The Business Year

Juan Pablo Navarro

Co-Founder, Introspecta

Sebastián Peñalva Orozco

Co-Founder, Introspecta

Introspecta was born with the aim of creating spaces for reflection and personal containment in nature via hiking experiences.
Why did you decide to create Introspecta, a brand that specializes in creating spaces of reflection in nature for companies?

Juan Pablo Navarro: Introspecta was born from our own experience. It started as an intuitive process that invited us to explore the structures that supported our beliefs; the way we worked, the places we did it, our perception of work, and the way we related to ourselves. The process was relatively simple. We marked a route through the different natural landscapes that Mexico has to offer, and we found community tourism projects that would host us along the way. These projects provided us with a bed, hot food, and other amenities. Once on the route, we would enter the forest for hours, walking and creating spaces for conversation and presence. At first, going out into the woods became a container for challenging our own ideas. This space was a window through which we could observe parts of ourselves that we didn’t know existed, and it helped us to be more in touch with ourselves.

Sebastian Peñalva Orozco: Today, there are entire methods hosted by universities like MIT dedicated to finding out how states of awareness and presence in nature alter our thoughts and the way we interact. These types of methodologies are already used to provide new answers to complex problems, both individual and systemic. But at that time, it was just a path, our desire to be out there, to walk, and to know that something inside of us was moving. Slowly, we began to include more people on the journey, inviting diverse people to experience these increasingly better-curated spaces. The intuitive process was slowly refined until we took the best of our previous experience and put it at the service, not only of organizations, but also of enthusiastic individuals; teachers, engineers, CEOs, and artists, who were looking for these spaces to be able to reinvent themselves. Today, these natural spaces have very particular narratives, processes, and intentions. We design them for the public or for custom groups, and we adjust the containers to host entire organizations that seek to improve their personal, cultural, or innovation processes. Through these journeys, new relationships are being created, new ways of relating, and new ways of conceptualizing how we do life through business.

What are the benefits for a company in investing in experiences like the ones you offer for its employees?

SPO: According to Gallup, 90% of the world’s workforce is emotionally disconnected from their workplaces. Labor culture strategies have transformed from being just one of the activities that human resources departments manage to being a strategy led by the general management of companies. During the last part of the previous century and the beginning of this one, the strategies to solve this disconnection were limited to “effective communication” and “conflict resolution” workshops and other small tactics that solved the problems for a few weeks, only to reappear in other forms almost immediately.

JNP: Today, we know that there are deeper layers involved. This allows us to create safe spaces to explore those layers and to be able to observe the structures or thinking paradigms that generate these discomforts. The spaces we create are ideal for reaching this depth in an organic and natural way. It is the companies that have had the audacity to delve into their organizational structures and their thinking paradigms that have managed to connect with the roots of their problems and solve them in the form of sustainable structures for the organization. These findings are almost impossible to unveil locked in the convention center of a hotel for a few hours in the middle of a city. Instead, it is necessary to suspend routine and routinary thinking to find systemic and disruptive ways to transform the organization. By walking, we are activating parts of the brain that are not stimulated in everyday life. At the same time, we relax those parts of the mind that repeat the same behaviors over and over again. Our methodology is an experimental journey through some theories present in Scharmer’s Theory U, the Presencing Institute, stoicism, and systemic configuration, among others. It combines dialogue with the ability to be present, and the deep belief that the answers to the big questions are already within people. Nature has become the safe place to discover, engage in dialogue, and transform through experience.

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