3 Important Lessons Sustainable Leaders can learn from the Renaissance

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Sometimes, YouTube can be an absolute lifesaver.

When people ask me what I think about unfamiliar subjects such as leftfield political theories, masterpieces by literary icons that I probably should have read but haven’t, or the artistic works of Johannes Vermeer and his attempt to bring glamour to everyday menial actions (true story), I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t really have an educated opinion about them. Instead, to not seem quite so uncultured, I’ll generally watch a brief 5-10-minute video on YouTube on the subject to get the gist.

So, in preparation for a holiday to Rome later this year and to formulate some basic knowledge about the city’s rich culture, I decided to gel up on my knowledge of the Renaissance. This involved paying yet another visit to The School of Life’s YouTube Channel. These guys do an amazing job of taking important historical ideas and events and translating them for modern-day audiences and clueless individuals such as myself. If you’re like me and need an overview of complex subjects which you have a very limited understanding of, I can’t recommend these people enough.

While I was watching the video and listening to the core ideas behind the historical period, I was surprised to find some similarities with the lofty goals of the Renaissance’s great thinkers and those of us who are trying to instigate some sustainable change throughout our spheres of influence. No – I’m not subtly trying to compare myself and my fellow change agents to the likes of Leonardo Da Vinci, but I do believe the delivery methods of the period’s ideals can teach us important lessons on how to better ourselves, and the planet at the same time.

On that note, here is an undeniably amateur translation of what the Renaissance’s goals can teach those working in sustainability.