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 🙂
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 purpose of this initiative was to try to broaden the public awareness of the fundamental threat of deforestation to the green planet.
Our trees are our friends because they give us oxygen, so the idea 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.
Michael, Peter Cosgrove, John Tickell and other leading Australian speakers will work with more than 200 of Australia’s business people and thought-leaders at a unique workshop on the Gold Coast in August.
“Before I could put my name to this seminar I needed to be convinced it offered substance and the right ingredients to allow all attendees to receive real take home benefits for their business.” Andrew Vincent, Executive Producer –Your Business Success, Channel 9, every Sunday.
The two big movers into the global top ten during 2007 were BMW (ranked 9th) and PepsiCo (10th). Hay Group managing director Richard Hardwick said the survey showed the most admired companies “more actively manage” their chief executives and were more effective in leadership succession.
ACT Department of Territory and Municipal Services.
Australian Institute of Management (NSW & ACT)
Bayside Library Service.
Canberra Institute of Technology.
Charles Sturt University.
City of Boroondara Library Service
Eastern Regional Libraries Corporation.
Fairfield City Council. The Whitlam Library
Hurstville City Library
Ipswich City Library and Information Service
James Cook University
Kingston Information and Library Service
Liverpool City Library
Moreland City Libraries
National Library of Australia
Port Phillip Library Service. St Kilda Library
State Library of Victoria
State Library of Western Australia
Stonnington Library and Information Service. Toorak / South Yarra Library
Sutherland Shire Libraries. Central Library Sutherland
Wollongong City Council. Wollongong City Library
Woollahra Municipal Council. Woollahra Library and Information Service
“Recent global crises have proven that the majority of stakeholders in an escalating crisis will seek ‘first response’ information from the website of the party involved. It will be immediate. It will be high traffic. It will be interactive. The Virginia Tech crisis website was a good example of this.
“Those companies that do not have crisis-ready websites and supporting technology may lose control of their message and their slow response adds another crisis to the original crisis. The crisis-ready websitite is the most essential drive of an organisation’s message strategy. It can be used for immediate warnings internally. Information updates. Victim support. Virtual media conferences. Community trauma and counselling support and, importantly, recovery plans and business continuity.
“And when cell phones fail, as they have often done in high traffic crises, SMS messaging has shown to still get through.”
From The Guardian: The father of lateral thinking tells Angela Balakrishnan why, 40 years on, his theories are as relevant as ever …
For Edward de Bono, the man who 40 years ago coined the phrase “lateral thinking”, the ability to think is the most important human skill, but one he feels is often neglected.
“What happened was, 2,400 years ago, the Greek Gang of Three, by whom I mean Aristotle, Plato and Socrates, started to think based on analysis, judgment and knowledge. At the same time, church people, who ran the schools and universities, wanted logic to prove the heretics wrong. As a result, design and perceptual thinking was never developed. People assumed philosophers were doing it and so they blocked anyone else from doing it. But philosophers were not. Philosophers may look out at the world from a stained-glass window, but after a while they stop looking at the world and start looking at the stained glass.”
This is where de Bono believes he has changed things. Born in Malta into a family who had been doctors for seven generations, he gained a medical degree from the Royal University of Malta. But then, with a Rhodes scholarship, he found himself at Oxford, where he gained a degree in psychology and physiology and a DPhil in medicine. It was during this time, in the 1960s, that he realised his studies could be applied to the mind.”I was looking at the glands, kidneys, circulation and respiration and the idea of self-organising systems,” he says. “I realised that the same principles could be adapted to the neuron brain, which is when I wrote The Mechanism of the Mind.”
His principles were explored in a computer-generated experiment, which found that if the brain worked in the way De Bono said it did, then routine was not good for creativity. “For the first time in history, thinking was based on what was happening in the human brain and not the words of philosophers.”
He says that, with the help of more lateral thinking, many issues that dominate the political agenda could move beyond stalemate. “Look at Iraq. If the US said they were going to leave on a certain date, then for every week without any killings, the date would move forward, and for every week with a killing, the later and later the date would be delayed. This way those who killed would not be seen as heroes but those keeping the Americans in the country.”
It may not be the most conventional approach to international relations but it is, in de Bono’s words, a case of “thinking outside the box”.
“Creativity is the process of having original ideas, but there are several steps. The first step is imagination, the capacity that we all have to see something in the mind’s eye. Creativity is then using that imagination to solve problems — call it applied imagination. Then innovation is putting that creativity into practice as applied creativity.
There are several common misconceptions about creativity. The first is that people think that only SOME are creative. yet It’s in the nature of human beings that we ARE creative.