"Very little is needed to make a happy life.
It is all within yourself in your way of thinking"
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Umbutu fireside chats are conversations between Guillame Taylor and individuals who have journeyed on the path of personal consciousness, thus giving themselves the tools to go from head to heart, from data and research to values, from seeking knowledge to seeking action.
The word Umbutu is born from an African concept of collective existence. It echoes the thought of acceptable ideas and deeds as a social and humanistic ethic. Umbutu represents the core values of kindness, humanity, compassion, life, reconciliation, and freedom. It relates to the bonding of others.
Umbutu is about listening and recognising others. It is not only a moral theory concerned with infusing humane dispositions but also one that embodies values, morals, and justice.
Umbutu brings forward the human face to every aspect of life, as to be human is to recognise humanity in others.
In sum, my happiness depends on yours, as we are interconnected.
Collective existence in the umbutu philosophy allows for personal consciousness, legitimacy in one’s own values.
It allows us to root our authenticity and act upon it.
To be viable, sustainable development objectives need to be lead above all by an aligned mindset
much beyond mere technical, mechanical, and financial solutions.
Umbutu talks are recorded at Tresor Music Studio in CINQUE, Richterswil.
Sound design and musical composition by Marco Palmieri.
These talks are unprepared so to allow conversations to wander freely.
Musician & Enterpreneur
Marco Palmieri power is to move us from encompassing a passive attitude to music to an active one. Today we are mere consumers of music; how can we become actors of music, how can we bring musical tones and notes to be guides and teachers in our own personal journey. Music is energy and vibration. It brings out memories of places and time. It connects us from within to our emotions and state of being. Music can be a beautiful tool to bring us to a state of resilience in a world where the unknown is “de rigueur”, where efficiency is replaced by resilience. Music, at the core of its essence, awakes us. Thanks to an application Marco is developing, we will be autonomous in creating the very personal vibes that will awaken us.
Sofia de Meyer
Sofia de Meyer, entrepreneur extraordinaire, epitomizes the notion of living within one’s values. Her words, behaviour and energy are all grounded within these. Few I know are more authentic in the alignment that she brings to her work, passion, relationships, and philosophy. After the successful launch of two companies, she has proven that action makes perfect. Time for her to go to another level, and value what is today grossly undervalued. One of the biggest contributors to economic well-being and the most understated is motherhood. Sofia is driving real systems change that needs to be addressed if we are to save ourselves. Sofia has been my teacher for the last three years and I owe much to her vision and wisdom.
Film Director, Writer
Daniel Schweizer’s film “Dirty Paradise” changed the path of my professional career and brought me to understand that Impact Investing cannot be an investment strategy complementary to others. It had to be a holistic approach to all my activities. Only true passion and a deep desire to understand cause and effect could have given Daniel the drive to document in such a way the plight of certain Amazionan Indians. The interconnections and interdependencies concepts brought forward in his 2009 documentary have been my guiding principles ever since.
Investor & Consultant
Alexa Firmenich is one of the few who has, somewhat unintendingly, changed the course of my life. A brief exchange around a warm and delicate cup of tea in 2019 has led to an extraordinary spiritual journey for me. At such a young age Alexa has developed the tools for a creative and a holistic expression that illuminates the path toward a sustainable world where humans and Nature are one. I cannot help but think of Alexa when reading Gandhi’s famous quote:
your beliefs become your thoughts
your thoughts become your words
your words become your actions
your actions become your habits
your habits become your values
your values become your destiny
Dayna Seraye & Darren Silver
Dayna Seraye is a natural mystic, a bridger of worlds and forever fascinated by healing, transformative arts, medicinal plants, and indigenous wisdom. Among the multiple other talents she holds within, Dayna is an ordained priestess. Her most beautiful attribute of all is that of Mother. Darren Silver has been at the start of my own spiritual journey. To facilitate conversations with people who enquire about Darren, I refer to him as a Shaman, a label not quite correct but easy for the layperson to understand. Darren is a devinor, a joyful player in nature, a student and teacher of rights of passages. He is for me above all my spiritual guide who understands me more profoundly than most. Dayna and Darren are partners in life and share the same journey which I am fortunate to witness.
Heather Manley has long understood that nutrition starts at a very young age and who better to manage our health than one’s own self. Whether through her book series The Human Body Detectives or through her influential teachings and support, Heather is impacting us. A week in her presence has brought so many learnings and knowledge to my consciousness. No separation of mind and body in our quest toward fruitful achievements. My contributions to today’s sustainability movements will increase with my overall health. My gratefulness goes to Heather.
Shaan Madhavji visited 20 countries in 6 months, meeting and interviewing social entrepreneurs creating the products and services that are driving the solutions in the current social and environmental paradigm shift. His youth and unconditioned understanding of this paradigm shift allows him to let his instincts lead over his knowledge. With unwaning energy, Shaan is an inspiration to the older generation that I represent and a creator of hope that he and his peers will bridge the gap between knowledge and action. I feel comfort in knowing that my and my peers’ well-being during our elderly days will be cared for by such capable beings.
Sculptor, builder, engineer
Igor Ustinov epitomises beautifully the true artist, that is one who is passionate, multi-skilled and talented. Sculptor, builder, engineer, opera singer, epicurean, lover of Les Belles Choses, and now entrepreneur, Igor is tireless. Although I met Igor through our collective work for a nature conservation foundation, it is thanks to my shared life for now a year with one of his chef d’oeuvres, Pied de Biche, that I have really come to intimately understand him. A presence in my living room that has opened my eyes to the influence of art in one’s subconscious.
Charles Pictet makes no differentiation between his art and his personal consciousness. How could
he? His architectural inspiration is none other than the sum of his life experiences, good or bad.
Working with constraints brings out the best in him and his personal attributes bring out the best in
his clients. After all, the best comes from a harmonious relationship between the architect and those who mandate him. What I appreciate the most in Charles is his love of aesthetics and its place in the well-being of those who live and work in proximity of his designs. When exchanging with Charles, I forget that he is an architect; I only see the emphatic man who loves all things of life.
Free Diving Champion
Eddy Laffin returned from the free diving world championships in Honduras in early September 2022 with a bronze medal in the monofin category. Aside from the competitive performance, Eddy’s introspection work to get to that level of success is remarkable. Free diving is much more than reaching incredible underwater depths. It is the energy balance of mind and body, the rooting of resilience and the taming of fear. It is to welcome the benefice of solitude. Reaching new physical depth will require pushing mindset to new levels. Eddy undoubtedly has the right stuff to becoming a lasting world champion and a guide to my own journey in mind & body equilibrium.
Kate Cacciatore brought to my awareness the notion of meaningfulness. Although she fully understands the need of collective consciousness within corporate settings, she has never veered away from the essence of keeping equanimity on a personal consciousness level. Kate has mastered the balance between her personal alignment, the “being”, and her professional workings within the rigors of the corporate world, the “existing”. Bringing meaningfulness in all her endeavours has kept Kate at the forefront of sustainability for so many years.