In It For The Long Run
The Long Run started in 2009 as an initiative of Zeitz Foundation's international programme. It was launched by Jochen Zeitz, Founder of the Zeitz Foundation and Co-Chair with Sir Richard Branson of the B Team. After becoming the youngest CEO in German history to head a public company in 1993, at the age of 30, Zeitz served 18 years as chairman and CEO of PUMA SE. Whilst here, he developed the first Environmental Profit and Loss (EP&L) accounting framework seeking to expand the scope corporate accountability and incorporate environmental impacts of operations.
Nine destinations, our founding members, including the Wolwedans Collection in the NamibRand Nature Reserve, home of the Desert Academy, were selected on the basis of their commitment and unique approach to sustainability. This collaboration provided the basis on which the The Long Run developed its approach and strategy and also provided the 4 C framework, to which the Wolwedans Foundation abides (Community, Culture, Conservation & Commerce).
The Long Run also shares 4 core values with the Wolwedans Foundation, which it interprets in all the projects and interactions it manages. At the Wolwedans Foundation, we call these 4 values The Compass and it provides clear direction supported by clear outcomes. It describes - Fair, Honest, Positive, and Creative as guiding values. Making the Compass work for us means using it every day in all that we do and say. What do these words really mean?
At the Wolwedans Foundation, we know that 'fair' means balanced. It means that we see both sides and resist the pressures that can push us into extreme ways of thinking, working or living. It also means we are open to all and refuse to discriminate against people, or make judgements based on gender, race, religion, political persuasion, sexual preference or way of life. Being fair means listening as much as we talk and giving back as much as we take.
When building things - and people - up, not breaking them down - 'positive' means constructive. It means suggesting rather than criticizing and working for solutions rather than just complaining. It means supporting others when they try, encouraging them when they fail and celebrating with them when they succeed. It means 'we can' more often than 'we can't'.
Honest means sincere. It means not faking it, walking the walk as much as we talk the talk. It means putting our money, our time and our energy where our mouth is. Being honest means admitting our mistakes and owning up to our responsibilities. This applies to our trainees, facilitators and partners. At the Wolwedans Foundation, this value supercedes the trainees time at our campuses and follows them to their job attachments and their part time work, during study leave.
Naturally 'creative' means imaginative. In our context, it requires of us to think outside the box. being creative means finding a way around a problem, rather than stopping when the walls are too high. It means looking for new ways, listening to new ideas and trying new strategies. It means striving for the most innovative solution because being 'good enough' isn't good enough. Being creative means having dreams and then making those dreams real things, in our individual worlds, at the Desert Academy and at NICE and of course in the real world where we live, grow and eventually work and contribute to society.