31 The Desert Club active questioning active response Something memorable happened in the Egyptian desert in the early nineties a handful of international pioneers of organic agriculture met unexpectedly All of them had dealings with the SEKEM farm including Ulrich Walter who was already sourcing herbs and spices there They got talking posed questions and ended up forming a club Since then the Desert Club officially the Internation al Association for Partnership in Ecology and Trade or IAP has been discussing such questions as how can the rapidly growing number of people be fed How should the economy be structured so that it serves people How should people change their approach to using the earth so that it is maintained even improved and not destroyed any further The club took a questioning look around the world and realised that the three pillar model of environment economy and society is incomplete This is the only way to explain why we know what to do in theory but far too seldom put it into practice A fourth dimension is needed culture This meta level links common areas of activity and fills them with meaning thus creating a deep awareness of how these relate to all of us reaching into our everyday lives Such awareness turns sustain able activity from a necessary duty into a fulfilling exercise What matters to the entrepreneurs of the Desert Club is to promote a culture which enables employees and fellow human beings to act and organise meaningfully in this regard The founding members now meet three times a year for discussions They also invite guests from other companies science NGOs and associations Represent atives from Europe the US and emerging and developing countries are hosted Besides sustainability aspects the quality of organic produce is always discussed as well The Club has launched a research initiative named the Food Quality and Health Association FQH with several scientific institutes now involved Interdependencies what sustainability means to us In the image lifeworld and environment form a vital unit Busi ness society and culture are sensibly interwoven surrounded by an environment that is not reduced to issues such as energy and clean air Fertile soil plant diversity and clean water are just as important And that s how it should be

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