David Katz is recognized as one of The World’s Top 100 Compassionate Business Leaders as number 4 between Dr. Muhammad Yunus and Elon Musk. Being a steward of the earth and a champion for the poor, he is the founder of Plastic bank, a social enterprise committed to stopping ocean plastic by turning plastic into gold with store chains in the poorest parts of the world that accepts plastic waste as a currency. Celebrating their 7th anniversary, the organization has collected 11,000,000 kg of plastic registered over 19,000 members, & opened over 300 branches in 5 of the poorest countries in the world and projected to reach annual revenue of 65 million.
David Katz is the founder & CEO of Plastic Bank. David is recognized as on The World’s Top 100 Compassionate Business Leaders as number 4 between Dr. Muhammad Yunus and Elon Musk. Being a steward of the earth and a champion for the poor, he is the founder of Plastic bank, a social enterprise committed to stopping ocean plastic by turning plastic into gold with store chains in the poorest parts of the world that accepts plastic waste as a currency. Celebrating their 7th anniversary, the organization has collected 11,000,000 kg of plastic registered over 19,000 members, & opened over 300 branches in 5 of the poorest countries in the world and projected to reach annual revenue of 65 million.
Believing that the journey is the destination, this entrepreneur went from pursuing Armani suits to freeing others from poverty. What is truly extraordinary is not the millions of kilos of plastic collected, but the thousands of the world’s most impoverished individuals who he's provided entrepreneurial experience & the opportunity to make a living through plastic collection.
A serial entrepreneur himself, he has founded multiple organizations including The Core Values Institute and a successful exit of Nero Global which provided GPS tracking to 1000's of vehicles nationally.
Internationally recognized as the best in sustainability, this powerhouse has received numerous awards including the United Nations Lighthouse award for Planetary Health. He’s been featured in Forbes, TIME, Fast Company, National Geographic and over 300 other articles from over 25 countries. And has been showcased in the award-winning documentary A Plastic Ocean, the reality TV show Dragons Den, and numerous stages around the world including TED which has garnered 2 million views to his social plastic movement.
Inspiring entrepreneurs and proving that they are uniquely wired to change the world, he was also the Past President of the Vancouver Chapter of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization and was named their Global Citizen of the year on behalf of their network of 10,000+ business owners in 131 chapters and 40 countries.
A man convinced against his will as of the same opinion still. You can't push the world to evolve. You can only create the space where they can choose to become evolved themselves. And that's a journey of self.
This article is sourced from the Evolve Podcast, a top social entrepreneur startup podcast. Listen or subscribe below.
Scroll below for important resource links & transcripts mentioned in this episode.
Want to hear another episode with an entrepreneur working to help the poorest countries? — Listen to my conversation with Brett Hagler which innovated the world’s first 3D printed home which only takes 24 hours to build, and costs $4,000, a fraction of traditional construction costs.
The Origins Of A Change Maker
Brandon Stover: [00:02:55] Well, it's good to have you on the show and I'd actually like to start with your childhood when you were living on the West coast of Canada and your parents are both entrepreneurs. Your dad was a Mariner. Do you think this laid the foundation for where you are today?
David Katz: [00:03:12] Authentically, authentically, powerfully, we're all the product of every experience and every decision with ever made. So of course it's not possible to be where I am without everything that I've experienced so far as any listener on this call would be. There are things that have occurred in your life that have drawn you to be on this journey right now with us listening.
And certainly growing up in the West coast of Canada, walking the beach to school, watching debris wash up on my beach 35 years ago was a part of that journey. Certainly sailing at sea with my dad, doing offshore sailing and experiencing the ocean in its majesty and its power, was a part of that journey. Certainly entrepreneurship and the family and persevering was a part of the journey.
All of the dysfunction of my family, it was a journey. Having children as a part of my journey, losing a child experiencing that was a part of my journey. All of it, all of the compassion, the love, the depth, the fortitude. Was found in experience and everything that I once thought was pain. Everything that I once experienced as being a challenge or an infliction wasn't fact and instruction.
Brandon Stover: [00:04:50] you've had quite a journey as an entrepreneur as well. I mean, you've had a restaurant and karaoke business and then,
David Katz: [00:04:58] Oh, my goodness.
Brandon Stover: [00:04:59] how do you, how do you think all these multiple organizations have helped you?
David Katz: [00:05:05] Did I tell you all of these things, how did you discover all this?
Brandon Stover: [00:05:08] I do a lot of research.
David Katz: [00:05:14] Of course they did. Everything is a lesson. Life is an instruction. If we open ourselves through it, when we look at it at the time, of course I wasn't awake at the time. It was like, Oh, wow, wait, what else do you have for me world? Like, why so much pain? Why, why so much? Why, why, why being slave with why? The degradation of my life? Why, why all of it?
Easy questions to ask when you're in it, because you can't see the light. In such a shadow. And then in our youth as well in the early part of our, our freedom of life, 20 to 30, you know, we're aspiring to be something we want to look good and not look bad, trying to find position in society.
We think. And then we look at those things is sometimes the substantive proof that we're not good enough. We further live in the affliction of it. But in that awakening, when we can come to the learning that say only have the very present moment and the, in the sheer improbability of my existence, and I can look at it all as a gift. If I'm alive and that was provided as a gift in my life and everything inside of it is as well, a gift. So how do I look at it newly and recreate. And now moving forward, it's not even a recreation. It's just creation. How do I look at what's unfolding me and folding in front of me and go, Oh, wait, that is a part of my creation.
I created this experience. Anyhow, who, what further do I get to create? As I move forward, I can choose to be happy. I can choose to be sad. I can choose to feel injustice, only choice. So why not choose gift? Why not choose the expanse of the universe that comes outside of every experience? Create the universe that I want to live into a bit of Sotera, but all truth.
An Idea Is Born & The Journey Of Self Begins
Brandon Stover: [00:07:31] what do you think the lessons were that helped you to open your mind to this? Cause you mentioned, it was easier to ask the type of questions of why me, why the pain when you were younger, but now have a broader view.
David Katz: [00:07:44] Well, we always thought that it meant something about us. Nothing means anything about us. It's just as it is. It's just as a cruise in the world, we're looking for a position. And when we encounter struggle, we think that it means something about us. You know, one of the greatest gifts that I receive in this journey of the plastic bank. Was as well delivered the very moment that I had the idea for the plastic bank.
I received three things. When the, when the plastic bank was born, I received the idea that it was people's perception of the material. That really was the degradation of the environment. When we look at the bottle, most people think it's free. What would we change the paradigm? What if people looked at it and said, the end of poverty, that's the end of pain, but it's my tuition. It's everything else. What if you know, metaphorically, every single bottle or every piece of packaging was five us dollars. Would we see any of them environment? No, everyone would go get it.
So I had the idea of the plastic bank, creating a monetary system, creating as a currency for the world. That's not where, what I do today was born. That was just an idea. It was not born in the second thought. That's a short, because the second thought that I received simultaneously was who are you? You're just some dude out of Vancouver.
You know, you've got some like localized business. I grew, grew a company. I sold my way to success. Hold on dude, man, like what you're going to go and try to sell to the biggest companies in the world, create a vertically integrated supply chain of the areas of extreme poverty and deprivation and violence, where people are comprehensively illiterate and ignorant places that people believe in voodoo.
How will you communicate with them? What would that be like when you think of the enormity of the project? And so of course I received all of the freaking overwhelmed with that. Who are you to do that? Why you can't do that? That's impossible. Okay. You have to give it to someone else because someone else should do this, but simultaneously those two thoughts, but also occurred to me like, Oh my goodness, like I can't, this is it.
This is, this could actually be a part of the solution. I can't die and not having tried. But David who you're just some dude. So I had those two conflicting thoughts of that. The idea, the birth of the plastic bag came up. The third idea, if the true origin of this story, the origin of us being on a call together occurred in the third thought, which was David.
You do not need to be the person who could change the world. You only, only. Slowly need to become the person who could. And that's where I found my freedom. That's where I found the space to then be able to step into the journey of becoming the person. And it turns out the greater than I become that person a greater than the work shows up. The greater I become that person, the greater the world changes. So it didn't become a journey about creating an organization.
It came about creating myself, but I would pose that it was much less about becoming something and much more about ending something.
And I allude to ending the sense of self, the sense that I might not be the right person to do it. The sense and the attachment to living in the eyes of others, doing things to look good or not look bad, ending the pursuit of money, ending the pursuit of the superfluous, the meaningless. It came about ending all those things that everything that was left was the beautiful touching, heartfelt love. That is the most pervasive and persuasive energy and gift that we could all provide to each other and to the world. And the more I got out of my own way, the more change I got to experience.
Brandon Stover: [00:12:16] For those that are, looking at a challenge, say as you were with plastic bank and feeling that same feeling of, who am I to be taking this on? or who am I? Am I going to be able to do this? And they're sitting in that frame of reference right now. What, what were the steps that you had to take in order to shift your mind to say no, it's, it's who I need to become, not who I am now.
David Katz: [00:12:41] There's only one. You Decide. So simple, but yet so hard. You decide. And then the decision, the world changes, nothing is done until someone decides. There's a quote about Providence. I don't have it in front of me. I can't, I can't recite it verbatim, but it communicates that in the decision, all forces come to your aid, everything changes, energy arrives in the decision. It's that simple, you decide, but most are afraid to make the decision. They have hope they would like things to be a certain way. It seems like they always have one foot out the door, an escape pack. They're never actually, they've never actually decided.
How To Discover The Root Of A Complex Problem
Brandon Stover: [00:13:47] Touching on plastic bank and when you were discovering that a root of the problem, you know, how we view plastic? I think it's both extraordinary and simple because, you're just changing that simple frame of reference. when we're looking at a complex issue, Or a seemingly complex issue, such as, you know, the plastic pollution in the world.
How do we get to that core root of the problem?
David Katz: [00:14:17] I began knowing the countless countless animals were dying. There was pain and devastation occurring around the world. And that we were at jeopardy of tipping, the very environment that our existence relies upon. And my ambition of course, save the ocean, save the ocean from plastic. And of course, a lot of people would have gone as they did like Boyan slat and the ocean cleanup project, Oh, I'll go. We'll clean the ocean. Well, that's urgent. And I get a beach cleanups, like people who try to sell bracelets or other stuff it's urgent. I get it. It's a beautiful, looking, more powerfully communicated habitat restoration, go restore the habitat to give wildlife a chance to restore itself.
But what was, what was important? See there is urgent. And then there's the important, important was to keep the plastic from entering the ocean to begin with. Okay, cool. Where does that occur? Wait, where's the plastic coming from there? Oh, poverty with a majority of plastic entering the ocean is coming from areas with poverty.
Well, okay. Why will the government, of course can't afford recycling infrastructure. They don't have waste management.
Brandon Stover: [00:15:45] Right.
David Katz: [00:15:46] So what's the only option. The only option is to throw it in the river or in the environment of Burnet. Oh, okay. I see. Still comes from poverty and it's because there's no alternative. Oh, I see.
So the reason that the ocean is dying is because people don't have an alternative. To dispose of their waste. okay. So if we created an alternative that created a space for people to return their material before it entered the river or the canal, that could be a part of this. Oh, okay. Hold on a second. If there was an incentive. Because I knew that the demand convinced against his will is of the same opinion still. And I couldn't convince people to do anything, but they have a human motivation to serve themselves. Oh, hold on a second. And in areas of poverty where there's no hope and they don't even know where the meal tomorrow will come from.
What if there was an opportunity for them to use it like money and they could actually change the world. They didn't even know that, or they didn't even care that it was changing the world, but it was really only about putting food on the table and keeping their children were being sick. But that was a huge incentive.
Oh, so hold on a second. So what if we ultimately created a space for people to have access to medical care insurance, cooking, fuel clean water, and we took the pain of poverty away. Oh, so hold on a second. What we need to do is solve poverty. If we solve poverty, we don't see poverty in the environment. We don't see degradation occurring in the environment. If I enter human power, Oh, this is not an ocean plastic issue. This is a poverty issue, which is why the United nations sustainable development goals are in order. From one to 17, number one, poverty,
Brandon Stover: [00:17:40] You're creating, you know, the entrepreneurs in the world's most poorest country. You really liberating them from Maslow's hierarchy of needs, hamster wheel that they're continuously on. Speak to how this is helping them.
David Katz: [00:17:53] we actually don't do anything. We don't do anything. We create a space where people can have their own transformative learning and experience.
Where they are awakened to it, because now it's their idea, which is the beginning of the end of poverty. I didn't give you anything, which is what an NGO wants to do.
They want to confine you. They take you from your back and onto your knees, perpetually, begging or entrepreneurship will take you from your back to your feet because when you're on your feet, you can lift others onto their feet. If I put you on your knees at best, you'll take people and put them on their knees too. It's a difference between the NGO world and the business world. We need to be on our feet, strong, United unified lifting, others who will then lift others. You see, when we communicate the hierarchy of human needs, that level of actualization, the top of the pyramid includes helping others. And a part of what we need to do is to create a space for people to help people as well.
The project is far deeper than just stopping plastic from entering the ocean. It's a beautiful, gifted human endeavor that happens to include creating a space where we can all love and be the space that creates love.
Beautiful gift. They didn't invent any of it. I just saw a different way of thinking and all I've been doing is showing people a different way to think, and then they figure out the rest.
Some See A Plastic Problem. He Saw An Opportunity.
Brandon Stover: [00:19:48] I think that's a powerful part of plastic bank. as you mentioned earlier in the interview, you know, when most people would see plastic washing up on shore, they may be like, okay, I need to clean the plastic from the ocean. where, you know, you looked at it at a very different angle, you know, getting to the root cause and saw a business from it, thinking from your entrepreneurial mindset. Can you speak to that?
David Katz: [00:20:15] Perhaps it was seeing the business, perhaps again, the, my experiences, everything that pointed me here, what it let me do is see, I'll try to reveal value. Maybe that was the paradigm, you know what I've come to learn and the execution of this. So the more value I create in the world, the more evaluate I get.
What a misnomer for businesses are publicly traded companies that serve shareholders first, that they have to extract the value from the world where I hope that the new realm, the new possibility of business is powerfully creating value for the world. And the more value that I create, the more I benefit from.
with the plastic bank, we really are win of the six power. Maybe more win, win, win, win, win, win. The collector wins. The consumer wins. The brand wins. The environment wins. My business wins. The plastic wins for the plastic even wins. It becomes new again, everything wins. When I make the plastic new again, the poor, when, when the plastic is new, again, the brand wins.
The consumer wins. We win when our collector wins, then the brand wins and the environment wins when the relationship between the consumer and our collector is a win. But of course the brand won and we won. It's just sounds weird to me, but there's no, not win, win, win, win, or no deal does not exist.
Does not exist. It is only win-win or no deal. Okay. It is only as a result of advocating for everybody to win.
And I proport to love being a verb. An action to love someone has to do for them. It's not a feeling selfish to say, Oh, I love you. I have a feeling from you. You did, for me, that's not me doing for you. I have a feeling because something you did selfish love the feeling as a fruit of love, the verb.
Brandon Stover: [00:22:28] When you were first getting your partners, for plastic bank, was it easy to have them see this win-win situation? Or did you have difficulty?
David Katz: [00:22:42] No. Was it easy? Nothing about this whole journey has been easy. There's so much that I had to give up in this. I think, you know, they should be a way, way. Do a certain way that would have been easy. Where was the learning lesson in all of that? So, no, they didn't see that way either. And when I first started, you know, people, you know, seven, eight years ago, people aren't, I mean, it's a modern phenomenon.
Did I ever want to aware of ocean degradation that wasn't available at the time? People didn't talk about it. So, no, not easy. You know, it can create a fortitude, but we were born in that because we understand, we had to understand more powerfully how to, how to use it as a marketing story, how to have our customers wind further, how they could gain more business with it. I think you'd be more autonomous with it, how they could give themselves a unique market position with it. I mean, it, it fortified the why for the customer, because we had to learn it so we can more powerfully communicate it. Cause it all comes from word. So we use our words to create the realm of possibility or reality that we want to live into first from the tongue as well, biblical, spiritual. Metaphysical
we create in communication. So the origin of it all first and thought then in word friction thought then in reality is all part of that spiritual journey that has unfolded for me. Remarkable, not me seven years ago. All at all.
How To Scale The Impact
Brandon Stover: [00:24:47] as you continue on this journey and, more solid understanding, than you did in the beginning of the why behind this, how are you continuing to, scale plastic bank?
David Katz: [00:25:01] That's an exponential journey. I mean, it's both creating a franchise model and that's why we expand through schools and through places of faith, we're not faith based and I've got my own call it a spiritual journey. I had my own awakening to become conscious, to like, Oh my goodness. I'm not my thoughts.
I'm simply the one who hears my thoughts, like completely different than what I ever anticipated. So we're not, we're not associated any religion. However, I do see the beauty in all of them. It's just love inside of all of them. And then he had a different story, but we created a powerful program for Catholicism.
We're really beautiful. That includes. You know, a set of learnings and all, it's just a whole structure around it that engages the parish. And so that every parishioner doesn't just bring their offering on Sunday, but they bring their recycling with them. It's at every church around the world goes to become a collection location.
And for the church, it's actually their faith in action because it's actually, it's it's it's. I mean satisfied Testament. It's I mean, it's just, it is, it is, it is at the root, that's a tenant of the faith steward, the earth steward the poor. And for, for faith, they actually, they're so inspired because this is the faith in action.
And then I I'm inspired by the thinking that this may be one of those greatest opportunities for, for the Catholic church. To really show an exhibit how the millions of places of worship are, are truly gift for everyone, especially right now. And then schools the same for schools. We have programming for six, seven, eight, nine year olds that go home and teach their parents about recycling and about the need of environmental stewardship that then encourages the parents to bring the recycling to the school.
Because even the smallest village around the world, no matter where you are, has a place of faith and a place of education.
So it allows us to expand globally exponentially quickly as the world needs us to. So really more for a franchise model, more of an opportunity for us to expand fast, which is what the world needs. Cause the ocean cannot wait.
Brandon Stover: [00:27:20] Yeah. How do you know with a growing population and everything? How do you beat the clock on a problem such as plastic pollution before reaches a critical point?
David Katz: [00:27:29] Totally. I don't have every answer. I got to figure it out. I'm just doing what I'm doing. I know, I know what we do is about expanding quickly, rapidly touching people, you know, working in education or ending poverty with it, creating a monetary system, you know, and everything else inside of what we do is we've created a banking application as well.
Right? When partners with IBM were created a blockchain based banking application that doesn't just create the authenticity and transparency and traceability and everything else we need. But then ultimately it provides credit rating for the poor. So the more frequently you return the material, the higher quality in your social circle and everything else, we can substantiate your reliability, which is credit rating.
So we can give credit ratings so we can work in financial institutions to be able to provide greater access to financial tools based on how you've substantiated your gift and your service into society. So you don't need to have a birth certificate. You don't need to have a bank account. We can just give you a way that exhibits power in your life.
It's that exponential? It's so beautiful.
Brandon Stover: [00:28:34] I think, one of the amazing things about, these being in these communities is the entire marketplaces and economies that you've, you know, helped to foster in these environments. you know, when they're able to bring the plastic and trade that four credits and they use those credits to, you know, buy things within their communities.
David Katz: [00:28:55] Communities. it's exponential in their community. That's true. Alchemy we're plastic alchemists. We turn plastic into gold. But I use gold metaphorically because when you trade plastic into tuition, that's exponential. When you take, when you take someone and sheer poverty and sheer ignorance and you and you, and you help them read you ultimately help them see when we can take and we can take the blind. Metaphorically. Imagine walking around, unable to read every street sign is dangerous. You have no idea. How do you walk yourself through the world when you can't read? So I have engaged in creating your literacy programs and other things for our collectors. See, that's an exponentiality, that's a next level up
from garbage. What will I add in the world? What does that add? Even into the economy? What happens when I truly create someone who can create,
you know, the ambition is to create creators. And those people take people from their back and put them in their there and create creators. So we're creating creators who create creators.
Your Responsibility As An Entrepreneur
Brandon Stover: [00:30:26] What responsibility do you think we have as entrepreneurs to create solutions to these grand challenges?
David Katz: [00:30:33] I don't care if it's your responsibility or not. Well, hold on a second. I'm afraid I'll rephrase this set aside. The fact that it's your responsibility, who cares because it is such an amazing opportunity in that if you really want to look at entrepreneurship, like if you're not creating abundance and serving the world, you are limited.
What are you trying to be like? Live open the. proverbial phone book and look at just plumbers in your own city. How many are going to find a couple of hundred, like plummet, what you're trying to compete on? Like, do you know how many people are actually trying to change the planet?
Like none, you know, big, the market is infinite. What are you playing so small for a stop? It, the only reason you're playing small for us. Cause you've got thoughts in your head that have you think that you're not the person who can do it. So you actually get to sit back and go, I don't need to be the person I get to slowly become it just as you would need to be in your own community to launch your own freaking small little small minded plumbing business. And I only use that as emphasis and I totally get it. I love everyone. Who's an entrepreneur with small, large, or whatever.
I only want to give emphasis to the grand or that Ally's with you. And inside of everybody who chooses to be on the journey of just becoming free yourself to have your small business, but be in the becoming of something. Great. And the best way to do that is by embark on something that is bigger than yourself, that then it becomes a calling, a beacon and a magnet to the person you need to be. Because when you start with that, it extracts you from your sense of self. Now there is a gift in your own, seeing a gift and being able to look back and say, there I am. And then the world sees it too.
Building A Business Or Building Yourself
Brandon Stover: [00:32:08] You have a belief that, the journey is the destination. Who do you feel? Who do you feel you've become on this journey?
David Katz: [00:32:16] It's not about becoming, I'm going to communicate it again. It's about ending, ending. It's about, it's about stopping, being everything that I thought that I was or needed to be or what my parents thought that I should be, or teachers thought that I should be, or some ex thought that I should be all those people who I try to appease all those personas that I took on.
So I thought that I would fit in. So people would like me or not dislike me. All of the authenticity that I made real and made me it's about not being anybody. It's not about being a thing. Cause a thing is finite. If you choose to be one thing, you give up all other things. The world is infinite. It's about being open to be everything. And to be anything. It's your origination of joy and love and gift and beauty to be everything, nothing affects you. It's really beautiful. It's a beautiful place to be in. It's still an aspiration. I'm on the journey of the awakening. It's so much less bothered. There's me. So much more, I mean, so much less now in my life.
That's beautiful. The light.
Brandon Stover: [00:33:36] Where do you think this is leading you towards in the future?
David Katz: [00:33:41] I don't, I don't really care.
One of the awakening journeys of all of this is the knowing that time is a complete construct. Like time doesn't exist, that doesn't exist at all. Or the only, the only thing that can ever exist has ever existed or will ever exist. The only thing that can ever exist is right now. Anything that will happen in the future will only happen right now to anything that ever happened in the past that you've ever experienced only happened right now you have a memory pathway to a right now, call it the past.
You have an aspiration to something that might occur in the right now. So right now
leading me anywhere it's it's it's, it's bringing me back. It's allowing me to be alive right now. So I don't have an aspiration or postpone joy for a sense of salvation in the future. You know, this conversation that. You know, when you look at yourself in the past and you take story, what it's about a sense of self it's about a sense of identity.
Your past is your identity. And then we want to be right over the identity. And then we fight to be right over our sense of identity, how crazy I was abused as a child. And this means this, and this means that that's who I am. Don't tell me I'm wrong. They wronged me. I am this way because they wronged me and I will be this way for the rest of my career.
Not. That occurred 30 years ago. How is it affecting you with this very moment other than when you carry it or the sense of the future, which is salvation? When I have this much money, then I'll have a car, then people will respect me. Then I'll be free. Sense of salvation, but that's again, that's the future and the path that I have now, and I can be free right now, all of the gift and all of the love of it.
So that's the authentic, appropriate, honest answer. It's nothing in the future. What I hope to have is a greater depth of the very present moment of my life. The only thing I will ever have.
Even Tragedies Are A Gift Of Life
Brandon Stover: [00:35:54] I think, you know, something that holds a lot of people back as you were mentioning was the narrative that they had from their past. And I think what's amazing about your story is your ability to let go of those narratives, even ones that seem very strong. you know, recently you had mentioned at the beginning of the call, the passing of your daughter, and I was curious if you'd be open to sharing, you know, how you were able go over that narrative
David Katz: [00:36:23] Yeah, that sucks.
Brandon Stover: [00:36:24] Yeah
David Katz: [00:36:25] sucks. Father's day is the anniversary of her passing as well was a big week. It was a big week. yeah. Hello? Oh, that was so remarkable. And. You know, part of the plastic printers that ultimately got me into the beauty of the gift of being able to see the gift of her and in her leaving and. I know so many and I'm trying to build it in the reference here, but so many people attached to their past. Like, I can't change. There's nothing that can change it.
I can't resist it so I can sit there. Most people want to resist it. I mean, I tell parents and I communicate it because I. I look for other parents who have had a loss of a child who was still living the attachment of being the parent who lost a child, or I've lost a child. That means I'm going to be sad for the rest of my life.
I'm going to be depressed for the rest of my life. I'm always going to be the person who lost a child, what do did for the space of the world. So, so I couldn't communicate it. And a part of that challenge is that parents. Well, bless you. There's no word for it. There's no like orphan widower. There's no communication. So people get totally lost, but there's no, I can't change it. Nothing I do will ever bring Ella back, so, okay.
I could be sad. That's not going to do anything. It doesn't change anything. I can't resist it. Or, you know, or, or even the attachment of, of being, Oh, but I was her father and she was my daughter and that's who I am this attached to it all. And, and then of course there's all the judgment that should have never have happened.
And, and, and, and that, you know, it means horrible thing. Okay. You have no power over any of that? All I have power over is the way that I receive it. Totally, totally socked on my goodness. The moment I received the news, we're dealing with it happened. We had a travel international flight back to Vancouver.
It was such a long journey, but the moment I received the news, which was delivered to me by son at 19, at the time after he, he, you know, ultimately poor boy had to. Administer CPR until the paramedics came and stuff, he then had to deliver the news to his parents, that beautiful soul. And in that moment that I got the news, I was like, Oh, okay.
I am about to succumb to grief. I want to give myself freely to grieve, but David, don't forget to continue to look for the gift. Be open to the gift that you're receiving. There is beauty that lie is in here. Find it, look for it. And so I can get myself to the grief without being attached to it. Without thinking that it meant something about me or whatever it was, I can just look at it and go, Oh, okay. This is what's occurring. Oh, there's grief. There's still grief. And they still get to look at it as the infinite space of the gift.
There's grief. Cause I haven't found all the gift yet, but I have so much depth as a result. So much love, so much more compassion, so much more as occurring in the world as a result of it would have never have occurred. Otherwise. I mean, it may have, but not like it has
Brandon Stover: [00:39:48] Yeah. Do you think you use a power in your creation?
David Katz: [00:39:52] power. I choose everything to be a superpower, super power, super power. Oh my goodness. And all the compassion. And I can just stop with people and be with people and look in their eyes and see the enormity of them. And stand forward for them and see them that they don't see themselves. I get to hold a space for people to become something that they can't even imagine of themselves. They can see them with the love of their parent, the infinite hope of who they are. Stand for it for everybody. I can see everyone as a child. All of their pain and their own conflicts and love them. And it was a super high price to pay. Well, I, I would give the gift back, but I can't give it. There's no, there's no changing it. So I received it. So what are my options? My only option is the use of that. Something amazing. I've paid the price in advance in full
Brandon Stover: [00:40:58] Well, I appreciate you. you're sharing that with us.
David Katz: [00:41:01] you. Thank you for asking. It's beautiful to share.
Being The Change You Wish To See In The World
Brandon Stover: [00:41:05] You've said that part of your purpose is to wake another's consciousness so that they may be whole, what are you hoping to awaken to them?
David Katz: [00:41:13] it's not, it's not, it's not my purpose. My purpose is to be the person who's awake because my awakening itself exhibits a different way of thinking and being, and, and I, and I, I wouldn't, I hope I anticipate I would be inspired by the knowing that other people then saw a different way of thinking. If it's as a result of what I do, that's beautiful. But I'm not doing it for that. Cause that in itself is an attachment that in itself is not being awake. I just, I just.
Brandon Stover: [00:41:51] Well, David, before I get to my last question, where can everyone learn more about you?
David Katz: [00:41:57] Plastic bank.com super important. Everyone go to plastic bank.com And it would be part of our tribe and learn about us and participate with us and, and know that every time that you say yes to single use materials or anything else that you don't need, you're voting for it. You can't actually be compassionate about the ocean, compassionate about life while simultaneously degrading at how hypocritical.
So, so remember every time you buy something that has excessive material in it, you vote for it. So stop that and incorporations will give and sell to you. What you ask for. So ask for sustainable products, act, ask for social plastic. Ask, ask for material that was diverted, asked for powers. Ask for non Virgin plastic.
There's 9 trillion kilos of plastic on the earth. Yet we keep making more. We have all the material already on the plastic. Almost infinite recyclable. We don't need to make any more, but we are how fucking few tile. Pardon my lady. So stop buying stuff with new plastic in it. That's ridiculous plastics.
Amazing. Nothing to do with the plastic it's Haas. I use the example at the outset of every bottle was $5. We know none would be in the environment. Stop blaming others, stop blaming the plastic, nothing to do with the material. It's you, you want change in the ocean? You change. You want change in society, you change.
And then you're changing becomes the space of authenticity and authenticity and leadership, your vulnerability, your exposure to receive the lessons of life is in fact, what inspires others that in itself creates the space of awareness and someone to as well begin the journey.
Brandon Stover: [00:44:02] My last question is how can we push the world to evolve?
David Katz: [00:44:06] A man convinced against his will as of the same opinion, still you can't push the world to evolve. You can only create the space where they can choose to become evolve themselves. And that's a journey of self.
Brandon Stover: [00:44:19] well, David, I appreciate you having this conversation today and appreciate you coming on the show.
David Katz: [00:44:26] My pleasure. Thank you for having this show. Thank you for being that person. Thank you for standing forward. Going through your own fry, your own vulnerability to create a space where people could be in the communication. I acknowledge you as someone who is on a beautiful becoming journey. So congratulations to you.
Thank you for having me here and reaching out and asking me to be on the show. Thank you.
The Evolve Podcast is focused on evolving the world through evolution of the individual. Brandon Stover unpacks the stories and mindsets of extraordinary social impact founders, visionary leaders, and social enterprise experts as they share how they built startups that are solving the worlds greatest problems. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.Leave A Review