After a short hiatus, the Roots to Renewal podcast is back with an interview with Helmy Abouleish, CEO of the SEKEM Group based in Cairo, Egypt.

Founded in 1977 by Helmy’s father, Dr. Ibrahim Abouleish, SEKEM is a multi-faceted agricultural and educational organization with a vision for “sustainable development towards a future where every human being can unfold his or her individual potential; where humankind is living together in social forms reflecting human dignity; and where all economic activity is conducted in accordance with ecological and ethical principles.”

Often referred to as “the miracle in the desert,” many doubted Sekem’s ability to succeed. This year, SEKEM is marking its 46th anniversary and looking forward the next 40 years with a focus on systems change and a vision for Egypt to have 7 million farmers practicing biodynamic/organic farming by 2057.

“I had the privilege of visiting SEKEM last fall and was deeply inspired by their work there to support healthy agriculture in Egypt,” Hawthorne Valley’s Executive Director, Martin Ping, said. “I am honored to call Helmy a longtime friend, and am delighted to share his and his father Ibrahim’s story with our community.”

In their conversation, Martin and Helmy discuss the four dimensions of sustainable development: social life, cultural life, ecology and economic life, Sekem’s process of promoting organic and biodynamic farming practices in an economically beneficial way for Egyptian farmers, and the 5-step path Sekem envisions for achieving their 2057 vision.

Helmy says of their work and success: “Economy of love and biodynamic agriculture, both together would not have been enough without a real continuous care for potential unfolding of every member of the community, of the kids, of the people in the community and around us without our holistic educational programs.”

To hear more, listen to the full episode of Roots to Renewal wherever you get your podcasts, or on our website here.

Special thanks to Tierra Farm, a family-owned manufacturer and distributor of organic dried fruits and nuts that puts the people they serve and the planet we share before all else, for their continued generous support of this podcast.