About Emanuel Kuntzelman

A social entrepreneur, writer, motivational speaker and environmentalist, Emanuel Kuntzelman has dedicated his life to raising environmental awareness, promoting cultural understanding, and advocating for world peace through personal development and social action.  Emanuel founded the Chicago-based non-profit Greenheart International in 1985 and served as its President/CFO until 2019, and continues as Chief Advisor to the organization.

He is a founding co-creator of the Global Purpose Movement, which has recently merged with Unity Earth in order to co-produce the “Purpose Earth” event in New York City on Sept. 19, 2020. He is also the co-founder of Fundacion por el Futuro in Madrid, Spain where he’s served as its president since its inception in 1995. On the island of Ibiza, Spain, Emanuel has been a supporter of Greenheart Music and the Casita Verde environmental center. He also founded the Ibiza Spirit Festival.   

Through his work at Greenheart, the Fundación por el Futuro, Center for Cultural Interchange Spain, Carthage International College and other endeavors, his professional career has primarily focused on developing international exchange programs with an emphasis on promoting cultural understanding, personal development, and social action in pursuit of a world that is environmentally sustainable and peacefully cooperative.

Over the last 35 years Emanuel has lectured throughout the U.S. and Europe, and has organized numerous retreats and conferences, including three Purpose Summits in San Francisco and Berlin.  He currently serves on the boards of Greenheart International, Integral Transformative Practice International, the Laszlo Institute for New Paradigm Research and UNITY EARTH. He is also a member of the Evolutionary Leaders Circle, a project of the Source of Synergy Foundation.  He is a contributor to the recent book Intelligence of the Cosmos and is co-editor of the publications Purpose Rising and Purpose to the People: a handbook to radical transformation.

Challenging the Status Quo Since Childhood

From an early age, Emanuel was awakened to the sense of responsibility to create positive change and help society evolve into a more cooperative and compassionate culture.  Throughout high school, he stood up against the Viet Nam war and in support of civil rights, creating publications and discussion groups that fostered alternatives to the assumptions of mainstream thinking. Unpopular as his activism was in the conventional Illinois communities where he grew up, he was somewhat tolerated by his peers—not least for quarterbacking his high school football team to a conference championship. 

In the early 1970s, Emanuel attended Tulane University on a scholarship program that allowed him to design his own curriculum in sociology. A major influence on his early thinking, Professor Jeffrey K. Hadden pointed out that exponential changes in population growth, environmental deterioration, increasing armaments and technology were propelling society towards unprecedented world crisis. It was here that Dr. Hadden ignited in Emanuel the dream of social transformation, a quest to facilitate the cooperation of progressive organizations into a worldwide movement.

After transferring to the Sorbonne in Paris to continue his studies, it wasn’t long until Emanuel decided that formal academia was incapable of providing him the kind of creative education he would need to catalyze real change. So in 1973, he set out on his own self-determined search for higher understanding.

A Spiritual Journey with Many Mentors

For the next seven years, he traveled extensively throughout Europe and the United States, seeking mentors who might help empower his desire to improve society. This journey took him to the Mediterranean island of Formentera, where he became a friend, worker, and student of the philosopher and entrepreneur Ronimund von Bissing. In turn, von Bissing introduced him to the works of George Gurdjieff, Peter Ouspenski, John Bennet, and others.

In 1977, von Bissing and Emanuel visited the Monastery of Montserrat where they met Indonesian spiritual teacher Pak Subuh. It was at this meeting that Pak Subuh advised the young seeker to embrace his true self by changing his birth name and finding self-realization in the name “Emanuel.”

Towards the end of the 1970s, von Bissing counseled Emanuel to give up the intention to travel east. Instead, he advised him to settle in a European capital to prove how he could enact positive change within the day to day of the working world. Emanuel chose Madrid—and this has remained his primary residence for most of the last 40 years.

Throughout the early 1980s, Emanuel worked as a teacher, editor, and writer; his primary source of income was writing pseudonymous cultural pieces on Spain for Reader’s Digest magazine. One article in particular—which interpreted the return of Picasso’s masterpiece Guernica as a symbol of democratic renewal in post-Franco Spain—was published worldwide, enabling a struggling author to pay the bills in a foreign land.

By 1984, Emanuel was ready for a change. He petitioned the universe to send him guidance as to which path to take next. The person to appear was David Tiedeman, former mathematics professor at Harvard, vocational specialist, and founder of the LifeCareer Foundation. Tiedeman’s cutting edge theory was the inspirational message Emanuel needed; it helped give him the courage to work out the mechanics of his Evolutionary Wave Theory and then to move on to entrepreneurship. It was also Tiedeman who motivated Emanuel to first undertake public speaking and organize workshops as a way to present his theory of social transformation.

Purpose-Filled Work Toward Transformation

In 1985, Center for Humanistic Interchange was founded by Emanuel in Spain and the United States. As an organization, CHI (an intentional acronym chosen to represent the divine energy behind all existence) flourished, but in 1992 CHI was renamed as the Center for Cultural Interchange (later to become Greenheart International) to recognize the growing emphasis on cultural exchange programs in its operations. 

In 1990, Emanuel became President of Carthage International College, both in the U.S. and Spain, as a result of acquiring a college campus in Carthage, IL. The project was not the most prosperous of entrepreneurial adventures, but it was auspicious. Here, Emanuel met Laura Rose, who joined him as both business and emotional partner in 1991. They were married in 1995 and have lived happily ever after as such, to this day. Laura continues to provide the love and organizational support necessary to maintain the expanding cultural exchange projects.

Expanding their transformative work beyond cultural exchange experiences, Emanuel and Laura created the Fundación por el Futuro (Foundation for the Future) in 1995, based in Madrid, which has supported various projects over the years on the island of Ibiza, Spain. It was during a visit to the island they met Chris Dews and began sponsoring his Casita Verde environmental center in 2000. It was out of this work with Chris and Casita Verde that the concept of Greenheart emerged in 2003.

The following year, Greenheart Music, headed by Ingmar Hansch, was founded in partnership with the Foundation for the Future. The first Greenheart Shop was also established by the Foundation in Ibiza in 2006. The notion of Greenheart was first presented to the CCI cultural exchange community in 2004, and the theme was gradually woven into the non-profit’s mission, culminating in the name change to Greenheart International in 2013. The organization now oversees the four main branches of Greenheart Exchange, Greenheart Travel, Greenheart Shop and Greenheart Transforms.

In 2013, Emanuel brought together a collective of organizations to synchronize efforts, accelerate the evolutionary process and increase environmental awareness. Gatherings were held in Arizona, California, Illinois, and Colorado, with an increasing number of participants and a growing number of projects for social action. This informal, decentralized collective has now adopted the name the Global Purpose Movement.  In collaboration with dozens of like-minded organizations, GPM seeks to empower both individuals and communities to pursue transformative social action, personal development, and conscious evolution. Building on the Global Purpose Movement’s successful inaugural Purpose Summit last year in San Francisco, Emanuel is excited to help bring this flagship event to Berlin and back to San Francisco in 2018.

Recognizing the singularity of our particular moment and the imperative for meaningful change, Emanuel continues to advocate for conscious evolution through his multi-faceted work. Emanuel has recently published the book Purpose Rising, co-edited by Dustin DiPerna, which explores the collective potential for positive change in relation to leading scientific research. He also continues to collaborate with Hungarian philosopher and systems theorist, Ervin Laszlo and contributed to Laszlo’s recent book, Intelligence of the Cosmos. 

Emanuel’s work has now come full circle and he is implementing the original concepts of social transformation that Professor Hadden unveiled nearly a half century ago. He is also currently writing and researching for a new book that will elaborate upon the ways in which the Wave Theory will help us understand the potential for humanity to make a quantum leap in consciousness and preserve the world for future generations.

If time was a critical factor back in the 1970s when Emanuel set out on his search—and it was—we are now long overdue for collective, conscious evolution. As the antiquated social order continues to deteriorate, Emanuel is passionate that now is the time to come together in truth and agapic love to co-create a compassionate world that works for the good of all life.

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