One of the sparks that lead to CON☲ƎNT taking shape, as a real space to hold and embrace conscious entrepreneurship, was ignited during 2016 as business travels took me repeatedly to Austin, TX. This is the city whose business community is constantly reminding everyone to stay weird. Here I also came across the Conscious Capitalism movement. An initiative driven, amongst others, by Austin’s John Mackey, current CEO of Whole Foods Market, which he founded in 1980.
Intrigued by finding the concept of consciousness and mindfulness applied to capitalism, I was nevertheless able to relate to the ideas, building on contemplative practice and mindfulness work I had already been working with. Both conscious capitalism and the secular tradition of Tibetan vajrayana Buddhism pointed to paths on how to take the growing challenges of daily life as opportunities for both contemplative practice and social action. The Shambhala Training also aligned with the evolutionary psychology approach to leadership in ELT, Evolutionary Leadership Theory, which we were continually developing at CST since 2007.
Incidentally, Mark van Vugt, Professor in Evolutionary Psychology, referred to John Mackey on the very first pages of his book “Naturally Selected“, a management book in which he summarises much of his academic work on the Evolutionary Leadership Theory.
During the last couple of years, I was also gathering new insights on leadership from the many conversations I was having with young founders, as I was growing into the role of an angel investor. Within the Rotonda Business Angels, a local investor group, I was happy to take on the job of qualifying the deal flow. That meant being in close touch with the vibrant startup ecosystem in Germany, parts of Europe and the US, when on visits there.
Additional insights came from venturing into the realm of systemic practise, especially family constellations. This offered me a level of awareness, which I had not been confronted with before. This line of work was deepened during an annual training ending in 2016 with Elisa Schueler-Mombaur, a student of Bert Hellinger and Matthias Varga von Kibéd.
All of these events came together and things felt right for a reset.
So after indulging in many of the different current management pop-cultures of reinventing everything, I signed up for MIT u.lab course on Theory U offered on edX and was subsequently thrilled to find out that Susan Skjei, Programme Director of the Authentic Leadership Center at Naropa University, was bringing a 4 day foundation programme on Authentic Leadership in Action to the Netherlands in late 2016. Here is a link to a PDF version of the “Little Book of Practise”, a wonderful introduction to various aspects of Authentic Leadership in Action.
CON☲ƎNT ultimately emerged as a result of participating in the Authentic Leadership Program Naropa University in 2017 and it is still very much evolving … especially within the convergent leadership model currently being developed.
CON☲ƎNT is still very much in a prototyping phase.
If you are curious, interested or would like to enter into dialogue
and investigate co-creating opportunities, please get in touch.
I sincerely look forward to hearing from you!
The following is an introductory, by no way complete list, of institutions and organisations that continue to influence and have had an impact on CON☲ƎNT coming into being (to be completed).
CST in Bonn is an advisory firm focusing on Leadership Updates, Change Management and Management Diagnostics, established by Michael Alznauer, who is also the author of Leading Naturally – the Evolutionary Source Code of Leadership. In this book an evolutionary-psychology approach is taken to the phenomena of leadership, developing the Evolutionary Theory of Leadership further, through discussions during the course of many consultancy projects, field studies and management conferences.
Peter Rost has been partner since 2007, working on international corporate accounts.
The Authentic Leadership Center combines the network of practitioners and teachers from the acclaimed Authentic Leadership in Action (ALIA) Institute with Naropa University’s successful Authentic Leadership program. The vision of the Center is to provide transformational learning that draws upon the disciplines of contemplative practice, organisational learning, expressive arts, neuroscience, and complexity science for improved performance at work and in life. Ultimately, programs aren’t enough. As leaders, we are increasingly called to create spaces where inspired thinking, deep learning, and bold emergent action can take hold, wherever we are.
Peter Rost completed the Authentic Leadership in Action programme at Naropa University in 2017 and participates in international and European ALIA VCoPs: “Participating in this programme allowed me to fully embrace my individuality by recognising that I am good enough, whenever I am true to myself. The space provided by faculty and staff, together with the community that was established, gave me the safety and built the courage necessary, to feel into the source from which I operate.”
The Rotonda Business Angels e.V. is a member-driven organisation in Cologne, Germany, who work together to help support and mentor entrepreneurial development in the region by providing financial funds to early-stage startups. The club aims to leverage the diverse experience and expertise of its members to actively support and spread entrepreneurial mind-set in practice.
The Presencing Institute is an awareness-based action-research community that creates social technologies, builds capacities, and generates holding spaces for profound societal renewal. The Presencing Institute develops and disseminates tools that help change makers to create deep innovation and change. A framework and methodology has been created that allows diverse groups to co-sense, reinvent, and co-create the larger eco-systems in which they operate.
STARTPLATZ, which was founded in 2012 in the heart of Cologne, is not only an incubator but also a very attractive meeting point for the startup community. It was founded by the directors of „Familie Gräf Holding GmbH“ , Dr. Lorenz Gräf and Matthias Gräf. A second STARTPLATZ recently opened in Düsseldorf in the summer of 2015. STARTPLATZ offers modern coworking spaces and team offices. Furthermore, it serves as an event location with a variety of conference and meeting rooms.
Peter Rost holds regular open office hours for founders, which can be booked here: rba.youcanbook.me.
Elisa Schueler-Mombaur hosts a training and development practice in the wonderful countryside of Luechow-Dannenberg, where she teaches and trains in systemic constellation work. As a student of Bert Hellinger and Matthias Varga von Kibéd, her work focuses around a firm commitment to systemic solutions, trusting in “what is there and what come into being”. She support her methodology with decades of practice, a phenomenological approach, findings from evolutionary-psychology, intuition, nature and very much humour. Elisa cooperates with Iris Schneider from Copenhagen, Denmark, where they regularly collaborate.
Alanus University is a state-approved University of Arts and Social Sciences. It is a place of arts-based education, academic research and artistic education. The various courses offer the opportunity for artistic and scientific qualification.
The generous offer from Prof. Dr. Silja Graupe to co-lecturer with her in 2010 was not only an important step as a university lecturer, but also took me on a very personal path, questioning many assumptions of classical economic theories.
Rost Beteiligungs GmbH was established as a family office to consolidate investment opportunities with a strategy that focuses on European markets to identify co-investment opportunities in collaboration with other business angels.
The International University of Applied Sciences Bad Honnef · Bonn (IUBH) is a private, state-recognised university of business and management. It offers on-campus degree programmes taught in English, dual study degree programmes taught in German and online study programmes taught in German and English. The profile of IUBH Corporate Programmes includes training programmes for professionals and executives in all industries.
Peter Rost has been adjunct professor here since 2007 teaching courses in “Business Communication”,
“Entrepreneurship & New Venture Management” and “Consumer Behaviour”. Why he never continued with recording online lectures is archived on the apple iTunes University IUBH channel (in German), a challenging session from 2012 of lecturing about New Institutional Economicst (NIE) to a non responsive camera 😉
streamday GmbH was established in 1999 to capture the opportunities of developments in communication technology. Originally founded to provide streaming media services and technical infrastructure for the production of online video, streamday merged to become a provider of consulting services for media convergence. streamday’s website is hosted unchanged from its release in 2003 and thereby provides an artefact for the sum of valuable lessons learnt from accompanying that tech venture.
Shambhala is a global community of people inspired by the principle that every human being has a fundamental nature of basic goodness. This nature, our innate wisdom, can be developed so that it benefits our own lives and helps meet the many challenges facing the world. Shambhala welcomes people from all walks of life, faiths, and backgrounds. They come together to practice meditation, gather, and celebrate in order to develop a global culture that cultivates dignity and sanity in an increasingly chaotic and stressful world.
The European Venture Summit is Europe’s foremost networking and investment event for high growth technology start-ups, venture capital investors and technology corporations. It offers to entrepreneurs the opportunity to grow their businesses across borders, and engage directly with Europe’s most active investors across investor-types. The European Venture Summit presents 100+ innovative ICT, Life Sciences and Cleantech companies from across Europe to an international audience of investors, key corporates and innovation experts.