Cultural Brilliance: The DNA of Organizational Excellence
With Host Claudette Rowley – Transformation Talk Radio – Every 2nd & 4th Friday 10 AM (PT)/1 PM (ET)
“What Does Love Have to Do With It?”
How Heart-Centered Leadership Fuels Business – With Special Guest Samantha Thomas
I had the pleasure of interviewing Samantha Thomas on my show Cultural Brilliance Radio. Samantha Thomas is the Executive Director of Dream Change and the founder of The Love Summit business conference, which aims to help companies, governments and the public understand how love can be used to drive social, environmental and economic sustainability. Previously an event facilitator and freelance model in the Eco fashion industry in New York City, Samantha left to pursue a career in sustainability and social justice, which resonate on the deepest level with her core values and beliefs.
Below is an article written by the Conscious Business Radio team about the show.
Cultural Brilliance helps you experience groundbreaking ways to transform your company’s culture. Host Claudette Rowley invites some of the foremost experts on organizational culture to help understand how to make a brilliant culture the rule rather than the exception.
Claudette had the opportunity to speak with Samantha Thomas, Executive Director of Dream Change and founder of Dream Change’s signature event, The Love Summit business conference. As a result, Samantha has been recognized by the World Economic Forum for her exceptional potential, achievement and her determination to make a contribution to her community. She holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Sustainable Living and a Minor in Business from consciousness-based education university, Maharishi University of Management. In addition to her work at Dream Change, Samantha is a certified yoga instructor, holds a Permaculture Design Certification, and has received leadership training from the Institute for the Advancement of Human Behavior. She is founder of the slow food and slow lifestyle blog, Samantha’s Bread & Butter and creator of the social movement Just Choose Love. Her work has been featured in publications such as The Huffington Post, The Oregonian, Real Leaders, and Yes! Magazine.
Today’s discussion starts with Samantha introducing us to Dream Change, a non-profit organization founded in 1987 by the New York Times bestselling author John Perkins. He started the organization working in the Amazon rainforest as a member of the Peace Corps. After spending time with the indigenous cultures of the Amazon, he was touched by how close and how in harmony with nature they lived, they respected it and the environment around them, they also respected each other. During this time, there was also a lot of destruction taking place in the Amazon rainforest, where Western oil companies were coming and drilling in the floor. As a result, many of the indigenous cultures were put out of their homes. John told the indigenous cultures that he really wanted to help – help their people, and save their forests. They responded by saying that they appreciated it, but if he really wanted to help, instead of coming to the Amazon and trying to change them, he should go back to his people in the West and change them, change the dream of his people, because it’s the dream of materialism, overconsumption, and greed that’s harming our forests and our cultures. So, when John Perkins returned to the United States in 1987, he founded Dream Change, and for many years hosted trips down to the Amazon rainforest and other parts of the world, to work with indigenous cultures and help people learn from them and help bridge understanding. Today, they are focused primarily on the Love Summit and helping to mobilize the movement of sustainability through business.
Next, Samantha talks about The Love Summit, which is a business and leadership conference that focuses on the intersection of smart business and compassionate leadership. The mission of the event is to raise awareness about why social, environment and economic sustainability all begin with love. Explaining the history and origin of The Love Summit, Samantha says that after attending numerous conferences on business and sustainable living, she realized that many of them were missing the underlying aspect of sustainability – the way that we relate to each other and our environment. Another thing she noticed was at these conferences, the speakers were alluding to the idea of compassion and love, and the need for it in their presentations, but they weren’t coming out and using those words. Samantha believes that love is at the foundation of business and everything we do in our life. Business is simply about relationships – relationships between the people we work with, people that we buy from, people that we sell to, and our relationship with the planet.
Samantha finishes with a personal message – “Go out into the world and be a good person, be compassionate, be understanding, be a good listener. Love and business doesn’t have to be a mushy gushy thing, it’s just a normal thing, it’s a human thing, and it will transform your world if you bring more of it and to it!”