Wilderness Transformation Program Dutch Banks

‘If facts could save the world, we would not have a climate problem now. Nitrogen emissions, pollution levels, biodiversity: the functional terms do very well in reports, but they do not touch the heart. If anything is to change for the better in our lame-duck relationship with nature, then in addition to reason we also need well-anchored myths that tell of meaningful relationships, of kinship with other creatures and of the essential difference between sufficient and ever more’. (Karen Armstrong – Holy Nature)

Energy transition, climate adaptation and corporate social responsibility are important themes for the Dutch banks in an environment that presents challenges: digitization, innovation and intensive supervision of the banks. 

As a leader in this sector, how do you give substance to the right strategy in this era of change towards a new, regenerative economy? To find an answer to this question, the Netherlands Bankers’ Association in cooperation with the Foundation for Natural Leadership organized a Wilderness trail for 8 leaders from the sector to Norway for sustainable and transformative impact in the financial sector.

In preparation for this special trail, the participants met with Medy van der Laan, Chairman of the Dutch Banking Association, who shared her vision on leadership and sustainability within the sector. In addition, the participants were inspired by Herman Wijffels in their preparation for this trail. As founder of the Dutch Banking Association, the FNL, and former Chairman of Rabobank, he is an ambassador for this programme.

In an afternoon round table session, he talked to the participants. The urgency of the required transitions in the fields of energy, food and circularity were the central themes. Herman also took the participants along in his personal story about leadership and the growth he went through as a person.

During the trail itself, the participants immerse themselves for a week in their own nature and in the rugged landscape of Norway. This under guidance of Thoralf Rumswinkel local nature guide. As a climax, they undergo a 36-hour Quest in solitude. This to find answers to their personal questions. All this under the guidance of experienced FNL facilitators Mark Jacobs, Eelco Dubbeling and Martje Fraaije

The inner journey is facilitated by days of walking on wilderness paths and swamps, sharing insights and moments of silence, solitude and simplicity.

On the last day it becomes clear how the programme has touched participants in their hearts. It is impressive how personal insights are shared.  Personal leadership on the road to a sustainable world runs like a thread through their stories. As facilitators, we are incredibly proud of the intentions that are shared here and thereby reinforced.

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