We just returned from one of our favorite places on earth - Bali. It had been six years since we had visited our Balinese family (former business partner and friend of my husband) and now our adopted family far away but close in heart. Life is changing there and while all the magic and beauty of the island remains, you can see that business is more entrepreneurial, tech savvy and global. For me global means a richer more diverse group of people doing work and living in Bali than I observed years ago. We met Europeans, Americans, Australians, professors, musicians, academics and entrepreneurs - it was more like a mini United Nations.
Eighty five percent of the population in Bali (which is 4 million people) are Hindu. They believe that spirits inhabit trees, stones, forests, and places. It is truly a fascinating mix of ancient tradition and contemporary life yet a focus on culture, spirit, family, music and art. I always wondered how the mash up of corporate work and spiritual practice would play out as businesses grew. It seems to work so far with such an influx of folks from all over the globe who respect this wonderful culture and people.
This island in Indonesia offers a confetti of sensory experiences, smells of frangipani and burning trash along with sounds of Gamelan that soothes the soul. What better place to grow an idea, start a business or re-start your psychic and physical energy. I even found a company called Hubud (hub in Ubud) that brings coworking, coliving and colearning experiences to entrepreneurs from all over the world. They look for digital nomads. I do hope all these global citizens or corporate escapees embrace the gift of Bali culture and respect for tradition and not change it too much.
There is a total engagement of social media now that we did not see six years ago. Trip Advisor is king in a land of tourism and growing hospitality businesses in a big competitive market. I don't recall on previous visits the requests in a very nice yet direct way for feedback, comments on facebook, and please share your customer experience. We met two business owners that are focusing on marketing plans, improving their on line presence and learning about branding. That is new.
The good news is that religious expression, colorful ceremonial dress, daily offerings, dance and music remain key to their life. Ceremonies which are daily communicate ideas about community, status and aspects of life as well as afterlife. People embrace living fully and honestly today for it might impact later in the next life. Not a bad idea to take with us and cherish in our home and work here today.