BlackLlama Leadership

 A Vintage Leadership Philosophy

To Recover and Revive  the Fabric Of Life


“When I talk about [leadership] magic, I’m not talking about having the right ingredients and knowing how to mix them together. I’m talking about lineage. I’m talking about people. I’m talking about what emerges when you consciously weave together community, history, health, nature and a real enjoyment of where you are.”

(Adapted from Carin McKay – Culinary Magic at the Regenerative Design Institute: Creating community through food, farm and permaculture)


A journey to know your true nature.

“A human being is a part of the whole, called by us “Universe”, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest — a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely, but the striving for such achievement is in itself a part of the liberation and a foundation for inner security.”

~Albert Einstein’s Letter of 1950, as quoted in The New York Times (29 March 1972) and The New York Post (28 November 1972).

Re-Wild Crafting: Regaining our innate human capabilities

To know about humanity, you first have to learn to be human.

As our inner and outer worlds experience accelerated techno-forming, we are at risk of forgetting how to appreciate and cultivate our innate human capabilities, such as living in healthy communities, complex decision making and our 54 senses and sensibilities. We are now also more aware of the cognitive deterioration overusing technologies such as social media, or loss of using learning and memory skills due to smartphone apps.

Current technology design favours quick fix and simple solutions to scale for exponential shareholder growth. The unintended consequence is a global phenomena where entire living eco-systems are coralled into profitable algorithmic and possibly bio-engineered data points designed for precision prediction markets and behavioural re-engineering.

Add to this a worldview that life is in essence just autonomous algorithms, and we start to believe that, to evolve, we need continuous updates to our human operating systems, prescribed by machines that are smarter than us.

With human comfort at the centre of design, the side-effects can now be seen as we experience loss of social connection, physical fitness and creative movement, reduced emotional diversity and flexibility, technology mediation instead of natural connection and contact, reduction of critical thinking skills and other cognitive abilities.

User attentions are aimed at measurable clicks, often linked to unpleasant, high energy emotional, short term problems, replicated within a mono-cultural imagination and social networks.

Understanding hidden wellbeing obstacles and degeneration in all aspects of our lives – on a personal as well as family and collective level – has the possibility of creating a vicious cycle feedback loop where we believe this to be the only trajectory of our collective digital future.

Unlike this bleak view, most people also realize we have many unexplored windows of opportunities to use technologies. We have the freedom to opt-out and establish better foundational principles for standards and ethics for these man-made designs and codes that shape our future.

Fortunately we also have access to ecosystems within natural environments not yet fully mediated by our machine consciousness.

Here we can re-experience what it truly means to be human: Not what our mainstream experts tell us, but our own body’s experience of our primordial being.

Positive maverick leaders make a conscious decision to engage in rewilding: “practices which allow the human nervous system to develop to its full capability, including the sensitivity and awareness of our undomesticated hunter-gatherer ancestors” (definition by Wild Open).

They are able to discern natural consciousness and machine consciousness within themselves and their environments. Cultivating digital intelligence, they apply practical wisdom in how to allow autonomous code to mediate our experience of life using life’s principles towards vitality and ecosystem virtuous cycles.

Re-wilding ourselves enables us to build novel foundations to face ourselves and the world around us. It empowers us to research, design and adopt alternative technological solutions that restore our human capacities for new forms of ethical cooperation, reciprocity, the prosperity game (as contrasted to the monopoly game).

Photo: Mauna Kea, Hawaii, January 2016

Nurturing Imagination: Seeking new soils and cultivating gardens of the mind in which to dream a better future

Reuniting human creative capacity with with the craft and the art of life will restore natural imagination as a wisdom skill.

Dr Tina Seelig, Stanford Creativity Expert, writes that “without imaginers who engage with the world and envision alternatives, there won’t be compelling opportunities to address.

Nurturing imagination is a practical wisdom skill. Did you know that the majority of tech leaders send their children to Waldorf schools and limit their time using machine technologies?

Here is how Proust applied his imagination: “The document [timetable for trains] was not consulted for practical advice; the departure time of the Saint-Lazare train was of no immediate importance to a man who found no reason to leave Paris in the last eight years of his life. Rather, this timetable was read and enjoyed as though it were a gripping novel about country life, because the mere names of provincial train stations provided Proust’s imagination with enough material to elaborate entire worlds, to picture domestic dramas in rural villages, shenanigans in local government, and life out in the fields.” How Proust Can Change Your Life (Vintage International)

“It became clear that play in the high Andes involves a learning process that is more creative and profound than it is in a society where prefabricated toys are readily available. Most importantly, play activities lead directly to an understanding of the tasks that must be mastered in adult life.”

“Within the home, children play with virtually everything they can find.”

“Outside the house, children’s playgrounds extend as fas as their eyes can see.”

“But children are not satisfied to merely detect interesting shapes within the cosmos. They need to touch and manipulate the products of their imagination. So from a young age they start the manufacture from the raw materials nature provides not only toys but miniature homesteads and irrigated fields within complex landscapes.” Inge Bolin: Growing up in a culture of Respect: Childrearing in Highland Peru.

In machine technology cultures, computer games stimulate the mind’s natural capacities to release the required medicine in the right way for the person.

When we nurture our imagination, we enhance the patterns and harmonies of complex responsive processes woven within inter-dependent action. This enables the spontaneous emergence of novel new mindsets and behaviours towards wholeness.

Immersive, creative participation based on our primordial sense of play-to-learn, helps us thrive, cooperate, strategize, work across teams and cultures, learn multiple states of living, and opportunities to identify and cultivate entire new networks of data – including those available in the natural worlds, such as oceans, soils and sky.

Learning and mastering games from other societies will become as important to us as investing in adventure bucket-list endeavours – becoming popular for iconic Digital-Self-Inspiration and understanding new types of economics, governance and skills for the future of work.

Photo Butterfly Gardens, Aqua Calientes, Peru, November 2018


Being the Butterfly inside the Storm

Regenerate the Fabric of Life

Living within an increasingly turbulent world, there is more need than ever to cultivate regenerative leadership philosophies and revitalize skills that empower us to more responsive, improve our foresight and prediction capabilities, navigate and enable new emerging structures informed by collective human and species intelligences and tools, in particular non-machine consciousnesses.

If not you, who will co-create the new worldAnd who will volunteer to re-write and build healthy soils and foundations for new ways to conceptualize the world?

Popular approaches to psychology, education, leadership and organizational development tell us change is difficult to achieve, because “the majority of humans prefer short bits of information, have limited attention spans, can only digest popular ideas, are lazy, selfish and feel they are entitled to happiness, irrespective of how the world around them is experienced”. 

Yet –  outside the formal media, expert conferences and technology platforms – my experience is that these types of behaviours are the exception rather than the norm. Within societies that are not so computer technology dominated, cultural memories are intact, people are physically strong, they demonstrate remarkable resilience, and have exceptional skills at intergenerational and inter-species culture transfer.

Globally there is a popular rise in public speakers who gain stardom because of their mastery in complex articulation, deep knowledge of topics such as history and philosophy – their popularity growing with thousands of followers on social media and patronage fan support sites. Young people across the planet learn complicated skills and knowledge simply by watching You Tube videos. According to Rui Ma, Co-Founder of Transformational Technologies Lab – In China experts can become millionaires producing quality educational content as people look toward the future of work and keep their skills and knowledge up to date. Aiming at increased longevity, wellbeing including environmental restoration is becoming normalized in their culture.

Once off-the-beaten track cultures of long retreats and vision quests in syntropic permaculture and Amazon jungle technologies are now considered mainstream. Ordinary people eagerly study books on political discourse and economics, and thousands learn and use permission-less coding skills to experiment with digital economy and governance models.

Given the opportunity, most people prefer time to examine ideas properly, engage with and have more quality conversations, and contribute and participate in more wholesome societies. 

And, sometimes, the Rolls Royce leadership models and training investments do not apply to all individual, team community or organization’s realities and lifecycles.

It is precisely because of this – that your leadership will differentiate you when you apply yourself to vintage leadership philosophy and practices, fused in a novel new approach.

Role-modelling new gestures and movements and generating intercultural and species transmissions, is the pragmatic idealist way. Understanding how to activate social networks while regenerating and revitalizing positive and non-extractive, in person contact, connection and cooperation will become a sought after skill.

Applying practical wisdom in techoself cultivation will enable you to become a Strange Attractor in Chaos and Turbulence, cultivating a thriving quality life while growing a quality living in the edges. Confident in standing your ground when all seems to be swept away by continuous changes and life transitions.

Photograph: Hike during Tibetan Indigenous Wisdom Retreat – Vancouver Island, 2015