How to Build a Meaningful Life for Ourselves and Future Generations

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The Power of Ideas - London Dialogues 2019

How to Build a Meaningful Life for Ourselves and Future Generations

Author(s)
Camilla Fayed
Camilla Fayed
(Founder, Farmacy)

Even at the turn of the 21st Century, the values of a meaningful life were very different from now.

Success was measured in how much somebody earns, how many hours they can squeeze into the workweek and the monetary value of the things that they buy. There is a paradigm shift happening.

As we start to exhaust the natural resources on our planet, faced with a global health epidemic, we hear the stark warnings about the future world that our children and grandchildren are set to inherit and begin to see a shift in people’s perception about what constitutes a meaningful life today—not just for us but for our future generations.

In my youth, I lacked awareness of what health was and found it difficult to comprehend where the food I was eating came from, what it was actually doing to me, and the wider impact my choices had on the planet. It was this that inspired me to open Farmacy—a plant-based restaurant in London’s Notting Hill that serves only whole food, organic produce from its own fully-certified biodynamic farm. 

I created my business to inspire change and evolve the way we view food and the impact it can have on human health and sustainability. It is a mission-driven business with a global initiative to educate and empower. By sharing our knowledge, we can give back to those who are at the beating heart of all that we do. This, in turn, evokes a shared mission, building like-minded communities and impacting greater social change. 

Purpose-driven, sustainable business used to be a box-ticking exercise for most companies. Now companies, quite rightly, are putting sustainability at the core of what they do. The same goes for employees—a job is no longer just a job. Where you work and what you do says so much about you, what you stand for, and the legacy you want to leave behind.

We acknowledge that current industrial farming and agricultural practices in many parts of the world are not sustainable and are a key contributing factor to the climate emergency across the world. This has been fueled by a growing population and lack of social responsibility by global corporations and government bodies. 

I built Farmacy to be more than just a restaurant. I want to use it as a platform to show best practice when it comes to the growing and cultivation of food products with little to no waste. We have created a closed-circuit ecosystem that supports local farmers and growers with a heavy focus on soil quality. Farmacy grows, makes, and serves transformational food—food that changes the conversation and provides a real alternative, restoring a grounded sense of connection in urban settings. 

We often fail to make the connection between our food choices, health issues, and wider climate problems, but it is clear they are inextricably linked and that they must be addressed as a whole. We rebel against and rethink the assumptions of modern eating, our harmful habits and patterns. We believe in an alternative way, one that reconnects us to the whole picture, as an integrated part of nature. This paves the way for a new genre of hospitality and a progressive model where chefs and restaurants co-exist with nature. 

"I am a firm believer that if we want to exact change on a macro scale, we all have to take personal responsibility for making changes on a smaller scale."

I am a firm believer that if we want to exact change on a macro scale, we all have to take personal responsibility for making changes on a smaller scale. Nobody really knows the true impact that human consumption has had on our planet, but if each of us does our part, there is still hope that we can help it heal. 

As we head into 2020, there is an ongoing sense of nervousness and uncertainty about our future and the future of our planet. Our actions over the next few decades of this century will determine this future. If we all take steps now to re-evaluate how to build a meaningful life for ourselves, we can enrich all of our lives, and the lives of our future generations. Every ingredient is part of a bigger whole, connecting everything between the soil and the sun.

Published November 26, 2019