Book launch with the Dalai Lama


At the occasion of the launch of my book, I joined a panel on business leadership with H.H. the Dalai Lama in Brussels, on September 12, 2016. The Dalai Lama told me: “This book is very important. If you conduct human activity, including activities in business, with a motivation of compassion, then you are more likely to experience success, including business success. Compassion makes you stronger, not weaker. This works for you as individual, but also for organizations. Customers will respect you and in the long run reward you for it. Moreover, a compassionate attitude will help you to never have regrets. Even if you make a mistake, if your motivation is compassion, you will have no regret”.


New book: Business as Instrument for Societal Change


tidemancoverfinal-218415-800x600Please read my forthcoming book Business as an Instrument for Societal Change: In Conversation with the Dalai Lama, which will be released at the occasion of the Power and Care Conference with the Dalai Lama in Brussels 9-11 September 2016.

Business as an instrument for Societal change, in Conversation with the Dalai Lama is the result of two decades of research and dialogue with His Holiness the Dalai Lama and other leaders in business, government, science and education. Author Sander Tideman, a lawyer and banker who has maintained a friendship with the Dalai Lama over the last 25 years, presents a practical framework and methodology to develop a new kind of leadership: societal leadership in business, which is fit to tackle escalating social, economic and environmental needs and repurpose the business world.

At the heart of the book lies the journey to discover our shared purpose, which ignites new sources of value creation for the organisation, customers and society. This ‘triple value’ is achieved by embedding a sustainable strategy at the heart of business operations and by responding to the fundamental reality of interconnectedness.

The Dalai Lama rarely speaks directly on the topics of business, leadership and economics. Yet in the dialogues recounted here, his wisdom – combined with key insights from business and public leaders– creates a unified shift towards a consciousness of interconnectedness, offering profound insights for practioners and general readers alike.

“All business leaders should read this book. Wisdom is the most important leadership quality but it has been, for most of us, a serious missing link in our development. This book is not only a great gift but also highlights our great responsibility because – as it clearly demonstrates – change is possible”. Tex Gunning, CEO TNT Express

Journey into Systemic Mindfulness


On May 21 I will give a presentation at the Radboud University Symposium on Mindfulness titled ‘The Journey into Systemic Mindfulness’. The lecture, which is followed by a workshop, explores my latest thinking on the natural (and inevitable) evolution in mindfulness practice, based on my own practice as well as the changing context of our time.

Mind & Life Europe


I am very pleased to share the announcement on my appointment of new Managing Director of Mind & Life Europe, as of January 2016. Mind & Life Institute was founded in 1989 by neuroscientist Francesco Varela, businessman Adam Engle and H.H. the Dalai Lama, with the aim of facilitating the dialogue between modern scientists and practitioners of Buddhism and other ancient contemplative traditions. This has produced a series of groundbreaking meetings, insights and publications, most prominently in the field of neuro-science and psychology. The exchange has spanned into many scientific fields: quantum- and astro physics, medicine, biology, economics, sociology  and environmental studies. Taken together, the emerging insights point to a new scientific paradigm in which the mind and its transformational power for positive change are the gateway to achieving personal, inter-personal, organizational and societal well-being. Truly amazing! Imagine my joy to support Mind & Life Europe in its next stage of evolution.

“Relatie” als het nieuwe (en eeuwenoude) economisch principe


Op 27 oktober 2015 op het congres Boeddhisme en Psychologie leidt Sander een workshop over de “relatie-economie”. De inhoud speelt zich af op drie niveaus: het macro-economisch systeem, de organisatie (het bedrijf) en het individu (werknemer/ondernemer). Op elk niveau wordt in de moderne tijd gewerkt vanuit bepaalde uitgangspunten (wereld- en mensbeelden), die samen te vatten zijn als de transactie-economie. Het boeddhisme zet hier andere uitgangspunten tegenover, die in economisch zin zouden kunnen worden betiteld als de relatie-economie. Sander betoogt dat de huidige economische (en politieke!) crisis alleen opgelost kan worden als we ons van het transactie-denken naar het relatie-denken kunnen ontwikkelen. Boeddhisme fungeert hier als grote inspiratiebron, maar ook moderne wetenschappelijke stromingen bieden vele aanknopingspunten. We zullen op elk van de drie niveaus (systeem-organisatie-zelf) onderzoeken hoe deze verschuiving van transactie naar relatie kan plaatsvinden, zodat we in ons economisch handelen actief kunnen bijdragen aan een nieuw en meer duurzaam economisch en politiek bestel.nijmegen-IMG_3257

Academy for Contemplative and Ethical Leadership


In August 2015 I participated in the Academy for Contemplative and Ethical Leadership (ACEL) of the Mind and Life Institute in Vermont. In a 6 day interactive program with faculty including Daniel Goleman, Peter Senge, Otto Scharmer, Daniel Siegel and Diana Chapman, and some 120 participants, we explored emerging approaches in linking the ‘inner science’ domains of contemplation, psychology, and neuroscience, with the ‘outer science’ domains of system thinking, economics, business and social change, in an attempt to create and develop a new field of academic inquiry. As the world of systems is increasingly becoming inadequate in responding to the crisis, there is a stronger need for contemplative leadership aimed at unlocking transformational potential in individuals, organizations and societies. See for example this paper of Otto Scharmer: The Blind Spot of Leadership.

Sustainability Accounting is Hot

I presented my paper on the Creating Shared Value Practice Framework at the WBCSD-EMAN Conference in Geneva on October 1-2, for researchers and practitioners in Sustainability Accounting and Reporting. Global companies, as evidenced by those present of BASF, Syngenta, Unilever, DSM and KPMG, are increasingly committed to accounting for the social and environmental impact of their organizations. Our approach on the CSV Practice Framework presents an innovative approach to measuring these impacts from the viewpoint of value creation (rather than value destruction), opening up wider application opportunities for business leadership and strategy than the current sustainability accounting guidelines (such as GRI) provide for.

Flow Impact Fund Dinner met Matthieu Ricard


Op 29 september organiseerden we het jaarlijkse Flow Impact Fund Dinner, met Matthieu Ricard als key-note speaker en 120 gasten van Flow Foundation. Matthieu Ricard is een monnik en schrijver, o.a. bekend van de best- en everseller ‘De monnik en de filosoof’ en het recente boek ‘Altruïsme’. In 2009 werd hij door Time Magazine en neuro-science onderzoekers die zijn brein bestudeerden, betiteld als ‘de gelukkigste persoon ter wereld’. Matthieu komt dit najaar met een nieuw boek met een krachtige en universele boodschap: ‘Waarom ik mijn vrienden niet opeet’. Hierin laat hij zien hoe een andere visie op voedsel en dieren, op basis van een oprechte bezorgdheid voor het welzijn van anderen, de oplossing kan zijn voor de voedsel problemen van onze tijd.


Mindfulness for Football Coaches


At the World Football Academy Expert Meeting in Barcelona we launched the new program Football Mindfulness for Professional Football Coaches, with 50 top professional coaches from across the world. After a key note presentation I led 5 morning sessions at FC Barcelona’s Camp Nou park, as a taster of the one-day intensive program Football Mindfulness, which is new in the football world. Incorporating the latest insights from brain-science and performance science, ancient techniques from yoga and meditation, the program will provide football coaches with a practical tool for self-management, enhancing capacity for resilience (bouncing back after setbacks), focus & concentration and clear tactical thinking.WFA2015-flowyoga-indoor

Speaker at FSA congress


In my address to the FSA (Financial Student Association) I spoke on the need for looking at the continued financial sector crisis with fresh eyes. Seven years of analysis of the crisis in banking has not given us a vision for a sustainable financial sector. Drawing on the Gross National Happiness experiment in Bhutan (which I reviewed again on my recent visit there), I suggested that we should explore our mindsets – the assumptions and beliefs that we collectively hold in our minds as to the purpose of finance, and even the purpose of economics. See the You tube clip.

Ideas of Tomorrow 2015 (35)
Ideas of Tomorrow 2015 (30)

Design Arnoud Smits Communicatiedesign • header image: "Song of Shambala" (detail) by Nicholas Roerich