In this episode of the DevReady Podcast, our hosts Andrew Romeo and Anthony Sapountzis are joined by Neville Christie, Future Maker at STEEP Renaissance. In an earlier episode of the podcast, Neville talked about the start of his entrepreneurial journey and how entrepreneurship would look like in the aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis (You can watch that episode here ➡ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=50rcY0qb4DY&t=291s). In this particular episode, he talks about STEEP Renaissance and the need to change mindsets and practice gratitude.
Neville has been an entrepreneur since the age of 12. During his 69 years in innovation, entrepreneurship, and research he always found that the biggest problems in the world are the source of the greatest opportunities. When in 2018, he sat down and spent time researching the social, technological, economic, ecological, and political trends, and he came up with two strong conclusions:
1. The decade will see huge structural changes in the social, technological, economic, ecological, and political fabric
2. As a result of the changes, most nations will experience 40 tsunami-like events (pandemic, recession, financial crisis, war, changes in supply chains across the world, among others)
Having said that, Neville underlines that this decade of great destruction will also be a decade of great opportunities. And that’s what got Neville to go on a sabbatical to reinvent himself, recycle or throw away as much of his past personal and business impedimenta as feasible: clothes, books, CDs, files, mementos, old thinking, websites, his old curriculum vitae, the remnants of his past learnings and education, and emerge with 16 programs designed to assist us all to ride the chaos of this decade and play an active role in creating the new STEEP Renaissance.
Adding on to what inspired him to make the change, Neville talks about his need to reinvent himself every three years. Truly so because at any given time, he is known to be typically doing 7 quite different things and be involved in 7 different sorts of businesses. He says that living in the past and expecting that things will go back to being what they were like pre-Covid or pre-global warming times is a futile exercise. In fact, he highlights how there is a real need for us to reinvent ourselves, reinvent our businesses, reinvent our way of life, reinvent our relationships, and reinvent our institutions. And to put his money where his mouth was, he started STEEP Renaissance.
Neville took some time to invent 16 different programs help create the new STEEP Renaissance. There are four main themes to the 16 STEEP Renaissance initiatives:
1. Transform-renew-regrow you
2. Transform-renew-regrow your business
3. Form your Dream Team, innovate collaboratively, and ‘solve’ BIG global problems
4. Make your world, and your future: new, fresh, different, and far better.
The STEEP Renaissance Dream Team has two aims:
1. To provide the ideas, tools, techniques, processes, and technologies in digital formats, that make it possible, for you and us as individuals, businesses, and organizations to ride all the chaos of the structural changes and 40+ tsunami-like events.
2. To provide the ways and means for us all to make a positive contribution to the new STEEP Renaissance by the decade’s end. By starting now.
One of the first things that Neville and his Dream Team are working on is how to change mindsets. When faced with danger, the human mind tends to fight, flee, or freeze and our brain has a bias towards negativity. Neville wants people to adapt and accept change in mindset and that’s why he has developed 20 different techniques that can help achieve that goal. One such technique, he emphasizes, is to practice gratitude. Science says that any sort of emotion lasts for a maximum of 90 seconds unless we consciously keep it alive. He wants people to learn how to consciously keep gratitude and positivity alive so it becomes a permanent imprint in our minds.
Further, he talks about the importance of building communities. And to iterate on the need he quotes Margaret Mead, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” As individuals, we are not well-placed to make changes that governments and large corporations can make. That’s why we need to form communities so that:
1. We can support and aid each other to change mindsets
2. We can pool our resources together and leverage that into new ventures and new ideas
As advice for anyone venturing into a new business, this is what Neville has to say:
1. Focus on values
2. Work with others
· With chaos, come opportunities
· What is the STEEP Renaissance?
· Importance of changing the mindset
· Need to practice gratitude
· Need to form communities
· Importance of understanding values
Key Quotes (Time Stamps
· “I have had 69 years in innovation, entrepreneurship, and research. During that time, I have always found that the biggest problems in the world are the source of the greatest opportunities.” (2:35 – 2:47)
· “In 2018, I sat down and spent a lot of time researching the real trends that were occurring around the world—the social, technological, ecological, economic, and political trends. And I started to realize that there was a massive series of structural changes occurring; partly, of course, kicked off by the changes in our quality with the global warming, etc., but also because of some huge changes coming through in the bio-sciences and particularly in the whole Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a very large and broad spectrum of technologies which most people would be familiar with through..., robotics, automation, and service industry.” (2:48 – 3:28)
· “I just felt that the times are changing so much that the past is a dead country and that if we continue to live in that past, expect that it will go back to the pre-Covid, the pre-global warming times, we’ve got lots in our head. And there is a real need for us to reinvent ourselves, reinvent our businesses, reinvent our way of life, reinvent our relationships, reinvent our institutions.” (5:20 – 5:51)
· “The biggest innovation, I believe, now, and that’s what we are working on is what I am calling aug-way. And that is systems and processes and tools and technology and know-how that can bring about the transformation of us as individuals, and systems, processes, tools, technology, software, ideas, that make it possible to change the nature and essence of a business, the structure of it, our institutions, the way we relate to people. And a simple example of all this is just when Covid came and Lockdowns came, look how many things just moved differently.” (13:43 – 14:32)
· “Everything changed and I am calling that aug-way. Like the structural, the thinking, the tools and processes we adopted suddenly and quickly was a totally different way of organizing our life—the way we are, the way we structure things.” (14:38 – 14:56)
· “Science says that any sort of emotion lasts for a maximum of 90 seconds unless we consciously keep it alive.” (20:57 – 21:09)
Social Media Clips (Time Stamps)
· A decade of great destruction and great opportunities (2:02 – 4:58)
· Need to reinvent (5:03 – 5:53)
· How STEEP Renaissance came into being (5:55 – 7:28)
· What is the STEEP Renaissance? (10:35 – 15:00)
· Need to change the mindset (15:03 – 19:56)
· Psychology of gratitude (19:57 – 22:02)
· The power of communities (23:53 – 26:35)
· Advice for those entering business (32:09 – 35:42)