Q&A with Felipe Faria

Felipe Faria graduated with a law degree in 2004 and completed a master’s in economic and corporate law at Fundação Getúlio Vargas in 2007. He spent three years as the civil court negotiator in the city of Barueri in the state of Sao Paulo. Currently, Felipe is the CEO of the Green Building Council Brasil, an organization that has accelerated the greening of Brazil’s construction industry, making it one of the top five markets in the world for LEED and influencing large-scale projects such as the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games.

Illustration by: Tristan Chace

Q.What is your greatest fear?
Honestly, my greatest fear is a syringe.

Q.Which historical figure do you most identify with?
Historical figures inspire me a lot. I would name Joan of Arc. Her determination, courage, and faith are impressive.

Q.Which living person do you most admire?
Mr. Zé Luiz. He is an unknown hero who lives in a village located [in the] Amazon rainforest. He has an unbelievable ancestral knowledge and awareness about what really matters during our journey of life. And a two-hour conversation with him is enough to transform a life in a good way.

Q.What is your greatest extravagance?
Purchasing an overpriced ticket during the 2014 World Cup quarterfinals in Brazil.

Q.What is your favorite journey?
I love to travel around Brazil and I have amazing memories traveling abroad with great people from the green building movement. It is not easy to choose a favorite one. However, an experience that everybody needs is to visit the Amazon rainforest.

Q.What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
Prudence. Sometimes we need to assume risks.

Q.Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi. I love this phrase.

Q.What is your greatest regret?
I regret not continuing to practice martial arts, surfing, soccer, and piano. I now suffer when I return to any of these activities—especially when I play soccer against someone who is 15 years younger than me. No matter how busy we are, we always need to make time to spend with family, friends, and practice our hobbies.

Q.Which talent would you most like to have?
I would like to sing.

Q.What do you consider your greatest achievement?
My greatest achievement—alongside the 10 years spent working at Green Building Council Brasil—has been that green building has become the best business model in the Brazilian construction industry, no matter the sector or market segment.

Q.If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what do you think it would be?
A big migratory bird such as an eagle. I love the idea of visiting different places. Birds have a strong sense of fidelity. Birds also have a free and independent life, without being egocentric.

Q.What is your most treasured possession?
My experiences are so far my most treasured possessions. For that reason, I force myself to make time to enjoy friends, places, hobbies, and family. Surrounded by good people you will have the best experiences.

Q.What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

Q.What is your most marked characteristic?

Q.Who are your heroes in real life?
Anyone who will teach me how to be the change that I wish to see in the world.

Q.What is it that you most dislike?
Popular media vehicles that allocate a huge space in their channels to cover negative news instead of spending more time promoting and supporting those who are making positive changes for the benefit of all.

Q.What is your motto?
A unique light beam is enough to put away various shadows. Keep your mind strong, be perseverant, and nourish positive thoughts and objectives. One person is enough to change the world, so imagine a group of professionals and companies that work collaboratively to focus on green buildings and communities.

Q.What will you have them put on your tombstone?
Busy! Planning his return to Earth.