfolio of Midstream, Chemicals, Refining, and Marketing and Specialities businesses, the company processes, transports, stores and markets fuels and products globally. Phillips 66 Partners, the company's master limited partnership (MLP), is integral to the portfolio. Headquartered in Houston, Texas, Phillips 66 has 14,300 employees committed to safety and operating excellence.







Our methanol to gasoline (MTG) process selectively converts methanol to a single fungible liquid fuel and a small LPG stream. The liquid product is conventional gasoline with very low sulphur and low benzene, which can be sold as-is or blended with ethanol, methanol or with petroleum refinery stocks. This minimizes offsite and logistic complexity and investment for synthetic fuel distribution.

Methanol-to-gasoline chemistry was discovered by ExxonMobil scientists in the 1970s. Over years of extensive studies and pilot plant operations, ExxonMobil developed both the fixed bed and fluid bed MTG processes. Compared to fixed bed MTG, fluid bed MTG demonstrates overall advantages in CAPEX, OPEX, operation reliability, steady product quality, carbon intensity, and more. Today, Exxon Mobil is focusing on actively licensing fluid bed MTG over fixed bed MTG. The unique MTG catalyst is the science that limits the synthesis reactions to ~11 carbons, which is exactly the gasoline range.





PetroChina is one of the major oil and gas producers and distributors in China, as well as a significant player in the global oil and gas industry. We are engaged in a wide range of activities related to oil, gas and new energy, and sustainably provide energy and oil products for economic and social development.

We strongly acknowledge that a good ecological environment is fundamental for human beings to survive and remain healthy, and it is the most important factor in terms of the well-being of the people and productivity. Caring for life and protecting the environment to build a beautiful world with harmony between human beings and nature have been integrated into our work philosophy. We are always committed to the QHSE principle of "people-centered, quality foremost, safety first, environment prioritized" to achieve "zero defects, zero injuries and zero pollution" , to promote economical production, cleaner production and safe production, and endeavor to build PetroChina into a resource-conserving, environmentally friendly and safety-conscious business.

Clean Energy

Natural Gas:
Natural gas is the Company's strategic, growing and value-added business, which also serves as a bridge for the transition from fossil fuels to clean energy. The vigorous development and utilization of natural gas is a basic project that runs through the process of green and low-carbon transition and development. We promote the development of conventional gas and unconventional gases such as tight gas, shale gas and coal-bed methane. In addition, we import natural gas through multiple channels in order to form a diverse energy supply system. In 2020, we produced 119.52 billion cubic meters of natural gas, including domestic production of 113.09 billion cubic meters, up 9.9% year-on-year. We increased imports of pipeline gas and LNG, and sold 172.59 bcm of natural gas domestically, which contributed to the optimization of China's energy mix and the construction of a beautiful China.

We promote the comprehensive utilization of natural gas in city gas, industrial fuels, natural gas power generation, chemical feedstock and vehicle fuels. To meet the demands of the 'coal-to-gas' users and maintain stable supply of resources, we strengthen the demand-side management to ensure the users in seven provinces/municipalities in northern China enjoy sufficient gas supply for heating in the winter months.

New Energy and Alternative Energy:
We take the development of new energy and alternative energy as new driver for the development of green and low-carbon transition. In 2020, we set up a new energy and new material business development leading group, strengthened new energy development strategies and plans, and continued to expand new energy businesses such as geothermal energy, solar energy, bio-fuels, and charging (battery exchange) stations, especially with great progress in the field of hydrogen energy.

Response to Climate Change

At PetroChina, we support the global goal of limiting global warming to less than 2°C by the end of this century. To this end, we implement the "carbon peak, carbon neutrality" goal proposed by the Chinese government, and we strive to be the supplier of clean energy and the promoter of the low-carbon transition of society, and share the practices of greenhouse gas control with industry peers and all sectors of society.

We make vigorous efforts in developing natural gas and planning for new energy and new materials, with a view to meeting the needs of the society for clean and high-quality energy and products. We continuously improve the carbon control system, strengthen the carbon emission management, and actively participate in the global oil and gas industry cooperation on responses to climate change. We have issued the Methane Emission Control Action Plan to propose a goal of reducing methane emission intensity by around 50% by 2025 from the 2019 level.


Reliance Industries Ltd.

Reliance Industries Limited is a Fortune 500 company and the largest private sector corporation in India.

Our motto “Growth is Life” aptly captures the ever-evolving spirit of Reliance. We have evolved from being a textiles and polyester company to an integrated player across energy, materials, retail, entertainment and digital services. In each of these areas, we are committed to innovation-led, exponential growth. Our vision has pushed us to achieve global leadership in many of our businesses.

Reliance's products and services portfolio touches almost all Indians on a daily basis, across economic and social spectrums. We are now focussed on building platforms that will herald the Fourth Industrial Revolution and will create opportunities and avenues for India and all its citizens to realise their true potential.

The RIL HSE vision embraces the concept of sustainable development focused on environmental sustainability. We recognize that sustainable business advantage occurs when we understand and address environmental issues in our operations including development of products and their delivery. RIL sites aspire to increase energy efficiency of production processes, apply advanced technology to produce less waste and demand less energy, reduce and eliminate flaring and venting of feed and product gases, including volatile organic compounds. These are the first steps toward environmental sustainability, focusing on operating processes that minimize resource use and environmental waste.



Synthetic fuels can make gasoline- and diesel-powered cars carbon-neutral, and thus make a significant contribution to limiting global warming.

For climate targets to be achieved, CO2 emissions from traffic worldwide will have to be reduced 50 percent over the next four decades, and by at least 85 percent in the advanced economies.

After all, even if all cars were to drive electrically one day, aircraft, ships, and even trucks will still run mainly on fuel. Carbon-neutral combustion engines that run on synthetic fuels are thus a very promising path to explore — also for passenger cars.

2.8 gigatons of CO2 could be saved by 2050 with the use of synthetic fuels.






Futurist Portrait

Nick Jankel
Transformational Futurist



Nick Jankel is CEO of Switch On, a trailblazing transformation company that unlocks life-changing and world-changing transformations in individuals, relationships, leaders, and systems. Transform yourself and our world with Bio-Transformation Theory®.

With 25+ years hard-won experience advising world-class blue chips, scale-ups, and purposeful orgs on the front lines of disruption, Nick is one of the world’s preeminent practitioners, keynote speakers, and theorists of transformational leadership and breakthrough innovation. He is the co-founder of leadership consultancy Switch On and transformative sustainability agency FutureMakers; and the co-creator of Bio-Transformation®, a theory and toolset for transformation built on the latest brain and behavioral sciences.

Aside from his commitment as a parent and partner, Nick supports execs and changemakers of all kinds to transform themselves, their enterprises, and their systems to forge — and not fail — the future. He has led 100+ disruptive innovation projects (e.g. Microsoft, Diageo, Novartis, Genentech, BBC); given 1000+ keynotes (e.g. Google, Pfizer, LEGO, No.10 Downing, Schroders); and developed 100,000+ leaders (e.g. Nike, Intel, Unilever, Zalando, HSBC, NHS). He is an expert in designing, delivering, guiding leadership development and breakthrough innovation programmes that result in the transformation of teams, business models, and cultures.

Nick studied at two unis in the global Top 10: Medicine & Philosophy of Science at Cambridge (Triple 1st) & Clinical Medicine at UCL. He has taught at Yale, LBS & Oxford and co-authored a paper in the top 1% of citations. A pioneer of purpose-led enterprise, he has taught impact entrepreneurs on 4 continents; was a UK Ambassador for Entrepreneurship; and has advised No.10 Downing St & the EU.

Described as a true polymath, Nick’s life’s work has been to unfold Bio-Transformation®, a rigorous method for unlocking change in individuals, organizations, and systems as fast as humanly possible. It is woven from the latest neuroscience, complexity theory, trauma-informed psychology & contemplative science. It is the foundation of Switch On's Cell to System™ leadership curriculum, innovation programs, and systemic change programs (e.g. Oxfam, WWF, NHS, UKGBC).

Nick is a futurist and thought leader on international news; in the FT, The Times, The Guardian; and on 100+ podcasts. He has coached celebrities and addicts on global TV shows (BBC, MTV). He is the author of a number of well-received books on creativity, leadership, wisdom, and transformation, including Now Lead The Change: Regenerate Our Crisis-Hit World By Mastering Transformational Leadership (2020). As a wisdom teacher and philosopher, he has spoken at Aspen Ideas Festival, TOA, SAND, Science of Consciousness, Economist, SOCAP & SciFoo.

“When we react to problems, as opposed to create with them, we get hooked into stress. When we are under constant low-grade stress — and it’s estimated that over 80 percent of us are all the time — this begins to hurt us.

1 When we are stressed, our nervous system tightens up and we lose our creativity. Stress stops us learning, and if we aren’t learning, we aren’t growing.

2 Stress, AKA fear, corrodes the curiosity and courage we need to experiment with the new. It is almost impossible to play big in life, if we are scared of looking like idiots, going bankrupt, or being rejected. Stress kills creativity and kills us too. Whereas small amounts of stress help us focus, engage, and learn, chronic or elevated stress burns us out, literally as well as metaphorically. People who live near airports and deal with the stress of giant airplanes roaring above them have higher rates of cardiac arrest than those who don’t.

3 People who deal with a controlling or uncommunicative boss have a 60 percent higher chance of developing coronary heart disease than those who don’t.

4 Stress leads to tangible changes inside all the cells of the body. Specific genes start to express proteins, which leads to inflammation; and chronic inflammation is associated with killers such as heart disease and cancer. Over time, stress reduces our ability to prevent aging, heal wounds, fight infections, and even be successfully immunized.

5 Unmanaged stress, simply from having a sense of disempowerment at work, can be more dangerous than smoking or high cholesterol.”


“Krisis, the ancient Greek word from which the modern term is derived, doesn’t mean something terrible. It means a ‘turning point,’ a moment for a major decision. Across the other side of the planet, the Chinese developed a word for ‘crisis’ that also brings with it a sense of change. Their word contains two characters: One means ‘emergency’ and the other ‘opportunity.’ Within every crisis there is something dangerous, which we can, and must, pay attention to. Yet, after we have dealt with the most pressing issues, we get access to an opportunity too. We can use any crisis as a turning point to find more peace, purpose, and power inside us. Some wisdom traditions, such as the Eleusinian Mysteries in Ancient Greece, even created artificial crises for their adepts to ensure they got their money’s worth. Few people want to engage in a transformational experience and not come out with a change in attitude or a shift in consciousness! A good crisis is the gateway to this. It serves as the incentive to switch on. The great psychologist Carl Jung believed that even psychotic crises could be deciphered as turning points for transformation and change. So every crisis is asking you: Which way will you turn? Toward the future or the past? Up onto the Breakthrough Curve or back into your comfort zone”



Unlocking Transformation


Switch On | Talks at Google







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