Founder and CEO RethinkResource GmbH
Allegory: Inspiration of holistic thinking for me: Instituto Terra. The very personal impact of a photographer and his wife, bringing back life to completely deforested and infertile land. This again has so much impact on much more (think about it, it is overwhelming!).
A holistic approach for me refers to understanding and leveraging the relationship between all parts of a whole. This can be a person (body, mind, emotions, social factors, etc.) or the economy. A holistic approach is a systemic approach. The whole system is considered, using it to develop effective action in complex contexts, enabling systems change.
My business, evolving around the circular economy, requires me and my company to think in a systemic manner. If we want to change the status quo, we need to think outside of paradigms and understand the complex interaction of the economy and ecology and how the whole system can sustain itself, where it can be improved in order to actually become a circular system, not single parts of it exploiting others. In my opinion, ecological problems require holistic solutions.
When developing my own company, I thus focused on the strategic impact that the upcycling of undervalued materials has on the production systems of the future. We see cross-industrial value networks instead of linear supply chains, value instead of waste, sustainable value creation instead of exploitation.
Over the last decades our world has become more and more complex, requiring us to take this complexity into consideration when we develop new processes, solve problems, and improve the current status. There are more and new factors impacting our body, mind, economy, and nature. All being interconnected and influencing each other. If we want to sustain our way of living on this planet, we need to adjust to a more systemic thinking. New emerging, holistic approaches to medicine or businesses create a lot of new opportunities for all of us.
With my company RethinkResource, I saw such an opportunity. With all my heart and energy, me and my team work for a more circular economy in the industrial context. We are only covering a small part of it, but the more people take such opportunities, the more we can all together make a difference.
Working for this cause became an ever more important part of my life when my husband joined me in the company and now manages it together with me.
To answer the question, what’s in it for me, is thus very easy for me. The certainty that I spent my time to have a positive impact on our world for future generations. I would like to create impact by providing the industry with the support and tools to become more circular, that are implementable from an economical as well as ecological perspective and scalable, thereby becoming an active part of the whole system, creating systemic change.
Only fighting symptoms has never been satisfactory to me. I always look for ways to improve the current way of doing things – there must be a better way of doing it, a more sustainable way of doing it! I assume that this way of thinking has brought me to a more holistic thinking, as this is how we can still make a difference. Our body, the nature, both being fascinating examples of how fragile such systems are and that we need to take care of them, holistically, otherwise they will not last for long.
In my opinion, everyone can contribute, by aspiring to have an impact in their very personal way. Be it in health, the industry, business, or education. There is still so much to do, so let’s all work together!
There is one area where I think it is very important to act fast and act together – education. Every day, we realise that, still too often, young people are educated “the old way”. Architects, doctors, managers, farmers, no matter what, we all need to learn to look over the edge, work interdisciplinary, cross-industrially, and multilaterally. Open exchange and the willingness to understand other’s points of view is ever more important. I am very eager to learn about good practices where holistic thinking is transferred in education and would love to discuss such topics with everyone interested.
Weitere Artikel in der Foto-Serie „Holistic Health“: