• Dr. Edith Öller

Pachamama as a "persona"

There is a term for "Mother Earth", such as "Gaia" in Greek and Roman mythology, or "Pachamama" among indigenous peoples of South America, in almost all cultures. And probably almost everyone has some image of it in their heads. Basically, a souled or holy wholeness and elemental power of the earth is meant. The earth as a loving mother and origin of all life or the energy that connects all life on earth.

The question is: what does this have to do with business and innovation?

In design thinking and also in marketing, people work with “personas” to represent a typical representative of the target group or a relevant stakeholder. (See also blog post: Working with personas) An imaginary person with age, job, marital status, environment, strengths, weaknesses, preferences, challenges, etc. is worked out and given a name and picture. In addition, there is also the option of creating an “empathy map”.

This persona is consulted in all possible decisions. For example, it is considered what the persona would say about something, think of something, or how they would behave in a certain situation.

For example, the design/innovation or strategy team can identify much better with the user or other stakeholders and better incorporate their perspectives into the process.

If we now define "Pachamama" as a persona, we get the chance to include the topic of sustainability much more deeply and consistently in the strategy or innovation process. Already when developing the persona, very helpful and profound discussions will arise. What is Pachamama's "job"? What are her challenges? What are her preferences? How would she act?

This may seem a little far-fetched or abstract to some, but a longer-term and more global perspective will automatically emerge, the focus may need to be redefined - as we are entering a new 'worldview'. The persona of the Pachamama allows "new glasses", a new perspective on certain things, and thus gives us the chance to really think outside of our "box" - and mentally "create new worlds".

A little food for thought at the end: Pachamama would also be very happy to have a seat on the board or advisory board of a company and could also do some good there.😊