Gautam and I had a lovely conversation about environmental things. He's become a good friend (we talk outside our recordings). Still, listen to determine for yourself, but I'd say this conversation exhibited a minor mindset shift if any. After we talked about Gautam's experience, we spoke mostly about abstract environmental issues, not personal ones. He spoke about some difference in his views and feelings brought on by his commitment, but mostly he talked about the beauty of nature flying-distance away. I want to help people find the beauty or any value they like of nature where they are, or realize that it's possible, or worth fighting to restore if we've paved too much of it over. So it's a different conversation than usual---both friendlier between us and more abstract on his connection with the environment---though you might hear differently.
In the first part of our conversation, we start by reviewing Gautam's commitment to sailing, which seemed and still seems a good idea to him. but maybe too much for now. We revisit what motivated him and come up with a new commitment. The second part gets more exciting. Gautam expresses that we need to develop technology to help people who aren't living as well as us so we can help them. (I may not have summarized accurately; listen to his recorded words for his precise meaning.) This view is like waving a red flag to me since I used to think things like that but now see otherwise. We engage in different views on technology, progress, how humans used to live versus how we live today, values, and such. In other words, we openly talk about the underlying beliefs driving our culture and individual behavior we don't question or talk about, but that guide our decisions and behavior. If we can only imagine a world working a certain way, we can't change course. If that course leads to billions of people dying, being stuck in beliefs is a problem. I greatly appreciate a civil, productive conversation on topic that many find inflammatory.
I've made it no secret that sustainability lacks leadership and leaders. If you want to help on sustainability, I suggest that the most valuable thing you can do is learn to lead. If you know how to lead, improve it. Nothing can change as much as leading cultural change. Gautam's passion is to learn how leadership works, how to teach it, learning more about it, writing about it, the military, most relevant to our conversation: conveying what he knows and that passion. The upshot: someone who knows as much as anyone about leadership, what works, what doesn't, learning more about it, how to teach it, and passionate to convey what he's learned. He also knows and has befriended some of today's most effective leaders, whom he mentions in our conversation. He calls General Stanley McChrystal "Stan." Let's see if we can bring Gautam's knowledge, experience, and connections to sustainability.