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Gary Waterworth Owen

Gary is an artistadventurer, social entrepreneur, speaker , management and leadership coach and contributing author to the international best seller - Responsibility 911. Inspired in 1992 while conducting seminars and workshops on Industry and the Environment at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, he founded The ResponseAbility Alliance with the aim and objective to Get REAL - Responsible and Environmentally Aware Leadership.

Since 1992 his life has been devoted to helping individuals and companies develop and enhance their abilities to effectively respond to the challenges of the 21st Century.

His experience as an entrepreneur includes growing a small design agency into a successful furniture and interior design consultancy, construction company and direct marketing agency. In the early eighties, long before the ‘Green/Eco business’ revolution, he began recycling alluvial diamond and marble mining waste in South West Africa (now Namibia), into architectural finishes.

After a number of expeditions to live with and ‘capture on canvas’ the Himba in Kaokoland and the Bushman in the Kalahari , Gary initiated Culture Conscious Conservation © and promoted the concept at the 10th Conference of the Parties (COP) to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in Harare, Zimbabwe in 1997. In 1999 he initiated the First Agenda 21 Indaba on Culture Conscious Conservation in Transfrontier Conservation Areas - held in Matopos, Zimbabwe and attended by delegates from 5 African countries. The conference was supported by CESVI, the Biodiversity Foundation for Africa, the Institute of Environmental Studies, and funded by Cooperazione Italiana and the Peace Parks Foundation. Gary also initiated the - Environmental & Cultural Arts, Crafts and Tourism Centre in Isle St. Marie-Madagascar and in Pemba-Mozambique and was invited to present the projects at the World Travel and Tourism Council / Earth Council and UN World Tourism Organisation - Agenda 21 for the Travel and Tourism Industry Conferences in Victoria Falls-Zimbabwe and Jakarta-Indonesia.

Inspired from an early age by the Artist/Explorer Thomas Baines – who amongst many expeditions, accompanied David Livingstone’s exploration of the Zambezi, Gary pursued his own natural talent as a painter. His paintings have been exhibited in London, Washington, Paris, Durban, Cape Town and Johannesburg and have been acquired by prominent private collectors. Proceeds from a number of his exhibitions have been used to help support wilderness conservation, responsible tourism projects, Artists with AIDS and arts and crafts projects for the peoples of Namibia and Zimbabwe, as well as the conservation of wildlife in KwaZulu-Natal.

His projects and programmes conducted in rural and wilderness areas about Socially-Responsible Design, Innovation and Impact, facilitate opportunities for participants to explore and discover shared values and life skills such as Village Impact  THIRST Things First Wildlife Rangers at Risk , Gulf to Gulf - 32 days across the Sinai Desert, and Wilderness Warrior. Participating in his REAL( Responsible, Environmentally Aware Leadership) Journeys - participants contribute directly to community based development and nature conservation. It is to this transformative power of nature on the creative process and the human spirit that he has dedicated his time, efforts and desired legacy.

Gary is a sought after speaker and TEDx Speaker Allumni. His talks and workshops on: Creativity and Innovation, Reinventing Management and Rebooting Leadership, Responsibility and Sustainability, Community Based Development and Nature Conservation and Responsible Tourism reflect on personal accounts and experiences over decades of success and failure, adventure and misadventure, never fail to inspire and motivate his audiences - whether students or corporate executives.

Gary was born and raised in Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). His home town of Bulawayo, abuts the outstanding Matopos National Park at the edge of the Kalahari Desert. This landscape along with the Victoria Falls and Hwange National Park to the North, and the mountains of the Vumba, Chimanimani, and Inyanga to the East, not only inspired him as an artist but helped him draw on the richness and cultural diversity of southern Africa. It seduced him into a world of exploration, creativity, and an unrelenting passion for adventure. His time as a soldier in the early seventies equipped him well for the numerous personal development and leadership expeditions he has undertaken since.

Along with luminaries such as Barack Obama, Oprah, Denis Waitley, Jack Canfield, Bishop Desmond Tutu, Rudy Giuliani, Pope John Paul, Tom Peters, Mark Victor Hansen, Warren Bennis and Bob Proctor to name a few, Gary is a contributing author to the 2008 publication of: Responsibility 911 - An anthology that makes a strong and diversified case for the role responsibility plays in a free society. Responsibility 911, is an inspiring year long executive/employee training tool of insight into what keeps freedom and democracy alive.

He is now hard at work addressing the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development - and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) , especially Goal 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy.

Gary is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical SocietyOpen Africa and Artists for Peace Justice and Civil Liberties. He is a Senior Associate of The Centre for Sustainable Design based at UCA / the University for the Creative Arts - Farnham, Surrey and serves on the International Honorary Advisory Council of the Statue of Responsibility Foundation - USA.