CULTURE • INNOVATION • TECHNOLOGY
Travelling the world with my intrepid documentary filmmaking parents, I had a childhood of unlikely adventures. Featured on the cover of Australian Geographic swimming with dolphins, going to school in the Cook Islands, and painting a Sherpa school in the Himalayas, I didn't experience a typical growing-up.
From expeditions that saw me share morning tea with the Dalai Lama, to breakfast with Sting and Raoni, dancing barefoot with the Masai Mara, and participating in a Tahitian archaeological dig searching for signs of early Polynesian settlement, my formative years encouraged me to embrace cultural diversity and the creative.
These early experiences shaped a young mind that naturally relished exploring emerging social, cultural and consumer trends.
My path continues to encourage the unexpected, working as a creative entrepreneur coach, design thinker, leadership facilitator, and innovation strategist.
And yet, in spite of my distance from certain childhood experiences and my exposure to wonderous and diverse ways of life, I still suffered from modern societal pressures.
Sure, I pushed the envelope. My 'Burning Man' name might have been Boundary Bender. I might have been surfing at a time when other girls did as expected, sunning themselves on the beach, while dishing-out praise for the guys on their ride. I knew in my heart that I wanted to play big and be visible, but my mind didn't always believe it.
I went on to push myself hard in the Creative Industries, eventually burning out while supporting lots of projects and helping other people to shine. One day I recognized that I'd lost my free spirit and buried my soul. I found myself waking up feeling angry, resentful and under-acknowledged: despite the support I gave generously to others, I'd failed to shine myself.
When I had a child (my 'pregnant pause'), I had time to reflect on where I’d been, what I had done, and the choices I’d made. I decided to redesign my life to represent the woman I knew I could be. And to help other women do the same.
Inspired by the teachings of Dr. Claire Zammit on women's empowerment, I immersed myself in Claire's global leadership training program and became a Transformational Coach & Facilitator. As a coach, I am dedicated to changing culture and creating an environment in which talented women in design, arts, film, architecture, science, tech, and leadership, proudly claim the recognition they so rightly deserve.
The leader within me that continues to emerge, comes from a place of profoundly recognizing her vulnerability and her imperfections, while also acknowledging and embracing her own power with grace and gentleness. Today I stand for a new paradigm, for leading and being with ourselves, in a way that is self-supporting, self-loving and fun.
I have led a range of co-design initiatives in South Africa, Europe, North America and Australia working across corporates, agencies, co-operatives, entrepreneurs and NGO’s. I love solving problems (or creating better ones) using design-led innovation and regularly teach Human-Centered Design, Creative Intelligence, Entrepreneurship and Leadership at university.