Your NameElena Kafourou
Cohort AssignmentEurope Summer-Fall 2023, Cohort 2
1. What do you see as your primary work at this stage of your life?

I am a civil engineer that works in a construction company. The past five years I have been involved with sustainability certifications (LEED, WELL etc) and in parallel the past eight years I have been training(experiential training) in Systems Thinking. So, I would say that my primary work is to apply sustainability certification standards in construction and working on group coordination as internship to the Systems Training.

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

I would like to be able to become an effective coordinator in groups where the main objective will be to save the world, sustainability is the way but not just through certifications, ESGs or plain metrics. The role would be a sustainability consultant but I feel that the way this role is perceived as of right now is a bit narrow, if we want to manage the neccessary changes.

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

I would love to be able to help others, in large scale (i.e. companies/country/continentwise) figure out how to build and live more sustainably, through figuring out their deep inner knowledge of what sustainability might be.

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

Having done a round of personal pshychotherapy and a round of group pshychotherapy, I want to also master meditation techniques so I can be even more able to deal with and learn from my own feelings/thoughts.

5. And for professional growth?

I feel like I need more knowledge and practice next to people that coordinate small and large groups.
I am also very keen on systems dynamics and modeling.

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

I have invested a lot of my time, quite a bit of money, and I would say myself.

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

Systems Thinking has been the main framework that has been important in my life the past 10 years. As already mentioned in previous questions, I have been in training for Systems Thinking, in a school that applies it mainly in phychotherapy, but also in organisations and community interventions. Within the summer of '24 I am finishing my 9th year and my studies on group dynamics. Within these years I have read some of Bateson, Capra, Bowen, Yalom, Senge and more but it is not the people it is the framework itself that amazes me.

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

I believe that in life for human beings everything starts with self-accountability. It is important to recognize that our view of the world can and will manifest our life, not in a magical outer-self way on the contrary in a very practical inner-self way. I also think that connections with others (with human or other beings)is what helps us grow and survive as beings. I believe that humans are completely dependent, biologically and in a lot of other ways, on earth and the way we have cut-off ourselves from the rest of our ecosystem will destroy us, if we do not shift our ways as a humanity. I also feel that somewhere along the line as a species, we have lost our way, we believe we are the most important species of the planet, in fact sometimes we behave like we are the only species that matters, we have created notions such as money and power; notions that have become our lives guiding factors and we have lost connection with ourselves and our planet in a very distrorted and destroying way. As persons we have to be able to bring into question all of these guiding factors and reunite with one another and with the planet to move into a healtheir and sustainable future.

Date CreatedAugust 29, 2023