On her very first trip to Pokhara, Nepal, Australian philanthropist and entrepreneur Susie Hutchison saw a young boy begging for money on a gutter-lined sidewalk. Rather than walk past him, she sat down with the 10-year-old – not much younger than her own son – and they fast became friends. In exchange for some food, Vatsal spent the following week teaching Susie his native Napali language. Susie and Vatsal forged a close connection that changed Susie forever.
When Susie left Nepal, she could have easily left Vatsal and his difficult situation behind. Instead she made sure she left him in a better state than she had found him in. She arranged for a local restaurant to provide meals for the boy in exchange for doing some light duties. She also found a suitable place for him to say.
Vatsal had opened Susie’s eyes to homeless and abused children in Nepal, prompting her to later support local organizations that are working to improve the situation.
This story embodies many of the elements in Susie’s overall world view, and why she supports UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions.
She serves on the boards of multiple global charities and is the Executive Director of a leading travel technology business. She focuses her efforts on projects designed to equip future generations with the ability to impact their own communities in a positive way.
Peace and Justice from within
Susie believes that the ancient knowledge, or lore, that has been passed down for generations can be more powerful, wise, and effective for humanity than the largely fear-based laws of modern society.
She points out that the few remaining indigenous cultures on our planet reflect this lore and give us a template for living in a sustainable future. She believes that peace and justice cannot be imposed from the outside but must emerge from within each of us. The goals of SDG 16 can be attained if we each govern our own thoughts and actions.
“Real wealth starts from within,” Susie says. “And peace and justice pave the way for strong, sustainable institutions.”
Susie believes that a business in a position of abundance is a strong institution and that it can become even stronger when it uses its success to support change. And to make that change sustainable, businesses can learn from the decision-making process of indigenous cultures that take into account how their actions will affect future generations.
Susie is the founder of Energetic Masters Pty Ltd and she knows that other business leaders are as dedicated as she is to create a better world, but they often feel like they can’t do enough. B1G1’s model that allows businesses to make small, meaningful impacts gives them a powerful means to move their visions forward.
Antardristi, which addresses the issue of child sex abuse in Nepal – helping to both heal victims and to educate them for a better future — is one of Susie’s chosen ways to create that better world that’s so important to all of us.
Learning from our past is our future legacy
Interestingly, the name of that child Susie first met in Nepal is Vatsal. It means “loving” or “affectionate” in Sanskrit. The affection that Vatsal showed Susie is something fundamental to humanity, something part of our common lore. Since their first meeting, Susie’s kept in touch with Vatsal. He has moved into a childrens’ home and is doing well.
As for her legacy, Susie would like to see her mentoring efforts help transmit the wisdom of lore and the examples set by indigenous peoples to the current generation of young adults in modern society. She feels that Millennials have the passion and the mindset to help usher in a brighter, more sustainable future for everyone.
Asked how people can experience a Better Business, Better Life, and Better World, Susie suggests, “Take a moment for gratitude and if you like, ask yourself – is this what love would think, is this what love would say or is this what love would do? “
And consistently asking and then answering that question is now central to the way Susie lives her life.