Words by Fire Circle, Photo by Djapirri Mununggirritj
Imagine yourself sitting in your home office, in front of your computer, listening to a First Nations Elder explain metaphors about regenerative business that have been passed through generations for millennia. Your mind is mesmerised but it’s what you feel in the pit of your stomach that surprises you most.
The Fire Circle is an unlikely collaboration which emerged during COVID-19. It brings together a New York-based, former CEO of a multinational B Corporation, a trailblazing Australian First Nations Elder with a fierce passion for reconciliation and a pair of emerging purpose-driven business leaders from each side of the Tasman Sea (including Matt Sykes of RP).
As we enter 2021, a year with just as much uncertainty as the last, it’s as if we’re lost, walking into the dark. The question is, who and what do you want to be lost in the dark with? Do you really want to stay connected to old ways associated with an extractive economy, or are you open to exploring new pathways through regenerative business practice? If by chance, it is the later, another question emerges … who do you follow?
There are Western regen leaders, who have structured models like the LENSES framework and the Doughnut Economy. But what seems to be happening is that nearly all of them, in some way, reference principles that are embodied within Indigenous cultures. You could say it is western culture’s attempt to reconnect with our own pre-Industrial roots. But what if we could go to the source? What if we created a forum where the Earth’s knowledge keepers might agree to share their wisdom with business and community leaders so that they could begin to connect with the regeneration embodied within themselves and their work?
That’s what the Fire Circle is. And somehow it emerged out of the metaphoric ashes of 2020, including the rising wave of awareness about systemic racism towards Indigenous peoples and other minority groups. It is in this brokenness that new growth, new cross-cultural communication is opening up. Maybe, just maybe, within this darkness there is hope of a different way of working in partnership with those closest to our Earth, many of whom are currently in society's shadows, silenced.
The truth is that no matter how simple the western mind may make regeneration look, through a written definition or a circular diagram, the human spirit is so much more complex. As a society, as we embark on this transition pathway, we need both; to become more scientific and more spiritual.
Elder Djapirri, Lorna, Shruthi and Matt invite you in this heart-led regeneration and join them around the Fire Circle so that we may take time to listen to those who sit in society’s shadows, to listen like our future depends on it.
Register now for our next event, a deep dive workshop with Elder Djapirri: