OUTreach/ Community of Doers

Nelis global members met in Karuizawa for a retreat after the Next Leaders Summit in Tokyo.

Nelis global members met in Karuizawa for a retreat after the Next Leaders Summit in Tokyo.


Karuizawa, 13 June 2018 — Seth Godin said it: offer what is scarce, not what is already abundant. Take this new global community of doers for sustainability. 

Abundance and Scarcity

In each era, there are changes in what is abundant and what is scarce. Opportunities to tap into information and knowledge used to be scarce. Now they are abundant at our fingertips. So what is scarce in our economies today?

According to Seth Godin, a marketing guru, we are now living in the connection age. "Connection and leadership and trust are going to be ever more valuable," he wrote.

Quality connections, quality time for collaboration, engaging in challenges, and a sustained focus and commitment to see actions through to results—these are scarce nowadays.

And that is exactly what Nelis has decided to offer. What is Nelis?

It's a new global community to connect, inspire and empower a new generation of sustainability leaders across the world. The acronym stands for Next Leaders' Initiative for Sustainability.

Founded in 2015 in Japan, the initiative started by working with multinational corporations in Tokyo to develop their sustainability strategies. This has already led to the creation of Sustainable Innovation Communities in several large corporations.

Next Leaders Summit in Tokyo

Participants from these communities met up at Tokyo's Sophia University this week for the Nelis Next Leaders Summit 2018. They were joined by sustainability leaders from the Nelis local chapters in Asia, Australia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas.

Through a hands-on program of workshops, plenary dialogues, and cultural immersion experiences, the young summit leaders pushed the envelope of positive change in their companies, organizations, and universities.

Nelis is led and driven by members who are emerging leaders. Experts with longer experience, including the co-founders in Japan, contribute to the community as mentors and supporters.

The Nelis members are more than just advocates for sustainability. They are themselves engaged in projects that advance sustainability and deliver on the community's mission to connect, inspire, and empower leaders.

The Summit participants liked what they saw.

Zulfiya from Kazakhstan was one of the participants who learned about Nelis at the Next Leaders Summit. She shared how impressed she was by seeing that the Nelis members on stage were "doers who are actively engaged in projects."

Other participants shared how they were deeply touched and influenced by the immersive program put together by the Nelis team.

Following the Summit, the leaders of the Nelis local chapters around the world gathered for a retreat in the green forests of Karuizawa, at the foot of Mount Asama, one of Japan's active volcanoes. They reflected on the success of the summit and strategized how to move forward.

Zulfiya from Kazakhstan joined the Nelis Next Leaders Summit 2018 in Tokyo.

Zulfiya from Kazakhstan joined the Nelis Next Leaders Summit 2018 in Tokyo.


Passion for Sustainability

Being part of the Summit and the retreat as a mentor on leadership was an amazing experience. It drove home Seth Godin's advice on abundance and scarcity. The attraction of Nelis revolves around being a community of doers and change makers.

Their passion for sustainability is palpable. Each Nelis local chapter inspires and challenges the other chapters to more actions. The members relentlessly support each other as they engage in their challenges and learn from the experience through ups and downs.

Connection, trust, and leadership—these are scarce in our world today. No wonder that emerging leaders line up to join communities of doers like Nelis.