Hello, World! I’m present and standing here with you all!

“Connection is one of the most valuable things. We are
neuro-biologically, physically, spiritually and mentally
programmed to be in connection with each other”

Brené Brown

This is a welcome invitation to connect and start a conversation about emerging paradigms in the context of climate emergency and human development:

Why is it that for decades, even with all the scientific evidence, available technologies, public policies and various local, regional and global treaties and agreements signed, we still do not see effective actions on the scale and depth necessary to deal with the climate emergency? Or to eliminate once and for all the risks of a possible nuclear confrontation, to indicate just two of the countless symptoms of the serious planetary crisis we are experiencing?

When I read about the programmes to combat global warming, the war on poverty, the fight against social inequality, I ask myself: where are the enemies?

Are human beings acting to the best of their ability?

“Of course not. We are destroying the planet!” – my inner voice says. I then hear people vociferating their anger against representatives of industries such as oil and gas. Others blame consumerism, liberalism, labelled as savage.

I gulp.

The financial resources for my upbringing came, in large part, thanks to the work efforts of my father, who tirelessly dedicated himself to increasing the efficiencies of oil and gas plants in Brazil and abroad.

Following in his footsteps, I began my career as a researcher at Petrobras, in Rio de Janeiro, in the same year of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro, the ECO-92. Then, in a company of the Exxon group and then in a Spanish-Brazilian group linked to oil refining. Proudly, I celebrated results that provided better economic profitability for companies, reduction of environmental impact and improvement of work conditions for employees and the community.

Are human beings perverse and acting out of evil?

I produced positive results but in a fragmented way. At the time, I simply did not see that this system is one of the main contributors to greenhouse gas emissions and a driver of the climate crisis. I acted to the best of my capacity. The limited awareness I had at that time determined my actions.

There was an elephant in the room. I only saw it after a deep process of internal investigation and personal development. This inquiry is endless and every moment, even today, I find not one, but several elephants in new perspectives.

Is there something we are not seeing in relation to the planetary crisis?
Emerging paradigms
“Perspectives”, photo by Cristina Mendonça

The human being is programmed to connect. However, I realize that we are failing to incorporate precisely those human and cultural elements of connection and their subjectivities, beliefs, values, worldview, consciousness in the processes of change. How would the introduction and effective management of large-scale change processes be like in a strategy where technological, economic, cultural and human factors are systematically interconnected? What would the processes of change be like where the psychological, spiritual and cultural issues are not neglected?

On the contrary, with the “best” of intentions, we are developing strategies imposing our own worldviews, values and beliefs with the goal of “solving” the problem. But is this imposition a subtle violence of values that perpetuates and deepens the polarity and gravity of the problems?

Have we stopped being curious about worldviews and values other than I and mine and desperately look for ways not to deal with our own incongruities in order to avoid anxiety and conflict?

There’s an elephant in the room… and there’s no “enemy” out there…

How can we honour the human being and the diversity of worldviews, the culture we live in and the systems we build? And from there, open space for a new way of being as individuals, culture and system to emerge?

Exploring that inquiry is at the heart of creating this space.

This platform is also a way to leverage the work efforts with my partners, in addition to expanding the scale and impact of Techni, which has just completed 12 years of activity.

Techni offers consulting in innovation in action towards inclusive sustainability and structures initiatives of deep engagement in the context of the climate emergency and human development. We support organizations, communities and individuals to amplify their impacts, in integration with nature, promoting prosperity and evolution for everyone in the world.

The site is also a meeting point for engagement in a new development paradigm. In the posts, we will share, together with partners, reflections and innovations for inclusive sustainability practices. A space to inspire, collaborate and support the co-creation of this new path. It will include articles with analyses of the systemic dimension and case studies, as well as personal experiences of the pains and delights of adopting a sustainable lifestyle that respects the planetary limits and develops more conscious and present relationships in society.

All that. Why not?

“Yeah, why not?”

Of my 30-day trip to India in 2004, where I travelled alone through 10 cities, this was one of my lessons. I heard the phrase in different contexts, in all the cities, when I asked about the possibility of doing something. With my limiting and reprehensible inner voices, contacting the creative energy in me, through the relationships I developed, and letting it flow, without restrictions, was my greatest liberation.

Nowadays, liberation is living my personal, professional and relational life as a single continuum, without borders or barriers. On the site, I am exploring the use of authorial photos as a way to extend communication. Exercising my work with the same pleasure and passion with which I experience walks, cultural activities, art, relationships, is something that I have always dreamed of and that I found distant or something impossible to be accomplished.

In some Romance languages, the word work, in its etymology, comes from the Romanic tripaliare and from the Latin tripalĭum in the sense of ‘instrument of torture’. For years, to a certain extent, this has been my relationship with work. I worked for 5 days or more during the week looking for financial resources to then enjoy moments of pleasure on the weekend or holidays, of which I had in fact little. After all, the sense of obligation, the image of being a good burden carrier, the sense of being “the” employee or “indispensable” executive was another source of insatiable food for this vicious cycle, notwithstanding the money.

In social media, the guiding question usually suggested for posts is “What are you thinking?”.

Here, on this site, the only rule is to engage from the investigation:

  • What’s in your heart?
  • How would you like to be at the service of celebrating the diversity of life?

With this purpose, I celebrate with you the creation of this space! We are together! Shall we?

Cristina Mendonça

Master of Science in Urban and Environmental Engineering from Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio) and Technical University of Braunschweig, Executive MBA from COPPEAD-UFRJ (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro), specialist in R&D from COPPE-UFRJ, Chemical Engineer from UFRJ, and leadership courses in personal, social and cultural transformation processes.

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