June/July Reflections

At the June Solstice (the 21st this year) Spring blossoms into Summer, bringing the year’s longest daylight hours to the northern hemisphere. The “lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer” call you to picnic, play ball, garden, hit the beach, or dive into a nearby lake. Even if vacation is not in the cards for you right now, every summer evening and each weekend offer a perfect mini-holiday.


What’s the inner wisdom of this delightful phase of the annual cycle? In Summer, the flower symbolically opens and blooms and we begin to grow conscious of the year’s true purpose, a spiritual journey that often continues into autumn. Like a flower that must be pollinated to bear fruit, we need to open to the energetic pollination of positive, new people, places, and ideas.


Where do you long to visit?

What sort of people would you like to meet?

Are you willing to entertain exciting new possibilities?

Most important, are you willing to allow these new influences to take you in new directions to enrich your purpose in 2014?

You needn’t do anything about this openness right now. Just celebrate it and Summer Solstice throughout July, experiencing the year in full bloom and inviting yourself to blossom. Your only “homework” is to get outdoors, enjoy friends and family, and have fun.

It doesn’t get much better than that, does it? Happy Summer!

Apple: A Conscious Capitalist Conundrum

Like most Apple investors, I liked watching my shares multiply after Apple’s seven-to-one stock split this June. I love Apple products. But I am unwilling to call the company a Conscious Capitalist, which is a curious statement since I know of no other firm that has so expertly mined the depths of conscious creativity or invented better products to enhance customer creativity.


The problem, of course, is that Apple has historically deemed creating great technology its sole mission. Meanwhile, critics charge Apple products are manufactured (in China) under dreadful conditions and that local workers have fallen ill, and even died as a result.

Under Tim Cook, Apple seems more serious about social, environmental-and moral-responsibility. That’s encouraging. But the question remains: How do conscious investors deal with the issue of owning stocks that are conscious in some areas but not others? One answer is shareholder activism. Put simply, shareholder activists continue to hold stock in imperfect companies and proceed to pester the heck out of them to transform their terrible policies.

Not an investor? Then there’s pure activism. Anyone, customer, critic, or employee, who wants Apple to boost its social and environmental performance, can check out Green America’s “Take Action Against Smart Phone Sweatshops” initiative.

Green America, in conjunction with 80 allied NGOs, has collected twenty thousand signatures to deliver to Apple’s Lisa Jackson, V.P. for Environmental Affairs from individuals seeking to protect Apple workers by removing dangerous chemicals from factories. For more info, go to Green America’s Smart Phone Sweat Shop page.

This Summer Solstice, I again shared my passion for journaling with the new participants of Crimson Circle’s in-depth Keahak program. Later in the day, Alain and I explored our new Massachusetts home base in the fabled sea town of Gloucester, where we plan to en-Joy a marvelous summer.


February Reflections

February brings mid-winter in the northern climes, a time when many wonder if Spring will ever come! If the later sunsets don’t cheer you, there’s St. Valentine’s Day and in the US, a long President’s Day weekend. So,why do we still have a vague seasonal malaise? Perhaps because the feast of Candlemas, the original Ground Hog’s Day, marks an awkward phase in the year’s evolution and our own. Last month we invoked a vision for 2014. But as one New Age program put it: Once you definitively choose something new, up comes the same old argument: it can’t be done.

winter-trailTruth be told, resistance is a natural phase of growth. At this point in the annual cycle, we sense the first tender shoots of the year’s potential. That alone can make us profoundly uneasy. “What! I’m supposed to grow-AGAIN? Enough already.” Besides, since we do not yet know exactly what lies ahead, the Unknown tends to trigger fear, alongside resistance.

So in February and the first weeks of March, be tender with yourself, open to receive the soul’s quiet promptings, and grow inspiration by asking a few questions: “If I had a vision for 2104, what might it be?” To start a business? Marry my sweetheart? Stand my ground, gently but firmly, with a parent, spouse, or colleague? Answer a life-long calling to be an artist, writer, or healer? We can also ask: Which resources do I need to proceed? What new skills am I guided to develop now? Who’ll be my allies on the year’s journey? The challenge we now face is to accept our natural resistance, let go of old patterns, begin to envision the future, and move forward.

From now until Spring Equinox, there will be many, spacious weeks to engage the Unknown and nurture our vision. Notice the expanding daylight, as it slowly coaxes the snow-covered Earth-and rouses its Beings-to prepare for the Spring Renewal coming in March!

Trust Across America

Thank you Trust Across America for naming me a “Top 100 Thought Leader in Trustworthy Business” four years running. What an honor to appear with personal heroes like Bill George, the retired Medtronic CEO, now a Harvard Business School professor, futurist Hazel Henderson of Ethical Markets Media, Frances Hesselbein, retired CEO of the Girl Scouts, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz and Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh.

Here’s the full list.


Purpose, Values, and the Stakeholder Model are the essence of Conscious Capitalism. But there’s at least one more crucial element: a positive, life-affirming corporate culture-grounded in the values a company stands for. Today there’s growing agreement that great business cultures are the secret sauce of success. People who work in a conscious culture feel more free “to speak frankly,” says Adam Bryant, a New York Times business columnist. Such a culture is built upon the value of trust. In times of change and uncertainty, says Bryant, people “need that extra level of trust.” It is essential that they believe what their leaders “are doing, saying and planning.”

John Duffy, CEO of 3Cinteractive, a mobile platform firm, recently put this question on an employee survey: “Do you trust John Duffy?” Bryant explains that Duffy was asking if people trust him, not so much as a CEO (although that is certainly important), but as a human being. Clearly, a lot more CEOs should be asking themselves-and their people-the same question.
Check out the full story: “How the right corporate culture can guarantee success


Will I meet you Friday February 28th when I speak at the University of Colorado, Boulder’s annual gathering on “Conscious Capitalism”? There’s no charge to attend the morning event, but you must register in advance. My old friend Jim Autry starts the day off with his seminal work on human values. Later there’s a panel of leaders representing Boulder’s thriving outdoor industry. I speak at 12 noon. See you there!

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Past Speaking Events

February 7 & 8, 2009: Zurich, Switzerland. Workshop Parobola Forum. Contact: Marie-Luce Le Febre de Vivy or Bernhard Schar

Feb. 13, 2009Berlin, Germany. Identity Foundation/Pleon Public Relations. Contact: Nadja Rosman

March 13-14, 2009: San Diego, CA. Women Power and Purpose. More info on Patricia at WPP.

April 17, 2009: Plymouth, Michigan. Michigan Women in Finance.  Contact: Linda Foster

April 23, ’09: Kona, HI. Kona Chamber of Commerce. 5th Annual Green Business & Environment Conference. Contact: Michael Kramer

May 14, 2009: Oslo, Norway. Oslo Summit for Peace Through Trade.  Contact: Ann Lene Hompland

November 7-9, 2008: Austin, TX. Conscious Capitalism Club. Contact: Jeff Klein

Ocober 31, 2008: Austin, TX. University of Texas. Contact: Andrea Scott

October 22, 2008: Denver, CO. Women’sVision Foundation Success Forum. Contact: Christie Doherty

September 12, 2008: Denver, CO. Colorado State University (Fort Collins). Contact: Jim Francis

August 20-22, 2008: Hamburg, Germany. Crimson Circle. Contact: Geoff Hoppe

March 20, 2008: Denver, CO. Downtown Denver Parternship. Contact: Malia Campbell

Feb. 25, 2008: Frankfurt, Germany. Management Circle. Contact: Iris Kraemer

April 25-26, 2007: Boulder, CO The Marpa Center, Naropa University

March 10: Jacksonville, FL . The Chair Academy. Gary Filan 480 461-6270

March 20: Vail, CO. Vail Leadership Institute Evie-Rosen-Budd 970 926-4919

April 20-21 Phoenix, AZ University of the Seven Rays HalinaHak-Hughes

April 25-26: Boulder, CO Naropa University. Mark Wilding

Nov. 2: Denver, CO Mile High Church Karen Thomas

Jan. 12: Dallas, TX Seminar on Conscious Capitalism

Jan. 18: Telluride, CO. Workplace Revolution. MatthewGilbert@noetic.org

March 2-3: Palo Alto, CA. Bay Area Thought Leader Gathering. Patricia Neale 952-925-5995

March 21-23: Charlottesville, VA. Festival of the Book Sara Sgarlet

April 7: Minneapolis, MN. Twin Cities Thought Leader Gathering. Patricia Neale 952-925-5995

April 26-28: Santa Monica, CA. LOHAS 10 Sara Sgarlet

May 2-4: Stockholm, Sweden. International Coach Network with leaders of Nordic countries. hans.akerblom@lots.se

May 12: Findley Lake, NYVantage Holdings Company

June 21-22 Saratoga Springs, NY. AHC Group. Contact Rachel McCraken, rachel@ahcgroup.com

July 14: Vail, Colorado. Vail Leadership Institute. Contact: John Horan-Kates jhk@vailleadership.org

Oct. 25-29: Palm Springs, CA. Reaching Critical Mass. Contact: Dr. Barbara Fields 805-563-7343

Oct. 28-31: Colorado Springs, CO. SRI in the Rockies. Contact: Krystala Kalil 303-442-4463

About Patricia

Patricia Aburdene is one of the world’s leading social forecasters. For  twenty-five years, she has been tracking how change impacts business. Through her books, talks and workshops, Patricia has helped thousands of organizations and millions of people make the most of social change and transformation.
Co-author of the number one, New York Times bestseller Megatrends 2000, Patricia newest book is, Megatrends 2010: The Rise of Conscious Capitalism, a blueprint of the social, economic and spiritual trends transforming free enterprise. As the tag line promises, the book describes seven new trends that will transform how you “Live, Work and Invest.”

Patricia was John Naisbitt’s collaborator on the publishing phenomenon Megatrends which topped charts in the U.S., Germany and Japan. She co-wrote the best-selling Re-inventing the Corporation and Megatrends for Women.

Patricia has lectured throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe, South America, Australia and the Pacific Rim. Clients include Adecco, the Professional Coach and Mentor Association, the Management Institute of New Zealand and the Consciousness in Business conference in Santa Fe, New Mexico (Click “Speaking” for an expanded list of clients).

Patricia’s lifelong career in business journalism began at Forbes in 1978. As a Public Policy Fellow at Radcliffe College, Cambridge, Massachusetts, from 1993 to 1996, she explored emerging leadership models.

Patricia Aburdene holds a BA in philosophy from Newton College of the Sacred Heart (now Boston College), an MS in library science from Catholic University and three honorary doctorates. In 1990, she was awarded the Medal of Italy for her interpretation of global trends. Patricia serves as an Advisor to Dallas-based Satori Capital, a social equity investor that specializes in Conscious Capitalist companies. Patricia lives in Boulder, Colorado and Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts.