Fire Circle

Our Story

Supporting the emergence of leaders through Earth wisdom.

What is the Fire Circle?

The Fire Circle is a space which brings together Elders from First Nations and other wisdom traditions with business leaders around the world.

By listening to great teachers, we can unlock the potential of our own relationship with Earth. This connection between Nature, business and spirituality allows each of us to contribute to the global economic transition that is transforming the ways we live and work. Like drops of rain forming a stream, our personal regeneration can lead to our planet's regeneration.

How we came into being?

In July 2020, when Matt gently challenged Lorna at an online event about the importance of businesses going beyond sustainability, who knew where it would lead. Shortly after he introduced Lorna to his adoptive Yolngu mum in northern Australia and two influential women, from very different worlds, instantly struck up an unexpected connection. Shruthi soon came into the confluence and these four pilgrims started navigating the system collapse together. Unified by a shared vision for deep transformation, they believe that anchoring ourselves in wisdom is the key to our efforts to “build back better”.

Starting with pilot gatherings in November 2020, the team is cultivating a diverse community of leaders who are all committed to working with deep humility, reverence and relationship with our Earth. We’re learning and growing with this project, curious of the direction it will take and holding it with lightness and dedication as it unfolds before us.

Our team

Elder Djapirri Mununggirritj

Elder Djapirri’s ancestors are from Australia’s North East Arnhem Land, and she grew up as part of the Yolngu First Nations community. We believe there are few people in the world that command the powerful presence and wisdom Djapirri has. She is deeply connected with the Earth, her ancient culture and has spent many decades serving her community, reconciling relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people, sitting on many Boards and advising the Australian Government. She is eager to share her rich wisdom with the business world as we re-imagine our future and cultivate an economy that truly serves the well-being of All.

In Matt’s words … “I met Djapirri in 2017 at the Garma Festival while sitting around a campfire and listening to her share Yolngu wisdom. Her ability of connecting people and speaking from the Earth are a feeling that has reverberated ever since. I’ve heard some people describe her as the female Dalai Lama.” In Yolngu culture, the name ‘Djapirri’ means the carrier of sacred knowledge.

Lorna Davis

Lorna lives in the big smoke of New York. Her ancestors are from England and Ireland and she grew up on the land of the Zulu people in South Africa.

In the words of Shruthi and Matt … “Some know Lorna as the Global B Corp Ambassador or the former CEO of Danone North America, but we see her a little differently. We see Lorna as a pilgrim walking along a path of transformation, a rare business leader who is willing to question her patterns of thought. Hey, she was open to being challenged at an online B Corp event by a young Australian entrepreneur and has wholeheartedly dived into the cascade of conversations that have followed since. Lorna brings much lightness, humility, wisdom and curiosity to all she does. We’re hoping that other CEOs follow Lorna’s lead.”

Lorna was given the Yolngu name of ‘Dhan Dhan’ which relates to the twinkles that surround the Banumbirr (Morning Star).

Matt Sykes

Matt's ancestors are from Yorkshire in England, the Zillerthal Valley of Austria and Norway. He grew up on the lands of the Boonwurrung, Bunurong and Gunaikurnai peoples in West Gippsland, Australia.

In Lorna’s words… “The Matt that I know is young, passionate and earnest. I met Banumbirr when he challenged me at a B Corp meeting by saying that B Corp certification did not go far enough because it was still extractive and that we needed to go further. There was something about his gentle determination that touched me and we talked more and here we are.”

Matt was adopted as Djapirri’s son in 2017 and given the name ‘Banumbirr’ which means the Morning Star.

Shruthi Vijayakumar

Shruthi's ancestors are from Tamil Nadu, South India and she grew up on the land of the Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei people in Aotearoa, New Zealand.

In Lorna’s words... “I met Shruthi when she was doing her MBA with a focus on Social Entrepreneurship at Said Business School (Oxford University). From the moment I met her I knew she was special. Shruthi radiates peace and kindness and is a relentless pursuer of truth. She values integrity and is humble and deeply curious. She is a thoughtful and effective facilitator of group activity.”

Shruthi was given the Yolngu name of ‘Wapurr’ which describes the glassy, calm appearance of a bay or water body.

Acknowledgement of Earth

We acknowledge our Mother Earth and the daily services that her ecosystems provide us. We acknowledge the First Nations people of the lands and waterways from where we gather as well as their Elders past, present & emerging. We acknowledge the many paths of migration and wisdom traditions that enrich our global community through culture, trade and stories.