Leigh Reis

Social Anthropologist2014 Illawarra SLDP

Leigh Reis photo revised

I am passionate about nurturing the health and well-being of people and planet over profit and (misused) power

What was the most valuable thing you got out of CSL?

Increased confidence, clarity of purpose & commitment to act on passion for paradigm change

Why are you passionate about sustainability? What was the moment or event that made you decide to become a 'change maker' in your field?

I am passionate about nurturing the health and wellbeing of people and planet over profit and (misused) power. It is focus on the later, driven by our global economic system, that often warps our view of what's important in the world and pulls us away from family, community and connection to the natural world. This only creates unhappy people and an unhealthy planet. Since I was 14 and had my first living experience in a less industrialised context, I have been passionate about people and understanding difference, disadvantage and inequality. Following that early experience I lived in many other cultures, often in less 'developed' contexts, each teaching me so much about humans, about myself, and about the complexity of our global challenges. Despite always having loved being in nature, it wasn't until I was in my late 20s that I deeply understood the missing piece of the puzzle I had slowly pieced together in my mind, that without truly appreciating (and indeed revering) the systemic interconnectedness between humans and all other life, we would struggle to live peacefully, consciously and compassionately and we would continue to cause destruction and harm to the earth and its inhabitants.

Why is leadership for sustainability is important?

We need to model that living gently and compassionately, with reverence for our complex interconnectedness, is actually more rewarding than conforming to the growth model!

What do you plan to do next on your sustainability journey?

To take action on my passion and engage others to work towards massive cultural change. To collaboratively enact mass paradigmatic transformation away from the less humanistic ideologies of consumer culture towards ideals of sustainability, including social and environmental justice and compassion for people and planet.

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