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May 30, 2022

Positive Growth for Society and Nature



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Gerrit Jan van 't Veen

Managing Director of WorldStartup Collective

I took some time to reread a couple of Greta Thunberg's speeches, all of which centre around the idea that humanity is taking too much. In fact, not only humans but all species on Earth are guilty of exploiting our home - we release too much carbon, which results in a rapidly changing climate. Then there's the staggeringly unequal distribution of wealth. Many people who take very little suffer the most from the consequences of decreasing biodiversity and climate change.

It's bleak but realistic reasoning. It's a call for panic. The same feeling many of us need for an initial wake-up call that drives us to set new, bolder goals. But if you want to thrive as an entrepreneur, you need a more comforting long-term Modus Operandi, as the adrenalin of permanent panic will eventually harm you. We call that the mindset of Positive Growth.

To deal with climate change and the rapid decline of biodiversity, it is not enough to apply a strategy of simply replacing the root cause, or what causes "too much", with clean technology. We have to implement a second parallel strategy involving a substantial change in our behaviour and reinventing our culture. In the upcoming years, I expect an increasing focus on behaviour change, based on, for instance, the way IPCC is writing about (remaining) positive scenarios, along with redefining what is perceived as positive.

Impact-driven entrepreneurs contribute to one or both of these strategies. They aim to grow a business that helps us achieve a smaller footprint and put less pressure on other species and humans. This is the mindset of Positive Growth

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