What Transition in Brazil means to both Brazil and the rest of the world

This was only going to be a quick blog but it seems to have developed into something slightly different than I had in mind when I first started to write it. This morning I had a look at the stats for my blog, and it is amazing to me to see the growth in visitors from all around the world.

People have come from 131 different countries. Obviously being mainly English language the top two countries are the USA and UK, but Brazil is the third highest country in terms of visitors which is encouraging. I now have a few articles in Portuguese, and I am trying to do a couple of things now that I live in Brazil with my wonderful Brazilian wife Maria : )

As you saw in my last post, Brazil is a country of minimal trust, where only 6% of people say that they trust other people. It is also a country born out of exploitation, and the colonial mindset is still very present, manifesting in incredibly low self-esteem, shown by the way anything foreign, and in particularly from the US or Europe is valued far higher than anything Brazilian.

I am therefore trying to write very positive articles in Portuguese to show how in fact this is a quite amazing country, with so many good projects led by good people in amongst all the corruption and low intelligence which to be honest I see everywhere and not just in Brazil. So the articles in Portuguese are designed for a Brazilian readership. But then also there are many amazing things that others can learn from Brazil, but these are not written about in English or Spanish in particularly, and hence no one knows about them.

So hopefully Transition Consciousness can help present Brazil to the world in a way in which is enlightened from actually being here, as opposed to much business writing which only sees Brazil in financial terms, with people as consumers and some of the most important and bio-diverse regions to be exploited as resources, rather than a part of our ecosystem in which we are embedded and which are to be cherished.

But also I hope that all the articles are inspiring wherever you may be in the world, for the problems in Brazil are all our problems, such as we are all interconnected.

One aspect of Brazilian culture that can express itself is the notion that it is chic to be negative. In Brazilian Portuguese, many things seem to be described using the word chic including the notion that to be positive is to be naive and unsophisticated. I think here the notion is that Brazil is so corrupt, that there are so many problems, nothing could ever change.

Guarulhos em Transição, one of the Transition Towns in Brazil

I don’t those members of Transition Towns Brasil movement got the memo on this, as they are doing amazing work developing community projects in some of the most disadvantaged communities in the country.

I don’t think those at Mandalah got the memo either. This is a creative design agency led by CEO and founder Lourenço Bustani who was recently named by Fast Company as one of the 100 most creative people in business this year. Their mantra is Conscious Innovation, helping businesses to grow through developing social value, not just shareholder value.

Isadora Faber and Martha Payne Photo Credit BBC

The more I understand Brazilian culture the more I realise just how inspirational these and many many other projects here are, especially as I appreciate more the obstacles they have overcome to create them. But one example should serve to inspire us all, and that is 13 year old Brazilian school girl Isadora Faber. Isadora was inspired by Scottish 9 year old Martha Payne who received worldwide recognition after setting up her blog Never Seconds to show just how unhealthy her school dinners were. Argyle Council attempted to ban the blog and ban Martha from taking photos due to the embarrassment it was causing them, but pressure from thousands of people caused them to relent, allowing Martha to continue her blog which also shows school meals from children the world over.

Isadora set up her page on Facebook, Diario de Classe: A Verdade (School Diary: The Truth), to combat many different problems in her school, from unhealthy meals, to broken infrastructure and poor quality teaching. The pressure she experienced, like MArtha, was intense and frightening, but her school has now seen many improvements and her page has received more than 300,000 likes (which I hope will continue to grow).

It is terrible that those people in positions of authority were so threatened by these school girls that rather than be inspired by them, and be motivated to improve conditions, they were so locked into their egos and their view of reality that they preferred to lash out and attack to cover up their embarrassment and lack of care and attention.

I see this problem of ego all the time in business, and there is a vicious circle, since the ego will defend itself at all costs rather than attempt to overcome its own limitations. I saw this image on Facebook but do not know who created it. It sums up so well the two different world views of the ego and the eco.

The business world is choc full of ever-new methodologies, frameworks, paradigms and models, but most of the time these are external to us. In order to make this move from the ego to the ego, we have to undergo an inner transition as well as an outer transition, and this is something rarely addressed in business, where competition, winning are profit are the only valid goals, as opposed to understanding that in eco systems there is a balance between competition and co-operation, where the systems are intertwined in such a complex manner that we can not know the effects on ourselves of interfering and destroying such a delicate and finely balanced system.

I saw this picture on Facebook too of a Chinese proverb and loved it.

The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it.


Brazil has many challenges and it serves no purpose to give a long list of them here. But the challenges of Brazil are the challenges we all face. I don’t find negativity chic. Far from it. Be the change you wish to see Gandhi said. Not always easy, but I hope that maybe an occasional word I write, or the projects of many other amazing people I write about here on Transition Consciousness help you be the change you wish to see in your lives, your communities and the world you live in. Thank you for visiting.

Related Articles and Links

The most important dialogue group in Latin America part one – Transition consciousness in action

I never want to hear Brazil say sorry for its sport

Authentic and counterfeit wholes in São Paulo

The Revolutionary Music of Brazil

Developing self-esteem in school children in Brazil

Transition Towns Brasil


BBC: How a Scottish school blogger helped reform a Brazilian school

3 responses to “What Transition in Brazil means to both Brazil and the rest of the world

  1. Several years ago there was a pseudo-documentary on ABC radio national (Australia) entitled “BRIC-global powers” or something like that (It was a number of years ago) Brazil-Russia-India-China, the general gist of it was that it was set in the future at a G-20 type summit meeting of global powers BRIC being top dogs. I would never of thought of Brazil being up there(the other three were not surprising) and so I listen and read with interest whenever Brazil is mentioned on the world stage and view it with a different perspective. Your article was enjoyable to read and gave plenty of food for thought.

  2. Pingback: Tragedy and Triumph in Brazil – Where Next? | The Transition of Consciousness·

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