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Sources

 

Inspirational individuals who provide umbutu with a safe space of expression and listening from the heart. This leads to pragmatic and grounded actions and solutions.

Sofia de Meyer - umbutu

Sofia
de Meyer

Having been born into a family of nine children, I was surrounded throughout my upbringing by fascinating diversity. This was augmented by years spent at my parents’ school in the Alps where I quickly developed curiosity and awe for nature.

 

My early professional experience was spent in London, where I worked for seven years in a large law firm. Having acquired some business tools, I decided to put my experience creating my own business, a space of creativity where I could thrive at the thought and execution of positive social and environmental impact.

 

Back in Switzerland, my entrepreneurial adventure led me to experience connections to the living in rich and diverse ways. My passions guide me to explore our relation to transitions, whether ecological, professional, societal, and most importantly the self. I’ve discovered, and still do, that all is evolution and flow. We do not need to negate the past to build the future. We can trust our past experiences to live in the present. We can live in the present, connected to our values and the surrounding environment, to build the future.

In my work, I truly believe that success comes from trust in life and people. Being connected to all living things and remaining positive and attentive to seeing the vision you can bring and the actions you can take. I believe that when you show up, just as you are, living a whole and vulnerable life experience; projects and creativity follow by themselves. Both companies I created, Whitepod and Opaline, reflect this journey; a journey from head to heart, and from heart to Nature: human nature, biodiversity, and the subtle balance of our interdependence.

 

Going forward, I will continue working on being at the service of this journey, in the hope that it will serve to enlighten collective intelligence and to value the invisible: all unquantified, underrepresented, or undervalued contributions to our current economic systems. Motherhood, for example, represents one of the most essential human capital contributions of all time and yet, it has so little recognition as a pillar of our economy.

Darren Silver - umbutu

Darren
Silver

I grew up in a multi-cultural house where the world was wide and deep. Dinner often took a long time. Relatives spoke on the phone with accents and broken English. Persian rugs, Farsi, and political discussions of the revolution. My imagination, the hearth, home, extended far beyond the borders of my house, my neighbourhood, my school, state or country.  The third and final son. My adventures often took me into nature. Giant rocks near streams. Box turtles. Hawks at the edges of meadows near ponds. I swam in the thick Virginia humidity. Older brothers returning with often recklessly lived stories from high school, college, and world travels. I dreamed and got dreamt by artifacts from my fathers time living in Peru. Spears, bows, blowdart guns. Ponchos, blankets, clay pots.

 

So it was my turn. The spring of childhood drifted into young adulthood. I left to Colombia, India, went into the wilderness, studied with teachers, attempted to find a course in college that met the wild horses of my soul.  I began to ask the big questions: Who am I?  Where am I? What is going on here?

 

I found ritual. Drums. Stones. Fire. Earth time.  People that came together because they were in love with something greater than what they could love alone. My soul found a home to grow. As I went through my own process of becoming I slowly began to turn my attention towards guiding others into the wilderness, overseas, and into the body. Initiation and rites of passage became a passion and the central focus of a Masters Degree.

 

New questions emerged: What makes a human? What does genuine culture look like? How do we foster the genius that lives inside each of us?  These questions have become the sinew of my work and study; connecting nature, culture, and initiation into an integrated approach of living a meaningful and joyous life. 

 

This is my passion, and I am devoted to seeing the genius that resides in everyone, come to life with artistry, creativity, and beauty.  In connection. In gratitude. In reverence.