“You can only become truly accomplished at something you love.”
– Maya Angelou
Making a life and making a living are at the forefront of everyone’s minds. In this brave new world, taking care of children, elderly parents, and loved ones has taken on new meaning for women who are frontline workers. The COVID-19 pandemic is impacting millions of people in the United States and billions worldwide, but one fact remains true – we must come together as one with hope, resilience, and courage.
Humanity has a once in a lifetime opportunity to reflect on what matters to us most, and change. Human health is tied to the health of the planet. Our health depends on how we as a collective create the world we want, while designing smarter cities and nations where animals and humans can thrive, and Mother Earth can flourish. Biodiversity is crucial. Here and now, we don’t have a resource problem, but rather a leadership problem. We, as a society, must cultivate better leaders that can build a better future.
“We as humans must go beyond ‘We The People,’ and focus on something that is larger than ourselves. As a collective, we must be focused on We The Planet.”
– Kunal Sood
Rupa Sood is a mother of three with an incredible eye for beauty and art. As the Co-Founder of Nayaab, she is preserving ancient techniques for creating heritage textiles in India, practices that create dignified work for female entrepreneurs in rural villages while protecting life on land.
In 2014, Rupa Sood took me to The Lodhi in New Delhi, India to meet the women of Nayaab. I learned about the history of the sari, the extraordinary colors, dyes, and techniques with organic cotton, linen, silk and tie-and-dye. The women dressed me in a pink sari and treated me with such kindness and generosity of spirit on my first trip to India. I remember the people, the rangolis with flower petals, and the textiles to this day.
Her love for humanity and open heart translates to how she raised her three children. Thinking big and caring about the global community is what inspired her youngest son to create something larger than himself for the planet.
Kunal Sood’s mother inspired him to study the human mind in the US, after he lost his mentor to suicide. At CIIS’s Integral Psychology program in San Francisco, Sood began transforming his own mind and long-held beliefs about the human condition, while completing his practicum internship to understand death and dying. Sood counseled end of life patients in the palliative care ward of Sutter Health’s Institute for Health and Healing – many of them AIDS patients – and this remains one of the most transformative experiences of his life.
Sood has dedicated his life’s purpose towards making the impossible possible to transform our world. As Co-founder of We The Planet, Sood is working relentlessly to bring hope in a time of despair to many on the planet. When Sood lost his mentor to suicide in 2006, Dr. TJ Cherian, he shifted his path to lead of life of service. Today, he focuses on inspiring people from all nations to find and live their massive transformative purpose, and positively impact a billion lives over the next decade. Sood earned five Master’s Degrees in his journey to strengthen his life-long love for learning.
Sood’s next step was to train as a Global Health scientist at UCSF focused on Global Mental Health working in the trenches in the slums of Mumbai with Harvard as a researcher at PUKAR, the NGO training barefoot researchers in the field to better understand how epidemics and pandemics affect the lives of these under-served communities.
This experience in the slums of Mumbai opened the door for Sood to pivot and earn his MBA from the Kellogg School of Management and become a social entrepreneur. In 2013, he curated TEDx at the United Nations, where he developed his talent in creating and designing extraordinary experiences and bridging the worlds of power and influence with purpose and meaning.
Forbes highlighted Sood as a movement builder and impact icon given his steadfast commitment to the field of social innovation and impact, convening over 35 high-level summits at the United Nations, SAP, NASA, Google, and other organizations worldwide. These experiences have galvanized his commitment towards empowering people who are outliers.
On the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day, we launched a virtual global campaign to bring together the youth and the elders to unite in action with a call to action around making the impossible possible from COVID-19 to Climate Change. Looking ahead, we can all work towards being an unstoppable force for good in our world. Extraordinary in-person experiences and virtual summits will help shape a better future for the planet. We can work towards creating a world where individuals can pursue a life of deep meaning, purpose, and accomplishment while protecting all life on the planet.
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles… The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs… Who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.”
– Theodore Roosevelt
On Mother’s Day 2020, We The Planet will host a special broadcast online to celebrate extraordinary women (and a few good men) to honor Mother Earth and Everyday as Mother’s Day – for human beings can be stronger together. Join us live at www.wetheplanet.io starting at 2 pm EST Sunday, May 10th.