Convergence – Tomorrow Economy
Progress with Purpose
Despite significant progress in mainstream thought towards sustainable lifestyles, some gaps remain. We believe that one of the major gaps is the lack of available and acceptable methods to stoke and grow individual consciousness. While the proliferation of mindfulness and yoga in the West has at least brought some attention in this direction, the movement still remains largely on the tangential benefits of the age-old practice. India, not as a country, but as an ethos and repository of ancient knowledge and wisdom, has a critical role to play in changing this. Its modern issues notwithstanding, India had achieved that pivotal balance of individual evolution and material progress thousands of years ago. While India itself is lost to its glorious legacy, the lessons are there for us as humanity to progress from. We believe that one of the most important lessons for us to realize is that our basic purpose as human beings is to evolve spiritually – grow beyond our limitations. This is the gift of the East to the West. Yet, the West can play a major role in making this accessible to all. This is the most important convergence of our time.
“Consciousness is not against progress, but our current paradigm of progress at the cost of self-destruction is also fool-hardy.”
First we need to develop our humanity, and eventually our spirituality. If we start living with this purpose as a constant in our consciousness, then our actions will automatically start to become gentler on everything around us. Consciousness is not against progress, but our current paradigm of progress at the cost of self-destruction is also foolhardy. We need to find a balance. Purpose creates balance. We need to be able to temper our comfort levels with a greater awareness of the larger world around us. We need to be able to integrate our individual consciousness with that of the planet. This is the basis of Progress with Purpose. At the Earthwise Group, we have devised this into a simple 8P Progress Model appropriately symbolized by “infinity”, as there is no limit to our potential as human beings or to the progress that we can make as gentler and intelligent humanity. The model and the symbol also help us to realize that we need to balance the inner (lower part of the infinity – purpose) and the outer (upper part of the infinity – progress). This form is also represented in our company logo as a daily reminder to us and our customers about that which is truly important. Most importantly, this vital ingredient can weave all existing sustainability movements with a potent synergy that can catalyze our movement towards a very different paradigm of development and progress.
PURPOSE signifies the very essence for what gives meaning to people’s lives. While this has changed and has been traditionally influenced by external factors, it is increasingly being motivated by self-inquiry and oriented towards personal development and spiritual evolution.
PERSON means that true sustainability has to be driven by individual and personal conscious choices, and not just by an outside force, legislation, or coercion. This also implies that this is an aspirational movement, driven primarily by self and not by activism.
POTENTIAL denotes the fuel that is required to embark on the path of growth. There are some factors, external and internal to us, which enhance and increase our potential in a positive manner. Other things reduce it. Conscious choices increasingly involve engaging with people, products, and situations which help us to take our potential to its logical peak thereby enabling our evolution and development.
PRODUCT is any means (goods or services) which aligns to the positive qualities of our potential. Therefore, as conscious beings interested in self-actualization as per Maslow, we will mostly want to make product choices which are not just helping us meet our basic needs but also empowering us to realize peak human experiences including fulfillment, joy, bliss, and feelings of oneness.
PROFIT is the mechanism through which businesses that are making conscious products and services can remain financially viable. Businesses are still the most efficient way of delivery. However, without the profit motive, the whole mechanism fails. The idea is to marry business financial interest (profit) with self, planet, and social interest. This is a key success criterion of conscious capitalism.
PEOPLE refer to the critical factor of production which is involved in creating all of our products and services. As recent measures like CSR, SR, social entrepreneurship, etc. point out, there is a genuine need to ensure that people involved throughout the value chain of a product are treated with basic human dignity, are entitled to a fair and living wage, as well as basic support for healthcare and education for them and their families.
PLANET is the aspect of environmental responsibility and stewardship which each individual and business is accountable for. We need to ensure that our products and services are consuming recyclable/reusable/replenishable resources (similar to the circular economy). Otherwise, we need to attribute a much higher cost to the resource utilized in the production process so as to offset the environmental downside.
PROGRESS is the concluding and collective result to an individual purpose or calling. Its basis is harmony which itself stems from individual awareness, peace, and inclusiveness. It is the hallmark by which our current civilization will be judged – whether we left behind a despondent planet incapable of even supporting life, or whether we left behind a planet where all of life had an opportunity to flourish and rejoice – a planet where we can all truly say that we are ONE.
These EIGHT factors that make up the 8P Progress Model are essential to usher in the tomorrow economy whose cornerstones will be conscious consumerism and a truly sustainable world. However, all eight factors have to be in alignment for the model to be successful. It is our duty to continue to innovate methods that can help us achieve this balance and promote them to the entire community of conscious consumers worldwide. That is also the mandate of the Earthwise Group.
8P Progress Model (Illustration) by Nitin Dixit is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. Based on a work at https://www.flickr.com/photos/181725913@N06/47958042132/in/dateposted-public/. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at www.earthwisegroup.com/contact-us.