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Participant Questionnaires

Your NameTobias Fechner
Cohort AssignmentCohort A (Europe, MENA and South America)
1. What do you see as your primary work at this stage of your life?

Honestly, just figuring out my path. I carried out a significant amount of research recently as I was working on an idea for a problem in the Nature restoration space. In doing so, I reviewed what felt like a broad landscape of initiatives. Each helped me refine my own idea, but at the same time I was developing a nuanced understanding of this set of complex, nested problems; the outcome being that the list of ideas I thought would actually make any kind of a difference was approaching zero. I joined a very intense company-building programme to find a co-founder, and was amazed by the level of ignorance, entitlement, arrogance etc (a harsh judgement I allow myself to make only because I see the same in the person I was a short time ago). Not only was this the final straw in me realising the damage our conditioning can have, but it was also the final piece of the puzzle to help me realise I am absolutely at the end of my patience with capitalism and conventional "problem solving" approaches, and am convinced of the need to explore new narratives, question-forming, and approaches to development entirely. So to answer the question more concretely, I´m quite alright with doing "nothing" for as long as I need to before I am sure the something I´m doing is not perpetuating destructive ideals, patterns of domination, and actually will contribute toward a healing planet and the people on it. To crystalise this bag of thoughts I am walking 800km along the North coast of Spain - El Camino de Santiago - and I´m finding it quite worthwhile so far. 😄

2. What role do you see as yours to play?

Haha! What great questions. I see my role as actively stepping into the background and giving space to those that can´t access it as easily as me. I´m very priveledged in the sense that I have been well conditioned to sieze and benefit from all the opportunities society has a bias to offer me. Until recently I probably would have fallen into the trap of striving: more understanding, more influence, more... power, ultimately - without realising the socio-political context in which my personal development was taking place. More specifically, and again in the context of the environmantal crisis, I would have sought to develop solutions to problems I thought were important, in conventional ways, and that it would have been enough that I was moved by this mission and that I felt my intentions were in the right place. It´s not enough. Nowhere near enough... Today I´d like to think (although this will of course evolve again!) that I have a more balanced view of things: I´m aware of the "white man´s burden", as Aimé Césaire points out in Discourse on Colonialism; I´m more aware of systemic sexism and racism than I was before; I´m aware, generally, of the need to take a systems-approach, and have for that reason liberated myself from the seemingly bottomless ambition to... "save the world by building a super mega impressive company". My role is to keep a level head and play the long game.

3. What goals or aims do you have in regard to the above?

Non-stop learning, reflection and pedagogy.

6. What have you invested in to get you where you are?

1) Some hiking boots,
2) A (long) Engineering degree,
3) Traveling,
4) Giving people my time, hearing them, being interested, showing compassion for their story, being empathetic of their perspective to life and their circumstance,
5) Taking risks: moving abroad, leaving the corporate route, kindly rejecting advise from loved ones,
6) Faith in people, faith in humanity,
7) Time spent reading books, writing into a journal (reflection), meditating, acknowledging fears, letting go of Ego.

4. Where do you feel your next arenas for personal growth are?

El Camino 😉 Also, by surrendering entirely to the currents of life and taking on board from each day (/ being conscious) as much as I can.

7. What fields of learning and which thinkers have been important in your life?

Russell Brand (spirituality), Eckart Tolle (spirituality), Tony Robbins (self-esteem), Paul Stamets (mycology), Gary Vaynerchuk (self-reliance, resilience).

Fields: Complexity Science, Psychology/ Psychedelics / Mindfulness/ Spirituality, Regeneration.

5. And for professional growth?

SEEDS, a decentralised, regenerative economic system.

8. Can you frame your philosophy or cosmology of life? What role(s) do humans play in it?

In a way I don´t think this question is relevant. In the sense that, right now, as I reflect, I don´t think a philosophy would make a difference, because each moment is what it is, and it should be that way. A philosophy/ comsology suggests a projection of "The Way", but the way _is_ the way. It can´t be shown, it just _is_.


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