Insights > Better World Leaders
Listen  105 mins

Wayne Visser invites us to thrive by moving from breakdown to breakthrough and from laggards to leaders

Rarely do I get the opportunity to welcome a guest with such a wonderful range of frames that have been used to describe their work – especially in combination! Our guest today is Wayne Visser, a professor, a poet, a possibilist and a pracademic.

Throughout this season of Better World Leaders, we’ll examine the conditions needed to co-create our better world. This conversation with Wayne provides a thorough exploration of the layers of shifting consciousness, discovery of new frameworks and creation of new structures through which we can create not just a better world, but a Thriving one.

Wayne has been deeply immersed in the world of sustainability as a corporate advisor and Professorial academic for many years. His revelation is that despite decades of work by millions of well intentioned people, the variety problems we face and the scale of the challenges are greater than ever before – requiring fundamental changes in systems, ethos and beliefs.

To usher in Wayne’s vision of a Thriving world, we need new leaders to rise, with different capabilities, values and ethics striving to co-create new forms of society, through embracing nature, technologies and practices which in combination provide an opportunity to give life to a world which is far better than me might think. This is an inspiring tale, not only of what’s possible in the future, and of what’s already here – Wayne’s work showcases hundreds of examples of thriving practices that are transforming the world for the better right now!

Here’s a review of the key messages from this episode;

Confronting Reality

  • Recognising that we’re living a contradiction, as we all are in the world of paradox
  • You have to confront the brutal reality without giving up hope that a better world is possible
  • What we need is to up the game because so many of the problems have gotten so much worse
  • We don’t need to change the whole world. All we need to do is change our world.


  • We see the emergence of purpose in business, not just profit.
  • Having something to believe in is a powerful force that can get you through anything
  • Bringing solutions to the worlds biggest problems is the role of business

Living Systems

  • The underlying principles of thriving are living systems. Relationships. Circularity, creativity, coherence, convergence & continuity.
  • We currently rely on things running perfectly. That’s not life.
  • All of life is about relationships
  • Creativity comes from diversity, flexibility and permeable boundaries.
  • Creativity always comes when we have overlapping fields
  • We need to think about nature as an ally in our search for resilience


  • What does leadership mean? To be a leader is someone who can take us on a journey
  • 6 attributes of leaders. Systemic. Inclusive. Strategic. Ethical/Moral. Innovative. Courageous.


  • To thrive is to flourish & prosper, to go beyond surviving
  • We’ve had a failure of storytelling because we’ve had a narrative of change that’s all about sacrifice
  • Sustainability has failed because it’s boring and not inspiring
  • The way to up the game is not to scare, blame or shame people. Rather it is to give them something inspiring to go after. That inspiring thing is thriving.
  • The companies that are going to be winners are those that will invest in thriving.

The future

  • The future will be better than you think
  • The momentum is unstoppable, the more we spread the solutions, the faster it will occur.
  • Imagine workspaces full of waterfalls, mini-forests and social space
  • Offices will be places where we go to bond.
  • This is not just dreaming, everything Wayne says already has precedence

Follow Wayne via the links below;

Grab a copy of ‘Thriving’ here via Amazon, or here via Goodreads (including links to numerous on-line sellers, or from wherever you get books.

Follow Tim and join the Better World Leaders community via the links below:

Link to article reflecting on this episode on Medium here –

youtube @timcollings – click here for channel

Episode Pages for this episode and all previous Better World Leaders conversations available here;

As always, great thanks and appreciation to the team who contributed to bringing Better World Leaders to you;

To Brendan Ward for mastering, final production, composition and performance of original music throughout each episode.

To Cooper, Pat and the team at RadioHub studios for audio editing, technical support and creative guidance during the episodes that are recorded face-to-face. You can find out about Radio Hub’s services here –

To NokNok Studios for website design, hosting and advice. Find out about NokNok’s awesome services here

To Cirasa Design for logo and site graphics – Find our about Cirasa’s inspiring work here

This is the Better World Leaders, brought to you by 4iLeadership