by Jim King
“I had to figure out how to navigate the darkness.”
These words ring in each of our ears when we are faced with the destruction of natural disasters; when we are trying to understand deadly attacks on human-kind; when loved ones die; when the helpless and marginalized are taken advantage of; when we are truly lost.
These were also the words of Tyler Gage when he first set out for Amazonia as a teenager. These same words were Tyler’s when he was faced with big decisions related to the company he co-founded to make a difference in the lives of the marginalized indigenous people he grew to respect and admire.
When we face undesired and unnatural circumstances, we cannot just “throw in the towel” according to Tyler, co-founder of Runa, a socially and environmentally focused enterprise with roots in Amazonian Ecuador. “Runa” is the Kichwa word for “fully alive”. Fully Alive is also the name of Tyler’s book which shares his journey from an anxious teenager to a successful and impactful social entrepreneur.
It is with excitement that Change University (www.ChangeUniversity.org) announces that Tyler has accepted our request to become a Champion of ChangeU. Tyler’s invitation was made due to the impact that he has had through Runa (social, environmental, & economic development impacts) as well as his personal impact on other future social entrepreneurs and business leaders through speaking and writing about his experiences and the lessons he has learned through those experiences.
Instead of writing another “book” in this blog post due to all of Tyler’s and Runa’s impacts, I am going to direct you to a few web resources. First, be sure to check out www.tylergage.com. When you first hit that site, do not fail to sign up for Tyler’s newsletter. In addition to getting on the mailing list for a very inspirational newsletter, you will be sent the link to the Introduction to Tyler’s book, Fully Alive. The subtitle of Fully Alive is “Using the Lessons of the Amazon to Live Your Mission in Business and Life”. Be prepared to tag along on an exciting journey via this book. Be prepared to have your life’s mission challenged!
In addition to getting access to Fully Alive at www.tylergage.com, you will also be able to access Tyler’s speaking schedule and to look into what he has been up to. You can read stories that have been printed about Tyler and Runa and you can also watch videos of Tyler’s appearances on a number of T.V. and news programs. I strongly recommend that you watch and listen to Tyler via the videos. Nothing beats hearing his own words. Nothing!
Finally, be sure to go to www.runa.org. It is not really so much about Tyler…but then again, it is all about Tyler. Or at least what has helped Tyler “navigate the darkness”. It is more than the story about a tea company. It is about using nature’s resources to impact humanity. It is about the value of all people. It really is about one person’s journey – a journey from nowhere to somewhere; from taking to giving; from status quo to impactful change; from teenager to a Champion of ChangeU!
Dr. Jim King is the President of Change University. You may read more about him at the bottom of the page at this link: