I have a passion for supporting all those beautiful creative minds who believe in making this world a better place. I storngly believe we need to play our part so well in the world that what we leave behind is a stronger, better and more peaceful planet for our future generations. I know, dear reader, that you love to meet with those wonderful people I surround myself with for my cause of making more out of my existence. In one such persuit I happened to meet with Kathrin Gnilka. Kathrin has a vibrant personality and her videos are all over the internet with her powerful message of love for nature and human affinity with it. She is so passionate about spreading the message of love with our origins and care for nature that I decided to discuss with her more about her endeavor 1001 Good Deeds. Meeting with Kathrin was a great pleasure and I got to know her mission more personally. 1001 Good Deeds aims at helping corporates understand why we need sustainable solutions to control carbon footprints and how on both corporate and individual level we can do it. She believes, “YES, ONE PERSON CAN MAKE A CHANGE!” and I know it is possible.
Kathrin: I am a nature lover and philanthropist, a Sales and Marketing professional, Life Coach and Sustainability enthusiast with 20 years of experience in corporate environments. My aim in life is to make a real change in this world and I founded 1001 Good Deeds to help businesses become sustainable and ethical leaders in their industry.
Over the past decades, innovation and technology saw a real boom which can significantly contribute to our lives and the way we work. On the other hand, we developed industries and businesses that are purely focused on short-term profits. While profits are obviously important for any business, we must keep humans and our planet in mind if we want to sustain our businesses over time. What we see today is that our aim for market dominance has a tremendous impact on our planet. We lost almost 50% of our rain forests, our oceans are over-fished and choking in plastic, wildlife is diminishing like never before in human history, air and water are polluted and climate change is not only a potential threat but an actual danger to all of us. On top of that, modern day slavery and child labour became somewhat socially accepted and are consciously used by certain industries to reduce production cost.
In truly believe that we need to reset our focus from pure profit thinking to a way of producing and consuming in a more mindful way. Human rights must be valid for everyone, and nature must be appreciated for what it is – our source of life. If we take from nature, we need to give back to enable natural resources to recover. We need to stop pollution and use modern technology to produce in more sustainable ways. Millions of jobs depend on a healthy environment – be it agriculture, the fishing industry, tourism and hospitality, transport, building and construction, etc. Our global economy is built on the natural world but already today we use more natural resources than our planet can replenish. If we keep depleting nature at the current rate, neither our businesses, nor human beings will be able to survive.
Climate Change is real, and it is the consequence of our actions. While we are still discussing if it is human-made or not or if we can afford climate action, the clock is ticking. In 2018 alone, the major 10 natural disasters caused damage of $85 billion dollars. This doesn’t include the increasing cost for health care as more and more people are getting sick. 7 million people die every year from diseases that are directly linked to air pollution. Climate change is a direct contributor to poverty and forces millions of people every year to leave their homes in search of a place they can survive.
Sustainability is not a matter of personal choice. It is inevitable if we want to sustain our lives and businesses and enable the next generations to live and thrive as well..
One of my aims is to help people remember that we are part of nature and our health and well-being depends on a healthy environment. Our number one priority needs to be to get away from a mindset of short-term profits and exploiting our natural resources towards finding ways to coexist in this world with nature and all other living creatures.
Kathrin: 1001 Good Deeds is an advocacy for people and planet. We help businesses to become more ethical and sustainable by supporting them to make changes in their daily operation but also by encouraging sustainable supply chains. I train corporate organizations on the topic of sustainability and show them how they can reduce their carbon footprint by making changes in their work environment and daily lives and I also share my knowledge by speaking at public events.
1001 Good Deeds was born out of the desire to make a change in this world. There is too much injustice in our societies and material things became more important than human lives. We have more possessions and more virtual connections than ever, yet we are lonely. So many people are in search of meaning in their lives. I want to inspire minds for positive change.
1001 is still a small business but my vision is to become a leader in Sustainability and the protection of Human rights by encouraging ethical business practices.
Kathrin: 1001 Good Deeds operates like a social business with a strong focus on training and consulting. Education is key to help people understand their impact on the environment and to enable them to make more educated choices. And this is what we need. We need more people to make changes in their lifestyles to reduce the stress we cause to the environment. All technology in the world will not help us if we run out of air to breathe.
The younger generations are getting more and more worried about their future and their mass demonstrations over the past weeks and months prove their commitment. Those students are our future clients and we need to take their concerns seriously. Many studies prove that Millennials and Generation Z expect businesses to be ethical and sustainable and more and more refuse to buy from companies that are driven by short-term profits. So, companies that want to be successful in the future need to adapt their way of thinking, clean up their supply chains and feel responsible for their impact on this planet.
Kathrin: I think Sustainability is more important than ever but unfortunately, many businesses don’t see the urgency to act yet and consider it a personal matter. But climate change does not just happen elsewhere. We live here in a delicate desert climate and the UAE are prone to droughts, storms and sea level rise. Medical cost due to respiratory issues will increase in future and cause further financial strains on businesses. The UAE Government takes this threat seriously and so should we and support them in their endeavours to tackle this problem.
Kathrin: My source of motivation is my insatiable love for nature and my eagerness for social justice. I think everyone in this world deserves dignity, respect and the chance to live in peace and prosperity. But I also want to inspire people to see the beauty of our planet through my eyes. . The diversity of landscapes from deserts to lush forests, oceans to mountains and the incredible diversity of wildlife is absolutely stunning. Once you dig in a bit deeper you will also get an idea of the sheer perfection of nature. How everything is created to ensure balance and what amazing tactics some species developed to survive and thrive is creativity at its best. Not to forget the tremendous effects nature has on our health and well-being. It is proven that nature can lower levels of stress, depression, anxiety and even blood pressure. Many of our most important medicines come from nature. There is still so much on our planet to discover. We need to make sure we are not losing this chance.
Kathrin: Get a coach. Sometimes we are too close to the problem to see that the solution is right in from of our eyes. A coach enables you to take a step back and see the big picture rather than just a piece of the puzzle.
Kathrin: I always made and will always make my decisions based on my gut feeling. When it feels right, I will do it, no matter if it’s a risk or a challenge. If my gut says no I won’t, no matter how lucrative or appealing a potential chance might look like. Whenever I decided against my gut, I hit the wall, so I learned my lesson.
Kathrin: We may prepare for a happy future by not only having money on our minds but by having the greater good in mind. This may sound a bit unconventional and illusionary, but this is what humanity is about. We need to get back to live the idea of humanity, to reach out a hand to someone in need and to live and do business with the intention of bringing value to this world. I truly believe that by doing good, good things come back to you.
Kathrin: I did not always believe in myself. Most of my life was jeopardized by self-doubt. I had to learn to overcome that. Once I realized that it was me who stood in my way to success and happiness, I took a life coach who really changed my perspective and outlook. I even became a life coach myself.
We are all influenced by programs that run in our subconscious minds so most of the times we don’t even realize why we don’t get what we want. Only once we identify our false believes and consciously rewrite our story, we can succeed. That’s what I did and today I choose to be happy, no matter what.
If you see yourself surrounded by negative people that pull you down it’s time to politely say good-bye and clean up your mindset.
Kathrin: Go after your dreams! Never let anyone tell you that your dreams are to big or unreasonable or that you are not good enough. They don’t feel the passion that burns inside you and they don’t take the burden of an unhappy life off your shoulders.
Most people that criticize you for being blue-eyed or unrealistic secretly envy you for having the guts to follow your dreams. Your true passion never leaves you so why wasting time and not pursuing them in the first place? You can do anything you set your mind to.