Being sick can be a great source of inspiration. For me, I was recovering recently from Lyme disease and while couch-bound I decided to finish a series I had started, Our Planet (Netflix), an incredible, technology-enabled deep dive (literally) into our natural world.
Just consider what went into Our Planet: four years in the making, covering 50 countries, more than 3,500 days to film with over 600 crew members. They used the latest in 4K camera technology, drones, divers and motion-detecting cameras. It's pretty jaw-dropping stuff. I said "Wow!" so often then starting to just expect the elegance and uniqueness of every shot. It's really incredible stuff.
It also struck me..."every business person and student needs to watch this."
From a business perspective, you can think of Our Planet as an unprecedented look at our massive holding company, Earth Inc. The late Gaylord Nelson famously stated that "all business is a wholly owned subsidiary of the environment." So it would wise for every CEO and business student to know (1) how does our planetary holding company function and (2) how is it doing?
Five key takeaways Our Planet can teach us:
Interdependence - everything is connected to everything else; the coral needs a certain ph range and the fish needs the coral and the people need the fish. You change one thing in the system and you change everything. No one really gets away with anything. We've taken the world and divided it up into different disciplines and sub-disciplines and forgot to put it back together again. In many ways, that is the work of sustainability: to reassemble the world. And this is only possible if we understand interdependence.
Our Planet doesn't have a doomsday message but it also treats us like adults and doesn't sugar coat the truth. It presents a kind of informed and active hope, emboldened by the beauty of what we have and tempered with the immensity of the challenge.
Balance. Ecologists call it a "dynamic equilibrium", the state of constant balance and imbalance within the natural world. Understanding this balance and our place within it is fundamental. The coastal seas can be in balance because the sea otter eats the anemones which would otherwise consume all of the sea kelp. The atmosphere is in good shape when concentrations of carbon, nitrogen and oxygen are in balance. Diversity of ecosyste