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 who command the powerful presence and wisdom Djapirri has. She is deeply connected with the Earth, and 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 in the land of the Zulu people in South Africa.

Inspired by the teachings of indigenous teachers, Lorna supports the shift in the way leaders operate so that they settle down and allow their inner wisdom to guide their activities and use their businesses as a force for good. She runs retreats, workshops and coaches individuals while also serving on the board of several organisations that are committed to a meaningful purpose.

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 willing to question her thought patterns. 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 surrounding the Banumbirr (Morning Star).

Matt Sykes

Matt's ancestors are from Yorkshire in England, the Zillertal Valley of Austria and Norway.

Based on the traditional lands of the Boonwurrung Peoples of the Kulin Nation, he empowers purpose-driven leaders to work with Nature. Matt chose an unconventional business education pathway, combining learning experiences with First Nations Elders, ecotourism guiding and a postgraduate degree at the University of Cambridge. He now works internationally with startups, industry pioneers and collective impact alliances through his B Corp consultancy Regeneration Projects.

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.

Nora Silva

Nora's ancestors are from Spain and Portugal and the land of the Nahua people is where she was born and raised in Colima, México. She's now based in Wurundjeri Country, Melbourne Australia.

Nora studied and worked in the tourism industry and enhanced her professional background in the mining, government and sustainability sectors. She draws knowledge from First Nations peoples and Western education, holding a master's degree in Environment from the University of Melbourne. She supports initiatives moving toward a Regenerative future while building her own educational platform on inner & outer regeneration.

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.

She has over ten years of experience in coaching, leadership development, innovation and sustainability working with social entrepreneurs, business leaders and teaching university students. She has a deep appreciation for her Vedantic spiritual roots from India and deep respect for Māori approaches which she finds very resonant to these. Shruthi also holds an MBA from the University of Oxford.

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.