Founded in 1987 by corporate executive and entrepreneur Rinaldo Brutoco, the World Business Academy (WBA) is a Riviera-based think tank incubating and initiating new approaches to big problems like nuclear contamination, sustainable energy, and justice under capitalism. On Sunday, September 17, the organization will celebrate its 30th anniversary by honoring perhaps its best-known fellow, the endocrinologist-turned-best-selling-author Deepak Chopra, and the Independent’s own Marianne Partridge. The honorary chair of the event, Sara Miller McCune, received the same award that Partridge will receive at the last gala, and she will be on hand to congratulate this year’s recipients.
As an added attraction for those interested in the work being done by the WBA, and in the ideas of Dr. Chopra, there will also be a morning session at The New Vic. Chopra will speak on the topic of quantum healing, which is the subject of his newly revised book, Quantum Healing: Exploring the Frontiers of Mind/Body Medicine. When I spoke with Chopra by phone in late August, he praised Brutoco and the WBA for the “amazing work they have done bringing public awareness to the possibility of a nuclear disaster at Diablo Canyon,” the power plant near Avila Beach, San Luis Obispo County. For several years, the academy has been pursuing legal action against the California State Lands Commission and Pacific Gas & Electric with the aim of closing Diablo Canyon prior to its projected shutdown date in 2025. Although the court action suffered a setback when a judge ruled against it on July 11, an appeal has been filed, and Brutoco continues to be one of the state’s most vocal opponents of nuclear power.
For Chopra, the connection between the WBA and his work goes much deeper than a shared concern for the environment. Like many fellows and members of the board there, Chopra advances a theory of the future based on the primacy of consciousness in relation to such physical explanations of human evolution as DNA and natural selection. The WBA educates business leaders and the general public in order “to bring about a deeper understanding of what consciousness actually is,” Chopra told me, “and this is where what they are doing intersects with my work.”
Consciousness occupies a central place in the academy’s tripartite mission, which aims to “shift the consciousness of existing business leadership from that of a predator to that of a steward,” to “shift the consciousness of young people going into business … to see themselves as entering a noble profession rather than a jungle,” and to “shift the consciousness of the public at large to put its money where its deep values are.” For Chopra, the centrality of consciousness to human experience goes much further than just the business world, to the root of achieving a healthy life and existing in some kind of spiritual adjustment to the expanding universe. “There’s no education about consciousness in any of our educational institutions at the moment,” Chopra told me, “and I think the World Business Academy is a great example of how that realization can make a difference in people’s lives and in the environment, but you need a critical mass of people understanding this.” To become part of that critical mass, consider joining Chopra, Sara Miller McCune, Marianne Partridge, Rinaldo Brutoco, and what is sure to be a distinguished group of concerned citizens on Sunday. For information and reservations, visit worldbusiness.org.