In January 2012 I have ended up the first time in Nepal. It was not my first time in Asia, but it was the first time that I was not traveling in the shoes of a traditional tourist. While doing my workshop I got to know the enormous motivation and positive attitued of the Nepalese people, which immediately inspired me.
Throughout the course of the last years I have in collaboration with locals created various structures and shared my humble skills and background. Yet during every encounter it was important for me to also learn. Initially I did this based on an intuition. It was only gradually that I found more and more evidence, that we in the west will have much to learn from the global south if we are to have a sustainable future on the planet. While we can share technology and technical expertise which our scientific systems have brought forward we can learn so much by the way their communities are structure, the resilience the people or the world view which sees human, society and nature as an integrated one-ness rather than three separate spheres.
Accordingly I have entered Nepal as a apprentice and a master at the same time. In all my activities I asked myself and my local partner first: is there a (potentially) functioning local solution for that problem? How has that issue been solved before Nepal opend up to the west? While we have been working on new answers for the case their was none in many cases I have encouraged locals to believe in their traditional solutions rather than striving for putative answers from the west. Yet at all times I have tried to not romanticize the Nepalese livestyle and take the concerns and needs of the local population serious.
Among the traditional approaches, which are worth being preserved and reactivated are among others the social security systems through the Ghutti, the medical infrastructure provided by Amchis, Kanchenpas and Duerra-Pas and the integration of yoga pratices in everyday life as a means for health prevention. Also the omni-present self-sufficiency with the basic foot items and the community strengthening activities during the harvest do not only create a strong bond in the community and higher resilience but are in the same time more less ressource intensive and more environmentally friendly as our western agricultural models.
Yet, wherever new structures are required to keep pace with the developments of the 21st century and live up to the requirments of a globalized and digitalized planet, i was happy to contribute with my skills, knowledge and my network in Europe. Accordingly I hope that with VHS Bhaktapur, Career Disha Nepal and Nepal Social Business I havehave created innovative institutions in which traditional Nepalese solutions can be fusioned with new technologies and methodologies and in which innovative young changemakers from Nepal can design their own future.