Best Self Magazine

Sustainability & Purpose: Living in Concert With Our Ecology and Humanity

Photo collage of people (by Ryoji Iwata) and green flowered wall (by Mockaroon)

Photographs by Ryoji Iwata (left) and Mockaroon

An Interview with Leif Skogberg

By Bill Miles

Co-Founder and Creative Director, Best Self Magazine

The journey to create a sustainable world actually starts with individuals.

~ Leif Skogberg

Bill:                 I first met Leif Skogberg during an event this last year and was so impressed by his resounding commitment to sustainability — I had to sit down to chat with him for Best Self Magazine.

Leif is a whole systems designer, sustainability consultant, and a life purpose coach. He has nearly 20 years of experience in holistic living, leadership, and design. He helps his clients save money and achieve greater health, alignment, and resilience through integrated design.

Welcome Leif.

Leif:                Thank you, Bill, for having me!

Bill:                 I’d like to start out with exploring how you first connected to sustainability. What does that term even mean to you?

Leif:                Sustainability has become a loaded term today. It’s often used in different ways: to be sustainable financially or sustainable environmentally. But for me, I see sustainability as a holistic framework for how we create a better world in the future.

A lot of people talk about sustainability as not really being the goal anymore, because the thinking is that if we are ‘sustaining’ what we have right now, we’re still going down a bad path. We’ve already done so much destruction to the planet that we actually need to regenerate nature, we need to restore things, and then we can be sustainable once we’ve repaired the damage.

I think it’s important to understand that sustainability is a balance where we have to restore things to a point at which they’re worth sustaining. We’ve gone to the other end of the spectrum of really disrupting things. So there’s this degenerative and regenerative spectrum. Sustainability is in the middle. It’s that balance point.

Bill:                 You have an interesting story from your youth of how you got connected to this profound interest of yours. Can you share a little bit about that?

Leif:                I grew up as a child in a beekeeping family. So I was actually out in nature a lot, very connected with natural systems. But at the same time, I had a very rough childhood. My adolescent years were pretty challenging. I actually thought that the end of the world was coming before I even would graduate high school. My dad was one of the ‘end-of-days’ preppers, apocalypse-is-coming kind of people.

In my early teens, I was a bit self-destructive because I was being told we were self-destructing our planet. I participated in extreme sports. I partied a lot, did drugs and ultimately, that led me to a place of deep suffering and a profound rock-bottom.

I was considering committing suicide — in a very

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