Coconut Thinking

Benjamin Freud, Ph.D.

The Coconut Thinking podcast brings together educational provocateurs who are re-thinking school as a concept and a space. It is about advancing the conversation about learning for purpose and for the common good, not just for job-readiness, and certainly not to create docile consumers. Coconut Thinking is a place where we think and act to make positive contributions to the welfare of the bio-collective—all living things that have an interest in the healthfulness of the planet. It is time for revolutionary change in education, to move away from anthropocentric approaches and embrace learning as a social and natural experience that has purpose. It is time to go #BeyondSchool and open up learning and action for, by, and to the (greater) community. read less
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Episodes

Gil Friend: Learning and investing as if we belonged to the natural world
23-10-2023
Gil Friend: Learning and investing as if we belonged to the natural world
What might it be like if we approached education and business as if we belonged to the living world?In this conversation, I speak with Gil Friend. Gil, a systems ecologist and business strategist, is widely considered a founder of the sustainable business movement. He is noted for inspiring, challenging, and supporting business, policy, and investment leaders to rethink business in light of the challenges posed by climate change and sustainability. Joel Makower describes him as "one of the most thoughtful and creative thinkers I know in the area of sustainable business, adeptly bridging the scientific and technical aspects of sustainability with the practical realities of the business world and its impact on people and the systems in which they operate." Gil is the founder and CEO of Natural Logic Inc., a strategy boutique advising the world's leading companies on building "massive value" through business-integrated sustainability strategies. He is an inaugural member of the Sustainability Hall of Fame and was named "one of the 10 most influential sustainability voices in America" by The Guardian. He is also recognized as one of the Bay Area's "top 25 movers and shakers" in CleanTech. Our discussion includes:🥥 How can we reconsider capitalism to be reciprocal, not extractive; caring, not alienating; regenerating, not just generating for the few?🥥 What would happen if we went to school to learn in order to contribute to all life, rather than simply attending prestigious institutions like Oxbridge?🥥 Approaching capital (of all kinds, not just financial) in ways that meet the needs of all life, re-evaluating even what those needs are systemically rather than individually.Check out our website: www.coconut-thinking.com
Cordell Jacks: Regenerative capital as net positive systemic change
02-10-2023
Cordell Jacks: Regenerative capital as net positive systemic change
How can capital contribute to the (non-monetary) wealth of the entire ecosystem?In this episode, I speak with Cordell Jacks. Cordell is the Co-founder and CEO of Regenerative Capital Group, a Canadian-based fund and accelerator that trains entrepreneurs in an 'alternative' entrepreneurial career path through ETA (entrepreneurship through acquisition). Instead of launching start-ups as platforms for change and innovation, RCG champions aspiring leaders to acquire small businesses that have already proven market validation and traction, and that are seeking ownership transition from retiring baby boomers (most of whom are without succession plans). RCG acquires these businesses for the entrepreneur (no investment capital required from entrepreneur), where they can earn meaningful equity in the business if they take it on a 'regenerative journey'- looking at all material areas of impact the business has, which can be utilized as levers for net-positive value creation for all stakeholders (human, social, and environmental) across their ecosystems.We discuss:🥥 How mono-capitalism can be a source of degeneration, much like mono-agriculture can be, but eco-capitalism might open up different possibilities🥥 How capital might become regenerative when it is nourishes every part of the ecosystem, human, other-than-human, and more than human🥥 Approaching every moment as an opportunity to contribute to the ecosystem, to bring about the world we want.Check out our website: www.coconut-thinking.com
Denise DeLuca: Approaching life from Nature's paradigm
17-09-2023
Denise DeLuca: Approaching life from Nature's paradigm
How might we approach life from Nature's paradigm rather than from the dominant paradigm?In this episode, I speak with Denise DeLuca. Denise is the founder of Wild Hazel. She is an adjunct faculty and the former Director of MCAD’s Sustainable Design program. She was co-founder of BCI: Biomimicry Creative for Innovation, a network of creative professional change agents driving ecological thinking for radical transformation. Denise is the author of the book Re-Aligning with Nature: Ecological Thinking for Radical Transformation. She also teaches with the Amani Institute.Denise’s previous roles include Education Director for the International Living Future Institute, Project Manager for Swedish Biomimetics 3000, and Outreach Director for The Biomimicry Institute. Denise is a licensed civil engineer (PE) and holds a master’s degree in civil and environmental engineering with a focus on modelling landscape-scale surface and groundwater interactions. In addition, Denise is a Biomimicry Fellow and a member of the Advisory Council of The Biomimicry Institute,  Board Member of the International Society of Sustainability Professionals (ISSP), on the editorial board of the Journal of Bionic Engineering, and anExpert with Katerva.We discuss: 🥥 Emergent abundance as means of cultivating ego-less, curious, and thriving relationships, thinking, and feeling;🥥 How we can learn as Nature, not always from or about Nature, which is a shift in how we respond to the world (away from problem-solution mindsets)🥥 How imagining and describing the world we want to create opens up new possibilities for non-linear thinking and ways of becoming.Check out our website: www.coconut-thinking.comCheck out Wild Hazel: www.wildhazel.net
Sahana Chattopadhyay: Wayfinders dare to dream differently
10-07-2023
Sahana Chattopadhyay: Wayfinders dare to dream differently
How do we find the courage to move beyond the single story?In this episode, I speak with Sahana Chattopadhyay. Sahana is a Writer, Speaker, Synthesizer, and Transition Catalyst. Through her work, she researches and explores different pathways to civilizational transition towards life-sustaining and decolonial future(s), and counter-hegemonic narratives. She is the Founder and Director of a boutique consulting firm Proteeti, a Sanskrit word meaning "wisdom that transforms." She is also a certified Coach, Facilitator, Learning Designer, and an Organization Development Professional with a focus on Transformational Learning and the Future of Leadership.Sahana is also the author of a series of thought-shifting articles about Wayfinders, which you can find here: https://medium.com/age-of-emergence.We discuss:🥥 How wayfinders are the holding space for organizations that have the courage to listen to voices from the margins and the center, including voices from the more-than-human world, moving so that the centers shift constantly so there is no center;🥥 How we want to go beyond "human-centered" (anthropocentric), which has led us to where we are today and will not get us out;🥥 The problem-solution trap, which is also the "God-trick," and inevitably creates more problems;🥥 Resistance as more than political struggle, as a form of defense and opening up to better futures.Check out the Coconut Thinking website: www.coconut-thinking.com