Max Comfort trained at the Architectural Association at the time of Archigram’s plug-in cities, student riots and flower power. He has designed mile-wide geodesic domes for Eskimos, mansions for Mick Jagger, flats for old age pensioners, recording studios for the music industry and exceedingly large office blocks for exceedingly large property developers. He also had a go at extending the National Gallery but Prince Charles put a stop to it.
In the early 80s, working out of a luxury motorhome, Max became a roving spiritual and intentional community planner in the Pacific Northwest, using meditation and intuition to plot drains, roads, homes and temples. Back in the UK, having experienced at first hand the excesses of the Thatcher years, he embarked on the task of integrating Spirit into Business, using his long experience of personal development to lead workshops and trainings, among them the Max Comfort Masterclass, an intuition-led exploration of the relationship between self and work. One of the UK’s first holistic business consultants, he uses strategies and methods based on his own philosophy for the ethical resolution of problems and the non-destructive reaching of goals.
His current work encompasses many strands – writing, lecturing, tutoring, teaching, mentoring, training and coaching – with a central theme of helping people make a good living doing what they are passionate about. At some of the UK’s top creative colleges, he helps students and young entrepreneurs to prepare and plan their professional careers, to grow their confidence, particularly around presentation and pricing, and to build strong bridges between art, innovation and business. He encourages a triple bottom line approach to business, believing that exploitation has to give way now to stewardship as the core commercial imperative.
This informs his interest in social enterprise, ethical business, and working closely with his local community – Stroud, in Gloucestershire – to bring about some of the UK’s first co-housing projects and Community Land Trusts, creating – among other benefits – affordable housing and workspace. In his spare time, he is a social entrepreneur and change agent, liking nothing better than the challenge: “It can’t be done!”
With Maya Phillips, Max co-wrote The A to Zen of Life Maintenance, a self-development book based on the effective use of intuition, published by Element in 1996. His book on the growing work phenomenon of multi-tasking, Portfolio People, was published by Random House in 1997, and he has lectured and broadcast widely on the subject ever since. He is currently working on a book based on his work with would-be creative entrepreneurs; called Who Needs a Proper Job Anyway? , it addresses the changes taking place in the world of work, where certainty and security now give way to curiosity and adventure, and challenges those about to leave academe to harness their imagination, anger and energy to the healing of a world in pain.
Max embarked on his career as a non-conformist aged 12, leafleting an entire New Town against the fluoridation of water, actively engaging with the anti-Vietnam War protest in the 1960s, arguing for pan-Arcticism and Inuit rights, taking up causes like appropriate technologies for Tibetan refugees in India, and supporting adults with learning disabilities to become genuinely independent and self-advocatory.
To use a word currently in vogue, he delights in the positive disruption of business models based on Fear and its companion Greed, advocating a more equitable sharing of the Earth’s resources and the products of incredible human ingenuity.