From Awkwardness to Epiphany
By Maurice Carter, Sustainable Newton Marketing & Communications Director
In his Ecocentrity Blog, Ray C. Anderson Foundation Executive Director John Lanier recently shared video of a speech by his grandfather, Ray Anderson, to illuminate a piece about our planet's crisis of biodiversity loss. Like most recordings of Ray Anderson, this 2006 speech relating his 1997 "spear in the chest" moment after reading Paul Hawken's "The Ecology of Commerce" is profound. Everyone should watch the the entire seven minutes at the bottom of this page, but I found these words especially worthy of transcribing here. Ray said:
"I had agreed reluctantly -- and I underline 'reluctantly' -- to speak to a newly assembled environmental task force of Interface people from around the world. I had been asked to offer an environmental vision. And I did not have an environmental vision. I did not want to answer this awkward question -- awkward for me because I could not get beyond: 'We obey the law, comply.' And I knew somehow that comply was not a vision."
I'm struck by many things when I hear Ray Anderson speak.