The origins of the word "boma" date back to an ancient time and place where people with opposing points of view came together in a circle, usually around a campfire, to listen, debate, dance, laugh and most importantly, find a solution and take action.
The boma was a sacred place and time of respect, wisdom, magic, ideas, hope, compromise and decision making.
And, in the face of unprecedented global polarization, we need to resurrect the lost art of listening, give space to those who don’t see the world the way we do, embrace complexity, tear down silos, commit to collaboration, and respect the fact that we are one interconnected ecosystem. We need to see that our little blue planet is a shared commons for us all to protect, nurture and grow.
We believe things have to change, and that the world is full of people who want to build a better future for us all.
Anybody who knows me knows I am not the “touchy-feely” type. But you know I care deeply and believe in the power of individual and local communities to change the world for the better. With Boma, my vision is to create an open sharing platform, where we can all learn, share best practices and ideas around building a more compassionate, sustainable, fair and human-centered future.
At Boma, we’re working to empower to build a better, smarter, more sustainable future.
We don’t believe “nothing ever changes.” We believe things have to change, and that the world is full of people who want to build a better future for us all — in corporations, government, nonprofits, community groups — people who share values and are committed to doing the hard work to create this better future. And most importantly we believe it is all interconnected.
As a new decade dawns, we realize more than ever that we need to come together in new ways to support each other.
We live in a time of extraordinary complexity and uncertainty. When we launched Boma 12 months ago, we set out to help businesses and local communities build a more intentional and intelligent future. Many of our current corporate, government and NGO leaders are simply not equipped to navigate our increasingly and rapidly changing and complex world.
At Boma, we are crafting transformational learning experiences to empower people to innovate in ways that will enable them, their communities, and their organizations to thrive. We are committed to seven guiding principles to ensure ethical decision-making, sustainable systems and effective action plans. And we’ve already helped thousands of people around the world --- from farmers in New Zealand to data-privacy experts in Germany --- take meaningful steps toward building this future.
The world is facing unprecedented challenges, environmentally, technologically, geopolitically, economically. We must meet these challenges with wisdom, creativity, and future-minded action. In the year ahead we will be hosting several important events around the world: Momentum later this month in Paris, Boma Debates in May in Canada, Ethos, a global festival, in October in New Zealand and more to be announced. Between these, and hundreds of other smaller community events and corporate leadership programs, we are committed to helping people from all walks of life build a more intentional future.
But also, as a new decade dawns, we realize more than ever that we need to come together in new ways to support each other. You don’t have to be a CEO or director of a global nonprofit. You don’t have to be a community leader or a key decision-maker in an organization. You just need to have the desire and the will to create a smarter, more sustainable world.
So I would like to offer a shared resolution for our global community. If we want a better future lets come together over the next decade and do it together. We need to commit to compassion, kindness, selflessness and collaboration. We need to rise above our personal ambition and realize this is not a zero-sum game — that we can make money and protect the planet, that we can be a kind and effective leader, that the only way our grandchildren will live in the future (any future) is if we embrace these values and find ways to create new systems around collaboration.
I am committing to this New Year’s resolution — please join me.
Happy New Year to you and your families. I look forward to working with you to change our world for the better.
[Photo above: Lara Stein (back row, center), along with her Boma co-founders and country partners, at the Boma Germany Summit in Berlin.]