Image result for children of the green earth

In 1981, at the United Nations in New York, I was a co-founder with Richard St. Barbe Baker and Rene Dubos of the Children of the Green Earth Society.

The purpose of this initiative was to help to broaden the public awareness of the threat of deforestation to the green planet.

Our trees are our friends because they give us oxygen, so the lateral thinking (bvs) we came up with was this: what if every human child could plant a friend or pet tree?

I still have my gift of the wooden tile we were presented with at the UN meeting as a memento of the occasion. Front with the proposed logo and back with the proposed name: Children of the Green Earth.

If you’d like to be considered for membership in the Children of the Green Earth Society, have a think and then post your comments on the questions below:

  1. What is the name of your tree friend? What do you call your pet tree?
  2. Where is your tree? What district or town is it in?
  3. When did you last hug your pet tree? Or, visit your tree? Or, tend to your tree friend?


Every 21 March is the International Day of Forests.

You can gauge a country’s wealth, its real wealth, by its tree cover“,

– Dr Richard St. Barbe-Baker OBE.

I met St.Barbe when he was in his 90s in Washington at a retreat. He made me organic wholemeal pancakes for breakfast and we soon became friends. He showed me how to hug a tree and pay attention to its hydraulic vibes. I wasn’t sure whether it was my kind of thing, at first, but then I grew to like it.

I soon adopted a tree just a few doors from my apartment in Gramercy Park, Manhattan. My first tree friend I called ‘Dagobert’ (above) and although I live in Melbourne now I always go to see Dagobert whenever I visit New York and clean up any trash inside his little fenced off area. It feels nice 🙂

Related image

St. Barbe’s organization, the Men of the Trees, eventually grew to be known as the International Tree Foundation. Ultimately, there were chapters in over 100 countries.

By some estimates, organizations he founded or assisted have been responsible for planting at least 26 trillion trees, internationally.

The CFA has information on trees here …

If you would like to do some extra work on your science thinking we recommend you take some masterclasses with Harari, Sapolsky and Dawkins. If you wish, you can start with these …
TIP: You can watch these masterclasses at least 2 or 3 times to hone your science thinking skills.

I fell crazy in love with Brazil when I was around 14 (1962). I soon became passionate about everything Brazilian, even obsessed, as teenagers often do. I had part time jobs before and after school and took my own money to buy records. I even paid for a course of Latin-American dance lessons on Saturdays at an expensive dance studio in Collins Street (oh dear!).

I think my first memory is the sounds of a film Black Orpheus. Which I just played and played and played. Luiz Bonfa and Antonio Carlos Jobim … magic. I think I must have re-wired my brain!

As my mother’s ancestors were Portuguese I was also naturally attracted to the language of Brazil and tried to find more records of this new wave sound, this bossa nova, and then the dam burst in the mid-60s. With timely Frank Sinatra patronage, Tom Jobim recordings became available in Australia and, for me, it was bliss. As the 60s unfolded others caught the new wave like Sergio Mendes’ Brazil 66 and my first live concert at 19 was at Festival Hall in Melbourne to see Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass.

In the 80s I had the great delight of taking some close friends in New York to see Tom Jobim with his family play live at Carnegie Hall. So supremely cool! The most recent concert was seeing Bebel Gilberto in March last year at the Melbourne Recital Centre.

As all my friends will patiently tell you, I have never lost my love of bossa nova and I still get many hours of euphoria to this very Saturday morning.

For SOT, I have posted Tom Jobim playing his classic Wave at different times and, today, for a special treat I would like to share my 55-year passion for this gentle and sophisticated music with you. Please do let me know what you think and share your comment below.

I hope you can take the time to enjoy this happy trip, the story of how Bossa Nova became the sound meme from Brazil that seduced the world …

School of Thinking learning is driven by the students not by the teachers.

SOT is a bottom-up school not a top-down one.

What do the students say?

Here’s an unedited sample …

this stuff is worth more than all the traditional education stuff combined

The SDNT CVSTOBVS QRH PRR code, it’s a wonderful compact philosophy that I‘m using 24/7! That’s the key for innovation and productivity.

To focus on the process instead of just the result. I’ve previously taken a variety of work related courses on this subject, however none have matched the presentations given at SOT.

Mind-blowing and life changing. Having a daily lesson gives me a few minutes away from patterned behaviors to stop and think. SDNT CVSTOBVS QRH PRR. Each part of the code opens a new world of possibilities. These lessons learnt will be useful for the rest of my life.

cvs2bvs. simple effective pure genie in the bottle stuff

Yes. I can DO a ‘switch’! This is a large shift from the idea that creativity is a magical and mysterious process that awaits inspiration.

what a relief to be free!! if i cannot step aside from my cvs then I’m unable to think effectively on any issue. i am just churning out familiar ideas and beliefs.

SOT has taught me to think outside the square. A remarkable achievement.

I love the thought that cvs2bvs is universal so that I can apply it to any situation. There is always a better way to see a situation and the universal switch simply has to be used.

Again I’d like to thank Michael for his tireless contribution to this worthwhile cause and encourage him to continue despite the inevitable weight of the challenges involved.

i was humbled and exhilarated at the same time! curious sensations.

With the repetition of cvs2bvs I have come to realize that with any situation there’s potential “always” for a BVS.

The main insight for me is the Escape. Escaping from my current point of view, rather than indignantly defending it. A realization that something else might just be better rather than taking it personally that someone else may not agree with my current point of view.

I feel my confidence building day by day. Looking forward to the next set of lessons.

There have been many benefits in using CVS to BVS. The most significant has been the realization that I have more time than I realize to make a decision.

The main insight I’ve noticed is how little time I spend in defending a CVS, rather time is invested in thinking and continuing searching for Ever Better ideas and actions to produce ever better results.

I really like the idea of cvstobvs as a switch because it denotes, to me, ease of action. Its as simple as shifting ones thinking, changing the perspective and pow! You find yourself going from cvs to bvs. The concept of a switch that takes you to infinite universes of thinking is game-changing and has had a very powerful impact upon me.

NO matter what the situation there IS a better view of the situation. Imagine if you lived your whole life stuck inside a disempowering view of the current view of the situation and the day before you died you found you could create a better view of the situation and you could have created a fulfilling satisfying and peaceful life. Well “I’VE GOT THE POWER”. Thank you Michael.

dude! this place is so awesome! they describe thinking process in such fine fashion. learning from the quotes of all great people plus the cvs2bvs. dude u must check it out. it will widen your thinking outside the box.