April 20, 2022

Binge on BEST of Environmental 🌎 Stewards 🟢 Episodes

Binge on BEST of Environmental 🌎 Stewards 🟢 Episodes

Join me and my favorite Environmental Stewards taking global action!
Let’s invest to protect and regenerate our 🌍 planet, accelerate solutions, and activate everyone:
✔️ governments
🟢Let’s catalyze State engagement in sustainability and systemic change
🙌🏽 Humanity from the ground up
🟢Let’s invest providing a seat at the table and a gathering place and community visibility.
🤝 businesses from the top down
🟢Let’s invest in demonstrable
smart, conscious, purposeful capital
evidenced by 🌎Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) metrics.


☯️ Leaving a healthy planet for future generations of all species is front of mind with Environmental 🌎 Stewards 🟢 who all bring their wisdom, strength, and hope to inspire you on your conscious journey as a values-led leader.

About the Guests

Paul Quaiser talks about human sustainability.

Rae André speaks about climate change and inspiring leaders.

Steve Weinstein shares about climate and ESG.

Eyes on the Sky team members raise awareness about their transmedia story world project.  

Dr. Moriba Jah shares as a global space evangelist.

ReEconomist, Storm Cunningham reminds us that “What we restore restores us and what we revitalized revitalizes us!”

About the Show

Podcast Host: Life & Leadership: A Conscious Journey with Dr. Michelle St Jane

A podcast for Global and Re-Emerging Leadership creating community/tribe, a circle of influence, transcendency of compassionate leadership in the world and wider universe. A unique destination for learning about Leadership + Conscious Stewardship + Legacy.

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Social Media Accounts

Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/MstJane)

Transcript

Intro: You're listening to Life and Leadership: A Conscious Journey. The podcast that shares wisdom and strength. Join your host, Dr. Michelle St Jane's weekly conversation on how to have a positive impact for people, planet, and the wider world. If you want to live a life of intention, to be proactive with your time and bring your vision for the future to live one today at a time, you’re in the right place at the right time. Let's get started. 

Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:00:34] Welcome! Life & Leadership podcast is delighted to bring you the best of our environmental stewards all together in one episode, 

🤔 Why? 

We all need to lend our voice, focused towards raising awareness around acting. 

☯️ It's important. 

☯️ Lean into your purpose. 

☯️ Your legacy.

☯️ Leaving a healthy planet for future generations of all species. 

Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:01:06] For international mother earth day the theme for 2022 is invest in our planet, accelerate solutions, activate everyone.

Let’s invest to protecting our planet, accelerate solutions, activate everyone: 

✔️ governments, 

🙌🏽 citizens, 

🤝 businesses, 

🙌🏻 NGOs 

💥Knowledge Bomb: 

Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:01:08]

💡 It’s a global event with 174 countries and 500+ million people get active

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtfully committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." -- Margaret Mead

💡 Food accounts for 10-35% of a household’s carbon footprint (think carbon emissions to supply chain distances). 

https://css.umich.edu/factsheets/carbon-footprint-factsheet 

🤔 So, who are we going to be talking to? 

We're going to be talking about human sustainability with Paul Quaiser.

We're going to be talking to Rae André around climate change and inspiring leaders

Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:02:01] We're going to be talking to Steve Weinstein about climate and ESG.

We're going to have our Eyes on the Sky with the team who are raising awareness for the transmedia story world project.  

Dr. Moriba Jah is joining us to talk about the skies and how to be a global space evangelist.

Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:02:23] Storm Cunningham says, “make your next career about restoring the planet

Had you thought of that? 

I look forward to seeing your comments and your thoughts across social media. Thank you.

Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:02:41] Let me introduce Paul Quaiser. He is a pioneer, a visionary leader, around human sustainability. Paul's research experiences have taken him through ancient wisdom, traditions, anthropology, Astrophysics psychedelics and virtual reality. I appreciate Paul. He works to manifest and implement lighthouse projects.

Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:03:05]  These projects guide and catalyze systemic change towards the noosphere - the highest level of bio spheric design in ☯️harmony with natural life support systems and human potential. Thank you, Paul!

Paul Quaiser: [00:03:22] As human beings are organisms; we have internal states. We vibrate, we resonate. We operate in in different states and conditions and phases as well. Well as our environment has influences on that.

Paul Quaiser: [00:03:37] So this connects, you know, where we are from a health and wellness standpoint to how we can survive in alien environments like outers. So, the resilience work really comes in as in what state is the human body in or each individual. And that just happened to gravitate toward leadership.  In a lot of cases, it’s because people in different leadership roles also encounter extreme levels of stress.

Paul Quaiser: [00:04:07] And quite frankly, the astronauts and astronaut development, I consider astronauts kind of the elite industrial athlete, because they need to be cognitively and intellectually at the top of their game, as well as physically resilient to all the challenges that they put their bodies through and stay cognizant while they're being stressed.

Paul Quaiser: [00:04:28]  A lot of their training and conditioning is around that. Other orientations around that methodology are around trying to achieve the zone state, which you hear a lot about, especially from, you know, the athletic environment. But what that really means is that our consciousness our awareness is like a spectrum of what our what I refer to as our perceptual orientation.

Paul Quaiser: [00:04:51] We get a lot of that information through our senses, but it also is this filtered and influenced by what state we exist in internally, as well as environmental conditions. So related to what what's going on now with the virus, for example, the thing that has not been brought out as openly as I thought it should be toxicology reports.

Paul Quaiser: [00:05:11] Like what's in our air, what's in our water, what's in our food that could be influencing this optimal function for our immune system and for, biological, regeneration cellular regenerator. Neurogenesis, keeping our minds, fresh, and renewing. That's where that work really resides.  Where it exists today is I, and some colleagues and I are implementing what could generally be titled as an innovation center where we're taking the most current frontier technologies. Which you could consider biomed or biotech types of technologies from biosensors to various types of feedback mechanisms to train the system, to operate optimal. You have like decompression chambers that you use for scuba diving; they're using those types of chambers now to oxygenate the system to influence more optimal cellular function.

Paul Quaiser: [00:05:38] Titled as an innovation center where we're taking the most current frontier technologies, which you could consider biomed or biotech types of technologies from biosensors to various types of feedback mechanisms to train the system, to operate optimum. You have like decompression chambers that you use for scuba diving; they're using those types of chambers now to oxygenate the system to influence more optimal cellular function when the systems fully oxygenated.

Paul Quaiser: [00:06:13] Many people are familiar with the smartwatches and the biometric sensors that you can buy on bands and different types of straps. And that's moving toward where you put a translucent band aid somewhere on your system. And these nano sensors are also being integrated into like sports-oriented type of shirts and garments.  

 Paul Quaiser: [00:06:37] That information then goes in through your smartphone, being analyzed by an artificial intelligence.  Then you get feedback loops. That feedback loop might be as simple as it analyzed your facial status, and it concluded what mood you're. Or it is analyzing your voice frequency.

Some of the frontier technologies are indicating that they can determine chemical composition in your body from your voice frequency, just like a carrier wave in the communication system carries information. They're able to extrapolate all different kinds of data points from this biometric sensing.

Typically, you just get information like: “Okay. I slept this amount of hours. This amount of time. Last night I was in REM state, blah, blah, blah, blah.” But it doesn't actually give you entraining type of feedback loops. That's where we're connecting those dots is so important. 

Paul Quaiser: [00:07:29]  For example, you're in a particular state and, most of us like to listen to music during the day or when we go for walks or, whatever you're doing, driving in the car.

What if that music had embedded in its frequencies that would in train your mind to operate in a more optimal state versus being in an incoherent state, like being locked into a stressful condition. 

Paul Quaiser: [00:07:54] Those frequencies might not be necessarily recognizable in the audible spectrum, but what they're doing is they're literally kind of like a tuning fork would be used for an instrument and training your system to operate in a more optimal state.

Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:08:17] 🤔 Have you ever considered joining team humanity to save the planet?  Rae André guides new and seasoned leaders in communities, companies, and society on CLIMATE CHANGE.  She inspires concerned citizens and organizational leaders take on the twin challenges of climate change and energy evolution.  Rae guides you to around how to  effectively address the climate crisis. 

Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:08:43] Rae André encourages leaders to work through people to solve problems. She guides new and seasoned leaders in communities, companies, and society on CLIMATE CHANGE.  She inspires concerned citizens and organizational leaders take on the twin challenges of climate change and energy evolution.  Rae guides you to around how to  effectively address the climate crisis and encourages  Leaders work through people to solve problems. 

There’s a call for new generation of future leaders.  

🤔 Does this start at home?  

🤔 As parents, grandparents, what should we doing?

Rae André: [00:08:59] You know, Michelle, I, I'm not an expert on how far down, in terms of age, you should start talking about climate change in a serious way.

Rae André: [00:09:09] The Ballpark is to raise your children to be close to nature. And that's very, very hard for parents to. Make sure that they love the world, the natural world. And at some point, I, I would guess again, I'm not an expert in this area, but what's going to depend on your child, but in their middle to late teens, start introducing them to the more critical aspects of the climate change that we're facing.

Rae André: [00:09:32] I mean, when you throw somebody a figure The climate is changing at a pace that's far faster than anything seen in 65 million years now, you know, would you give that to a 12-year-old maybe, but I would give it to an 18 year. And, you know, that's a pretty astonishing fact. And then you could build on that.

Rae André: [00:09:51]  Of course we don't want to just scare people, whether they're young or old, every time you list a frightening fact, we ought to be telling people what they can do about that and what that means. Otherwise, people become afraid, and they disengage. So, you can tell people that the climate is changing at a pace that's far faster than anything happening in 65 million years.

Rae André: [00:10:10] : And this is the plan that we have for reducing the CO2 that is causing that, warming. But one of the things that concerns me about young leaders. Newer leaders. Let's just take age out of the equation for a moment, but new leaders are interested in getting involved, start to learn everything they can.

Rae André: [00:10:29] My book is really a guide to learning it, encourages people to learn certain areas. I listened to my students, and I've looked for many years at what the scientists were saying. It creates essentially a model or even a checklist If you will study. 

When you're new, I do think it's very important for you to study and to understand all the negative effects. Those are easy to find, start looking at what other leaders are doing. Consider this notion of cooperation versus innovation. All leaders lead through people. And that's what my book is about, is how to lead through people.

I emphasize psychology, sociology, what they can teach you about, leadership in this particular sphere. But then what happens is people burn out. So, you start saying, oh my God, I know this. And I do this awful thing and this awful thing and this awful thing. And oftentimes, unfortunately the media emphasizes the awful things.

And of course, the awful things can be pretty awful. We do want to know about. When that happens to you is to just pick one or two or three things that you're going to watch. 

Rae André: [00:11:32] The thing that I urge people to watch is the Keeling curve. Have you heard of the Keeling curve? Michelle? Okay. So that's the diagram of CO2 concentration in the atmosphere.

That's put together at the Mauna Kea Observatory in Hawaii every day they measure it and then they publish this. It's the same curve that you saw in Al Gore's work, where he, in his first film, An Inconvenient Truth, where he climbs on the ladder and shows the increase in CO2, just going up and up and up.

 

Rae André: [00:12:02] That's enough to know once you've really studied, like the five practices in my book. And again, my book is just an introduction to those practices. It doesn't pretend to be a definitive textbook it's meant to guide conversations in communities and universities.

The University of Toronto Press published a series of questions that can be used by communities to discuss the book. They can have little book groups and on the teaching side, on my website, www.rayandre.com I have a significant group of resources for teachers who might need experiential exercises who want some guidance about how to think about teaching.

Also, that decision-making guide book. All those are on the very first page of my website and it's all free. So, the people can begin to have these discussions. And then again, very few people can continue to absorb all of the information that comes our way about climate. 

But if you consciously control that, what you're doing, you're building resilience in yourself and in your community. We all need to build in resilience because change is coming and it's coming faster than we ever imagined. It would come.

Dr. Michelle St Jane:  🤔 Now when I think about Earth day, one of my favorite people, Steve Weinstein, comes to mind. He is passionate about climate and ESG (environment, social and good governance), that survivor mental, social, and good governance. Steve's a global influencer in the public and private sectors. He is all about fueling climate finance impact investing, climate resilience. I appreciate Steve Weinstein.

Stephen Weinstein: [00:14:14] We've already talked a bit about our success in nurturing and sustaining our sea turtle population. At times the other side of success poses its own challenges because our boisterously robust sea turtle population has an appetite for sea grass. I'm very pleased to announce that a significant government led and community supported effort to restore and protect Bermuda’s truly valuable Seagrass is underway and that's only one of the initiatives that government and individual citizens and community groups in Bermuda. Not just for Earth Day, but across time to make sure that the island remains beautiful. That it's about diversity for me, that the treasures we've been handed off to a next generation.

Stephen Weinstein: [00:14:49] We're also engaged in a set of must physical immediately because financial impacts indirectly affects the physical impacts. I've mentioned already that Bermuda, I hope is quite proud of its half a century of leadership and financial services, particularly in the insurance. The roots have reviewed as re-insurance leadership are in a significant climate driven risk of that hurricane Andrew, which devastated Florida in 1992, shortly after that event, new capital, but importantly, new business ideas, new technology driven approaches to an old industry emerged in Bermuda and to summarize.

Stephen Weinstein: [00:15:19] The Bermuda reinsurance market went from a standing start to a broadened global relevance, and just a couple of years by bringing new technologies, new approaches and new human capital to a very old industry reinsurance. Now we're looking at a new frontier, the world of climate risk finance. It is the adjacent vertical no market, no regulator, no population of human talent understands how climate risk resides on a financial services balance sheet, better than those constituents.

Stephen Weinstein: [00:15:45] We can take our strengths, our track record of our leadership and extended it in climate risk. Partly because we had the wind at our back, includes this growing awareness of how significant challenges are, but the other side of challenge, is opportunity, and no culture has embraced that ethos better than Bermuda over its four centuries.

Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:16:01] Well-put and I like the fact that you also touched on the blue economy.

🤔 I’d just like to pause, to make another historical reference here. Women actually exceeded the maritime economy in the 1730s. Queen Anne took the bonnets into high fashion. The woman on the island had that industry involving the elderly, the disabled, the children. They were using the resources on the island to create ropes and baskets, because it was a maritime community, but the Bermuda bonnet ended up being the big selling point.

Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:16:32] To quote a frequent visitor from another century, Mark Twain once said, “Throw off the line, sail away from the safe Harbor, catch the trade winds in your sale sales explore, dream and discover.”

Which sounds like this new initiative to move into an adjacent vertical of climate risk and who better positioned for that?

Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:16:52] A lot of people don't realize how central Bermuda was for the space exploration. I was around at ACE when they were offering re-insurance for satellites and rocket launches. 

 I had a chance to broke to the Fortune 500 when they were providing Directors and Officers coverage and a gap and excess liability coverage.

Bermuda has always nicely pivoted into these uncharted waters and said, Hey, let's figure out how to do. 

Bermuda has always nicely pivoted into these uncharted waters and said, “Hey, let's figure out how to do.”

Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:17:14]  In terms of the blue economy, on our doorstep, we have this golden rain forest, the Sargasso Sea, an ocean within an ocean, so rich in biodiversity. 

Stephen Weinstein: [00:17:28] At the BDA, we've been deeply involved in The Blue Ocean Prosperity Initiative. You're right. We stand at the cusp of great wealth. 

Stephen Weinstein: [00:17:34] I think Bermuda understands. I think broadly that there's a shared resource, that there are opportunities for Bermuda and Bermudians to prosper. The best strategies will involve alignment, collaboration and custodianship of these resources called The Blue Ocean Prosperity Initiative.

Stephen Weinstein: [00:17:49] Michelle, you also touched on something quite interesting too, this prosperity has always been founded by adventure and a willingness to move into the unknown with real confidence. Whether it was the maritime adventure as of the 17th and 18th and 19th centuries, or the financial courage that Bermuda has shown in this century. To tackle things and others were afraid of, and to do it thoughtfully, to do with science and to do with data that served Bermuda well, as it pioneered satellite coverage.

Stephen Weinstein:  [00:18:13] It served us well as it led the world in hurricane, flooding, and wildfire. We are absolutely the best place to invest in and try to provide new solutions and new innovation for what is sadly, the rapidly accelerating climate related risks that we face the world over. Bermuda has always been brave.

Stephen Weinstein: [00:18:28] The companies that have set up shop in Bermuda, embraced and expanded that ethos.

Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:18:34] Bermuda's a brilliant incubator as well. We have some brilliant minds on three- or four-square blocks.

Dr. Michelle St Jane:   Now I'm a person who has the eyes on the skies. I love to raise awareness. This team is from a transmedia story project called Eyes on the Sky is an immersive traveling exhibit enrolling humanity to become space environmental. 

Some of my favorite #SpaceHeroes on the team

1.   Sven Ortel is a creator of visual imagery for immersive storytelling.

2.   Lucy Atkinson is an expert in environmental communication. 

3.   Kyle Schonefield the assistant producer.  

Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:19:27] You guys are using this amazing trans media. The story will project. Why, 🤔 how is this going to help?  

Sven Ortel: [00:19:34] I got involved with Eyes on the Sky after talking to Erin. We were all kind of scrambling to figure out how to do anything really.  I was researching VR technology. I'm a theater designer by trade. I was figuring out how can this technology be relevant and help us?

I wasn't finding much, it was all cool and shiny, but it didn't engage me on an emotional level. And then I'm also a very passionate gardener and I love landscaping and I care about the stewardship off the planets. And Erin was telling me about this. The project is investigating hybridity and how new ways of storytelling that combines physical and digital can create an emotional connection with the audience.

I said, yes, exactly. I think this is where we need to go. And it's about creating an emotional connection and investigating this. The technologies that create that in a similar way, that when you walk through a garden, that's something that I actually feel as opposed to you just seeing information.

Sven Ortel: [00:20:36]  Interested in that, finding ways to recreate that in a way. Not exactly because he can't, but you know, in an approximation so we can reach a lot of people who otherwise don't know, have access to this information or find it difficult to understand the challenges and that's. A design challenge and I'm a designer and I teach design.

Sven Ortel: [00:20:55]   It seemed perfect. We call that XR or mixed reality a mixture of digital and physical. We're sort of at the forefront. We have pioneers, there are blueprints and it's exciting to me, but more importantly, it's exciting for the students.

Dr. Lucy Atkinson: [00:21:10] What are we doing on Earth with respect to the environment?

Dr. Lucy Atkinson: [00:21:14] Erin asked me to join this project. I was so excited because it changed my focus from looking down to looking up.  I love the challenge of trying to communicate with audiences about issues that are intractable that are wicked. Just like this problem. And there's a lot of assumptions or beliefs that we just have to educate people.

Dr. Lucy Atkinson: [00:21:38] We just have to give them the information and then they will change their behaviors. They'll do the right thing. We know as communicators. That is not how it works. That's why people continue to smoke. That's why people continue to text and drive. We know we shouldn't, but we do it. It's really about what kinds of messages, how do we appeal to.

Dr. Lucy Atkinson: [00:21:58] Michelle you've mentioned fear. We know that fear appeals. We use them a lot in communication, but they really aren't that effective. They work sometimes, but it really isn't a motivating way to communicate with people. And so, what I love about this project is that it tries to engage with audiences in a really new way with this immersive experience that hopefully people can connect with an issue that they might not think about or feels very distant. Not salient to them. Hopefully this immersive idea will change that perspective. 

As a researcher, I like to understand:

🤔 How do people think before? 

🤔 How do they think now? 

My focus is on the people as they go through this process to understand what the outcomes are. Are we accomplishing what we’re hoping to.

Dr. Lucy Atkinson: [00:22:46] Obviously I have a bias. I think we will. I think we will have a really important outcome and let other academics; the mainstream media know about what we're finding out here. 

Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:22:58] Oh, I really value what you do, Lucy. 

Secret confession here: I grew up thinking there were nine planets. In my recent reading, 🤔 it curious to learn there’s this whole other world off of Jupiter. diamond planets, exoplanets. 

📚Diamond Worlds, Super Earths, Pulsar Planets and the New Search for Life Beyond Our Solar System (2018) by Astronomer Michael Summer & Physicist , James Trefil

We've got this trash circling around our world in the low earth orbit. We've created that without thinking. Now we're exploring Mars and going beyond with different kinds of technology.

Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:23:32] I’ve had to come to terms with there are more than nine planets. There's what I see in the sky is there's only a little tiny dot of what's really out there.

Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:23:43] I really appreciate that you work on attitudes and beliefs and that. 

Kyle, I'm very excited about what you do as well. You have a business major.  🤔 How do we create this media outreach, this research, and encourage people to engage and be inspired to do more.

Kyle Schonefeld: [00:24:04] I am a student out of the university of Texas Austin coming out of the Riley's immersive program.

Kyle Schonefeld: [00:24:12] I've been on this project for around a year now and thinking about how are we going to get people to interact with this important wicked problem? 

One of the challenges is that people see what is happening at the above. 🤔 How do we humanize that concept and get people to understand what is happening?

Kyle Schonefeld: [00:24:34] That's where this immersive concept comes into play. Other than that, I, as a person, I believe that people deserve to know about this wicked problem. Not just from a student perspective. I've seen that if you ask your friends and your team, a lot of times, not like this team, but like out of the university, a lot of them don't know what's going on up above. Even about space agencies. 

Kyle Schonefeld: [00:24:59] What is going on? They don't communicate it effectively. They don't highlight it. That's not their main objective or their priority. This team is making a priority to let everyone know that, Hey, you deserve to be a part of this conversation and we're going to let you know what it's going on. Not only here on planet earth, but beyond, because we need to care about.

Kyle Schonefeld: [00:25:18] So that's what I've been doing. I've been working more on the marketing engine of this and how do we get this concept out to the media, to get people in to this conversation.

Dr. Michelle St Jane:  [00:25:38]  Dr. Moriba Jah is all about deepening your discovery around outer space. Look up at our skies beyond earth. We have congestion and space in the near-earth . Moriba is an environmentalist and global space evangelist, who is a specialist in orbital mechanics. He created the Astraea graph, which checks over 26,000 satellites and objects that are in orbit around the earth. I so appreciate his work.

🤔 Where do we go from here? 

🤔 What is your hope? 

Moriba, I think you've put a few interesting things out there in terms of at least identifying the problem and making it visible.

Dr. Moriba Jah: [00:26:19] Well, first we need to raise awareness. We have this thing called Eyes on the Sky.org, which is a project to try to do that raising of awareness and basically trying to remind humanity.

Dr. Moriba Jah: [00:26:29] Space, where we come from, we're Stardust. Now space seems to be dominated by the billionaires and all this other stuff that needs to change. I think the most important thing is for humanity to recognize near earth space as this loss Pleiad and say, okay, it is a finite resource.

Dr. Moriba Jah: [00:26:47] It's also in need of environmental protection and extend environmental protection narratives to include in the earth space.  I think we can then develop these sustainability metrics, like the orbital carrying capacity, like a space traffic footprint. Which would be like a carbon footprint analog to understand the burden that any given object poses on.

Dr. Moriba Jah: [00:27:09] Once we have that, and we can then provide some very transparent like evidence of the population. How people are behaving. How these objects are behaving. I think that'll shed light into how we jointly manage this ecosystem in a way that helps. Maximize usability for humanity.  

Michelle St Jane: [00:21:50] Thank you. 

Can we just touch on light pollution? Another one of my heartfelt concerns. 

Can you explain what light pollution is and 🤔 why we should care?

Dr. Moriba Jah: [00:27:35] Absolutely. There are two things, right? Most people understand the light pollution. On the ground, lots of lights that kind of make it such that it's difficult to have the dark skies to look at.  There's also the light pollution from these anthropogenic space objects.

Dr. Moriba Jah: [00:27:51] Basically, it's the way that I got interested in space. Being able to actually see a human made object, orbiting the earth. Back in 1989, when there were much fewer objects orbiting.   

Dr. Moriba Jah: [00:28:06] When people look at a dark sky now, especially with astronomical instruments, we can look at things that are very far, and signals. They have to contend with all these anthropogenic objects, reflecting sunlight in the direction of their telescopes. 

These are nuisance parameters. Now these are basically undesired signals that they have to find their way through to get to the actual science that they want to able to do.

Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:28:39]Storm Cunningham, has the corner on being a green leader, passionate and on purpose on his 🟢 path to Resilient Prosperity.

I love it when he says, “restore the planet as your next career.”

Storm Cunningham: [00:22:59] Our beautiful blue planet it is a harbor of finite resources. 

Dr. Michelle St Jane:  For sure. I was quite taken with your stand on historic preservation. 🤔 Why is this important? 

Storm Cunningham: [00:29:08] It's often the key to downtown revitalization, which is one of the more common challenges communities have all across the planet. As a result of all of the sprawl and fragmentation that's happened in our communities over the past half a century, at least most of it due to bad, urban planning, poor architecture, poor layouts of all kinds and single use zoning. All kinds of things that fragment societies, fragments and natural environment separate the built environment.

Storm Cunningham: [00:29:41] 

🤝 We need to be repurposing this infrastructure and our buildings. 

🤝 We need to be renewing them. 

🤝 We need to be reconnecting neighborhoods.

Reconnecting the ecosystem, and the downtowns have often suffered.  What you find in city centers, to a large degree, are historic buildings. 

Storm Cunningham: [00:30:03] Repurposing, renewing, reconnecting those buildings are often the key to downtown revitalization because they expand the capacity of the downtown. 

At the same time, they make the downtown more appealing visually and just also something that's got fairly universal. It doesn't really separate the conservatives from the progressive's, the greens from the Browns or anything. Everybody loves their heritage and wants to see it come back. 

Storm Cunningham: [00:30:23] Everybody loves their heritage and wants to see it come back to life. 

Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:30:27] I see that you sit with public and private leaders to broadening their understanding around the community, regional economic revitalization process, and to strategically position their career organization within that process. What surprised you in doing this work? 

Storm Cunningham: [00:30:47] Its more of a shock than a surprise. I was horrified.

As you mentioned before, I spent some time in the military in the Green Berets. What I've found when I started working with all these public and private leaders was that they used the word strategy all the time. But 90% of them don't even know what it means.

Storm Cunningham: [00:31:07] Almost a hundred percent of them don't actually have a strategy and they even publish strategic plans that have no strategy. It's amazing. 

I'll ask a mayor, who's just announced that he or she is launching a revitalization program, I'll say “why that's great, what's your strategy.”

Storm Cunningham: [00:31:25] They'll reach up onto a shelf and pull down a 300-page comprehensive plan and say “here.” I'll have to tell him, “well, no, that's the plan. What's your strategy?” They'll say, “oh, okay. Yeah. Well, our strategy is to improve our quality of life and attract new investors and residents.” I'll say, “no, that's a vision.”

Storm Cunningham: [00:31:45] I’ll ask, 

🤔 “What's your strategy for achieving that vision?” 

🤔 “How are you going to overcome the obstacles to achieving that vision?” 

About that point they give up in frustration. So that was one shock. 

Storm Cunningham: [00:32:02] The other shock is that virtually every button on the face of that knows that to reliably produce something. You've got to have a process. 

It doesn't matter whether you're a farmer or manufacturer or a government worker collecting tax revenues. If you're going to do something, produce something on a regular basis, you've got to have a process that's the essence of being a manager. The essence of being a leader is being a strategist.

Storm Cunningham: [00:32:20] The essence of being a manager is being processed, focused. When these communities and regions launch revitalization and resilience initiatives, they have no process for actually producing. That's become the whole focus of my training sessions with public leaders is helping them understand strategy and process. 

Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:32:39] 🤔 What do you wish you knew at the start of this journey? 

Storm Cunningham:  [00:32:43] I wish I'd had a better understanding of how resistant places and people are to change. The funny thing is that everybody wants what I'm promising. You know, that if they do this, this and this, your place will get revitalized.   

Storm Cunningham: [00:33:00] But so many public leaders are just terrified  that if they introduce anything new into the system, it'll interrupt or threaten what they're already doing. They're willing to give up on a grand promise just to avoid any kind of discomfort. 

The fact is that you can do all this stuff without disrupting what you're doing right now. But they're so terrified of interrupting a project or some funding source or whatever that they just kind of closed their minds to anything.

Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:33:31] So much wisdom and those statements. 

🤔 What do you wish you had done differently Storm? 

Storm Cunningham:  [00:33:37]  I wish I had built a stronger and larger network of friends and colleagues with resources before launching all of this, so I didn't have to do it all by myself. 

Dr. Michelle St Jane: If you were to whisper in your ear at the turn of the century, 🤔 what do you wish you had known earlier? 

Storm Cunningham: [00:33:59] basically, it would've been nice just to have started earlier. I'm turning 70. I planned to do this for at least another 30 years, but I could have made so many more positive changes if I had started 20 years ago. 

Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:34:21] Storm, you're an example of a living legend. I appreciate your contributions to this conversation and to the conservation of our precious Earth. Would you like to share any last words for my listeners? 

Storm Cunningham: [00:34:39] Remember this:

What we restore restores us and what we revitalized revitalizes us!”

Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:34:49] Yes!

Outro:  Dr. Michelle St Jane is a conscious steward as meaningful leadership in the world and the wider cosmos. Tune in for real talk around life, leadership, and your conscious journey. Be ready to create and cultivate your dreams and wholehearted desires. Your support is valued. Please follow, subscribe, leave a review and a rating. More importantly, share with your connections.

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Dr. Michelle St Jane

Podcast Host: Life & Leadership: A Conscious Journey 

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Paul Quaiser

Principal Consultant with the Human Sustainability Institute and Atlas Noosphere Center.

An analytical, outcome-focused and visionary leader with extensive experience as an Integral Systems Solutions Architect, forming and implementing strategic plans and initiatives that support sustainability/regeneration, innovation, culture development and community. A unique cross-disciplinary background comprised of harvesting executive leadership, innovation, project management, emerging technology, physics and human factors to develop revolutionary business, ecological, economic and social systems.
An influential and empathetic professional who builds and maintains effective relationships with employees, partners, stakeholders and members of government. As an International Consultant and Advisor, he works to manifest and implement Lighthouse Projects that guide and catalyze systemic change toward the noosphere - the highest level of biospheric design in harmony with natural life support systems and human potential.

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Dr. Rae André

Professor Emeritus, D'Amore-McKim School of Business, Northeastern University and author

Rae André is a sustainability educator and environmental activist who focuses on working with climate leaders. She promotes sustainability leadership based on the principles that growth is finite, natural capital is priceless, and human progress must be measured in terms of both economics and the quality of life.
An organizational psychologist, Dr. André is Professor Emeritus of Leadership and Sustainability and Instructor in the D'Amore-McKim School of Business at Northeastern University in Boston. Her courses promote systemic thinking on climate change and energy evolution. Aimed at high level undergraduates, MBAs, and professionals, they include sustainability for organizations ("weak" sustainability) along with sustainability for the planet ("strong" sustainability). Her work has reached students in a variety of disciplines from management to engineering to liberal arts.
A best-selling author, her popular press books include Take Back the Sky: Protecting Communities in the Path of Aviation Expansion (Sierra Club Books), Positive Solitude (Harper Collins), and The 59-Second Employee: How to Stay One Second Ahead of Your One-Minute Manager (co-authored with Peter D. Ward, Houghton Mifflin). Her academic books include Organizational Behavior: An Introduction to Your Life in Organizations (Prentice Hall), Researchers Hooked on Teaching: Noted Scholars Discuss the Synergy Between Teaching and Research (co-edited with Peter J. Frost, Sage), and Homemakers, the Forgotten Workers (The University of Chicago Press).
Dr. André is the 2019 recipient of the David L. Bradford Outstanding Educator Award, which acknowledges "consistently demonstrated achievement over a lifetime, focusing on teaching and learning excellence. These individuals have contributed substantially to the Society, and have impacted the field as a whole, with their innovations and ideas extending to a wide audience." The award is given annually by the Management and Organizational Behavior Teaching Society in honor of its founder.
She received the 2011 Fritz Roethlisberger Memorial Award for the Best Paper in the Journal of Management Education for an article on group leadership. She is also the recipient of the Peter J. Frost Mentoring Award (2017) and the Susan B. Herman Distinguished Service Award (2014) of the Management and Organizational Behavior Teaching Society. She served that Society as president from 2010 to 2013.
Dr. Andre received a Ph.D. in Organizational Psychology from the University of Michigan, an M.A. in Film Studies from the University of California at Los Angeles, and a B.A. (Cum Laude) in English from Cornell University.
Her articles have been published in Business Horizons, Harvard Business Review Case Studies, Non-Profit Quarterly, Journal of Business Ethics, Journal of Management Education, Economic Development Quarterly, The New York Times, Journal of Small Business Management, and Management International Review.
Dr. André is a member of the Academy of Management, the Authors Guild, and the Management and Organizational Behavior Teaching Society. She is a life member of the Appalachian Mountain Club and the Sierra Club, and a supporter of the Natural Resources Defense Council.
She has held professional positions at IBM, General Motors, and MCA, Inc., and has been a visiting professor on the Semester at Sea voyage; L'Ecole Superiere du Commerce, Reims, France; the University of Waikato, New Zealand; and the Ulster University in Belfast, Northern Ireland

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Stephen Weinstein

Chair

Stephen Weinstein was elected BDA Chair in 2020 and has been a member of the board since 2016. He currently serves as an advisor to RenaissanceRe. Stephen serves on the boards of several industry and charitable groups including:
Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences (BIOS), an independent U.S. non-profit scientific research and educational organisation based in Bermuda
The R Street Institute, a leading U.S. non-partisan policy organisation. He also serves on the President’s Advisory Counsel for the National Wildlife Federation, America’s largest non-profit conservation organisation

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Dr. Moriba Jah

Associate Professor, Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics, The University of Texas at Austin

Moriba is the Expert / Producer of the team for Eyes on the Sky, creating a transmedia story. He is a space environmentalist and an activist, associate professor of aerospace engineering, director for computational astronautical sciences and technologies. Moriba is a specialist in orbital mechanics. He created the Astraea graph, which checks over 26,000 satellites and objects in orbit around the earth.

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Sven Ortel

Creative Director

Sven is the creative director for Eyes on the Sky, a transmedia story world project. He is an associate professor at University of Austin, Texas. Sven, a pioneer in his field, is passionate about digital technologies and live performance.expert in designing projections and imagery for immersive storytelling.

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Dr. Lucy Atkinson

Researcher

Researcher on the Eyes on the Sky, a transmedia story world project. Lucy is a senior faculty research affiliate and expert in environmental communication at the University of Texas at Austin.

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Kyle Schonefield

Assistant Producer / Student Eyes on the Sky, a transmedia story world project

Kyle is TikTok's as a Brand Development Manager

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Storm Cunningham

Author, speaker and Green Leader

Executive Director of RECONOMICS Institute: The Society of Revitalization & Resilience Professionals in Washington, DC. The Editor of REVITALIZATION: The Journal of Economic & Environmental Resilience.