Time to reboot the planet

Acutely aware of the perils of global warming and what’s at stake, Tal Ronen has found a way to make corporate powers healthy, strong and environmentally sound. After watching the Al Gore movie on global warming, Israeli-American business coach and …

Acutely aware of the perils of global warming and what’s at stake, Tal Ronen has found a way to make corporate powers healthy, strong and environmentally sound.

After watching the Al Gore movie on global warming, Israeli-American business coach and transformational thinker Tal Ronen was motivated to “reboot” his career, and at the same time, to “reboot” the planet, starting with America. 

“We are embezzling the planet,” Ronen tells ISRAEL21c. “Based on what I’ve studied, we’ll need about 15 to 30 planet earths to sustain what we are doing today.”

Shortly after seeing Gore’s film, Ronen was invited to give a talk to Agenda 21 in Brazil. Agenda 21 is a United Nations (UN) blueprint of a global agenda for transition to environmental sustainability in the 21st century. 

It is an action plan to be implemented globally, nationally and locally by UN organizations, governments and major groups in every area in which humans impact the environment.

During his talk Ronen says he “realized we need to align the leaders and that we’re not doing that well at it. I pledged to make earth a suitable home.” 

Working to save the world

That was some five years ago, and since then Ronen has been working tirelessly in conjunction with large corporate powers in Israel and America to devise a solution to help businesses change their practices so that they stop harming the planet. As an outgrowth of his work, he is creating a guidebook modelled on the Bible’s 10 commandments.

A father of three and grandfather of two, Ronen firmly believes that time is running out. Individual efforts, he tells ISRAEL21c, will not reverse climate change. Instead he offers up a solution that he believes can fulfil all the basic needs of business, the environment and society. He says: “It’s time for a reboot. When you press the restart button, the computer’s working and shutting down at the same time.” 

Born on Kibbutz Hamadia, Ronen had a successful business career in the US from the late 1970s to the late ’80s, during which he helped to transplant the term “coaching” from the world of sports to the business world.

He worked with the NBA, Monsanto and Hughes Aircraft in the US and among many Fortune 500 companies internationally before relocating to Israel.

For the past 15 years he has been a coach/consultant to current Israeli president Shimon Peres, Shari Arison – the richest woman in the Middle East, and CEOs and VPs from the largest companies in Israel including Lucent, NICE Systems, McCann/Erickson, Dun & Bradstreet, Intel, United Way of Israel, Bank Hapoalim, The Ted Arison Family Foundation and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.

Taking his show on the road

Now Ronen is taking his show on the road to the US. His ambitious hope is to help save the planet and to improve the world economy at the same time, starting with the US.

Ronen fervently believes that if he could get America’s top 15 CEOs – from GM, Chrysler, AIG and more – into one room, he could change America’s economy making it healthy and sustainable. 

In Israel, Ronen has already managed to transform traditional businesses into entities for which the environment is a priority. He operates his consultancy through Global Transformation Group, the organization that he founded in Israel. Experts are hired per project, as needed. 

His radical ideas include transforming businesses into entities that take the environment as seriously as they do the social welfare of their employees and their company’s bottom line. And he has been so successful that those who have taken his advice – a bank in Israel is one example –– have actually improved their bottom line. 

Ronen, who runs a number of enterprises and consultancies, explains that his model for transforming the planet has a very efficient strategic design and takes into account mega trends in the market. 

Willing to steer the planet

He believes that his unique approach, which has proven itself in Israel, will make businesses in America greener, as well as more profitable in the long-term, adding that trying out his approach is a win-win situation, since his clients only pay up if his approach leads to success.

One of Ronen’s first sparks of inspiration in the world of “transformational thinking” occurred when the self-made business coach heard Buckminster Fuller speak in the US. Fuller was already an old man, and Ronen was about 24 at the time. When Fuller, an architect and futurist, asked rhetorically who will steer planet earth, Ronen was the first to raise his hand. 

Today, at 53, Ronen recalls: “I looked around and noticed I was the only one in the room with my hand in the air. If planet earth is a spaceship and someone needs to drive it, then why not me?”

Ronen relates that he truly felt that it was up to him to take the problems of the planet into his own hands. He wants to steer planet earth – to be a “trim tab,” the small but crucial steering tab on the back of a boat – an idea first defined by Fuller.

“It was a time of personal transformation. Buckminster struck a chord for responsibility for the planet earth. I think he was amongst the first to bring the concept of sustainability, versus survivability to the world.”

With his overwhelming passion and devotion to his cause, we can expect to see Ronen sharing a podium with (or perhaps coaching) the likes of Al Gore and David Suzuki in the very near future.

About Karin Kloosterman

Karin Kloosterman lives in Jaffa, Israel. She is a journalist, writer and blogger who focuses on the environment and clean technology from Israel and the Middle East. Published in hundreds of newspapers around the world, Karin also writes for the Huffington Post and Green Prophet.