Enjoy getting to know Jim Channon a little better in this installment of the TEDxMaui 2013 Speaker Spotlight series. Called the business world’s “first corporate shaman” by Fortune magazine, Jim Channon social architect, philosopher, and futurist combined.
What drives you to do the work you do?
I began my life in a terrorist war in Greece and spent two years in Vietnam as the leader of an airborne infantry unit. That was a war that was not honestly explained to me or anyone else. I chose to stay in the army to fix that and created the First Earth Battalion and The New Earth Army, which are now driving the next mythology about war and warriors recovering the biosphere. What I came home from Vietnam with was a profound sense of the agro-forest I fought inside. So now I have one at my house and it’s called an eco-oasis… and that it what I chose to speak about.
Share one personal experience or relevant anecdote that informs your TEDx talk?
When I calculated that the only way to save the biosphere was to take the most available force and assign it to the most important need… I forever replaced the words NATIONAL SECURITY with NATURAL SECURITY… and taught 230 three star general candidates how to plan for restoring the biosphere using all the military assets of the planet.
How are you or your topic connected to Maui or Hawaiʻi?
My topic is about my home and my homestead on the big island. It is a forty dimensional creation called a botanical oasis and the closest thing to paradise. I know it’s a mouthful, but we simply have to give people a picture of the whole system in action and not just another piece part or esoteric description like permaculture.
What are some of your favorite statistics or data points?
An agro-forest is agriculture going up …and can turn three acres into seven acres of food production with animal habitat and oxygen production far a mile around.
What advice would you give to your younger self–or what advice would your younger self, give to the older you?
My older self would tell the younger to learn to see nature as a high technology habitat and my younger self would say to the older self the industrial age was designed to free us for half a day for play. How many ways can you create beauty and play as you grow older? These are the technologies of paradise!
What do the TED Talks mean to you? Do you have a favorite talk that speaks to you?
TED talks are the graduate school of the future and have inspired me as a collection of videos to start the world’s first CYBERVERSITY, which is now sorting through 100 of my own YouTube videos to create a coherent curriculum that will come alive in 2013.