Perhaps for a fleeting moment in our lives Covid has given many of us the chance to pause and really connect to each other and to the nature around us. Many are now imagining a world that is different: a new normal, built back better.
My new normal? I imagine a world where we are always this connected. Where instinctively we act with generosity, even love, because, quite simply, why wouldn’t we act that way if we truly felt we belonged in nature, belonged to each other?
A world where we simply belong.
This is what living the Golden Rule is all about. Treat others and the planet as you would wish to be treated. Yes it’s a rather simple statement, but beneath its simplicity is connection.
Our motivation at Reboot the Future? To rebuild lost connections and care between people, and between people and nature, guided by the principle of the Golden Rule. Indeed, we believe loss of connection is the real emergency we are facing today, which underpins the plethora of global challenges we are up against.
And so in early 2020 we started an adventure. The mission was clear – we wanted to connect people to the Golden Rule, really help them live it. It’s why we exist.
We worked closely with our partner, Leaders Quest, and we began to explore the power of conversation. Could we help people live by the Golden Rule by helping them connect through conversations? Could a simple conversation change mindsets and open hearts? We developed four related themes for exploration and we decided to call them Conscious Conversations. Our themes were:
- Exploring the Golden Rule in relation to ‘self’ – understanding how to live a good life, all the way to the very end, through a conversation on ‘Living a Life of Meaning and Dying Wise’.
- Connecting the Golden Rule to 'our planet' - awakening our connection with life and discovering that we can actually love the natural world, very fiercely.
- Connecting with ‘the other’ and awakening our innate capacity for empathy, in order to create new possibilities for living – whilst being different and holding profound disagreements.
- Our relationship with 'deep time' - understanding where we sit in the continuum of time and applying the Golden Rule to our past (ancestors) and our future (generations to come).
Then in March the world changed, and our plans for piloting Conscious Conversations in-person had to migrate online. In May 2020, we held our first Conscious Conversation with 10 people. Leaders in their own fields – business, politics, philanthropy, civil society. People who were curious to connect.
7 conversations in total, over 40 people engaged, and we feel we may be onto something…Really that should be no surprise. Change has always happened, person by person, one connection at a time - and our model of Conscious Conversations builds on a rich tradition that has underpinned much of the twentieth century’s most powerful social change movements. It is a deliberate process where together, as a small group of peers, we reflect deeply and personally on topics inherent in the systemic crises facing the world, made manifest in our organisations, and ourselves.
Our adventure continues. We’re taking a short break over the summer to reflect and learn from our feedback, but this is very much the start of a journey for Reboot the Future.
We believe Conscious Conversations has the potential to spark new conversations in families, communities, with leaders all around the world – at scale - creating new spaces for listening, reconsidering, and contemplating the seemingly impossible. Creating opportunities to reboot the future.
It’s a new normal I want to be part of. A new normal where we treat all others and this beautiful world with the love and care we would want for ourselves.