What is Industrial Healing?

And what does it have to do with me and you?

B. Lorraine Smith


Photo inside Tena Kabena — a school, medicine garden, honey producer, river clean up, and so much more — in the heart of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia exhibiting #IndustrialHealing at its best. (Photo by me/2016)

I talk about “Industrial Healing” a fair bit. I use it regularly as a hashtag. I work it into most of my articles. It’s kind of a big thing for me. But what does it mean? And, more importantly, what does it have to do with any of us?

In this piece, I’ll sketch it out with a little more texture than a hashtag can offer. And I’ll highlight the two simple — and essential, yet challenging to achieve — things each of us needs to do, to get there.

To be clear, I am by no means the Knower Of All Things. However, I have a fair bit to draw on. Over the decades, I have been backstage with many industry sectors across many regions, working on the evolution of “sustainable business” as well as environmental, social and governance (ESG) disclosures. I have been in a lot of factories, mine sites, plantations, and executive presentations — in a few languages for extra good measure.

Throughout all of this, I have observed that in spite of all the ambitions and resources dedicated to improvement, we have a long way to go for businesses — and the whole economy — to work in service of life. Most haven’t even deigned to aspire to this.

That’s where Industrial Healing comes in. It’s what happens when…

… all industries — across all sectors and regions — enable all life to thrive.

Simply by existing, companies make humans and ecosystems healthier. That’s industry causing healing. What about the industrial size of the idea?

This is about healing on an industrial scale. Like the way Google was two fellows exploring an idea in the 1990s and now it’s a verb. Or how no one had a smart phone in 1990 and everyone has one now. Except that instead of the massive, widespread adoption of a product or service in pursuit of profit…

… it’s the massive, widespread adoption of products and…



B. Lorraine Smith

Former sustainability consultant replacing ESG with reality-based insights about corporate purpose and impact. https://www.blorrainesmith.com/