Alexander Gerst’s letter to his grandchildren
How Alexander Gerst is motivating me to support all those entrepreneurs who are on a mission to leave our great planet in a better shape. This is my 2019 appeal to all of us.
The new year 2019 is well under way and just in this moment, regions in the south of Germany and many parts of Austria are struggling with heavy snow falls, slowing down life and the economy in these areas. 2018 was again a year of weather extremes with droughts and other weather disasters not only in Germany but all over the world. Reflecting on these weather extremes, I had to think again about ISS Chief Commander Alexander Gerst’s video from the ISS space station that he posted just a few days before Christmas with a message to his unborn grandchildren. What a great video! What especially touched me were these words: “I think I need to apologize to you. Right now, it looks like we – my generation – are not going to leave this planet in its best condition for you.”*
Being married to an impact investor & founder, I think it is fair to say that over the years I have been able to get a pretty good view on how hard life is for any entrepreneur in the impact ecosystem. The constant fight against preconceptions that this is philanthropic work, that no market-attractive returns can be achieved, and organizations are not managed professionally, etc. Does this mean no-one should work or invest in this industry segment at all? Just because it all seems to be too difficult? Absolutely not! In his video, Alexander Gerst also says: “taking a step always helps” and “dreams are more valuable than money and you have to give them a chance”. *
So here is my appeal for 2019 to all of us: Even if some of us might not be directly working in the impact ecosystem ourselves, let’s take the time to identify those around us who are trying hard to make a difference for our world and support & help them as good as we can. Let’s remember that support can come in many forms: from showing an interest in their work; opening our networks to connect them to the right people; being a coach and taking the time to maybe even change a few of our personal routines and to try the products that are on or are coming to the market allowing us to reduce our impact on the world.