Why I want to make the shift

Sabine Hoffmann
6 min readJan 6, 2020


Nov 2018 downtown San Francisco, during the wildfires in California

It´s the start of a new year and Australia is burning, due to the climate crisis: “These fires have made climate change a reality of the present tense for many Australians. It is no longer something that we can put off to the future. To give some scale of the intensity of these fires, international media outlets have been reporting the 2018 California fires burnt 2 million acres; the 2019 Amazon fires 2.2 million, and the 2019 Siberian fires 6.7 million. So far, Australia’s 2019/20 fires have burnt 12 million acres.” Paul Niklen, Co-founder of @SeaLegacy

Please consider to donate for the fire fighting activities:

Source: https://www.facebook.com/donate/1010958179269977/10218351924808216/

Last year (2019) made me rethink a lot of my habits, lifestyle, mindset and business. I started the year in New Zealand, feeling the impact of the climate crisis for our planet while walking up to Franz Josef glacier which is melting to a sigificant greater extent every decade.

On the other side of this planet, seeing even different stars in the sky, the dimension of changing the perspective fascinated my mind. Starting to look at things from a different side, not believing what I thought so far…

In June I did my first inspiration tour to China which made me start to rethink our Western ways of leading and making business. Not saying that I support the Chinese forms of hierarchy, but starting to think about trying to understand the totally different perspectives from the Eastern part of the world in order to integrate parts of it to our ways of thinking. To create something new as political system, as we will probably not manage this climate emergency within the existing short term oriented system.

Honkong downtown, June 2019

In August I attended the program “make shift” in Alpbach, Austria which totally opened my eyes for the over exploitation of our planet, which I am part of. The great Jeffrey B. Sachs introduced the hard facts of the climate crisis to us, starting with the main 3 principles for saving this planet: economic justice, social inclusion and environmental sustainability. In order to adjust to these principles, we have to rethink the whole system we created for generating wealth. In these days of climate emergency we have to rethink systems, foremost our economic system. Capitalism means private ownership that delivers wealth and very often NOT sustainability. The so called “market price” will not change systems!

Jeffrey B. Sachs answering questions

Today we still live with the “freedom of distruction” as J. Sachs called it: the freedom to put CO2 in the air, to knock down trees… not thinking as one global community. To come back to Australia: in the international CO2 statistics Australia ranks not within the top, not taking into account their production of charcoal for the rest of the world.

In order to change the system until 2050 we have to think and act top down and bottom up. Greta Thunberg shows all the leaders and individuals on this planet how daring to speak up even resonates with the established systems of appreciation, such as the Time Person of the Year or the Nobel Peace Prize. So far the young generation has the guts to speak up every single Friday, hopefully every leader among us will follow. And remember: everyone is a leader!

Having set the awareness for the topic (thanks Greta and Fridays for Future!), the European Parliament declared climate emergency back in November 2019 in order to be able to decide on each an every proposal under the consideration of the 1,5 ° global warming target. Which we should all do in every small decision: with every € we spend we decide upon the future of our planet. E.g. for one pair of jeans produced, 7.000 liters of water are used. So consider the CO2 and the water footprint.

Source: https://www.instagram.com/gooodmobile/

Jeffrey Sachs left us with a check list for businesses, that I want to share with you, as it helps constributing every other day:

Is our product a product of well being?

Is my production process sustainable? Technology, workers, community, …

What about the sustainability of the value chain?

Is our company a good corporate citizen? Transparent, taxes, …

Me and participants of makeshift in Alpbach, August 2019

When it comes to contribution, you should definitely be aware of the Project Drawdown, founded by Paul Hawken back in 2013.

Project Drawdown is a world-class research organization that reviews, analyses, and identifies the most viable global climate solutions, and shares these findings with the world. In order to stop global warming with solutions that exist today.

Source: https://www.drawdown.org/solutions-summary-by-rank

#1 Refrigerant Management: is all about cooling and air conditions. So please reconsider the purchase of an airconditioner for your home.

#2 Wind Turbines: in Austria we had an installed capacity of 3.045 Megawatt in 2018, providing more than 50% of Austrian households with this clean electric power. This means a CO2 reduction by 4,3 million tons a year. Worldwide more than 100 countries applied wind turbines so far, providing 5% of the world electric power production. Find your clean energy provider via a short online research — changing takes about 3 minutes only!

#3 Reduced food waste: worldwide 30–40% of food is wasted. Rethink your expectations when it comes to shopping. On a Saturday afternoon it is totally ok if there is hardly any bread or vegetables left in the supermarket. We have been spoiled and exploiting, let´s stop that!

#4 Plant-Rich Diet: I myself (used to be a meat lover!!) decided not to eat meat any more, back in 2017 and I can tell you, I do not miss anything — exploring the best recipes I ever experienced. I will dedicate a seperate blog to this topic ;-)

Christmas dish at my father´s home, Dec 2019

Browse the list and find your way of contrubution :-) As a leader, you have to realise, that companies have a different role in these days. CEOs have to touch the topic of sustainabilty, being able to take people on a long journey out of their comfort zone!

What I do with all that facts and thoughts? I try to work on creating a new narrative to make it an important part of lifestyle and entrepreneurship to ceate a sustainable future with every decision, every day. Winning leaders to integrate humanity in organisations and business models, to rethink their definition of growth in order to transform it to #sustainablegrowth and to keep everybody on board in these days, especially the 50+ generation that is still in the position of making powerful decisions.

What supports me in doing so, is practicing mindfullness, inspired by a Search Inside Yourself Training, having learned how to better design impactful experiences and practicing to use my mind to create the future now.

Let´s create a #sustainablefuture together. I am happy to hear about your thoughts and future projects :-) Find me on LinkedIn.



Sabine Hoffmann

Designing learning journeys for myself and people around me, to unleash their full potential in order to change this planet every day. #empowerthisplanet