Below follows a note from Mika Korhonen’s blog . He apparently finds ebbf learning events, his cup of coffee, hence his reason for coming to Barcelona’s #ebbf2013, thus attending his TENTH consecutive ebbf international learning event, here’s why: By Mika Korhonen
Barcelona!! Oh, this is again going to be the highlight of the year! The next international ebbf event is only a month away. I have been going to these events everywhere in Europe for ten years now. Sometimes people ask me am I travelling for business or pleasure, and the answer is not simple, because it is kind of both, but really it is way beyond. Here is why.
The same cause, “to contribute to a prosperous, sustainable and just civilization by promoting and applying ethical values, personal virtues
and moral leadership in business and civil society”, brings together people from all over the world. Not just any people but those who really change the world through their own humble actions. It is the humbleness which is so touching. Everybody sits down as equals, discusses and consults together. People do not only collaborate, they work together. And you feel the friendship and love. I used to have a cup of coffee with this same gentleman, once a year, asking “what should I do with my life?!” and he was kind enough to listen and wise enough to never answer. But we became friends.
This may sound strange but you really get spiritually uplifted. The environment and the atmosphere which is created, along with deep thought-provoking talks, keeps you away from sinking into hopelessness of this disintegrating world. It puts your thoughts back into the path where you put your energy in building a new game instead. There are so many things happening, I mean positively-loaded-extremely-inspiring things going on around the world, with an impact beyond imagination, that it is sometimes hard to fall into sleep after a full day!
The cycle of studying, acting and reflection works well in ebbf. Over the years I have learned (and I really started from basics, I knew zero) what is a sustainable way to develop organizations as a grass-root worker, tried it into real life at my own work places, and talked about it to my friends. I have realized that everybody seem to have the same humble posture of learning there. Discussing and sharing ideas only, or “raising awareness”, would not change anything really. We do discuss, even extensively when we meet, but when we get back then it is all about doing.
Contributing in building a better world
I grew up in a farm. It has been a tremendous journey to come to realize that everyone can contribute. Everyone can choose to be an active member of the society. We can fight against “bad” system or build better values-based systems instead. You can choose to grow organic food at the farm. You can choose to act ethically at the workplace. And you can connect the dots and see how all of these are connected, and feel you are part of it. An ebbf event does just that, it connects the dots for me: in fact, I am building new civilization! I am serving, no matter how small my contribution is. I am not talking about that let’s-hold-hands-and-wish-for-a-better-world, but making it happen.
But I guess there is still one more reason above everything else :). It is that amazing drive and flow and energy what you get, and you feel like you are on fire. I have been travelling with my good friend Kimmo so many times and had the craziest ideas on the way home – I even got fired because of that energy once (but that is another story). The friends at work recognize this spirit always when I get back and they say that my body perhaps arrived but my soul is still somewhere on the way.
The energy that you receive is the transforming one. It makes you act. It changes people. It is amazing takeaway from an ebbf event. You should try.