Down to Earth Collective stimulates leadership for a sustainable future

Purpose Lab likes to shine a light people and organizations that inspire to travel consciously. If it is a mission in life, combining a way to make money with doing the right thing or using your talent: you will find inspiring people with unique stories all around the world and in your own country too, of course.

Down the Earth Collective

Daphne Laan, Business Director of the social impact enterprise Down to Earth Collective, is in the spotlight this time. Down to Earth Collective has produced a documentary based on the five-year world trip that Rolf Winters and Renata Heinen made with their three children, in search of protectors of our nature, the hidden sages of the earth; the Earth Keepers. The film is used as a dialogue starter in order to develop leadership that is necessary for a sustainable future.

Interview with Purpose Lab

Purpose Lab interviewed this inspirator about going off the beaten track and influencing a sustainable future.


What drives you in your work as director of The Down to Earth Collective?

In my own career I have experienced the power of following your own path, but have also seen that the way in which organizations are organized requires some courage and get off the beaten path. My personal motivation is to help companies make the change to more conscious leadership. If leaders know what their own purpose is better and give substance to this, they give others the space to do so. This ensures that everyone takes better care of each other and the environment.

What is your most precious travel memory and why?

The most precious is the world trip that I made together with my husband Bernd. We have been traveling together for a year and we have countless memories: waking up at night while camping on a snowy mountain plateau, walking a few days to reach your destination, the contact with so many different people, you feel part of the nature and world around you.

How do you see the ecological, economical and/or sociological impact of traveling?

Fortunately, there is a growing awareness that tourism should contribute to the environment and improve the prosperity of the local population. It should be the norm that tourism contributes to the preservation of natural areas and recognizes the rights and beliefs of indigenous people.


What is the highlight of your career so far in the area of conscious travel and life?

When we show the film at companies, there is a dialogue about the themes that play a role in the organization, including leadership. I continue to find it special that the film invites an open dialogue and expressing things that are sometimes "pushed under the carpet". The people interviewed in the film speak from their heart about life themes that concern us all. By sharing this, you notice that the same themes keep us busy. The time is there for allowing a more personal approach in both the boardroom and the classroom, with sensitivity, sympathy and taking into account the other and the world as a strength.

What can we expect from you in the near future?

We are going to make a sequel to Down to Earth in the form of a web series on Sustainability, Leadership & Education. These can be used at home, at work and in education. By also including contemporary Earth Keepers in this web series, we bring the Down to Earth ideas even closer and become more applicable in our daily lives.

And last, but not least, what personal advice on a conscious life would you like to share?

I was in Upper Michigan with a group of Native Americans for the Down to Earth Personal Leadership Journey. We camped there for a week at the lake, after which the whole group checked the terrain to ensure that the camping site was not only left behind the same but even cleaner than found. So a small but beautiful example that is worth sharing.

More info?

Do you want to follow Daphne in her mission? Follow the Down to Earth Collective via the website.