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The AMAZON Taking positive actions ‘Insurmountable’ is not an obstacle

Young at

HEART London’s oldest independent Brewery celebrates it’s birthday

Through The CAMERA Lens #andme

Let’s start addressing both sides of gender equality

HEALING & The Modern Businessman Why doctors need Douglas Ballard

The Art of Building Wealth

BESPOKE Experience

Stephen Collins on what it takes to refurbish homes for the super rich


Roberto Carlos & Brigitte Lawler connecting athletes and business people


LISTENING to each other

Airbus HIS’s Mickael Melaye Secret to a happy and inclusive workforce

The diamond shape Symbol of life, harmony and spirituality, the diamond shape tells the eternal story of womanhood. The infinity knot is a symbol of Eternal Love with no Beginning and no End. Restoring the sacred feminine is rebalancing the Divine Masculine and the Divine Feminine integral to our collective healing. THE SPIRAL at the Zenith, reflects the universal pattern of growth and evolution and represents the goddess, the womb, fertility and life force energy like water. THE STONE at the nadir, at 6 o’clock represents the south, the sun, the fire, and radiates the masculine energy. The sun is a symbol of power, growth, health, passion, and the cycle of life. To a unique watch! By its lines and shape the Delance watch embodies the values women care for. While the basic shape never changes, the watch becomes unique for each woman. Emotionally personalised, it tells her story, her dreams and her taste; through the choice of engraving and gemstones set at specific hours, symbolising the first kiss, the birth of a child, an extraordinary wish, or a special memory. delancewatches.com

Sovereign Magazine

How acceptable is to be told what to think, who to be or what to do? This fall brought us a wave of rising businesswomen, who are not ready to settle for less. As Autumn sets in and we leave Summer behind, leaves have a change in colours. Sovereign too matured it’s colours and now is the best season to take our journey together into holistic wealth, as we take in a breath-taking array of autumnal shades from this month’s edition. I decided to be more daring than usual, and asked Evelyn Okpanachi (this edition Cover Girl) to share with us a day in her life. Successful people are generously giving away their wisdom and Evelyn is no exception. She is graciously open about how she invests her time and energy in helping others, hopelessly in love with the potentiality that is so evident in every woman, even if they themselves may not see it yet. If anything, Evelyn is known for helping others become more– while wrapped up in her deep respect for time and being on time, no matter what, all part of her trademark and personal charisma. Also in this edition, we speak to Mickael Melaye. As a senior business leader, his career has been defined by building diverse and successful teams. “Not only in terms of the traditional forms of diversity but also in terms of diversity of thought”, and how he encourages colleagues to keep their individual voices. Finally, there is a lot to learn from the Amazon rainforest disaster: We look at just some of the organisations working on the ground right now and discover it has never been a better time for planting new trees or new ways of thinking. On reflection, women and trees are like love. Without them, there is nothing.

MarinaNani Dr Marina Nani Editor-in-chief


In this issue Editorial List Editor-in-Chief Dr Marina Nani


Darie Nani

Business Editor Darie Nani


Brigitte Lawler Danna Levy Hoffman Elaine France Elaine Pringle-Schwitter Lesley Calvo Lili Giglia Sandra Deira


Alexis Boddy Beth Davies

Guest Contributors Dr Stella Vig


Cover Photography

Santoshi Padhiar (Photographer) Ambreen Shamim



2 Editors Letter

Marina Nani welcomes readers

6 Imagine a world where people are listening to each other. Interview with MD of Airbus HIS, Mickael Melaye, on inclusion in the workplace.


10 The frequency of success Lesley Calvo interviews

founder of Australian Woman’s Day, Nicole Rowan

12 Transforming lives For

many entrepreneurs, there is a moment in their lives when they feel called to something greater, something bigger than themselves. Interview with Patricia Ralijemisa

14 The world is not ready for me Interview with disability advocate Dr Hannah BarhamBrown

Published by MTN Press Limited. Printed in the United Kingdom



Sovereign Magazine

16 A day in the life of Evelyn

Gone are the days when building wealth was about holding an investment portfolio. We spend the day with a new breed of Business Woman. This issue’s cover story.

20 For the love of sport We

spend an evening with Ian Stafford and sporting personalities at the Sporting Club.

23 A truly bespoke experience Stephen Collins,

founder and CEO of Richemont Construction, has taken this concept of a bespoke service to a whole new level. His company specialises in luxury, highend property refurbishments and construction projects.

26 Young at heart London's’

oldest independent brewery celebrates it’s birthday and looks to the future.

18 22

28 The sport of business In

this issue’s column, Brigitte Lawler applies the lessons of sport to business.

30 One screen for all your apps We speak to David Gavasheli

about how his company is reinventing the internet browser.

32 Bridging the gap between companies and students Why four university friends

decided to change the way interns find companies.

34 With no end in sight The

world is losing interest in the Hong Kong protests, activist must remain relevant if they wish to succeed.

36 Disinformation could sway the 2020 election and you might be surprised where all the fake news will come from

39 Healing & the modern business man A remarkable story


25 32

of a businessman turned healer. Douglas Ballard discovered from a young age that he had an extraordinary healing touch.

42 Building blocks How Virginie

Legros Guignard is using innovations in technology to rebuild communities across the globe

44 Social change The new

social media platform where brands reward users.

46 The Amazon A catastrophic failure of words and actions.

50 Learn to move mountains Bright ideas to take www.sovereignmagazine.co.uk

action in our communities and for the planet don’t just pop-up already formed. Innovation starts in the soupy unformed mess of everyday life.


52 Stories from Indonesia’s coasts Why fishermen are abandoning destructive practices.

54 Leaving No One Behind Paradigm Global Innovation


on why implementing a digitally focused curriculum in Africa is key to meeting UN’s CDP 2030 pledge

56 Modern hunter-gatherer children When Eteni, a 13-month-old baby living in the dense rain-forests of Congo, attempts to cut freshly hunted meat with a sharp knife, no one interferes.

58 A climate change curriculum It’s too late to protect


them from it, so how do teachers tell children about climate change without scaring them?

60 Through the camera lens: #Andme if a man wrote this article it would probably be called ‘mansplaining’, luckily it isn’t

62 Wanderlust How Kate Parkyn is using her passion for travel to inspire people to embark on new adventures.


64 High definition: People, please & Cats It is never too late in life to try something new and with determination and the right skills you will succeed.

68 Well aligned What does your nail polish say about your health?

70 Stress or digest? Deliciously sustainable lifestyle changes from Danna Levy Hoffman


72 The magic pot Ancient

Frescoes cover-ups versus present day

74 Like mother, like daughter How Martha Bernal and Alexandra Lange Bernal are fundamentally changing how mothers and daughters relate.

76 Is yoga a solution for fertility? Valentina Salonna on yoga, science and acceptance

78 Reclaiming inner peace after a burnout Reclaiming

peace within yourself can be an arduous task; one that can take years. With some helpful guidance and advice, it is a sight that suddenly does not seem so unattainable.


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Imagine: a world where people are listening to each other


senior business leader within the aviation industry with over 25 years of global experience in leading and managing various aspects of the business including business development, operations, finance, HR and technical leadership for organisations such as Airbus, Babcock MCS and CHC. A driver of strategic growth, a synergist and a propagator of sustainable development and value creation, his expertise lies in sharing organisation vision with business unit leaders as well as employees and all stakeholders in order to drive consensus in handling the challenging business situations in ambiguous and volatile business environments. With a firm belief in maintaining professional integrity, fairness and accountability for decisions, Mickael strives to ensure that the targets of business development, new establishments, increased revenues, reduced costs and improved profitability are delivered. As Managing Director of Airbus HIS, Mickael spearheads all business operations, undertaking strategic decisions relating to financial & performance analysis, budgets & operating plans, investment prospects and risk management & compliance to drive growth. Over the years, he has provided leadership in the areas of change, P&L, revenue enhancement, quality, brand acquisition, management of international teams, and the consolidation and streamlining of different business units.


Mickael states that integrity, sustainability and courage are his dominant values. They are rooted in his family history and legacy and he was raised to live by these values. In an ever changing world he has found them to be a reliable source of guidance and grounding. As strong advocate for diversity and inclusion, Mickael works with various organisations and groups globally to bring his vision of diverse and inclusive workplaces to the fore. His chosen occupations have enabled him to work in different countries around the world, meeting new people, learning about new cultures and discovering new ways of life. His varied experiences in life have given him valuable insight into embracing change, how to take ownership and how to accept uncertainty with a sense of optimism. As well as undertaking his responsibilities as Managing Director, Mickael also works as a Mentor and qualified Integral and INSEAD Executive Coach. In his free time, he enjoys nothing more than spending quality time with his family.

Great leaders are known for their desire to make a significant difference. What drives you, what keeps you motivated and focused during tough times? I am a firm believer in equality, diversity, and inclusion. Generally when people think of diversity they think of gender diversity but there is so much more to it than that. There is ethnicity, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, etc. It isn’t always something you can see or measure. I strive to build diverse teams, not only in terms of the traditional forms of diversity but also in terms of diversity of thought, and I encourage my colleagues to keep their individual voices. Nothing motivates me more and helps me focus than when I am surrounded by these teams, all working together, using their various strengths, bringing different viewpoints to the table, working toward the same goal. It is in these moments that I truly feel like I am making a difference and that anything is possible.

Mickael Melaye is the current Managing Director of Airbus HIS, an Airbus entity based in Dublin with over 200 staff deployed worldwide.


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What ideas come most naturally to you? As Managing Director, I feel my duty to my team goes far beyond simply making the big or tough decisions; I have a duty of care to nurture and support each individual. Luckily this is something that enjoy and it comes quite easily to me. In the past I have undertaken numerous coaching courses and am a qualified INSEAD coach. What started as a fleeting interest became a huge part of how I work. The fast pace of change in the corporate world means that people can find it difficult to keep up and with the skills I have honed through my coaching practice, I work to support those around me in a structured way to achieve their goals as well as to achieve long term excellence. It is beautiful to see my colleagues grow and develop and is the most rewarding aspects of my job. What brings you the most joy in life? First and foremost, my family mean the world to me and everything I do is for them. My wife is a strong and passionate woman who challenges me, supports me, and I wouldn’t be who I am or where I am without her. In terms of what brings me the most joy from my career, I would have to say that it’s collaborative working. Nothing brings me more pleasure in the workplace than witnessing teams working together. Seeing the smooth flow of creative thinking bringing processes to life is when you know that you are on the right track. How is your mind hard-wired to deliver a goal, from internal clarity to reality? One of my experiences in management is around complex circumstances and how individuals and teams react to this. It is an important topic since the pace at which complexity pops up in our lives has significantly increased over the last few years. The more complex a situation, the more I relish the challenge. I do not work alone and I do not believe in working in silos. Just as no single individual has the answer, there is no one way of getting across the finish line. Once a goal has been set, I find the right circle of people with diverse skill-sets to surround myself with, and we work together to motivate and inspire each other all the way from the beginning of a project to its completion. I thrive on the passion of others and I am learning from others every day. This has always been and always will be my mind-set; collaborative working is the only way forward. What is one thing you will never tire of? Nurturing and supporting people is something I enjoy; even if it wasn’t a part of my current role, it is something that I firmly believe I will spend the rest of my life doing. Helping people to realise and reach their full potential is my addiction.


If people could just come together and have their voices heard, the world would change instantly and anything would be possible

What are some of the top challenges you had to overcome, and what are the scars, if any, along the way? I have been dealing with crises and re-organisations all throughout my career. So much so that it’s now become the norm. Adverse situations are always going to be on the horizon and getting through them is all about how you approach them. Viewing a challenge as simply that, a challenge, means that it can be overcome. A challenge is merely an obstacle. And what do we do with obstacles? We jump over them, push through them. There is a lot to be said for going into a situation and embracing it. Acknowledge the emerging parameters from an early stage in order to shape a new and better understanding of the circumstances. What is your best project so far? I could answer this question with a highbrow corporate answer but in reality it’s my family. I refer to my family as a ‘project’ because marriage and parenthood are a continual work in progress. You will never stop learning something new, you will never cease to be surprised, and the rewards are endless. They motivate me. They drive me. They inspire me. All of the good I have in life is down them. What are three top tips for executives who dream big? This is a very simple question for me to answer, stay curious, listen and never assume! Would you do what you do without being paid for it? Coaching, mentoring, anything around the development of an individual. I have undertaken numerous coaching courses and money making is not yet central to my activities as a coach. I do it because I enjoy it. The impact in the behaviours of my mentees is a big reward. To observe them more peaceful, grounded and at ease with their circumstances or simply just being themselves is reward enough for me. What is your wildest dream? What would you do if you had a magic wand? If I had a magic wand I would cast a spell that would mean people would listen to each other and actually hear what’s being said; basically listening for the sake of listening and not for the purposes of answering. If people could just come together and have their voices heard, the world would change instantly and anything would be possible.

You are known for your business mastery. How often do you travel in business? What is your family saying about being away from home? As I work in a worldwide organisation, travelling is part and parcel of the job and my family understand and support this. I include my wife in every decision I make, be it professional or personal. We are a team. We are a multinational/multicultural family with global careers (my wife is a helicopter pilot) and so we compromise, find a happy medium, and make the best decisions for our family together. Is anything happening right now that is exciting either in your organisation, career or personal life? Can we help you break the news? I have recently signed up to be a part of the Aviation Industry Advisory Committee for the Year of Inclusion with the DCU (Dublin City University) Centre of Excellence. The purpose of the Committee is to build and grow knowledge and awareness of diversity and inclusion across the aviation industry, with an initial focus on building gender balance. This will be launched on October 9th 2019 and the Committee will be working to prepare events and initiatives for roll out in 2020. As diversity and inclusion are so close to my heart, I am excited to be a part of this project and am very much looking forward to the year ahead! How do you see your vision changing the future, and how do you see yourself creating that change? My vision for more diverse and inclusive organisations is becoming more widespread. I am doing my small part by changing my little corner of the world in my current role but I am also reaching out to others to assist in making a bigger impact. Countless groups and initiatives are being set up with this same goal in mind and it is wonderful to see that change is on the way. I work closely with the Professional Women’s Network, the 30% Club Ireland, and now with the DCU Centre of Excellence, all in a bid to make the necessary changes happen. In 2002, I was training the first female search and rescue pilot for the Navy and a prominent magazine approached us as they wanted to write an article about her. I was asked what I thought of this lady’s achievement and all I could respond was “In the future I hope that there won’t be ‘female’ pilots, there will just be pilots.” Milestones have been reached within every industry in terms of diversity but there is still much work to be done. Diversity is not a luxury; it is a necessity, an urgent necessity.



Sovereign Magazine


ow do you measure success? Is it through achieving the goals you set yourself, or making money — or does it need to be something deeper? Does happiness even come into the conversation?

Are we now at a point in society where we want more — need more — than purely material gains? Our brains constantly produce thought waves. Neural science has shown that these vibrations magnetise towards us more of the same, so whatever we think about, we bring about. Whatever you choose to focus on, to emphasise within your life, has the power to bring about transformational change within yourself and the world around you. In this article, I will be interviewing Nicole Rowan. As an award-winning marketer and business coach for female thought leaders, and creator of two multi-million-dollar businesses, Nicole has always had an eye for the bigger vision. Now her greatest vision yet is coming to life, in the creation of Australian Women’s Day. What inspired your desire to make an impact on the world? I knew as a little girl I was here for something bigger than me, I just never knew what it was. After we sold our company and I had my first child. I felt my identity stripped away and friendships eroded. Who was I now? I felt a deep loss of what was but at the same time I felt a love and purpose that I had never felt before. It was in a moment of deep sadness that I decided that I would finally live my destiny and this changed my life forever. This was when, 11 years ago, I saw a vision of creating a national day for my country called Australian Women’s Day and a new cultural identity called Sistership. What do you feel is the most important part of your journey so far? To follow my gut feel above all else. I see this as my superpower and the aliveness inside my heart and body is the GPS that guides me. If I feel curiosity, excite-


ment or joy then I step towards this with inspired action. If not then I wait or say no, even if the project looks amazing in theory. When I move into this inspired action with an unwavering trust there is always an ease and flow to life, money and love. How do you follow your own inner truth? There is so much noise in the world today both on-line and inside our heads. Did you know that we have 60,000 thoughts per day. That’s a lot of conversations. It is important to me to understand which thoughts to act on and which to not. I refuse to let the voice of fear create my destiny. In order for me to be aligned, I quieten my mind, connect to my body and enter the visionary right brain. From here I create, strategise and develop monthly, weekly and daily goals. Who are you helping now? On a personal level I am a business coach for purpose driven action takers who desire to make a difference in the world. They are ready to step up, be seen and to live and lead the life beyond their wildest dreams. In my country- I am the Visionary Founder of Australian Women’s Day pioneering the creation of a National Day. A day to celebrate, connect and create cultural change for ALL our women. The date of Australian Women’s Day is the 22nd of September as this is when violence towards women increases by 40.7% given the influence of sporting finals.

What has been your biggest challenge? To understand that failure is success. To realise that the twists and unexpected turns of life and business are not setbacks but breakthroughs. They are an indicator that we are stretching and growing. In my company, we see it as the biggest opportunity for growth and the key to remaining innovators and change makers. Do you think our fears and doubts can be a catalyst and fuel for change? True freedom is reached when a woman can reclaim and honour all her feelings. We live in exciting and challenging times. These times are calling for women to rise, have a voice, be visible and to express herself. Too often women will choose other opinions, dreams and desires above their own. All her potential trapped inside of her. When she learns to see fear as a confirmation of her growth rather than a signal to stop, contract and dream a lesser dream, then she is unstoppable. How do you keep hold of your dream? Focus on pleasure like my life depended upon it - because it does. I know that I can’t become my destiny self by myself. I surround myself with exceptional women (and men) who are not playing small and who inspire me. My health is my wealth so nourishing my body with wholesome foods, early nights, physical movement that brings me joy like dancing, yoga and walking in nature. Being grounded and centred each day. I sit outside in nature with my shoes off and mediate. Being focused on my wholeness in all areas of my life. From motherhood to intimate relationships, career to time with friends. What do you think we can do now to start our own internal revolution and change our own worlds? 1. 2.

3. 4.

First make the decision to change. If you are holding back no amount of to do lists are going to make a difference. Then it’s a matter of doing the work on your limiting beliefs! Whether that is through help from a coach, healer or body worker, whoever you find who can help bring you through. Create a circle of people around you that match where you want to go and inspire you. Understand how powerful you are. No government, corporation man or woman is going to save you. You have to save you! The decisions you make can and will change the world AND shape future generations to come.

To find out more about Nicole and Australian Women’s Day, visit www.australianwomensday.com or find them on Facebook and Instagram.

Lesley Calvó ran an internationally-successful jewellery company alongside her work as a design consultant for Hugo Boss, Dior, Vivienne Westwood, Swarovski and Cartier. For almost two decades, Lesley mentored thousands of people to unleashed their infinite potential. She is a world class Business Growth Coach, and passionate Self Awareness and Transformational Change Advocate.


Sovereign Magazine

Transforming Lives: Patricia Ralijemisa F

By Alexis Boddy

or many entrepreneurs, there is a moment in their lives when they feel called to something greater, something bigger than themselves. A moment when they can see their goals laid out in front of them with stunning clarity, all of their hopes and dreams within their grasp.

For Patricia Ralijemisa, this moment came in 2003 when she was set on her current journey by a divine call. She has since worked tirelessly to improve the lives of people around the world, through her mentoring and her work with schools and communities globally. Born in Madagascar, she earned her undergraduate degree in accounting from Madagascar and has since earned masters degrees in Business Administration, International Relations and Theological Studies from American universities. She uses her accrued knowledge, empathetic awareness and faith to guide her on her path. Did you always want to be an entrepreneur? I was born in Madagascar but have been living in Switzerland since 2014 with my husband and our two children. I’ve lived all over the world from the United States of America to Europe and Africa and travelled to over forty countries. I love travelling because you get to discover new cultures and learn new languages; I speak Malagasy, English, French, and Spanish. My background is in working for international corporations in both the private and the non-profit sectors. I have advised management on utilising their resources effectively to achieve greater economy and efficiency. I enjoyed the work but slowly came to the realisation that there must be more to life. We live in a world where we’re studying, working then retire and I wanted to do something that would really change the world and bring me some true fulfilment. It was an event in 2003 that lead me to the path I’m on now. Can you tell us more about that? God touched my life in July 2003 and I was supernaturally transformed. Before that, I was only concerned about pursuing a career and becoming an accomplished professional woman. Not long after that, I got a revelation of my purpose in life, which is to share the saving love of Jesus Christ to the world and teaching Biblical principles that change people’s lives. Through gradual revelation and increasing compassion for people, I have discovered that I have also been called to minister emotional healing to the brokenhearted and provide freedom for those who are held captive in their own souls. With my husband, through our outreaches in Madagascar, we have been blessed to be able to help the needy, feed the poor and care for the hurting. We see all of these


works as ways of sharing the love of Jesus Christ. We regularly provide lunches to 200 children in primary schools. We also donate funds to a centre which provides a home, education and a healthy life for more than 120 children who are orphaned, abandoned, mistreated or forced into work. During the Christmas holiday season, we help bring joy to families and children by giving out food, clothes and toys – feeding over 500 people and reaching more than 200 families. Can you tell us more about your work ? We want to do so much more as we know that what we currently do is like a drop in a vast ocean. We want to have a significant, positive impact on the world. We want to be part of a greater whole, where people create wealth through entrepreneurship but then also give back more to society. I teach people how to live their lives based on God’s design and will, which is the best guarantee for achieving success, happiness and finding peace and joy. I also mentor and coach those who need more personal help on an individual basis for a certain period of time. What is the best thing about your mission and what keeps you inspired? This idea was first in my heart and I could not get rid of. Finding your passion in life is like that. It’s like the air you breathe. If you don’t do it, you know you will be dying little by little. That keeps me inspired. The best thing about what I do is seeing the positive transformation in the lives of the people I mentor and the revelation they experience through accepting the love of God the Father. Seeing these transformations in my mentees encourages me also to persevere and do more for the people that connect with me. Every day I get to share the love of Jesus Christ through my work and that is something truly fulfilling for me, something that keeps me going on this path. And what is the most challenging part? The world is very noisy, with everyone struggling to be heard over the cacophony. It can be difficult to have your voice heard, particularly on the internet. I know that I have a lifegiving message so I am able to keep going and to remember that my voice is important. What is the best piece of advice you can give someone starting their own business or organisation? To me, success is an alignment of one’s life to God’s plan for him or her. If I am accomplishing my life’s purpose then I am successful because it has been divinely designed. Success is more than having lots of money, lots of material things and fame etc. It is more about creating something of worth and being able to bless and love others through acts of kindness. For anyone out there looking to start their own business or organisation, I would say follow your heart, listen to God, persevere, and never give up. There is a perfect timing for everything. About Patricia Ralijemisa specialises in mentoring people by helping them to break free from past emotional hurt that might still be causing them distress. She equips people with life transforming principles that help them take steps towards fulfilling their life’s purpose and achieve their personal and professional goals.


Sovereign Magazine

The world is not ready By Dr Stella Vig


n this column, I will continue to highlight those individuals who are changing the world we live in for the better by challenging and changing the norm. These are individuals who are unsung heroes and heroines, who are making huge impacts whether in a small community, a profession, a national or international stage. These are the people who make small contributions at first that then snowball into legacy movements. We are surrounded by unconscious bias which steers our decision making and assumptions every single day. This bias is often based on long held and subconsciously learnt rules which have since become fact. Girls wear pink and play with dolls; boys wear blue and play with toy soldiers. People with disabilities cannot achieve and must be looked after as they cannot be independent. The world is changing, and individuals are slowly challenging, breaking and transcending these rules. Whether this is in the sports arena such as the Paralympics or feats of endeavour such as climbing Mount Everest, disabled people are showing the world, ‘Yes, We Can!’. In this edition I interview Dr Hannah Barham-Brown, who is a an advocate for equity both for women and those who are disabled. Her interests are wide and include medical ethics as well as medicine in the media. She regularly blogs about health and disability issues on her personal blog, ‘Wonky Medicine’; and tweets furiously @HannahPopsy. Hannah was diagnosed as having a disability as a final year medical student and needed her wheelchair just before graduation and whilst challenging, this amazing woman has certainly risen to the challenge with humility and resilience. She is fiercely proud of the NHS and is on the Shaw Trust Disability Power 100: a list of the most influential disabled people in the UK. Hannah, please tell us about yourself. I’m a GP Registrar in Leeds, and a wheelchair user. I work part time clinically and spend the rest of my time giving talks about disability and diversity as well as working with the British Medical Association. I am a member of BMA Council and Medical Ethics Committee. I am also part of the Junior Doctors’ Committee which has just agreed the new Junior Doctors’ Contract. I am a member of the Women’s Equality Party and stood as a local Council Candidate in Leeds, and as an EU Parliamentary Candidate in London. I regularly appear in the media talking about a wide range of topics, I’ve given 2 TEDx talks, and in 2018 I entered the ‘Powerlist’ for the Shaw Disability Trust which was humbling. I’m also an Ambassador for two charities; The Eve Appeal and MyAFK. How are you a disabled person? I was diagnosed with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, (a collagen disorder affecting skin, joints, gut and other things) having run a half marathon and left myself with long term injuries following some kneecap dislocations. Since then, my joints have become gradually less stable, and I now use a powerchair or sticks to get around.


What was your initial reaction to your diagnosis? I think initially it was one of relief that there was something wrong with me, and there was a name for it. Having an undiagnosed condition is a very lonely and isolating world, with little support available. The practicalities of how my life was going to work with a disability were my major concern, as I’ve grown up with a disabled mum and so know the huge barriers disabled people still face every day. What concerns did this raise for you as a newly qualified doctor? Simply getting around was a major concern, having to crowdfund a wheelchair in order to do so was not how I planned to spend that year of medical school! Also, the fact that I’d never met another disabled doctor before, so I had no one to turn to for advice or reassurance initially. It turns out there are quite a few of us, but I had no idea at the time! How would you describe your ambition and purpose for your career? I have to be quite realistic about the future of my clinical work; my condition means I experience regular joint dislocations and other injuries, so I probably won’t be able to work as a doctor forever but I’m determined to keep going as long as I can because I really love my job! My other passion centres around making the world a better place for disabled people. I know I’m in a privileged position where I have a platform and the ability to highlight iniquities as I experience them, so I hope to continue doing so (however ‘difficult’ that makes me!). I love politics, so fully plan on developing my career in that direction. What problems need to be solved to ensure equity for those with disabilities? Where to start?! We live in a world designed without disabled people in mind, and as such, even the simplest tasks for other people, such as getting across London or popping to the supermarket, can be huge challenges for us. But there’s a relatively simple solution – involve us at every level! I’ve had so many difficult experiences in terms of the most basic tasks such as train travel; I’ve been left on trains, and at some points have had to travel using my sticks rather than my wheelchair because I’m just so worried about how I’m going to manage the journey on wheels when I can only access ¼ of the tube system. This leaves me in a lot of pain, and far more vulnerable to injury, but I refuse to stop living my life simply because the world isn’t ready for me yet! What frustrates you the most? People speaking to me differently because I’m disabled or patronising me because my body is different. I have ten years of university behind me, I’m a doctor, and I’m an effective campaigner. I’m not

‘lesser’ because of my disability, I’m different, and, my disability has led to a range of experiences and knowledge I’d never have had without it. My disability can be an asset, so don’t pity me. What are the challenges in making the public aware of your work? I used to feel I had to prove myself constantly, to challenge assumptions. Part of me always will feel this way a little, but now I focus on doing what I can to make the world a better place and give a voice to people who struggle to find adequate representation in other ways. I try to keep my messages varied, to use humour and embrace a variety of media to get my work out there; but it can be hard to keep up with everyone and everything – I really need a PA! What keeps you going? I’ve been brought up around a sense of vocation; my father is a priest, and my mother goes above and beyond in her role as a “Vicar’s Wife”, whilst also volunteering in several roles. I’ve never been motivated by money, but more so by an altruistic desire to improve and impact change in the world. I think having lost two younger brothers, I’m very aware that no one is here forever, and what really matters is what we achieve in our time here. Why did you choose to be an Ambassador for your chosen charities? Well, I had the privilege of being asked by both, quite unexpectedly, and as with most of my charitable escapades, couldn’t bear to say no! They really are the perfect fits for me; MyAFK works to get young people mobility equipment they need and to support those with intellectual disabilities into work, which are both areas I am passionate about. The Eve Appeal is all about fighting the five Gynaecological cancers, improving access to smears, and encouraging education. I’ve recently been campaigning to make GP practices more accessible to disabled people for examinations, and cervical smears are a key example of where improvement is needed, so it’s great to be working with such an enthusiastic and dynamic charity on this! What can we do to help? Look around you. Are the 13.9 million disabled people who live in the UK represented on your board, your executive committees? If not, ask why the 1 in 5 is not represented in the room. And change this. What key message do you want to highlight? Disabled people bring something unique. We are Nature’s problem solvers, because we live in a world designed without us in mind. Involving us in your discussions and workplace is not about doing us a favour, but about ensuring you aren’t missing out on an exciting and different way of thinking.



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A day in the life of By Dr Marina Nani

Gone are the days when building wealth was about holding an investment portfolio. Whether it's Baby Boomers, Millennials or Generation Y; women across generations want to discover new types of prosperity, supplement their income and find a meaningful connection with their true calling before diving into the next big thing. www.sovereignmagazine.co.uk



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t is fair to say that successful women know there is more to life and instead of being defined by a job or a title on a business card, they become holistic wealth practitioners; discovering natural approaches to feeling wealthy. Challenging the status quo, they design a new work-life balance which encompasses lifestyle, mindset, health, and take a different perspective on themselves and others, looking beyond the numbers, seeking emotional satisfaction. Sovereign Magazine reached out to Evelyn Okpanachi, a successful business woman from the United Kingdom, to find out more about a day in her life. Evelyn Okpanachi started her career as a healthcare professional who graduated in Healthcare Management and later transitioned into IT management, where she became a certified Project Manager and Business analyst. She has founded and co-founded several organisations like Royal Initiative Against Poverty And Starvation (riaps.org) , a non-profit organisation working in concert with international institutions to eradicate poverty in line with ‘sustainable development goals’ SDG1. She has gained a reputation as an authority on wealth mastery and property investment. A philanthropist at heart, together with your husband, she shares the love for their two beautiful girls, their home, and charitable events around the world or helping local homeless people. At the end of each week, you could find Evelyn feeding the homeless in the outskirts of London. As the owner of a real estate portfolio, Evelyn is behind the decision making and investing strategies, both in property and people.

Evelyn starts her day at 4.30 am Evelyn lives outside London and spends hours every day commuting to and from meetings where she always arrives 15 minutes early. Here’s a look at Evelyn’s typical day, from waking up at 4:30 a.m. to check in a new day, filled with excitement and determination to turn any challenge into an opportunity. "I treasure my early mornings as it is quiet, I can meditate and imagine the day in front of me. I have a routine of getting ready for the day ahead not only physically but spiritually. I focus on maintaining a healthy mindset, which is as important as having a healthy lifestyle.”

The School Run, always 15 min early She starts driving early to make it to her daughters’ school, and makes sure they arrive at least 15 minutes early. "The school run is my first stop. Having time with my girls gives me not only joy but determination to achieve everything I set for the day. This is by far one of my most powerful moments as I step inside my day".

Tender Loving Care On her way to the first meeting, she manages to fit in some phone calls and check in with her PA. With all logistics covered, now is the time to enjoy a good podcast! She loves listening to people from different industries and finds each


success to be very inspiring. So much so that she recently started her own Sovereign Podcast, TLC- infinite Wealth Mastery. Evelyn likes to be inspired and inspire, thinking all the time where to invest next, both in property and people. More than anything, investing in people takes most of her head space. How best can she help other women take control of their destiny? Becoming a Victorious Lady herself, she started a business club for women with the same name and she is forging ahead as we speak, defining The Next Level. She has devoted decades mentoring other women, teaching the less travelled road to financial freedom. Her main goal is to change the paradigm of wealth from limitation and social conditioning to live richer lives. How do you teach women slalom through the many mistaken beliefs and practices that limits wealth and prosperity? Evelyn encourages women to become their authentic self, maintain an abundant spirit to transition into wealth.

Next Steps "Next stop is a meeting with one of my business partners and it’s always great catching up and planning our next steps." She managed to squeeze in a one-to-one mentoring session, with enough time to go back to her children who performed in the afternoon.

Inspiring others Next she is invited for an interview and she talks about women empowerment and the road to success. "From a woman’s perspective, life is filled with commitments for those you love and care for, and it is very rare when you could find time for yourself, or make a commitment to add life to your days, instead of just adding days to your life...The road to financial freedom is stressful and without a healthy mindset, it could be derailed by economic uncertainty, political unrest, after all, wrong things are happening at the wrong time, to the best of people, impacting financial success. To create a scalable source of income, even when you have a well-paid job, you have to activate your creative potential and a resourceful income generating mindset, while moving your focus from what seems to be urgent to what is really important, and by that I mean, your heart, what makes you happy. Most women are driven by a natural desire to become more so they can give more. Discovering what makes you different helps you understand how abundant you are already. When asked what drives her passion for helping others, Evelyn says: "There are too many amazing women who give up on their own dreams while they take care of their family and follow their carrier. I realised this a while back, but I never found a medium where women get together and help each other, to help others, so I decided to create one. The Victorious Ladies realm is a place to supercharge your ability to tap into additional streams of revenue, build your wealth and acquire the financial freedom you need to help others."

Giving Back Next stop is a meeting with Victorious Ladies. "I love these meetings as we are able to sit down as a small group and have some real grown up conversations. A highlight of these sessions is we get to share a meal and then go out locally to feed the homeless. It’s such a humbling experience, it always makes me grateful for what I have, and it’s also lovely as my children take part in this activity. " Her day finished round about 10.45pm with a chat with her husband and planning the weekend together.




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ack in August, I had the opportunity to attend a networking event with a twist, far from being your usual business networking get together (where you endlessly repeat your well-rehearsed pitch about who you are and what you do) I could instantly tell this event was something different. Now, networking events come in all shapes and sizes, and they all try to have their own distinct approach, a unique selling point if you will and I don’t know about your feelings on the matter, but I often find most follow the same, somewhat repetitive blueprint. You arrive, there’s the initial 20 or so minute round of networking, followed by one (or possibly many) talks from a selection of speakers who offer various expertise in some relatable field that could apply to your business (like branding or my pet peeve, crypto-currency), a break and then finally, a few more speeches. It all feels rather rudimentary, as if the thing you need after another long day is more “education”. Don’t get me wrong, it’s all well and good and I am not saying there isn’t a value in attending such events but I do feel that something is missing. I’ll get on to that later but now back to my evening at the Sporting Club. The reason for this particular event was a private screening of Maiden, a really

incredible documentary about the first ever all-female crew of the Whitbread Round the World Race (1989-1990) captained by the first ever female skipper, Tracy Edwards. The film itself is a truly incredible tale of determination, heartache and the struggle so many of us go through to realise a dream that to others may seem downright stupid. Watching this film, I couldn’t help but draw parallels between Tracy’s journey to sporting fame and the journey entrepreneurs take to achieve their dreams. From being mocked and ridiculed by your peers to doubting yourself and putting everything on the line for that crazy dream of yours, to the sweet vindication when against all odds you somehow make it. As the film drew to its conclusion, I looked around the room and noticed that every one of the 40 or so people sitting there felt the same jubilation as I did. None of us had ever done a round the World yacht race (well, maybe that’s not entirely true) but we all felt an instant connection with Tracy and the struggles she went through, we were all there with her. The atmosphere was electric and right there I understood what was so different about this event. Far from being another laborious 3 hours of “business talk” and seminars where someone is telling you about the next big thing you aren’t doing in your business but really should be (which let’s face it, is almost always a run-up to some dreaded offer to purchase a service or course which you will likely never use), we were instead treated to something much more intimate and meaningful. In business, as in sport (and life), you really must fight for what you believe in. Success and achieving your goals (whatever they may be)

really does transcend gender, age, culture and everything else but beyond that the journeys each of us take, whilst being our own, are also very similar. There’s something quite comforting in that notion, you feel a sense of redemption in the belief that you are on the right path, that no matter the odds at the end of it all you will be able to say to yourself that at the very least you did what you believed in. What followed was a Q&A with Tracy herself, so when I said we were there with her I really should have said that she was literally there with us! The Q&A was directed by Ian Stafford, the founder of the Sporting Club, and as an award winning sports journalist (12 national awards to be exact) I have to say the quality of that session was second to none! It really was the perfect conclusion to a truly uplifting experience and of course we all still got to network after but, mind you, we all felt as if we now had a connection. I later spoke to Ian to find out more about the Sporting Club, and why he felt sport (rather than business) was a much better way of creating relationships and networks. I started off by asking him what was the inspiration behind the Sporting Club: “We live in a more diverse society where we have 28year-old CEO’s of tech companies who do not see being a member of an expensive, elitist club as a badge of honour or statement of intent any more. I thought a more down to earth club with successful people who don’t feel the need to brag about how successful or wealthy they are and who love their sport (as well as their business) would make sense” It has proven to be a winning formula, in fact the Sporting Club has grown rapidly since opening its doors for the first time in April 2017. They now have 3 clubs in London alone (Mayfair, Soho and the City) as well as clubs in



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Manchester, Cheshire and are even expanding overseas with Dublin, Dubai and New York next on their list. I wanted to know what Ian attributed this success to, he added: “Seeing members getting to know each other and forging meaningful business relationships; witnessing standing ovations at our events and seeing how much our a-list stars enjoy being there. I believe our members feels as I do, that we are creating many, many business opportunities through our networking system and intimate events. We take the time to make personal introductions between members and business matchmaking by understanding not only who they are but their needs also. We have an exclusive members only area on our website complete with members directory, internal messages, club noticeboard and weekly newsletter. It’s much more than coming along and hearing from truly world renowned sports stars, that’s just the icing on the cake for us.” That last point really cannot be downplayed, I went ahead and checked our their website (thesportingclub.co) to see what future events they had planned. On their events listing page I could see the likes of Harry Redknapp, Daley Thompson, Frank Bruno, Tony Adams, Lawrence Dallaglio and many more. It is clear that apart from the personal touch afforded to each member, Ian’s incredible career in sports journalism means he can draw on some very big sport personalities and put them in the room with his members. This intrigued me even more, just who is Ian? Here’s what he told me: “Where to start… my career spans some 25 years as a sports writer covering every major sports event in the world, I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to interview literally the biggest stars in the world sport. I was a broadcaster too, featuring primarily on major sports shows on the BBC, Channel 4 and various radio stations such as Talksport as a presenter, reporter, guest and writer/narrator.”


Ian also has 15 published books under his belt, 3 of them being genuine best sellers, including “Playgrounds of the Gods” where he played sports alongside some of the greatest individuals and teams in the world. He also won 12 national awards for journalism, including sports journalist of the year, sports interviewer of the year and magazine sports writer of the year. With such a successful career, I wanted to know what made him take up his journey into entrepreneurship. “I always wanted to do something extra to what i was doing/had done. I admired how certain well-known individuals had moved away from one area into another when seemingly at the top of their game. I wanted a new set of challenges using my skill set and all the experience garnered through 25 years working in a multistranded media career which, of course, is also all about sales and marketing, PR, people and forging good business relationships. Fundamentally, I realised I didn’t want to work for someone else anymore and I had much more to offer by doing my own thing. I think on some level I always knew I was going to make this change, the one thing that I knew for certain is that it would involve sports, it’s in my DNA, so that aspect wasn’t going anywhere.” I really like how Ian approached the whole subject, he took inspiration from his idols but he stayed true to who he was and from that he found a new exciting path to take. I had to know what was his one piece of advice for anyone reading this and thinking to do the same? “For me it’s simple, listen to everyone but back your own judgement and remember the skill set that made you succeed before and got you to where you are, and don’t spend money you don’t have!!” I think that last point cant be understated! So if you are planning on going to just one networking event this month (and if you want to meet your favourite sporting stars), I really hope you consider the Sporting Club, you may just find your new home.

A Truly Bespoke Experience A property refurbishment and construction service like no other...


hen we hear the word ‘bespoke,’ the first thing that usually comes to mind is a beautifully-fitted, Savile Row suit. In the days before mass-production, tailors would keep reams of cloth on their premises for their customers to choose from. Clients would pick the cloth they wanted and then that particular length would be put to one side and was said to ‘be spoken for.’ The term bespoke then became synonymous with a personalised product or service, unique to the individual and of the very highest quality. Stephen Collins, founder and CEO of Richemont Construction, has taken this concept of a bespoke service to a whole new level. His company specialises in luxury, highend property refurbishments and construction projects. When they take on a client, the project is, like the finest Savile Row suit, cut to their exact specifications, uniquely fitted to their requirements and delivered with impeccable, meticulous customer service. We spoke to Stephen, to discuss how his early prodigious work ethic and his background in property helped him spot a gap in the market and grow a business that offers a truly bespoke experience for each client. Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur? I grew up in Liverpool, in a large Victorian house that had 36 bedrooms. My family lived on the upper floor and the rooms on the lower floors were let out to students. I spent my mornings before school laying tables and serving breakfast to the students and would then do the same in

the evening. It was a normal part of life and it wasn’t until I started secondary school at the age of 11 that I realised my peers weren’t doing the same. So I had a strong work ethic from the very start and was inspired by my father, who had built a successful electrical contracting business, as well as a diverse property portfolio. During my formative years, I was involved in his work and always took a profound interest in it. So the decision to become an entrepreneur was always more of a natural, organic progression for me. That early work ethic and having my father as a role model meant that starting my own business was always on the cards. What did you do before starting your own business? I left school at 16 years old and joined the family business full-time. At the time, the business was a diverse, property-based group with assets ranging from children’s nurseries and nursing homes to restaurants to hotels. The Portfolio consisted of many character, heritage and listed buildings. The breadth and diversity of the types of property meant that I was able to grow and learn, building on my business and commercial acumen, as well as building up a strong foundation in property-related expertise. Before long, I was responsible for all aspects of the property management and maintenance for the family group, as well as handling construction issues. During this time, I learned a great deal about property, cultivated a multifaceted skill set and, most importantly, discovered a genuine passion for my work. In 1997 I made the decision to leave the family business and venture out on my own. As well as running my own building company, I was brought in as a Construction Project Management Consultant for some external clients. With my extensive knowledge and experience of property devel-



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ury homes that my company created for them. It’s a tangible, real feeling of achievement to move through all the stages - from the kernel of an idea, straight through to the finished property. It has its challenges. Sometimes a client will decide to make changes after the building work has started. Often, what they perceive as a minor change will have ramifications for the whole build sequence, or even require new planning or building regulation approval, for example. But I enjoy finding solutions for the client and I will always endeavour to find a way to deliver the project to their specifications. Part of the process is that continual dialogue between myself and the client, always finding ways to see their vision made real. My most satisfying moment so far was when we completed an extensive project for a foreign royal family, whom I cannot name for confidentiality reasons. It was a really noteworthy moment for me, to know that the company has achieved royal approval. Talk us through the process... I think the most vital thing to remember is that, when dealing with Richemont Construction, you are receiving a truly bespoke experience. Our ethos is to provide a superlative client experience, that, ultimately, we are there to offer a service that puts our client’s complete satisfaction as our number one priority. Each year, we only select a handful of projects, so that we can ensure our high standards and keep the client at the centre of everything we do.Quality not quantity. Our Project Development Team consists of all the requisite experts needed to deliver a project. This includes an accomplished team of architects, planning professionals, interior designers, building surveyors, structural engineers, party wall surveyors and MEP and IT/AV specialists. We pride ourselves on being able to take clients projects from inception, through the design and statutory approval / licensing stage, onward through the construction stage. Our Project Delivery Team consists of highly-experienced, professional tradespeople and a select team of dedicated, reliable, bona-fide sub-contractors. Each sub-contractor is a specialist in their respective, chosen field. opment, construction, refurbishment and building management it was a “no brainer” to start my own business in this sector. So how did you come up with the idea for Richemont Construction? Around seven years ago, I was contracted to consult, advise and manage a luxury refurbishment project in central London for a high-net worth, overseas client. It was during this particular venture that I saw the gap in the market for specialist, high-end property refurbishment, that looks at the client’s holistic needs and provides a comprehensive strategy. I saw the enormous potential of this particular niche, and how my specific background, knowledge and skills would fit perfectly. From this, I began Richemont Construction as a consummate, unparalleled solution for luxury builds and refurbishments. All aspects of construction and refurbishment projects, from initial concept design and planning, right through to construction management could now be undertaken by just one company. Why do you enjoy what you do? The best thing about my job is the enormous sense of satisfaction I get from seeing satisfied clients living in the lux-


Our supply chain has been built up over many years amongst luxury fixture and fittings and finishing suppliers from all over the world. We bring all of these specialisms, all of this wealth of experience together. By managing the entire process, from start to finish, we can ensure that only the highest quality of build is delivered at completion. We are experts in refurbishment, renovation, conversion, extension and new build construction with the emphasis on heritage, character and listed buildings. We have completed projects as diverse as multi-level basement extensions to house a swimming pool, gym and cinema, to a top-floor extension, complete with retractable roof. Our clientele are predominantly UK and overseas ultra-high net worth individuals who desire the very best lifestyle and a property to match. How do you define success and what would be your advice for an aspiring entrepreneur? I am a committed family man and my greatest pleasure in life is spending time with my wife and five children. So, for me, I define success as having a sustainable business, that allows me to have a great work/life balance, good health and provide a comfortable lifestyle for my family My advice for an aspiring entrepreneur would be to never give up, always adopt a can-do attitude, believe in yourself and smile! Richemont Construction: Richemont is to high end, bespoke property refurbishment and construction, what a tailored Savile Row suit is to the very best quality store-bought version, however good the store-bought suit is, there really is no comparison between us and our competition. Specialising in the Super Prime residential sector, primarily (but not exclusively) in the upmarket areas of London, we are experts in refurbishment, renovation, conversion, extension and new build construction with the emphasis on heritage, character and listed buildings.



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London's ‘oldest’ independent brewery, Sambrook’s, turns eleven! (and here’s to the next eleven) | By Darie Nani


ith seven out of ten drinks served in a pub being beer, British beer economy is a £22.9 billion annually. As our thirst for quality craft #CheersToBeer is spanning beyond any expectations, we went to our favourite brewer in Battersea, who is celebrating their 11th birthday this autumn, to find out what is really happening behind the scenes. Duncan Sambrook, founder and managing director of Sambrook’s Brewery (sambrooksbrewery.co.uk), has a lot to be proud of. Launching its first beer in 2008, it is now a multi-award winning, Wandle Ale. In historic terms, 11 years is a very short period but a lot has happened since: there have been lots of changes in the London brewing scene but Sambrook’s has remained at its heart and is now the oldest independent brewery in London continuing to brew a range of British inspired cask and keg beers distributed throughout London.

Heritage photo (1896) from Ram’s Quarter, The location of Young’s Brewery and Sambrook’s new home Wandsworth, London.

Wandle Ale is a 3.8% best bitter which has been awarded bronze at the CAMRA Champion Beer of Britain awards twice. Sambrook’s also brews a range of keg beers of which its Russian Imperial Stout picked up the supreme champion keg beer award at the SIBA brewer awards in 2016. Sambrook’s maintains a rotating selection of 8 beers throughout the year with the current seasonal being a honey infused cask ale inspired by the local area “Lavender Hill”. Beer by the River is Sambrook’s annual beer and music festival and it returns at the heart of the Wandsworth brewing scene at Ram Quarter. Duncan, said: “Our move to Ram Quarter feels like a homecoming. Wandsworth has had a rich brewing heritage and we’re excited to be able to continue this and secure the future of Sambrook’s brewery. It’s a fantastic location for us to expand our retail offering and is just metres from the River Wandle after which our most famous beer takes its name.” Brewing has been taking place at Ram Quarter since at least 1533. Famously the site was home to Young’s until 2006. During redevelopment the Ram’s brewing legacy has been preserved by former Young’s master brewer, John Hatch, who maintains a nano-brewery at the site. The relocation of Sambrook’s will re-launch the commercial brewing from the site and continue the brewing heritage since 1533. Sam Macqueen, Marketing and Events Manager, adds: “The US leads the way in craft beer, with it representing 24% of their total beer market. There, the norm is for people to drink their beer from small, local independents. With larger breweries (AB InBev, Asahi, etc.) unable to grow into this area, their natural pathway to growth has been to purchase younger, high-growth breweries. You can the London craft market following, with Budweiser investing in Camden Town Brewer in 2015 and Heineken recently purchasing Beavertown.


Duncan Sambrook pursued his brewing passion after a UK-wide tour of breweries. Upon reaching London, he was surprised to find only five breweries in what was once the brewing capital of the world. Moreover, at the Great British Beer Festival that year, only one London brewery was represented. He finished his career with Deloitte in August 2008, and proudly sampled Sambrook's first beer in November of that year. This became Wandle Ale, named after the river running beside the brewery.

A history of Sambrook’s

Awards roll in for the beers, with Wandle taking position of worlds best pale bitter at the World Beer awards, bronze place at GBBF twice in 2014 and 2017, amongst many other SIBA and regional Campaign For Real Ale Awards. The Russian Imperial Stout won supreme champion keg beer in SIBA's 2016 competition.

Junction Ale and Powerhouse Porter are created as the Sambrook’s range expands.

2010 Duncan Sambrook founds the brewery with help from retired brewer, David Walsh, and creates their flagship and most awarded beer; .




Sambrook’s announces historic move to the longest continually operating brewery in the UK; the old Young’s brewery in Wandsworth.


2012 Sambrook’s brew their very first kegged ale; London Pale Ale.

Just how do you make beer?

Sambrook’s creates the annual festival, Beer By The River.

Meanwhile, there's a huge growth in the number of breweries opening, providing healthy innovation and interesting local beers. In London, there was just nine breweries in the 1970's. Now, there are over 140. This trend has been driven by changing consumer attitudes and supported by a progressive beer duty regime introduced in 2002. This interesting perfect storm between larger breweries consolidating market share with economies of scale and the growth of smaller breweries and competition makes it difficult to exist in the middle. Without the larger, cheaper hop contracts and sites from scale, and no tax relief, many breweries lose their margin and go bust as they try to make the jump. Examples of this jump in the past few months are Redchurch Brewery, who recently went bankrupt after trying to operate as a medium-size brewery. More successfully, Crate Brewery are currently doing the same through crowd-funding. After a period of exponential growth in the number of UK breweries, we are now entering a period of consolidation. There were 1,352 breweries in 2013, and nearly double by 2018 at 2,274. Now, with only eight breweries having opened in 2018, the number of people leaving the market is meeting those joining. Sambrook's Brewery has steadily grown through a huge focus on the quality of our beer and sustainable pub relationships and festivals. We're the oldest independent brewery in London, at a youthful eleven years old. Quite fittingly, we are expanding to the old Young's Brewery, a site which has been actively brewing since 1533." Chris Daly, Senior Commercial Manager at Greenland (UK), the holding company behind Ram Quarter said: “It’s poetic that London’s oldest independent brewery is setting up home at Britain’s oldest operating brewery. Greenland has always recognised the importance of Ram’s brewing legacy and safeguarding its heritage has been crucial to our development plans, from our approach to the design of the new homes through to our commercial ambitions for the site. We’re proud to be keeping Wandsworth’s beer tradition alive while creating an exciting new destination in partnership with a local business.”



T h e Sp ort of Bu s i n e s s | By B ri gi tte Lawle r , CEO o f L e ge n ds S A


hroughout my career I have used sports metaphors while delivering key note addresses or facilitating workshops. In these situations, I have kept the comparisons at a high level to avoid getting tangled up in the finer details. Even at this high level of comparison, using sports to illustrate concepts in the business world has proven effective time and time again. Recent events have brought me into the world of sport and I have discovered two things: The first discovery is that I knew even less about sport than I thought I did. Not being much of a sports follower, I had not paid it much attention. Thanks to the imagination and sheer determination of my team, we are now enjoying new relationships and new business activities. The lesson in this discovery: be open to where business opportunities may arise. Forging unusual relationships can give you an edge that no one else has and can open new market segments for you. The second discovery is that my knowledge about business has helped me to understand the world of sport. The irony is that throughout my career, I used sport to illustrate business and now I use business to understand sports, which brings me even greater insights into business. The lesson in this discovery: business is indeed a form of sport, and here is why: There is more at stake than scoring goals. In sport, the final score determines the winners and the losers. In business, financial performance is the score that determines the profitability and continuity of the enterprise. There is no doubt that the score is the ultimate measure of success, but the score is not all there is to it. In sport, we follow the strategy of the play. We get emotionally invested in the character of a team. In business we do the same.


Inset: Brigette Lawler (left) with Roberto Carlos (Brazil/Real Madrid) and Moises Cardoso at Estadio Santiago Bernadeu Stadium (Madrid, Spain) during the Legends SA event bring sport and business together


Brand loyalty has little if anything to do with the financial performance of a business. What makes our customers loyal to us is only partly to do with the quality of our products and services. It is more to do with the outside perception of how a business conducts itself. Increasingly, the values of a business are important to the market. People support a brand that stands for something and whose actions are consistent with those values. Brand loyalty is the emotional investment that our customers are willing to make only if we earn it. As a business, we need to be aware of this and make sure that our strategy of play centers around how we earn and keep our customers’ loyalty no matter what happens in the market. The team is key to success. The world of sport is full of superstars, just as we find in the world of business, none of whom have achieved greatness on their own. Every one of them has been able to accomplish greatness thanks to having coaches, strategists and team members who have all played their part leading up to the moments of glory. The greatest investment we can make in our business is the investment in our team. That realization was a major turning point in my business and thanks to having powerful, reliable and diverse team, we are accomplishing business goals that I would not have dreamt of. It is essential to pick your team members with as much consideration as a professional team selects their players for an upcoming season. Followed by the ongoing investment in leadership and engagement which is a must for the team to function as a united entity, where everyone plays their part to achieve the best results. Endurance is critical. The investment in team success is not a one-time action. Business leaders need to recognize that it takes significant effort to keep a team focused, engaged and motivated throughout the season. In sport, the season is a fixed period measured in months. In business, the season is the life of your business, measured in years. There will be ups and downs. There will be stumbles, misses and outright injuries that occur in your business. Team changes will happen as some people leave and others come on board. How the business deals with this and at the same time keeps the focus, energy and spirit alive is completely up to the leadership of the business. None of this will happen automatically. This is why in sport there is so much emphasis on the team coach and why the best coaches are so much in demand. Being known for your genius is what makes you memorable. In any given sport, consider how many teams and how many players there are. At the same time, in any given industry, consider how many businesses there are with similar offerings. The ones who are truly memorable are the ones that stand out because they are known for something exceptional. I am amazed by how people remember the detailed accomplishments of sports teams and individual players. For example, our business partner Roberto Carlos, who played for Real Madrid at the peak of his career is known all over the world for his ability to kick the ball like no other and score goals that have made history. Amongst all the global football players, both current and retired, his name and his brand are synonymous with success. What is it in your business that the market recognizes as your genius? Businesses get lost in trying to be everything to everyone. What is the one thing that you want to be known for? There are many complexities in the world of business, but one way to simplify it is to view business as a sport. How you win at business is all about what you are known for and how you play the game to deliver the best results to your market and to your supporters. About Brigitte Lawler Brigitte is an international speaker, best-selling author, founder and CEO of LEGEND SA. She is on a mission to bring inspired ideas to life by building businesses that matter and thrive in this new economy. Legend SA (www.legend.eu.com). Legend consult and advise companies to keep them ahead of the curve, helping start-ups break out, and helping established companies take that next step.



One screen for all your apps How Stack is changing the way we interact with the internet | By Alexis Boddy


s John Lennon famously sang: “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.” For entrepreneur David Gavasheli, the idea for a revolutionary new internet launchpad came about while he and his cofounders were busy working on something entirely different. The project they had initially embarked on was constantly slowed down by the exasperating amounts of time spent clicking between tabs, dealing with notifications and managing desktop apps. There was no centralised place to see, store and manage all of these different applications. And so, Stack was born. Many entrepreneurs fall into the trap of becoming so wrapped up in their initial idea that they suffer from a lack of insight, possibly missing out on great opportunities. So we spoke to David about entrepreneurship, the importance of pragmatism and the essential ability to learn, grow and adapt. How did you develop a passion for entrepreneurship? My father was one of the first entrepreneurs in Georgia. After the Soviet Union collapsed in 1989, he incorporated one of the very first independent companies in Georgia which is now the biggest mall in the region. When I was growing up, I saw him doing business with a diverse range of people and I really enjoyed watching him work. His passion and drive was absolutely my inspiration to become an entrepreneur.


I’ve always enjoyed learning – both academically and from others. I hold a masters degree in law from Tbilisi State University and completed my MBA at the London School of Commerce. I’ve worked as a serial entrepreneur, founding and running five medium and large-sized corporations, including one of the largest retail stores and online marketplaces in the whole of the Caucasus region. As entrepreneurs, we always enjoy finding problems and working out ways to solve them, which is exactly how Stack happened. How did Stack come about? Stack was founded by myself and three others , Vasil Gubadze, Zviad Sichinava and George Laliashvili. We have known each other for over a decade and have worked on multiple projects together. We were initially working on a completely different project and we found that web browsers just weren’t efficient for working with multiple applications at the same time. It was time consuming and frustrating to have to constantly move between, say, the desktop and whatever web browser we were using and any other applications we had running. So Zviad started Stack as a side project, a way for us to organise our screens, and our time, more effectively. At this point, it was definitely just a tool for our team to use and we didn’t set out to make this our main project. The change came when we uploaded it to Product Hunt, a platform where other developers evaluate each others work. The feedback was amazing. People really enjoyed using it and we got some great responses and ideas about how to improve it. It was at that point we decided to make Stack our focus. How did it feel to change your focus at that point? One of the most satisfying parts of business is when you receive positive feedback from your customers or users. Receiving great feedback like we did from Product Hunt meant that we could investigate the possibilities for Stack. And given our combined experience and the knowledge we have collectively accumulated over the years, we believe we do know what it takes to create a successful product from it. As an entrepreneur, we are always trying to solve problems and, with this, we directly experienced the problem firsthand. When you look at the history of the internet, it has developed so quickly and so extensively and yet the web browsers themselves really haven’t changed all that much. We believe that our day-to-day interactions with the internet shouldn’t be tedious and a strain. We want to give our users a powerful new way to revolutionise the online workspace. What brings you the most satisfaction in your role as an entrepreneur? I love learning new things in a short space of time and working with people from diverse fields. I see success as working for pleasure, finding something that brings value to our users and seeing that the work you’ve done has been worth it. What would you say to someone just starting out as an entrepreneur? What are the difficulties and joys of your work? One of the most difficult aspects of being an entrepreneur is making the right decisions in the right place and at the right time. I have failed multiple times during my business career but ultimately, you only need to be right once. You shouldn’t wait for the perfect moment, just do it! About: David Gavasheli is the CEO of Stack, an internet launchpad for all of your web applications. An internet browser re-imagined, Stack allows you to work in multiple web-apps simultaneously, within a well-organised environment (find out more at getstack.app).



Bridg in g the G ap Bet we en C ompanies a nd S tudents | B y D ari e Na ni


hey say young people spend too much time on social media, but for Marco Cortinovis and three friends from university, social networking became the inspiration for a revolutionary platform.

After completing 17 internships between them across a three year period, the foursome decided to make the process easier for students who wanted to follow in their footsteps. Having had to jump through various hoops and spend countless hours and a huge amount of energy finding their own internships, the group decided there must be a better way, there was not, so they made one! Bringing a youthful attitude to the concept, Marco and his friends created Daily Internship, a platform aimed at making life easier for both students looking for internships, and companies looking for interns. What inspired you to become an entrepreneur? My family have been entrepreneurs for as long as I can remember (and before that). They taught me the value of hard work, of having something which is yours. Growing up, I was used to seeing both my parents working until late, which made me realise that being an entrepreneur means sacrifice, but for a great purpose. What did you do before? After studying in five states, I had five different internship experiences in different fields, ranging from corporate finance to wealth management, from my family business to consulting. I have seen and experienced the field of finance from multiple perspectives and roles, starting in wealth management in Hong Kong, continuing with corporate lending when I joined Intesa Sanpaolo CIB, I also worked for McKinsey in Milan. What is Daily Internship? DailyInternship is a social recruiting platform that aims to be a reference point for companies and students. The platform offers double profiling to meet the needs of companies and students. Companies have a tool to reach, identify and select the right resource for their needs by benefiting from employer branding tools available on the platform. At the same time, the service offers students a virtual bulletin board of announcements, offering hundreds of new opportunities every week. The bulletin board adapts to their characteristics and helps them identify the internships most suited to their preferences. What makes Daily Internship different? Daily Internship is distinguished by three elements. Firstly, a European platform, offering internship positions across Europe, with no single-country focus. Secondly, a matching algorithm that helps students identify the best opportunities based on experience, preferences, etc, and helps companies identify the talents they are looking for based on student profiles.


Thirdly, a social media presence. We use the potential of social networking to engage with over 60,000 students across Europe. How did you come up with this business idea? Daily Internship was born from a need of the four founders. We asked ourselves a simple question, “How is it possible that there isn’t a platform that offers us a sum up of all the different internship opportunities that are currently active in Europe?” There was no answer, we decided to launch Daily Internship. Virginia [Bassano], Francesco [Carboni], Gianmarco [Savi] and I have gained experience in different sectors working in companies such as McKinsey, Citibank, Google and BCG. Our own internships allowed us to get to know and study the market first-hand. The market involves 4.5 million students every year in Europe alone, and is gaining increasing importance as a first step into the world of work. What problems do you hope to solve? There is a missing link between students looking for an internship opportunity and companies seeking talents. Companies waste time and budget finding the right candidate at junior level, and students are confused by the different job portals, which don’t provide a point of reference for internship seekers of all kinds. What is the best thing about being an entrepreneur? For me, it’s a combination of flexibility, excitement, control and responsibility. I work with my own schedule, I choose my own team, I create my own opportunities, I develop my own project the way I want to, and I stand up for what I believe in. And the most difficult? Being an entrepreneur can be lonely. You have to make tough decisions on your own and the work schedule can be intense and unpredictable. It’s scary to be completely responsible for the success or failure of your business What has been your most satisfying moment in business so far? The most satisfying moment is being recognised for what we have developed. Students write to us every day to say that Daily Internship has allowed them to find their dream internship. This is how I know that we are actually making a difference. What is the best piece of advice you can give someone starting their own business? Execution is the key – business ideas on their own are not enough, you need to take action and believe in your ideas to transform them into something tangible. Start today, as soon as you can, because the best way to learn is by doing. Set goals and do everything that is in your power to reach and overcome them How do you define success? I describe success as having a positive impact on the lives of different people. Knowing that what you are building is not only helping you, but also helping others to live a better life. About Marco Cortivinis Marco Cortinovis is the CEO of Daily Internship, the first social recruiting platform developed to bridge the gap between students and companies (find out more at www.dailyinternship.com). He is currently based in Milan, Italy. He has lived in Alabama, Hong Kong, London, Madrid, and Paris amongst others.



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With no end in sight and the world losing interest, the Hong Kong protesters need a new script Amanda Tattersall, Postdoc in Urban Geography and Research Lead at Sydney Policy Lab. Host of ChangeMakers Podcast., University of Sydney


s the People’s Republic of China celebrates 70 years since its founding, protesters in Hong Kong intend to upstage Beijing’s celebrations. They will build on the global solidarity protests from the previous weekend, staged in 60 cities across the world, including in Australia. On Sunday, 30th September 2019 in Hong Kong, tens of thousands took to the streets even though no protest permits were granted by the police. Riot control weapons were deployed against the protesters and those near the protests were subject to random searches. While it might look like these are the same kind of protests that have dominated global headlines for months, Hong Kong is changing. It is moving closer towards crisis. The local government’s previous strategy of “wait them out” is failing, and advised by mainland Chinese officials, the government is exploring legal tools - like the state of emergency provisions - as a response. Over the past 100 days, the violence between police and students has escalated. Always an asymmetric war, students initially responded in selfdefence - using umbrellas, helmets and masks to hold their position on the streets. As the police’s weapons have become more excessive - tear gas fired in train stations, rubber bullets shot into faces, sponge grenades, water cannons - the students’ responses have become increasingly indignant. They have engaged in targeted actions like street fires, petrol bombs and vandalism to public infrastructure and government sites, like the city’s mass transit system. Two weeks previously, police representatives argued that live ammunition was justified in response to Molotov cocktails. About the same time, the protesters collectively decided to fight back against police, and not just use self-defence. It is spiralling. So, where does this end?


Maintaining local support The Hong Kong police have tried to turn off the tap of mass support to the young protesters, who are called the Braves. Initially they used images of property damage or acts of aggression on television and social media to try to sway public opinion against the younger members of the movement. More recently, they’ve shut down the right to mass protest. The police have been increasingly denying permits to protest, limiting the space where people can protest, or revoking permission within hours of a march starting. None of these tactics has worked. Most Hong Kongers continue to support the “five demands” and the protest movement, while disapproving of Chief Executive Carrie Lam’s handling of the situation. (Her approval rating now sits at just 24.9%). Most older residents feel they have let the young generation down. They not only support the Braves, many are also part of growing support networks providing them with assistance. For example, drivers pick up stranded protesters around the city and volunteers set up makeshift underground hospitals for students afraid to use staterun services.

The perils of self-righteousness But there is a problem. The rest of the world is turning away from the weekly battles. The thing that made the protests initially so captivating was their novelty and bravery. But what began as original is now predictable. And this brings danger. The first danger is increasing violence. The need to hold the world’s attention brings the risk of spiralling into greater violence. There is also a dark recognition that if lethal violence was to occur during a protest - if a protester was shot by live ammunition, for instance, or a brick killed a police officer - it would utterly change the dynamics.

The second, less obvious danger lies in self-righteousness. For most protest movements, there is an inherent tension between the ideals and commitment to the ambitious goals that brought people to the streets en-masse and the capacity to negotiate with the powerful to achieve them. This tension is a universal frustration. Protesters are loathe to be considered “sell outs,” but not making a deal risks not winning anything. The social movement led by Martin Luther King Jr. in the US, for instance, didn’t achieve civil rights in a single boycott. Waves of different movements over decades, using varied protest tactics, and the art of compromise, brought change incrementally. Push, negotiate, make a deal – repeated as a pattern for victory. Every night, Hong Kong protesters shout their motto, “Five demands, not one less”, referring to the five concessions they are demanding from the government. But this righteous ritual conceals a growing fear. Hong Kongers, including leaders I interviewed, worry that all they could win from this movement is the permanent withdrawal of the controversial extradition bill that sparked the unrest, which they’ve already achieved. With the end of “one country, two systems” model in sight in 2047, the stakes are high. Locals are terrified they might not get closer to universal suffrage and that Beijing will continue to encroach on their political freedoms. That said, this isn’t a simple battle - and winning a “deal” that doesn’t provide a pathway to democracy won’t be good enough. It’s all well and good for distant observers to casually comment that Hong Kongers need to do a deal, but the “five demands” are not an ambit. This was a “joint consensus.” In contrast to the authoritarianism in China (not to mention elsewhere), Hong Kongers hope they can be a beacon for democracy and enlightenment. Taiwan, for one, is certainly seeing Hong Kong as a source of inspiration in their its battle against Beijing’s push for reunification. The Braves see it as nothing short of a life or death battle for their identity, and unless they believe they are moving towards a more independent future, they plan to keep fighting.

What Hong Kongers can learn from the French Revolution So how do you push and negotiate in this context? Perhaps history can provide some inspiration. In the battle to win democracy in the French Revolution, for example, two important strategies were prosecuted simultaneously. In Paris, the protesters fought street battles and built barricades, but the leaders also built for themselves the kind of state they envisioned living in. They constructed their own National Assembly, which advanced the idea of universal male suffrage. This idea of crafting what is known as a “pre-figurative form” might be useful for Hong Kong. Imagine if Hong Kongers, crippled with an undemocratic Legislative Council, created their own Legislative Assembly - a model for their goal of a parliament elected by everyone. The idea has been tried in Hong Kong before; the Occupy Trio who helped lead the Umbrella movement held a people’s referendum calling for universal suffrage in 2014. The natural inertia of any movement means that a continuation of street battles is likely, which ultimately leads to an escalation of violence. However, if the protesters can channel their energy in a more lasting, organised way, they may be able to achieve even more than the “five demands”. As well as singing their protest anthem, “Do you hear the people sing?”, the protesters should borrow more ideas from successful democracy movements of the past. This may provide new energy to surprise Beijing and sustain the momentum of frustrated Hong Kongers. Amanda Tattersall is a postdoctoral fellow in urban geography, a Research Lead at the Policy Lab and the host of the ChangeMakers podcast that tells stories of people trying to change the world (which will release a special on Hong Kong in September 2019). She co-founded GetUp, founded the Sydney Alliance, was an elected official at Unions NSW and is the author of Power in Coalition. This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Visit www.theconversation.com for more.



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How disinformation could sway the 2020 election Paul M. Barrett, Deputy Director, Center for Business and Human Rights, Stern School of Business; Adjunct Professor of Law, New York University


n 2016, Russian operatives used Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to sow division among American voters and boost Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. What the Russians used to accomplish this is called “disinformation,” which is false or misleading content intended to deceive or promote discord. Now, with the first presidential primary vote only five months away, the public should be aware of the sources and types of online disinformation likely to surface during the 2020 election. First, the Russians will be back. Don’t be reassured by the notorious Russian Internet Research Agency’s relatively negligible presence during last year’s midterm elections. The agency might have been keeping its powder dry in anticipation of the 2020 presidential race. And it helped that U.S. Cyber Command, an arm of the military, reportedly blocked the agency’s internet access for a few days right before the election in November 2018. Temporarily shutting down the Internet Research Agency won’t be enough to stop the flow of harmful content. Lee Foster, who leads the disinformation team at the cybersecurity firm FireEye, told me in an interview that the agency is “a small component of the overall Russian operation,” which also includes Moscow’s military intelligence service and possibly other organisations. Over time, Foster said, “All of these actors rework their approaches and tactics.” And there’s more to fear than just the Russians. I’m the author of a new report on disinformation and the 2020 election published by the New York University Stern Center for Business and Human Rights. In the report, I predict that the Russians


won’t be alone in spreading disinformation in 2020. Their most likely imitator will be Iran, especially if hostility between Tehran and Washington continues to mount.

Disinformation isn’t just Russian In May, acting on a tip from FireEye, Facebook took down nearly 100 Iranian-related accounts, pages and groups. The Iranian network had used fake American identities to espouse both conservative and liberal political views, while also promoting extremely divisive anti-Saudi, anti-Israel and pro-Palestinian themes. As Senate Intelligence Committee co-chair Mark Warner, a Virginia Democrat, has said, “The Iranians are now following the Kremlin’s playbook.” While foreign election interference has dominated discussion of disinformation, most intentionally false content targeting U.S. social media is generated by domestic sources. I believe that will continue to be the case in 2020. President Trump often uses Twitter to circulate conspiracy theories and cast his foes as corrupt. One story line he pushes is that Facebook, Twitter and Google are colluding with Democrats to undermine him. Introducing a right-wing “social media summit” at the White House in July, he tweeted about the “tremendous dishonesty, bias, discrimination, and suppression practised by certain companies.” Supporters of Democrats also have trafficked in disinformation. In December 2017, a group of liberal activists created fake Facebook pages designed to mislead conservative voters in a special U.S. Senate race in Alabama. Matt Os-

borne, who has acknowledged being involved in the Alabama scheme, told me that in 2020, “you’re going to see a movement toward [political spending from undisclosed sources] on digital campaigns in the closing days of the race.” He suggests there could be an effort to discourage Republicans from voting with “an image of a red wave with a triumphal statement that imbues them with a sense of inevitable victory: ‘No need to bother voting. Trump has got it in the bag.’”

Spreading fake videos Also likely to surface next year: “deepfake” videos. This technique produces highly convincing – but false – images and audio. In a recent letter to the CEOs of Facebook, Google and Twitter, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, a California Democrat, wrote: “A timely, convincing deepfake video of a candidate” that goes viral on a platform “could hijack a race – and even alter the course of history… The consequences for our democracy could be devastating.” Instagram could be a vehicle for deepfakes. Owned by Facebook, the photo and video platform played a much bigger role in Russia’s manipulation of the 2016 U.S. election than most people realise, and it could be exploited again in 2020. The Russian Internet Research Agency enjoyed more user engagement on Instagram than it did on any other platform, according to a December 2018 report commissioned by the Senate Intelligence Committee. “Instagram is likely to be a key battleground on an ongoing basis,” the report added.

Companies could step up The social media companies are responding to the problem of disinformation by improving their artificial intelligence filters and hiring thousands of additional employees devoted to safety and security. “The companies are getting much better at detection and removal of fake accounts,” Dipayan Ghosh, co-director of the Harvard Kennedy School’s Platform Accountability Project, told me. But the companies do not completely remove much of the content they pinpoint as false; they merely reduce how often it appears for users, and sometimes post a message noting that it’s false. In my view, provably false material should be eliminated from feeds and recommendations, with a copy retained in a cordoned-off archive available for research purposes to scholars, journalists and others. Another problem is that responsibility for content decisions now tends to be scattered among different teams within each of the social media companies. Our report recommends that to streamline and centralise, each company should hire a senior official who reports to the CEO and is responsible for overseeing the fight against disinformation. Such executives could marshal resources more easily within each company and more effectively coordinate efforts across social media companies. Finally, the platforms could also cooperate more than they currently do to stamp out disinformation. They’ve collaborated effectively to root out child pornography and terrorist incitement. I believe they now have a collective responsibility to rid the coming election of as much disinformation as possible. An electorate that has been fed lies about candidates and issues can’t make informed decisions. Votes will be based on falsehoods. And that means the future of American democracy – in 2020 and beyond – depends on dealing effectively with disinformation. Paul Barrett joined the Center as deputy director in September 2017 after spending more than three decades as a journalist and author focusing on the intersection of business, law, and society. Most recently, Paul worked for 12 years for Bloomberg Businessweek magazine, where he served at different times as the editor of an award-winning investigative team and a writer covering topics such as energy and the environment, military procurement, and the civilian firearm industry. From 1986 to 2005, he wrote for The Wall Street Journal, serving as the newspaper’s Supreme Court correspondent and later as the page one special projects editor. Paul is the author of four critically acclaimed nonfiction books, the most recent of which are GLOCK: The Rise of America’s Gun (2012), a New York Times Bestseller, and LAW OF THE JUNGLE: The $19 Billion Legal Battle Over Oil in the Rain Forest and the Lawyer Who’d Stop at Nothing to Win (2014). Both of those books have been optioned for Hollywood movies. Since 2008, Paul has served as an adjunct professor at New York University School of Law. He co-teaches a seminar called “Law, Economics, and Journalism,” in which students learn to analyze social issues with the tools of those three professions. Paul has a J.D. from Harvard Law School and an A.B. from Harvard College. This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Visit www.theconversation.com for more.



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Healing & The Modern Business Man I A remarkable story of a businessman turned healer. Douglas Ballard discovered from a young age that he had an extraordinary healing touch. Despite challenging doubts from family, friends and the business community, Douglas became a full-time healer as his downto-earth approach of ‘Energy-based’ healing was welcomed across the World with remarkable success.

n today’s world, the principle thrust of medical treatment is mainly pharmacology-led. Sheer volume of patients, extending age and change of lifestyle amongst the young is placing unbelievable pressures on healthcare. Cost limitations in general practice restrict treatments on offer by the NHS, prescription pads abound, advertising suggests we ‘beat’ the illness or indeed ‘kill it’ and appeals for research funding which is fed back into the pharmacological wheel. Illness is often seen as an enemy rather that the body and mind giving warning signs or processing trauma. Credence is given largely to evidence-based trials and unexplained improvement is usually demoted to the level of wishful thinking and placebo. Thought though, is shifting fundamentally and recent comment from the heads of UK general practice have suggested that doctors will start to consider ‘gut-ecology’ as an adjunct to their reliance on blood tests as their primary form of prognosis. A step towards recognising the role of nutrition and well-being. Yet, this still relies on biochemical analysis as the entry point of their thinking and the final point of their treatment, yet again with pharmacology, plus perhaps surgery. The role of physiotherapy is recognised but all these approaches virtually ignore the role of emotion, stress and life management as an approach to illness and well-being.



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So, what realistic alternatives exist as we can be confronted with major illness and lesser acute and chronic ailments as they can tip the balance in our lives, particularly if the mind and body are on stress overload in this ‘24/7 never-away-from-a-screen’ society? Alternative and complimentary medicine (CAM) is treated with considerable scepticism and, if it works, a typical medical response, ‘well if it works for you’ is often the answer when positive results are given (strange though that a High Street today is rarely without an osteopath, chiropractors or acupuncturist). Mainstream complimentary medicine is gaining ground in acceptance as conventional medicine does not have all the answers. Understanding the role and acceptance of CAM demands though, that we step out of understanding illness and recovery though the eyes of a chemist and view it through the scope of ourselves as energetic beings. Humans are literally bundles of energy manifest in physical form. The greatest of our scientists Sir Isaac Newton, in his famous three Laws of Motion, posits that ‘energy never dies, it just changes form (potential energy to kinetic and vice versa). In this sense, we have always been and always will be as energetic forms of Life but at this point in human form. It is our connection with the core of energy that matters. The celebrated engineer and futurist Nikola Tesla (credited with the creation of the modern alternating electrical supply) said: “The day science begins to study non-physical phenomena, it will make more progress in one decade than in all the previous centuries of its existence.” Tesla also postulated: “If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.” Thought energy varies constantly, consciousness and unconsciousness attention of self and our environment, all processing all the time. As humans, we are extremely sensitive to emotions and big changes in emotional levels or events ranging in moments from love, sexual passion, hate, fear anxiety as the mind and body tries to predict outcomes of our next actions, weeks, months and years ahead. Trauma comes in huge (moving home, divorce, relationship change, finance, work) and small shock in our daily moments (any traveller tracking their wallet, tickets, money, children and luggage can testify to that!) and we store that shock (often as physical and emotional blockages) repeatedly, finally manifest in physical and mental unwellness. We need help in dealing with both the symptoms and causes of this intense life journey. We need help on many different levels some of which have been ignored in the urgency and need to deal with mass illness, the micro-sensitivities of the individual are forgotten and so essential to good health and happiness. So, feet on the ground, how does this help us in our moments of need? Energy-based healing has been endemic in diverse cultures around the World for millennia. Some 30,000 years ago with the aborigines, energy meridians and acupuncture China, Ayurvedic medicine in India, ancient art of Egyptian energy healing, shamanic healing in Red Indian culture, South American healers, all with evidence pointing to over 5,000 years ago. Over the ages, there have been incredible healers with a gifted personal touch and the Bible is full of these stories. So, what you may say is the role of a healer in today’s society, is it a dying ancient art, and how seriously should we take it, and does it work? Douglas Ballard talks simply about energy-based healing. No spirits, no voices, no religion, simply connecting with Universal Energy of which we are all part. Life is totally connected, he maintains, like the unseen mycelia connecting mushrooms and fungi as they grow, we are all part of the fabric of Life as a whole. Ballard comments, ‘the fact that it works is not enough for some


The day science begins to study non-physical phenomena,

it will make more progress in one decade than in all the previous centuries of its existence.

“Douglas Ballard has helped me with a severe back injury. I had been in pain for months with a prolapse disc. I had tried physiotherapy and acupuncture, but nothing was resolving my pain. I work as the UK Director of Harley Street healthcare with world leading doctors but none could not find an answer to this problem. I could hardly stand up or sit down and Douglas was my last resort as I had tried everything else. The session began and within 10 minutes of the healing I could feel very strong energy running through my body to the point where my body was twitching. It was a life changing experience. The session lasted for an hour and ended with Douglas saying please now stand up slowly. I did so and he asked me how I felt. To my amazement after months of suffering and chronic pain I could move freely again without any pain. I still cannot understand how he did it but this is why this world leading healer achieves miracles for so many people in so many countries.” James Walton UK Director, Harley Street Healthcare Ltd

people’. ‘We often create a whole mystery and culture around simple things in life and healers have always been around in all cultures around the world throughout time’. He maintains that a true healer is flexible to the situation and will work alone or in conjunction with conventional medical practice. He adds, “I help many people deal with the horrible side-effects of chemotherapy which can be totally energy-draining. Having a good energy is essential for long-lasting health and happiness, but it is a real challenge in our high-pressure lives”. But what if it is so simple that in the ‘Great Plan of Life’ we have people that can heal naturally? Ballard comments that healing is a natural part of the human condition and that many of us have the potential to heal others, rather like we all have the potential to play the piano or sing, just a very few though, have the ability to be a concert pianist or a diva. Ballard likens his skills to that of the concert pianist of healing with a very special touch.

“Douglas is a wonderful healer. I am a Director of Elite Talent in London managing Celebrities and the job can be very demanding sometimes causing considerable anxiety. The initial session lasted a few hours talking about what I wanted from his healing session and how he could help me; the healing itself lasted about an hour and I felt like I was floating on air when I left the session. I was hooked, I came home and slept for 12 hours solid and felt like a new woman the following day. My anxiety had lifted and I no longer felt stressed and ready to take on the world. I see Douglas weekly for healing to keep my energy levels high. Not only is Douglas a wonderful healer he gives great advice on any problems you may have, he also became a friend and is a genuinely nice guy. I am recommending all of my clients to see Douglas so they can also benefit from his ‘gift’.” Kirsty Reilly Director, Elite Talent

Douglas Ballard came from a humble background in the post-war era; he worked his way up the management ladder to run a substantial company and was chairman of the UK lighting federation. His story began whilst on holiday skiing in Nevada, when he felt inwardly compelled to approach a lady who had been suffering from severe neck pain for the passed twenty-five years. After placing his hands on her neck, she was out of pain and remained that way. It stunned him and his slightly embarrassed holiday companions and began his journey as a healer. At first it was confusing but as he learnt more about channelling this Higher Intelligent Energy it all started to make sense. Travelling from country to country, Douglas created a portfolio of international clients and practice locations, showing that he is indeed the ‘concert pianist’ of healers, and unlike any other. The variety of his work and application to many different situations is evidence alone of his efficacy ranging from alleviating pain in a dental practice in Portugal, to a leading ballerina that travels all the way from Japan, autistic children and many over-worked and stressed businessmen with anxiety, asthma, heart, cancer and stress-related illness. Douglas works by laying his hands gently on your shoulders and then maybe moving around the body guided by an ‘Intelligent Energy’. Some feel a very powerful sense of relaxation, almost overpowering, others a very gentle clarity that emerges. It can take five days and a passage of treatments if a chronic illness. Ballard stresses that it is not ‘magic’ or ‘spiritual’, simply a pure connection with the Universal Energy of Life. For those whom are still sceptical, there is an increasing body of documented scientific studies in support of healing. Recent studies on Biofield Therapy and Reconnective Healing reveal a powerful recovery rate as an adjunct to cancer treatment, not only in patients but also the wellbeing of the oncology unit. In another study, touch therapies prove even more effective than physiotherapy in cancer treatment recovery, chronic pain and HIV treatment. The University of Northampton ‘Two meta-analyses of non-contact healing studies’ (2014) documented double blind tests discounting human variables with an adapted version of the SIGN50 scale (Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network – responsible for producing evidencebased clinical practice guidelines), using plant cells as a non-human test subject (so no influences by family, religion etc) to show a positive correlation with healing and the growth of plant cells. In simple terms, whether it is a biofield or magnetic touch influence, or something much greater that which we cannot understand with our intellect, nor possibly ever will, testimonials and case studies abound (www.douglasballard.com). Douglas Ballard is a very special person with a very unique healing touch and insight into peoples’ lives. He currently works in central London.

If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.



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How Virginie Legros Guignard is using innovations in technology to rebuild communities across the globe | By Alexis Boddy


any people say that technology isolates us. That we spend so long on our computers or phones or tablets that we don’t see what’s around us, leaving us unable to form meaningful connections with others. However, what these people miss is the amazing, connective power of technology. That it can create, build and foster communities worldwide. That new innovations, rather than distancing us from each other, can ultimately bring us closer together. Virginie Legros Guignard understands the transformative, life-altering effect of innovations in tech. Her organisation, COCÖÖÖN, set up in 2018, seeks to assist, repair and rebuild communities through the power of technology combined with the power of community. Read on to find out how. Did you always want to be an entrepreneur? I was a very creative child, prodigious in painting, making models and other figurative works. I later trained as an architect at the Lille School of Architecture and went on to work for an agency. While there, I developed a strong interest in technical management, supervising teams and project management. I escaped a serious accident at the age of 28, which made me reevaluate my values and my core beliefs. By the age of 31, I decided to take a break from my career and pursue my passion for historical battle reconstruction, which lead to me becoming an international specialist and moving to Switzerland to pursue it further. From there, I became actively involved with ideas concerning collective intelligence, project management, AI, Blockchain and growth-hacking and how new technologies can bring us closer than ever before. So what inspired you to come up with the idea for your organisation? The world we live in has become crazy. Some countries are on fire, others on the verge of famine or social disruption or armed conflict. Biodiversity has been severely impacted, the environment is being ransacked, climate change is racing away from us and nobody is reacting anymore. From all of my previous experience, I had seen the real-world implications and benefits of technology and community-building and I wanted to make a difference. The idea for COCÖÖÖN came after I took on the coordination of a MOOC (massive, open, online course) in 2016. We taught over 600 students throughout the French-speaking world, with over half residing in Africa. I saw the possibilities and lifechanging advantages of technological innovation. It can create tangible differences for individuals and their communities. COCÖÖÖN was born out of a desire to change the world through empowering people to find concrete solutions to the problems in both their immediate surroundings and the world at large. We work with a wide range of people, for example, victims of war from Daloa in Côte d'Ivoire, people relocated from Cameroon, those who find themselves homeless. We worked with them to find themselves a new home, a place in society, or the chance to return to their home region with a new, viable life project.


About The COCÖÖÖN The COCÖÖÖN (cocooon.co) is a consortium that helps to create, manage or repair communities. This is done through technological innovations, such as an online university and providing services to individual communities so that they can evolve, grow and heal.

ADVERTISEMENT What is your process or approach? We have a 360° approach, which is vital when completing projects of this kind. Every community is different, with its own, unique make-up. We start with Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and make sure that we are meeting the primary needs of the people. We then work with each community to create autonomous, sustainable solutions through our community reinforcements, eg. water, energy, communication, training, agriculture, entrepreneurship and resilience. Our approach is defined by our system of ethical values that myself and my team have created. It essentially puts people, and their interests, at the centre of everything we do. We begin with an analysis of each, individual community and see what areas can be repaired or recreated. We have certain programmes that are adaptable and we can mould them to local needs and the specifics of a certain place or group of people. We also have a comprehensive system of IT tools and services which we can develop within a community’s infrastructure. These include platforms and technologies for governance and business, our online university, tools to help with literacy and many, many more. Any community that wants to evolve or feels the need to be repaired following traumatic events, can benefit from our programmes. This can be anything from a small boost, to a complete framework to help with a range of issues, from a difficult economic situation, food crisis or conflict to improving education provision. Out of respect, we don’t impose ourselves on any community, we only provide help when we have been asked. Except in cases of natural disasters, such as Mozambique. What challenges exist for your organisation and how do you stay inspired? We are a young organisation (founded in 2018), so we realise that it will be our achievements and our values that propel us forward and earn us a good standing within the international community. As we become more recognised, the challenges grow and change and we are now at a time when we need to invest in creating essential tools for our programs. With the creation of the COCÖÖÖN Consortium, we hope to advance a range of technological innovations in blockchain and artificial intelligence, which will help us to develop and implement international coaching in new and exciting ways. The world is changing so quickly and technology is changing even faster. We need to stay mindful of this change, so that our beneficiaries will be able to fit into the modern world. We do this in conjunction with our research laboratories and our Innovation Valleys which started in Switzerland at the Vallée de Joux. This is a school of applied innovation, dedicated to creating and innovating, including a specific section for the development of virtual reality. My main role-models and sources of inspiration are Martin Luther King and Gandhi. I greatly admire both men and I always appreciate their qualities when I see them in other people.



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Social Change: Wingram is changing the social media landscape

| Interview with Luca Rossi, CEO of Wingram | By Alexis Boddy


any people have the seed of an idea planted in their minds. The difference between most people and the entrepreneur is that the entrepreneur will bring that seed to life in the most vibrant way possible. This is through hard work, yes, but also the ability to think differently, to see potential in something that other people don’t. Luca Rossi is one such entrepreneur. Originally from Italy, he had been working internationally for over a decade when he came up with the idea for his business during a routine market behaviour analysis at an investment firm. We caught up with him to talk about inspiration and how to turn the seed of an idea into a blossoming, viable business. Have you always had a passion for entrepreneurship? I’ve always been drawn to technology and entrepreneurial innovation. I founded my first tech start-up, Bullective, at 21. My background is mainly in business administration and finance and I’ve been working internationally for ten years, at prestigious firms such as KPMG, Frankfurt Stock Exchange and Rothschild & Co. But my passion for technology and innovation has stayed strong and I’ve worked as a consultant for various start-ups as well as being a member of Zug Cryptocurrency Association and I’ve been a business partner in blockchain-related projects. For me, entrepreneurship is about four core values: creativity, freedom, leadership and persistence. I see these qualities in every entrepreneur and they have served as a source of inspiration for me throughout my career and, more recently, when I founded Wingram. How did you come up with the idea for Wingram? I came up with the idea while I was working for an investment firm. Part of my role was to perform market behaviour analysis, a normal day-to-day task. During one of these analyses, I came up with the idea for Wingram after I noticed an unusual correlation between market capitalisation and the revenue generation capacity of tech companies in the social network area. In practice, companies like Facebook, Instagram, Tinder etc, are rarely evaluated based on their EBITDA or revenue-generation but mainly on the number of users they have on their platform. This got me thinking about a model where users can be a source of revenue for their social network providers but they also gain from the activity they generate.


You mentioned four core values. Can you tell us a bit more about those? You need creativity to be able to make something truly original and to then take that unique, one-of-a-kind concept and turn it into something that your customers will love. I am a huge believer in creative potential and that there is art and beauty in every product - from a piece of code to a simple marketing pitch. It’s up to us to find that beauty and make our customers see it too. So, for example, with Wingram, I saw the ineffectiveness of advertising on social media - from the lack of value it brings to users, to the invasiveness of the adverts themselves - and I wanted to create something that rewarded users and helped companies. There is so much creativity in developing an elegant solution to a problem, especially when no one else has seen it. This is strongly linked to the idea of freedom. Creative freedom and the freedom from the external expectations of others. You have to believe in your product wholeheartedly and not worry about the opinions of people who don’t fully understand it, or don’t understand the leap of faith that’s sometimes required. Leadership in the entrepreneurial field is totally different to, say, a managerial position within the hierarchical structure of a bigger company. Leadership in start-ups is a matter of trust more than a matter of corporate titles. It’s the capacity to build a business culture with a set of values that are clear to all stakeholders and making sure that the other founders and employees all fully trust them. One of the best things about my job has been to create our own culture and build our own set of values from inception. You should build a business to create value, not for your ego. Do whatever it takes to increase the value of the company and not your personal interests. Which brings me onto persistence. During the life cycle of a new business, you will bump into enormous difficulties and it’s fundamentally important to remain on course and keep going. For me, success is defined by knowing that you devoted all of your energy and passion to your dreams, no matter the size of the business or the sector.

About. Wingram (www.wingram.app) is a social network platform for Giveaways. Using an innovative mobile application we allow companies and small producers to sponsor their product on our platform, and we reward users for their photo contests and activities. This new B2C advertisement concept introduces multiple solutions which aren’t present today on modern social networks when it comes to advertisement and marketing.



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The Amazon: A catastrophic failure of words and action. By Darie Nani

The map above shows active fire detection's in Brazil as observed by Terra and Aqua MODIS between August 15-22, 2019. NASA Earth Observatory images by Joshua Stevens, using MODIS data from NASA EOSDIS/LANCE and GIBS/Worldview, Fire Information for Resource Management System (FIRMS) data from NASA EOSDIS, and data from the Global Fire Emissions Database (GFED).

Active fires Towns and cities




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he Amazon rainforest is spectacular, a truly sublime testament to the beauty and wonder of the natural world. The area, known as the ‘lungs of the world,’ is a verdant paradise, spanning some 5.5 million square kilometres. It is home to some 390 billion trees, of which a large proportion are now burning. The fires raging across this magnificent, fertile landscape have shocked the world, with questions coming from nations around the globe. How did these fires start? Why are our lungs burning? The answer to these questions is not simple. The Amazon is vast. Sometimes too vast to properly comprehend. It stretches across Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Columbia, French Guiana, Bolivia, Suriname, Guyana and Venezuela. And it’s not just its geographical topology that is vast and untenable, its history, its social implications, practically everything about it is complex. A twisting tale of nations, people, wildlife and industry all bound together like so many branching roots. The cause of the fires currently raging was a match lit long ago when the first transatlantic explorers arrived from Portugal in the 16th Century. They saw the value of the vast swathes of forest that lay before them. Since then, the demands of international trade have seen the rainforest be used not only for the early timber trade but also later for the rubber trade and, more recently, agribusiness and illegal logging. This recent deforestation, occurring from the middle of the twentieth century onward, has meant that huge tracts of the Amazon have been gouged away. Fire has been used as a way to clear land for agriculture for many years with terrible consequences for the rainforest, but it is with the new policies of the Bolsonaro government that the breadth and extent of the destruction has reached new heights. The Brazilian government has culled financial support for their environmental protection agency by 95% which has direct consequences for firefighting provisions in the Amazon. Farmers, businesses and other organisations are now emboldened by these policies and by a quiet unspoken reassurance that they will not be held to account for their actions. The fires currently raging through the forest were, most likely, started by people making room for cattle farming. This has had a devastating effect on the biodiversity of the region, as well as destroying populations of indigenous peoples. Indeed, it is well documented that Bolsonaro is overtly opposed to the rights of the, at least, 305 tribes that live within his country’s borders. This has given licence to armed, extremist groups of ‘grileiros’ or land-grabbers, who will invade the land of indigenous tribes and feel legitimised to do so. Most, if not all, of these tribes are heavily reliant on the rainforest, for their daily lives, their cultural beliefs and their societal units. They have survived hundreds of years of colonial, industrial encroachments and these recent fires are just the latest incursion in centuries of systematic infiltration's.


Photo credit: One Tree Planted

The Rise of the Populists, we reap what we saw. It is clear the rise of populist leaders in the US, Europe and further afield have now emboldened characters like Bolsonaro to roll back environmental protections for the Amazon. Last month, when world leaders met at the G7 they quickly condemned the Brazilian president for his inaction and total failure in the stewardship of the Amazon. His reaction was not only defiant it also exposed a total lack of political capital. Even their offer of financial support (the carrot world powers always fall back on) fell on deaf ears. Bolsonaro is not interested, and why should he be? When President Trump pulls the United States (one of the world’s largest polluter) out of the most comprehensive climate agreement ever signed, what does that say to populist leaders like Bolsonaro? When the UK, a country with over 19,000 miles (34,000+ Km) of coastline would rather invest in highly unpopular fracking sites while rejecting plans to build wind farms (because they are an “eyesore”), what does that say to Bolsonaro? When instead of taking immediate action at the sight of the polar ice caps melting faster than ever predicted, nations are instead fighting to be the first to exploit the region’s now uncovered oil and gas resources, it is almost comical to think that a few “stern words” from leaders at the G7 will accomplish anything. What are Bolsonaro’s plans for the Amazon? Behind the displacement of the Amazon’s indigenous populations are the plans to build hydroelectric dams in the region, developing the land used by the native people and effectively destroying their way of life. The river is the source of their food and water. Any development on the land would severely affect this resource. Bolsonaro has spoken of unifying and integrating the indigenous people with the larger Brazilian population, in an cynical attempt to utilise the areas of rainforest they currently inhabit. The development of this land for dams may be seen as a popular decision, bringing employment, construction and the glimmering possibility of economic stability. It is the same cynical strategy employed by the current US administration to Make America Great Again by promising to bring the coal industry back to it’s heyday or removing protection of wild animals and opening up wildlife reserves for oil and resource exploration. What many don’t realise or are completely happy to ignore is the consequences of the environmental destruction. The fires currently darkening the daytime skies over São Paulo should serve as a stark warning of the ramifications of such devastation. What should be done?

Organisations on the ground right now There are many organisations and people across the world who are working hard to combat the effects of deforestation and currently trying to fight the fires raging in the Amazon. One such organisation is One Tree Planted (www.onetreplanted.org) a non-profit based in Vermont, USA, who’s ethos is simple: ‘we plant trees.’ They fight deforestation with reforestation, enabling every person to see the effect of their donation, through the planting of trees. From 50,000 trees planted in 2015 to 1.3 million trees planted in 2018, they are going from strength to strength with their empowering, affirmative message that every person, every donation and every single tree matters.


It is clear that without a coordinated international effort it is not just the Amazon that will suffer. The rise of populism is a direct failure of leadership by the world’s leading economies, not only have we failed to lead the rest of the world, but we have also failed our own people. The roll back of environmental protections is a consequence of this failure and without drastic change from each of us the “powers that be” will be in no hurry to provide solutions. It is with hope and inspiration that we look at the next generation and their passion to save the environment. Young people all over the world are emboldened by their peers, such as Greta Thunberg, who is now a household name in many countries. Efforts by her and others her age might finally start to translate into a real change of policy and culture. However, what chance will they have to fight for the necessary change in a world of dwindling resources and opportunities? A world more divided and at odds with itself? Are we simply setting them up for failure? We stand upon the precipice of unimaginable consequence and we are, in fact, already in the midst of a mass extinction event. Not brought on by some natural disaster over which we have no control but by our own greed and wilful ignorance. Right now, we are standing on train tracks playing a game of chicken with the incoming locomotive. When it hits, you can be rest assured the locomotive and track will be just fine, we however, won’t be.



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Learn to move Mountains® How you can move mountains too | By Elaine France, founder of Flow In Action | Sponsored by Lemania-Verbier International School. To find out more visit www.lvis.ch for more information.


elson Mandela said, “It always seems impossible until it’s done!”, so how do you learn to move mountains?

Bright ideas to take action in our communities and for the planet don’t just popup already formed. Innovation starts in the soupy unformed mess of everyday life. Designing real and radical solutions is a process that starts with empathy. And I would add, that there is no empathy without love.

The L-word The L-word. Love. That new, old disruptor: the lens we need to start re-looking through with some purpose, urgency and agency to disrupt the fear-mongers, sceptics and cynics making a land-grab on resources and power. I mention the L-word because love as the greatest of our positive emotions, opens up our deepest capacity to create, find new perspectives and step away from fear and scarcity-thinking. Barbara L Fredrickson’s work on this shows how love unlocks your imagination and creativity, out of which ideas for solving seemingly intractable problems start to flow. I have taken to calling it the Tao of Innovation. Love triggers the how of things, how things happen, the process of having ‘ideas of value’ as Sir Ken Robinson calls them; the process leading to real innovation which supports the flourishing of people and planet.

Design around love for the planet Much of the work I have done with young people recently, has been around UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 11 – Sustainable Cities and Communities.


Elaine has worked for 25 years as a change-maker and understands the challenges of taking action as a global citizen, growing sustainable solutions from within communities, rather than ‘doing it’ them to them. She brings expertise and perspectives from across sectors, with tools and strategies that enable every individual to become an adventurer who dares to dream and has the courage to turn their ideas into reality. She works to create a circle of impact, empowering others so that they share and transfer those skills around the globe wherever they are, so that lasting change happens organically from the inside out

SPONSORED CONTENT When you give young people, as global citizens, a blueprint to explore this SDG, to practice love for the planet at a local level within their community, their school, their town, they design phenomenal, practical solutions, understanding that action at this granular level adds up to global impact. From the practical here-and-now to futures thinking, their ideas flow: vegetable gardens on flat roofs, turning the school field into a meadow of biodiversity, nano-tech fans filtering CO2 from the air, recycling plastic into clothing, hyperloop influenced travel, their creativity is endless.

Educational Excellence in Verbier

The SDGs provide a framework for taking action for everyone, in the context of taking action for the planet. Their great value lies, at this point in our history, in being goals that work for the many, not the few; to give everyone who feels small, their voice. Quite rightly then, young people are demanding that we dare as greatly as they do. It really is time to take action, as Wangari Maathai, the Kenyan politician, environmental activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner said, “Finally I was able to see that if I had a contribution I wanted to make, I must do it, despite what others said. That I was OK the way I was. That it was all right to be strong.” Amidst the powerfully intoxicating distracting sugary white noise that is triggering great anxiety, young people are holding steadfast on love for the planet. From Greta sailing the Atlantic to go to the UN Climate Summits, to Ethiopia planting 350 million trees in one day, there are no shortage of ways to take action. These young people asked me to set you a challenge, to do while you are reading this, because in the words of the late actor and playwright Sam Shepard when he wrote about love, “There can be a real meeting between two people at the point where they always felt marooned. Right at the edge.”

Verbier International School Chalet Mascotte / Route deVerbier Station 88 1936 Verbier / Switzerland For more information, pleasevisit: www.lvis.ch +41 27 565 26 56 / info@lvis.ch

Start unlocking your ideas for taking action by digging your mission statement out of the dust...whatever project, educational setting or business you are in, whatever size or reach. What happens when you write ‘love for the planet’ into it? What would it mean to your work if you did this? What would it mean about it? What changes?

Dream Big In 2018, John Elkington, wrote an article for Harvard Business Review calling for a rethink of the Triple Bottom Line, the sustainability framework which he developed in 1994 enabling businesses to measure their financial, social and environmental impact. He wrote that he was making a management recall, fine-tuning what was needed, because sustainability “must also be measured in terms of the wellbeing of billions of people and the health of our planet.” With this in mind, I am imagining what these young people can do when they take the same approach using their design thinking skills, to meet the innovation challenges of the ten industries identified in Coursera’s Global Skills Index 2019, including automotive, manufacturing and tech – industries with the greatest potential to make positive impact for sustainability on the planet. I may be a dreamer but I am clearly not the only one. It is in the dreaming big, daring to look from this new, old perspective which takes you to the bright ideas, this meeting at the nexus of love for the planet. You may not have moved mountains yet, but you can start anytime. The young people I talk to, requested that I ask you this question, “What’s stopping you?” And to tell you, “It’s not how you fall, it’s how you get back up that counts.” You just need to meet us at the edge.

The Verbier International School proposesinternational boarding and day school for 3 to 16 year olds in the heart of the SwissAlps. Ski Academy available, combining individually tailored education with an intensive 51 ski programme.


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Stories from Indonesia’s coasts how fishermen have abandoned destructive fishing Ali Yansyah Abdurrahim, Human Ecology Researcher, Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI)


he island nation of Indonesia, where waters teem with coral fish, banned the use of bombs and cyanide for fishing in 2004 but weak enforcement means some fishers in Indonesia still bomb reefs and poison sea creatures. Protecting Indonesia’s marine ecosystems and ceasing to use these destructive methods is, in fact, in the best interests of the country’s fishing communities. I study human ecology. Between 2016 and 2018 I took part in research in Selayar, in South Sulawesi. The area is in the centre of the Coral Triangle, a vast network of coral reefs dotting the waters surrounding six countries in Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific. The research team lived among fishing communities in three villages to learn why and how fishing communities in Indonesia stopped using bombs and cyanide to fish. The study found that some individuals who previously participated in destructive fishing can transform into inspiring leaders and influence others to protect coral reefs. We’ve collected stories of 15 champions for sustainable fishing, from former fish bombers to heads of villages (one of them female) and local government officials who work far beyond the requirements of their jobs. These individuals undergo their transformation in different ways. However, almost all of them began to change their ways after being exposed to a government program called COREMAP (Coral Reef Rehabilitation and Management Program) who’s implementation at the local level, ended in 2017. Here are four of their stories.

Yudi Ansar - The death of four friends from fish bombing changed his perspective Yudi Ansar started fishing by detonating bombs underwater after graduating from high school. One day, however, a terrible bomb accident killed four of his friends. Now 38 years old, Ansar said he couldn’t remember the exact year of his friends’ death. He said that, at the time, he was not aware that it was illegal to use bombing and cyanide to fish. Law enforcement in the Batangmata Sapo village in the east coast of Selayar district, where he was living, was weak. Several officials even protected those involved in destructive fishing. Ansar gave up on being a fisherman and looked for other jobs. He moved to Patikarya, one of the villages in the COREMAP program. Ansar joined the program, taking part in the Community Committee for Coastal Resource Management (LPSP). The community’s main task is to protect the coral reefs by providing villagers alternative livelihoods, such as salted fish and shrimp paste production. He now serves as a government facilitator for village development, a role that allows him to influence other fishers to abandon illegal and destructive fishing practices in Patikarya village.


Muhammad Arsyad - A former user of fish bombing and cyanide Muhammad Arsyad began fishing using explosives in 1987, a common practice in his home village. In addition to fish bombing, he learned to use cyanide for fishing from a Hong Kong-based business who hired him as the company’s buyer for groupers and clams. The company required him to teach fishers how to use chemicals for fishing. Muhammad had a side business producing salted fish. As his side business grew, he stopped fishing at the end of 2004. That year, he was appointed as a village official and became involved with the COREMAP program. He started to become aware of the adverse effects of destructive fishing. In 2008, he became the village head. Using his influence as the village head and former fisher “boss”, where he influenced other “bosses” to stop fish bombing. He also involved wives and children, to increase awareness of the importance of coral reefs and alternative livelihoods. His village library provides books on coral reefs, fish processing, and crafts, to chicken farming.

Mappalewa - From a convicted fish bomber to sustainable fishing campaigner Mappalewa, who goes just by one name, has been arrested three times for fish bombing and using cyanide for fishing, but now he is the head of his villages’ Community Committee for Coastal Resource Management (LPSP). He started using bombs to fish in the 1980s after learning that he can catch more fish by using explosives. In the 2000s, he started using cyanide because he saw other fishers catching big live fish in large quantities. After the government banned fish bombing and poisoning, Mappalewa began bribing local officers to continue destructive fishing. However, he ended up spending more on fines and bribes. Eventually, he realised that the methods were not worthwhile financially. As the head of the LPSP he tells other fishers that fish bombing is not worth it, sharing his own experience.

Andi Hidayati - A female leader who stopped her village from destructive fishing Born into a noble family, Andi Hidayati’s fight against illegal fishing initially started as she watched outsiders bomb and poison in her village waters. Then, she found out that 30% out of 246 fishers in Bungaiya were involved in the bombings and poisonings. During her administration as a Village leader, Bungaiya village was part of the COREMAP program. Hidayati learned from COREMAP that local villagers did not know that fish bombing was illegal. They told her that if they did not use bombs to fish, their incomes will suffer. They were also competing with fishers from outside Bungaiya village for local fish resources. Nevertheless, she managed to convince the villagers to adopt alternative livelihood introduced under COREMAP programs, such as fish ball production, snacks, and other fish-based production. Hidayati also used her authority as the village head to issue a village law on community protected areas which regulates catch zones, fishing gear and sanctions. Later, she became involved in patrolling and catching illegal fishers with the police and village marine volunteers. The champions profiles have been published in “Social influence for protecting coral reefs: champions and their strategies from Selayar, Indonesia” published by the Capturing Coral Reef and Related Ecosystem Services Project (ccres.net/resources/ccrestool/fishcollab), a project that developed technical models, tools and knowledge products to assist managers, policy-makers and planners to manage coastal ecosystems and, in doing so, sustain the services these ecosystems provide to coastal communities. This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Visit www.theconversation.com for more.



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Leaving No One Behind: Paradigm Global Innovation on why implementing a digitally focused curriculum in Africa is key to meeting UN’s CDP 2030 pledge | By Dr Marina Nani

With the adoption of the 2030 Agenda, UN Member States pledged to ensure “no one will be left behind” and to “endeavour to reach the furthest behind first”. United Nations Development Program


he UN Committee for Development Policy (CDP) 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development has pledged to ‘leave no one behind’ with a focus on rural and low-income areas such as sub-Saharan Africa. The fundamental elements as pointed out by the CDP will be education and housing initiatives to address the huge imbalance of national and international exclusion and inequality present in these countries. As private initiatives will undoubtedly play a key role in meeting these targets, we take a look at an education-based agency who sees Africa as a natural hub for developing the next generation’s talent. Paradigm Global Innovation (www.paradigmglobalinnovations.com), founded in 2016, with expertise in education technology development, delivery, and creating access to learning is just one such initiative. We spoke to the founder, U.S. born, Rachel Afolabi about why Paradigm is forging ahead in Africa. Tell us more about Paradigm Innovation, what do you hope to achieve? Paradigm Global Innovation works with clients in the U.S.A., Europe and Africa, developing digital learning content, implementing learning management systems, and developing curriculum and learning pathways. New opportunities have emerged in the need for content development and integration of new technologies into existing curriculum and training needs for teachers at every level, from primary to secondary school education (K-12) to corporate education. I started this as an independent consultant and began to expand as the need in education continues to grow globally. Industry leaders need to continue the upskilling of their employees to keep



up with the technologies that have emerged and will keep emerging and improving learning processes, creating smart cities, and creating job opportunities for economic development. My digital transformation and education agency started in 2016 with expertise in education technology development, delivery, and creating access to learning. We help to identify gaps and develop learning plans for colleges, universities, and corporations. We are in the business of strategy and sustainable implementation. Starting this year, 2019, our partnerships have expanded in the U.K. and Africa, creating innovation centres with a focus on integrating emerging technologies into learning in different disciplines, and educating on the essential skills and leadership development needed in the continuous development and implementation of these technologies. We hope to develop educators at all levels to continue to learn new technologies to enhance education, and to contribute in providing access to learning these new technologies in communities that do not have existing or limited access. What inspired you to become an entrepreneur? I have been an entrepreneur since my teenage years. I made and sold handmade festive cards for friends and family members. I had my son in my third year of college, and I wanted to create an opportunity for myself where I could earn an income independently. I specialised in textiles design in my Industrial Design program in university. During that time, I attempted to sell my designs to a textiles manufacturing firm in Nigeria. Unfortunately, I was super naive and inexperienced, so I got paid a few thousand Naira and was sent my way with no royalties negotiated!

access to places that would not otherwise be considered in this technology boom that is occurring globally. Starting September 2019, we will be providing opportunities to individuals in that locality creating access to technology education and training thereby playing our part in not leaving Nigeria and Africa behind in global technology advancements. Having already secured early partners from the United States, and the U.K., we are stoked that this will be a success and our contribution to the renaissance of Nigeria, and Africa. We are also working with a non-profit organisation in Pittsburgh, PA. U.S.A. launching a digital skills program training youth and connecting them with businesses with technology needs in a local area. I am also very proud of our work in launching our platform on Africa Interactive, an interactive platform that tells the story of Africa from the perspective of Africans utilising immersive and interactive learning approaches. This is a brand-new education platform we launched recently in the Netherlands and we hope to grow extensively in the next few months. About: Rachael Afolabi was born in Indiana, U.S.A. and grew up in Zaria, a historical city in Northern Nigeria. Her career started off at a small graphic design firm in Lagos, Nigeria, where she worked as a graphic designer. She later moved to the U.S. where she has worked for higher education institutions and international Fortune 50 companies in the U.S.A. as an instructional designer and technology and workforce development specialist. She is currently a researcher in Europe working in immersive education technologies and an adjunct professor, teaching courses in web design and development, and instructional design. She has an 18-year old son and has been married to her husband for three years.

That was a hard lesson, but it also began my journey to learn as much as I could about business. I briefly owned and ran an art gallery in Brooklyn, New York from 20102012, representing artists around the world. I learned a lot but did not make huge financial profits! It did afford me the opportunity to expand my global network. I closed the business when it became too time-consuming and financially impractical. I focused on developing my technology skills to pivot my art business and advancing my career in instructional design. What is the best thing about your job? The creativity and diversity of people and technologies we get to work with is exciting, and also discovering new places where we can provide access and opportunities in technology. And the most challenging? One of the most challenging parts of my work is still the recognition of women in technology, especially women of colour. It is still tough to walk into a room and be accepted despite working in this field with successful outcomes for thirteen years! There is progress, but there is still a lot of work that needs to be done. It doesn’t stop me though, if anything, it provides the encouragement and gusto needed to continue. What has been your most satisfying moment in business so far? The most satisfying thing in business for me is when a client is satisfied. That is satisfying. But I do have to say that we just opened our first education innovation coworking centre in Osogbo – Atunse (meaning Renaissance in Yoruba language) Innovation Coworking Space. Hardly the place you would expect an innovation centre but that’s exactly what we’re about. Creating



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Modern hunter-gatherer children could tell us how human culture evolved and inspire new ways of teaching By Gul Deniz Salali British Academy Research Fellow and Lecturer in Evolutionary Anthropology/Medicine, UCL


hen Eteni, a 13-month-old baby living in the dense rainforests of Congo, attempts to cut freshly hunted meat with a sharp knife, no one interferes. In fact, Eteni can often be found playing with sharp tools and imitating her nine-yearold aunt, Bwaka, who is already efficient at digging wild yams and cutting bush meat with her machete. As Eteni and Bwaka interact with each other and other community members, they provide a glimpse into how Mbendjele hunter-gatherer children acquire skills that are crucial for survival in the forest. I’m an evolutionary anthropologist and I’m interested in how hunter-gatherer children learn because these observations might tell us how humans transmitted skills and knowledge before the dawn of agriculture. By observing hunter-gatherers as they share knowledge about the world around them today, we get a glimpse of how human culture developed in ancient huntergatherer communities. Human culture is unprecedented because it is cumulative. We build on our existing stock of skills and information, recombine them and generate new ones. This process, over time, results in complex phenomena like the internet. At the beginning, there was language and speech, then came the written word and printing, radio communication and telephone, then computers and the internet. But culture only accumulates and evolves over time if information can be passed on accurately. In our study, my colleagues and I watched more than 100 video recordings from time I spent with the Mbendjele BaYaka Pygmies to understand how huntergatherer children develop skills such as using knives, caring for infants, and gathering wild plants when they are as young as three years old. Most infants and toddlers learn by freely exploring their environment, observing and copying others. This way of learning through imitation is a great way of transmitting skills accurately and likely explains how the earliest concepts and processes were first learned and communicated among ancient hunter-gatherer groups. Teaching is another great way of ensuring information is passed on correctly. But compared to the years of formal education children receive in societies like the UK – where a strict hierarchy is enforced between them and the teacher – teaching is rare for hunter-gatherer children like the Mbendjele. Hunter-gatherers encourage children to be self-reliant and are less likely to intervene in their actions, because independence is crucial in their environment where a person needs to look for food each day. Does this mean that teaching isn’t necessary? Not at all. Our observations suggest that teaching in humans is universal and has evolved as cultures have evolved. When skills and knowledge become more sophisticated – as information and complex interdependent relationships stack up – learning through being taught becomes crucial. You can’t learn mathematics by simply observing someone solving problems after all.


Mbendjele children learn to use tools like machetes from a very young age. Photo credit: Gul Deniz Salali, Author provided

Among the Mbendjele today, teaching is reserved for transmitting abstract information, like how to behave around others. Rather than giving direct instructions, hunter-gatherer teachers often create learning opportunities and monitor the child’s activity. For example, I watched a teenage boy learn how to share food equally among the camp as the adult monitoring him only intervened to give feedback.

The value of childhood and play As humans, we have an unusually long childhood period. On average, we spend the first 18 years of our lives being dependent on others for food. In contrast, chimpanzees are nutritionally self-sufficient immediately after weaning, at five to six years of age. Many agree that childhood has evolved in humans to allow necessary time to develop the complex skills needed for hunting and gathering. The accurate transmission of these skills and knowledge through imitation and being taught allowed human culture to evolve. In most societies today, schools serve this purpose. But for thousands of years, humans didn’t have formal schooling. In traditional societies like the Mbendjele, children spend most of their time in playgroups. As these groups are composed of children of different ages, they provide an environment for children to learn from each other. Practising skills or acquiring knowledge in playgroups accounted for over 60% of the learning we saw in our study. In one of their plays, Mbendjele children imitate the forest spirit rituals of adults. During these rituals, women sing together while clapping their hands to beckon forest spirits into the camp. Men, who claim to have captured spirits while walking in the forest, cover themselves in wild leaves in a secret path, and later arrive in the camp to perform ritualistic dance. By imitating these rituals in mixed-sex playgroups, huntergatherer children learn gender roles and cultural practices. Growing up in Turkey, I feel fortunate to have had a childhood where I got to play in the streets with other kids. When I’m with the Mbendjele children, I admire their freedom in playing outdoors and their creativity in turning the forest’s different materials into something to play with. I think we have a lot to learn from hunter-gatherer childhoods. Not only do they shed light on how culture evolved, but they can inspire us to re-imagine how children are taught – something people seem surprisingly incurious about elsewhere in the world. About: Gul Deniz Salali is a British Academy Post-doctoral Research Fellow (2018-2021) and proleptic Lecturer in Evolutionary Anthropology/Medicine at University College London. She did her PhD in Evolutionary Anthropology at UCL studying cultural evolution in Pygmy hunter-gatherers. She holds a double Master’s degree in Evolutionary Biology from the University of Groningen, the Netherlands and the University of Montpellier, France; and a Bachelor’s degree in Molecular Biology and Genetics from Istanbul Technical University, Turkey. In her work, she uses tools and concepts from evolutionary biology to answer questions on human behaviour, health and disease. Her current research is on diet, use of wild plants, child-rearing practices, social learning and health in extant huntergatherers. For this, she does fieldwork in Congo-Brazzaville living with the Mbendjele BaYaka Pygmy hunter-gatherers. Her research has been published in journals including Science, Current Biology, and Nature Human Behaviour. This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Visit www.theconversation.com for more.



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A climate change curriculum to empower the climate strike generation Ria Dunkley | Lecturer in Geography, Environment and Sustainability, University of Glasgow


t’s too late to protect them from it, so how do teachers tell children about climate change without scaring them? The good news is that young people are already engaged – the students taking part in climate strikes show that young people want action and are willing to skip school to show how serious they are. But while in class, children shouldn’t feel their time is wasted. Primary school teachers have an ethical responsibility to bring climate change into their classrooms and they’re well placed for the task. Imagining a climate change curriculum is no mean feat. How to cover the range, scale and scope of the climate emergency? From the global effects on Earth’s biodiversity to the human sources of greenhouse gas emissions – climate change will dominate the future of today’s children and reshape every aspect of their lives. Then there’s the biggest question of all – what are we going to do about it? This seems to animate children more than the adults in power, and the free imaginations we usually attribute to children are needed to remake the world in light of the climate crisis. A key task of educators in the 21st century is to make such abstract concepts tangible.

Springboard stories Storytelling offers a way through for the educator and every primary school teacher I’ve ever met seems to have a gift for it. I saw how powerful storytelling could be when I worked at the Eden Project in Cornwall – the world’s largest indoor rainforest. Here, visitors learn about the natural world while immersed in it. One teacher told a story about ancient Polynesians who travelled the Pacific taking plants they grew with them to use for medicine, food and clothing. He explained to the school group that this led to the dispersal of plants – like coconut-carrying palms and bananas trees – all across islands in the Pacific. “Your island is sinking,” he told the children. “You’re setting off to find new lands and changing your life. What plants would you take with you?” With that thought, the children wandered off amid Eden’s rice plants, the banana and rubber trees that make tires and the periwinkles that cure childhood leukaemia. Their lives might feel a million miles from those ancient travellers, but the dynamics are the same – we all rely on the natural world. It’s not just something pretty to look at, it’s vital for our survival. Stories can act as springboards that catapult young people into new ways of seeing, thinking and being in a constantly changing world.

Reading time Every primary school should amass a climate change book shelf. This could inspire an enduring love of nature and begin to build familiarity with ecological terms and


Tropical vegetation inside the Eden Project dome. Summerset, United Kingdom (www.edenproject.com)

concepts. A good example is Rob McFarlane’s Lost Words – something of a rescue mission for nature words that have been erased from the Oxford Junior Dictionary. The book introduces children to otters, conkers and kingfishers through poetry and beautiful paintings. Books that deal more directly with environmental destruction and climate change are also needed. Lara Hawthorne’s Alba, the hundred-year-old fish, tells the story of a beautiful coral reef that becomes a littered graveyard. Alba the fish gets stuck in a plastic bottle and is only saved by a little girl who recruits her community to clean up the ocean and release Alba. Telling these tales could lead into discussions about helpful activities for outside the classroom. With a well-planned reading list, language can be a surprisingly effective bridge to the great outdoors, and a powerful motivator for taking care of it.

From students to stewards Schools by the sea might read “Alba” before taking part in a beach clean. Teachers could help pupils record data in citizen science projects, like spotting sea grass along sheltered coastlines to help scientists understand where these underwater meadows are and protect them. Urban schools might find patches of ancient woodland, parks and gardens to undertake surveys. Here they might identify lichen and moss on trees to measure air pollution – where there’s more growing on tree bark, the air quality tends to be better. They might also dip test paper in ponds to understand local water pollution or plant trees and sow new wildflower meadows. There are also opportunities to explore nature within school grounds. The Natural History Museum’s Microverse project helps children identify the species that live on walls and in the little nooks and crannies of a playground, and the ecological roles they play. Children may learn the effects of climate change in great detail throughout their time in school, but for the sake of hope, we need to take them through ways of mitigating those effects. An ambitious climate change curriculum in primary schools could empower young people to understand the natural world and to see themselves as part of it, before giving them the chance to engage with and help it. It’s important, however, that the climate strike generation aren’t allowed to feel their efforts are hopeless – school should nurture their passions and help them shape the future they stand to inherit.

Lichen are natural air pollution monitors that children can measure to keep track of their local environment.

About: Ria is a Lecturer in Geography, Sustainability and Environment at the University of Glasgow within the School of Education. She is also a Senior Visiting Fellow of the Institute of Advanced Teaching and Learning at the University of Warwick and a Research Affiliate of the Sustainable Places Research Institute at Cardiff University. Her interest in ecopedagogy began while working at the Eden Project in Cornwall, where she worked as a researcher for Climate Change Education programmes. She has spent most of the past decade in academia, researching and teaching in the field of ecopedagogy, exploring the role of education, in a range of formal and informal contexts and in tackling environmental crises and climate change. Ria is particularly interested in the role of narratives in environmental learning and climate change education and shares on Twitter an (almost!) nightly story on this theme (@riadunkley). You can view these by using the hashtag #ecostory. She would love to hear what ecostories you think help convey environmental and climate aware messages. This article is part of The Covering Climate Now series. This is a concerted effort among news organisations to put the climate crisis at the forefront of our coverage. Republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Visit www.theconversation.com for more.



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Through the Camera lens: By Elaine Pringle-Schwitter


ou know, if a man wrote this article it would probably be called mansplaining and then it would be ignored, possibly laughed at, disparaged and thereafter we would move merrily on - not fully addressing the content within. So yes dare I say it, I am using my advantages as a woman to write this article and believe that someone will read it. If enough people empathise, a change will take place; and the gender balance, the real gender balance that is being sought will actually happen. I am talking about the other side of the gender equality coin men’s issues. Men who feel disenfranchised, powerless, trapped, labelled even and invisible. If I say gender bias most, the majority will overwhelming believe I am talking about women and the rights for women. Actually, no. This article is about the hidden and often untold stories of the struggle that men are faced today here in Switzerland and across the western world - but currently it is not voguish to discuss or highlight this, even when we have clear statistics that show men, in particular divorced men are 10 times more likely to commit suicide than women. There is a slow but sure movement for men, a silent march, to have their concerned recognised and addressed. Mainstream media has predominately concentrated and headline the women’s movement and rightly so. Yes, there have been disparity, unfairness and bias towards genders. This is also applicable to men but many of us, me included, did not see it and are not seeing it. My eyes have been opened and now I’m writing about it. Contrary to popular belief, discussing men’s issues is not about denigrating the female movement or ensuring that their posi-


tion is marginalised. It is about highlighting and addressing many of the problems men face today. Often, to stall discourse and dialogue, the topic of men’s issues is usually avoided. Moreover, shut down - without further comment presumably because of the fear that this will somehow affect or interrupt the progress of the women’s movement. Both discussions must be had! And both must have equal billing. The gender quality debate is not a female only issue, or men for that matter. It really is a cultural, mixed with economic and social, issue. This article will not cover everything that needs to be said, but it is an introduction. In later articles and different interviewees, we will look in-depth at some of the other pressing topics pertaining to men’s identity, matters and position in society today. Real stories were needed to illustrate this discussion and the opinions of the affected must be documented. Journalism, photography and a burning heart were amalgamated to create this article. All 3 enabled me to see with my lens, listen with my ears and sympathise. It was an experience. Now I want to introduce you to the man that provided the content for this article. Say hello Stefan. The gentleman I interviewed will, for the purpose of this article, be known as Stefan. His real name is held for privacy and data protection reasons. Stefan is an unremarkable and ordinary guy. He would agree and describe himself as such. An ordinary life in der Schweiz. The textbook treadmill standard existence. Good university, good job, married, 2 children and a Border Collie dog. Unmistakably, an example of the nuclear family we all hear about. His current situation, however, is far from ordinary and he is part of a quiet group of men, not just in Switzerland that are living through challenging times with the break up of their nuclear set up. There was a matter of fact and defeatist attitude about him and his predicament. Rather than, what some would expect of him, blame his estranged wife for his situation, he was at a loss and feeling the squeak on a federal level. In the 2 days or so of my encounter with Stefan, I was educated and my eyes were opened to his and many men’s plight. Though the pictures and illustrations depict him as faceless, he was far from that. He was very real. Many men like him face a faceless, zero-representation, pedestrian and sometimes vilified existence. Stefan’s current existence, despite being in a good job is a 40+ year old man, living in his parents home because he is being financial drained to maintain his estranged wife’s lifestyle and the home they once shared with their children. Visitation rights were agreed in the courts, but there are always room for interpretation with his, as it puts it “wife’s creative ways to stop him from seeing his children”. He’s being punished. His children are being punished. Who on earth benefits here? The mental strain of not being able to see his children, the humiliation of temporarily living back with his parents, the lost of a major element of his independence and to see his family home, estranged wife and children getting on with their lives, effectively without his male input. Apart from financially of course. Placed in a situation like this, Stefan had ample time to think about his predicament and analyse the origins, cause and effect to such a level, I was able to imagine his pain and grieve with him. I do hope I convey the message that Stefan wants me to articulate in this article. Essentially, start a conversation about this quiet killer of men. Not just killer in terms of a physical death - as it is reported that the highest rate of suicides are men; but it is a killer of men’s mental wellbeing, social contribution and their understanding of their role in society. We are living in strange times, where labels are banded about largely without consequences. This is so wrong on many levels. My interviewee started to feel the

You know, if a man wrote this article it would probably be called ‘mansplaining’.

weight of certain movements - on a micro-level he had to be careful how he is seen, perceived and understood and on a macro-level he’s having to defend and often openly define ‘ordinary men’ to appease and fit in with the comfortability of others. He states that though he understood the validity of the #metoo movement, it went to such a level that it made even him and ordinary men like him feel as though they’ve got a label on their foreheads, a perverse label which they must bear. How unfair to select from ‘sex attacker’ ‘toxic masculinity’ ‘aggressor’ ‘predator’. He, barely 64kg of him, nervously laughed as he made that point but I knew that was a grave statement and a grave moment. It was what he, his male colleagues and friends felt and were talking about in quiet corners. At every turn, he had to justify, reiterate or even demonstrate his humble personality to females so as not to come across as those new and now fashionable labels. He was now more conscious of himself and his movements even though he knew he was nothing like those labels, far from it he exclaimed. He added, at the time it was nearly a daily bombardment of that movement that made his senses so heightened to the point that he had lost some of his confidence when talking to perfect strangers in the work and social space. He felt a ‘guilty until proven innocent’ aura. Perhaps this coming in parallel with the break up of his marriage didn’t help his sensibilities. Nevertheless, have we become a society that is defined by the worst of us - toxic males, toxic females, toxic humanity! Take your pick. Are we one of those by dint of the gender we are born in? I believe that writing about this doesn’t take away anything from my femininity and the need for equal rights for women, rather it shows my humanity. How can we be happy, free and fulfilled to pursue the things we want as females and not take note of the things that affect the men in our lives. Remember ladies, these are our sons, brothers, uncles, fathers, partners and friends. This is not an anti feminist article, this is a human rights article and surely we all treasure and believe in that? Stefan, you are no longer invisible and censored, shouting at the top of your voice in a sound-proof near windowless room and to add insult to injury, everyone who has a pulpit is looking the other way. Let’s not do what is so often described as being done to us women. Let’s open our minds and hearts, listen and see what WE ALL can do. I had a very educational experience with Stefan. Can’t you see? Men are shouting at the top of their voices “Damn it! #Andme…too.’



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How Kate Parkyn is using her passion for travel to inspire people to embark on new adventures.

By Alexis Boddy


s the saying goes ‘not all who wander are lost.’ Travel broadens our minds, introduces us to new cultures, other ways of life, new sights, sounds and smells. We return to our lives invigorated, maybe even wiser, ready to take on the challenges that life often presents us with. No one understands the restorative, indeed transformative, power of travel more than Kate and Dave Parkyn, who founded Go Supreme, a bespoke travel service that seeks to connect its clients with the very best the world has to offer. We caught up with Kate Parkyn, to discuss their business, the excitement of travel and the importance of loving life! Tell us a bit about yourself. Did you always know that you wanted to be an entrepreneur? I have lived in Geneva for over 20 years with my husband Dave and our children, Sam and Josh (who have returned to live in Switzerland after studying and working internationally). We obviously love travel and are also passionate about spending time with our family and getting outside as much as possible to cycle, hike and play golf in this amazing country we live in. We also love to set ourselves at least one big challenge a year that requires both physical and mental preparation. From the 100 mile Ride London cycle race to the Via Ferrata, we like to push ourselves and, ideally, raise money for a cause we believe in. This year we are going to do a trek to the Lost City in Columbia to raise money for Mind, the mental health charity and for Breast Cancer Now. We always knew that we wanted to start a business together but could never seem to find the motivation and had yet to come up with a solid plan. Then, five years ago, I was diagnosed with cancer, which made us radically re-evaluate our lifestyle and decide to make some changes. I must say that our children were the overriding inspiration for creating the business. We


have always told them that it is possible to succeed at anything you put your mind to and that it is never too late to change your path but I wanted to lead by example. So how did you come up with the idea for GoSupreme? We are passionate about travel and adventure. We wanted to provide a bespoke travel service that was truly tailored to each individual client. It was important to us to inspire people to go on voyages of discovery, to go to places they have never been and to do things they have never done before. We can also arrange ‘fly and flop’ type holidays for when our clients simply need to recharge but we also know that a lot of rejuvenation happens when we do something new and exciting. We know how exhausting it can be to look for a holiday and many people simply don’t have the time to trawl through hundreds of websites, looking for the perfect vacation. Our solution is simple: we save our clients valuable time, energy and money by finding their ideal holiday. Not only that but we will propose things that they may never have thought of, for a truly unforgettable experience. We utilise our knowledge and resources (such as our access to agent-only sites), to

SPONSORED CONTENT provide a service that thinks of everything - from initial bookings to online airport check-ins. Can you tell us more about how the process works? A client will usually get in contact with us with a particular holiday that they have in mind. Our first step is to listen. We take the time to really listen to what our clients want, what they’re looking for and, most importantly, who they are. We then speak to our specialist suppliers and begin to build the perfect itinerary, dependant on their wishes and budget. We can then share the proposal with the client and work with them until the plan has been perfected. More often than not, we get the proposal right first time and the clients are delighted! We also make sure that the clients know that we are only ever a phone call or message away, should they need any assistance.

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We work with a wide range of people but most of them are looking for someone to take the stress out of organising travel. They want the peace of mind that comes with knowing everything is being taken care of. All they have to do is pack their bags and go! We’ve organised all kinds of different experiences for our clients, from spending a day as an elephant keeper in South Africa, to Centre Court tickets at Wimbledon, to swimming with the pigs in the Bahamas! Every client is different and we take care of everything - airport parking, car rentals, hotels right through to theatre tickets and private tours. Who do you admire? Where do you find inspiration? We are very fortunate to have an amazing mentor, Norma Fenwick, who is there for us whenever we need her. Her encouragement and guidance has been invaluable to us and, with her help, we have been able to achieve so much more than we imagined possible. Tania Cotton, the founder of Movementwise, is someone I admire very much for her intelligence, determination, fitness and her ability to alter people’s perceptions of what they can achieve. She helped us both through our health and performance journey after my diagnosis in 2014. Thanks to Tania and a gruelling physical challenge, something which was very difficult for me at the time, I experienced a change of mindset about my own abilities and capabilities. As well as having our own business I now volunteer for ESCA Cancer Support and regularly do public speaking engagements promoting their services. They offer much-needed support to people diagnosed with cancer and their families. Speaking in public was a terrifying prospect for me before my Movementwise journey and now I embrace it. We are partnered with Movementwise to inspire people to keep exploring their own journeys, to live and love life and to have the most incredible travel experiences! Go Supreme provide a bespoke travel service that will help you craft your own, unique holiday that you’ll never forget. From conception through to the holiday itself, they’re here to help from start to finish.

10 nights from £1317pp Book at gosupreme.notjusttravel.com

63 Not Just Travel (Agency) Ltd, sells travel services on behalf of Hays Travel Limited and benefits from Hays Travel’s membership of ABTA with membership number K9413. ABTA and ABTA Members help holidaymakers to get the most from their travel and assist them when things do not go according to plan. We are obliged to maintain a high standard of service to you by ABTA’s Code of Conduct. Prices correct at time of printing.


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High Definition People, places & cats

It is never too late in life to try something new and with determination and the right skills you will succeed. Linda Gould , Artist Photographer, United Kingdom


inda was born in Northampton, UK and she had a traditional and happy childhood. Linda was and still is a very competitive person – she always wanted to be top of the class at school – second was not good enough – and that competitive and determined streak is still very much in evidence in her later years. Her school years were spent at an all girls school and then she went to university in London to a female college that was opening its doors to male students for the first time which made for interesting social situations. Linda’s father travelled widely as part of his job – this was in the days when it took a week to get to Australia by plane with multiple stops on the way. The family would follow his progress on a big map marked with pins. In the days before social media there would be no communication from him for weeks apart from postcards – and he would return with stories and photographs from his travels which is where Linda got her interest in travel and photography from. At university, when Linda stated that she wanted to go into a career in business her tutors gave up on her as all students were encouraged to go into teaching or research but despite this, Linda persisted and got onto the career ladder in the then fledgling IT industry. Sovereign went on to find out why photography brings a sense of awareness to Linda’s life. What did you do before becoming a photographer? After attending London University and obtaining a degree in Mathematics, I had a career in IT starting as a computer programmer through a graduate training program. My last two roles were as UK IT Manager for international construction companies. IT was at this time a very male oriented profession and add to this the male dominated construction industry – I became very used to being the only woman at events and in meetings. I had to learn to stand up for myself and make sure I had a voice! What made you change your career? I was made redundant from my last IT management position as part of a global outsourcing deal. I decided that I wanted to do something for myself and so I took retirement and I haven’t even considered going back into the corporate world since then. My friends said I would only last a few months before I became bored with this change of direction but I have proved them wrong and I am busy, fulfilled and happy with my new life. What made you choose photography ? I have always had an interest in photography and at the age of 11, I saved all my pocket money for months to buy what was then an expensive camera – a Kodak Retinette 1A. This was a camera where you needed to understand the controls (aperture, speed, focal length to name a few) as it was all manual – nothing like the automatic cameras that we use in today’s digital world. I still have this camera and I will always treasure it.



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What steps did you take to improve your photography? Before I retired, I always took photographs on holidays and at family events but this was a hobby and nothing really serious. I invested in a digital camera and I then had to learn to use it properly. So I attended the Full Time Professional Photography Course run by the London School of Photography. This is a six month course with modules covering all different aspects of photography – learning about the features of the camera, composition, subject matter, lighting etc. A lot of the course was hands on and I became much more confident behind the camera and more able to tackle different subjects. I also joined my local camera club – the Amersham Photographic Society – and I was introduced to the world of serious photographers (mainly male) and the competition judges. I realised that I had a lot to learn! What did you do next after completing your course? I now had to try and put all this photography knowledge to some use. One of my passions is animals so I thought I would try and combine this with photography by becoming a Pet Photographer. I started by taking photos at local dog shows and photographs of friend’s pets but despite some advertising locally, I quickly realised that this was not really going to be a viable business venture. I then charmed my way into becoming a volunteer photographer for my local Dogs Trust Rehoming Centre. Dogs Trust is the largest dog welfare charity in the UK and I take photographs for their web site and at their fund raising events. How did you get into event photography? Very soon after I retired, I started volunteering at Amersham Museum – a very exciting modern local history museum close to where I live. At my interview, we discussed what interests I have and that was the start of my event photography. I have taken photographs at many museum events – they tease me about always turning up with my camera. I also steward at the museum, help with school visits, tend the garden and photograph items that are donated for the collection. My work at the Museum has led to invitations to photograph at a variety of other local events in Amersham. How did you get involved with the Global Women Inventors & Innovators Network (GWIIN)? The London School of Photography posts details for their students of organisations who require a photographer for events and in 2014 I responded to a request from GWIIN for a photographer for their annual awards ceremony. GWIIN is an organisation close to my heart particularly given my experience as a woman in the corporate world and I like to think that my photographs and experience can assist the ladies starting out on their careers in business. I have kept in touch with Dr Bola Olabisi Founder & CEO of GWIIN and I have just spent two wonderful days photographing the GWIIN 2019 Conference and Awards Ceremonies. In these days where everyone takes photos all the time, how can your photography make a difference? My photography is non commercial – I concentrate on events for charities and nonprofit making organisations who normally cannot afford to hire a professional photographer. Photographs are one of the main ways to publicise and promote an organisation so they are really important. I aim to produce photographs which portray the spirit of an event and which are finished to a professional standard suitable for publication on social media and web sites. Do you have any other interests apart from photography? I have two other passions as well as photography – travel and animals (particularly big cats). I have visited India six times over the last few years – it is a paradise for a street photographer with all the colours and excitement of the amazing locations. And the people in India really love to have their photographs taken which is not the case now in many places in Europe where street photography is very difficult due to regulations. In 2018 I volunteered at a big cat sanctuary in South Africa where I could photograph cheetahs and other big cats close up. That was an amazing experience! What is your key message to Sovereign Magazine’s readers? I would say that it is never too late in life to try something new and with determination and the right skills you will succeed. See more amazing photos at www.lindagouldphotos.com



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Well Aligned: What does your nail polish say about your health?

Sustainable Wellness Series

By Sandra Deira | Column brought to you by We Are Health Tribe B.V, find out more at www.wearehealthtribe.com

Joie de vivre, guilty pleasure and the weather


very week I look at the weather forecast for the coming 7 days. Will I get to enjoy the sun, wear sandals and a ravishingly blue colour nail polish? Or will it be a shiny nude because it will be raining cats and dogs, my toes will be stuffed away and I will not get to wear one of my favourite bright colour dresses? Sometimes I wonder how did women chose their favourite colour nail polish half a century ago? Going to the cinema in those days was a real treat. Women around the world were inspired by famous Hollywood actresses to paint their nails bright red. Sophia Loren, Brigitte Bardot and Marilyn Monroe come to mind. Did Marilyn imagine that her beautiful red nails will become a world class inspiration for women? What else didn’t she know about nail polish?

Would she ever guess that nail polish presents a considerable health risk? California’s Department of Toxic Substances Control has proposed listing nail products containing toluene to be under it’s Safer Consumer Products programme. The chemical toluene, a toxin that may cause birth defects and developmental problems in children of pregnant women who have had extended exposure. They also looked for dibutyl phthalate (DBP), which has been linked to birth defects in studies involving lab animals, and formaldehyde, a carcinogen. Then there is Triphenyl phosphate, or TPHP, a suspected endocrine-disrupting chemical, which is commonly used to make plastics and as a fire retardant in foam furniture. And if you wear nail polish, it could be in your body too. Researchers at Duke University tested the urine of 26 women who had recently painted their nails and found evidence of TPHP in every participant. Evidence of the chemical in the women’s urine increased sharply after they applied the nail polish.



TPHP is listed on the ingredient labels of a wide array of nail polishes now on the market. Out of more than 3,000 nail products in EWG’s Skin Deep database, half disclose the use of TPHP. Could nail polish affect pregnancy and children? As a mother-to-be, prior or immediately after hearing that you are pregnant, you will naturally make a few healthy decisions; you will stop smoking, stop drinking, take more rest, you will pay more attention to your diet. Not only for yourself, but especially for your child. Would this also mean that you would have to give up your well-groomed nails for a while? Absolutely not. However, considering all the possible toxin material in your nail products you would want to put in some effort to do some research and pay close attention to the quality and content of your products. There are nail care products and brands with beautiful lacquers who will not get in the way of you and your baby’s health. Look for brand quality labels like the Big 3Free, Big5Free and up to even the Big10Free which will identify how free of harmful chemicals your product really is. Your nail polish must be free of formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, foluene, camphor, TPHP, parabens, xylene, ethyl tosylamide, dibutyl phthalate (DBP) and led

Nail Industry, Economy and Business Market analysts predict that the global market of nail polish will represent a value of 9 billion dollars by the end of 2019. A recent survey found that female respondents in the UK spent on average £112.65 per month on their appearance. Nail-care services account for an estimated 10% of the overall beauty and hairdressing industry revenue of £3.7bn in the UK alone. Nail-care services prices range from £10 for basic nailvarnish services to £100 for permanent nail extensions using bio gels. Exponentially nail polish is the fastest rising and most sold product in the cosmetic industry. Nails Salons are the 7th most popular type of start-up business. A never-ending inspiration, new nail bars open daily and ambitious entrepreneurs promote their brand, products, services and business to attract their ideal target audience. The rising demand for nail polish especially among young people contributes to the strong sales increase. About 91% of girls between 9 and 17 years old use some form of nail polish or other nail care products. When you let this sink in for a while, one question might come to mind. Who is actually buying the nail polish for a child? Usually it is their mum, their grandmother or friends and family. Perhaps you could share this article with them! If you find the information contained in this article useful, tell us about it! Send us your feedback; best comments, photos and contributions will be published here and receive a special gift from us!


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D elic iou sly S us t ainabl e L i fes t yle Ch an ges St res s o r digest? By Danna Le v y Hof f man


eet Boo. Boo is a simple, yet courageous caveman. His hobbies are hunting with friends, riding baby mammoths, starting fires, and getting knocked over the head. Boo doesn’t worry too much, as there’s really not that much to worry about. Unless of course mamma mammoth finds out he’s been riding on her baby, or hunting goes wrong and he’s being chased by a saber-tooth tiger. As you can imagine, THESE are the moments when Boo is feeling really stressed! His brain shifts his body from the Parasympathetic Nervous System (Rest and Digest), to the Sympathetic Nervous System ( Fight or Flight). He makes a run for it, and ends up locking himself up in a cave, not knowing when he’ll leave again, or get his next meal. His brain knows that not only will Boo not be eating anytime soon, he’ll also need to preserve energy to be able to run back to his own cave, once the coast is clear. You’re probably still wondering what you have to do with Boo, who died a long long time ago… Although some say we’ve evolved a lot since the stone age, our brain still functions the same exact way. When we’re stressed, although there are no saber-tooth tigers anywhere to be seen, our brain still commands our parasympathetic system to move aside and clear the way. All digestion halts, energy is being preserved as fat cells, stomach acidity lowers, and oxygen in the blood is sent away from the digestive system towards our brain and muscles. Your stress today is more common and more frequent than Boo experienced during his entire life! Did you know that the leading reason for doctors visits (6080%!) are related to stress? Did you also know that only 3% of these patients will actually receive stress management help? We live in a world where we can’t avoid stress. In fact, a certain amount of stress is actually healthy for our wellbeing, and keeps us on our toes. Some of us work better under pressure (hello procrastinators), while others try hard to avoid it (and end up stressing anyways). So what is stress? Any type of physical, mental or emotional factor that causes tension in the body, leading to physical, chemical, and/or behavioural changes. No joke. Continuous release of stress hormones can cause a list of problems. But instead of naming them, I want to give you a few tools to manage your stress better.


HOW TO BE A STRESS WHISPERER PRO Spoiler alert: I did not invent the wheel here (unlike Boo). But I did find a golden path combining simple steps anyone can take. First step: The 5 second rule - Credit Mel Robbins No, we’re not talking about picking food off the floor. This rule works on the premise that you know what to do, but you can’t seem to make yourself do it. You simply need to outsmart your own brain. The moment you count from 5 to 1, you are interrupting habit loops, happening in the basal ganglia, and move your brain activity to the pre-frontal cortex - which is responsible for, amongst other things, decision making. So imagine you’re feeling stressed, it’s starting in the belly, and crawls up towards your chest. You know that feeling too well. For a split second there’s a tiny voice inside you (that same voice which always knows what to do, and we often ignore, kind of like your mom). This is when you count down - 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Your thinking moved to the pre-frontal cortex. Now what?


Second step: Breathing - Credit to God It sounds mediocre, and yet breathing is highly underrated. Breathing influences physiology and thought processes, including moods. By simply focusing your attention on your breathing, you can bring yourself to a more relaxed state. And hey, you’re already doing it anyways - right? So why not do it with just a bit more… love and attention :) So we’ve just counted from five to one (which took us a whole of 5 seconds), and now we need to take three deep, slow breaths. This should take around 15 more seconds. Now let’s imagine that you’ve given those 20 seconds all you’ve got, and yet you’re still feeling that ball of stress in your belly. What now? Third step: Grounding - Credit also to God (due to lack of another source) Right now you’re still feeling stressed because you’re simply stuck in your own head. You’re still looping your worries and concerns, not being able to detach. Fact is, these worries are not tangible. They are not real. They are all in your head! Grounding is an exercise that gets you out of your head, back in the moment. Look around you and start naming objects. We don’t want a description of them (“ugly chair), no emotions! If you can get up and touch these objects, do it. If you can name them out loud, even better! What if there are people around you? Well, most likely they are the source of your stress. They’ll think you’ve lost it and hopefully leave the room :) Can you dedicate 1 minute for these 3 quick steps, move away from stress, and back to digest? Yes: Eating healthy is SUPER important. But if you stress, you don’t digest! So do yourself a favour and take your health back into your hands! About Danna Danna Levy Hoffmann is the founder of Organilicious, a leading health and lifestyle coach and an expert on living a nourishing lifestyle. Danna is a certified IIN health coach, a speaker, and a healthy lifestyle expert. This column is brought to you by Organilicious (organilicious.ch). Their personalised and holistic approach aims to create sustainable and delicious lifestyle changes. Full disclosure: side effects may include falling in love with food again, losing weight and feeling amazing!


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T he Ma g i c P ot:

Anc i e nt Fres coe s c ov er -ups ve rs u s prese nt day

By Lili Giglia, fo und e r o f E s se n t i al l y L i l i ( w w w .e ss en t i a l l yl i l i . c o m ) We spent our recent summer holidays immersed in Greece. Fascinated by historical events of the Minoan civilisation 4000 B.C, we noticed how attractive the people are illustrated in the well-preserved fresco's. Sparking conversations with my pre-teen, comparing the ancient frescoes images with how social media bombards our youth with what it deems as ‘beautiful’.

‘What statement is revealed in Ancient Fresco paintings? Depending on the ancient era, the fresco paintings made a statement about wealth, prestige, independence, vanity, religious rituals and protection. Rich Ancient Greek citizens were able to afford expensive luxuries like make-up. Images of those in highersociety had long golden hair and porcelain skin tones. They were wealthy, prestigious, financially secure, not needing to work in the fields to support themselves. Irrespective of a citizen’s wealth or status, all Ancient Egyptians, they loved their make-up for vanity, protection from the sun, religious rituals and the after-life. They were all hygienic and frequently washed. Everyone in society moisturised their skin to prevent it drying and cracking under the sun’s harsh conditions. With naturally darker skin tones, the Ancient Romans wanted their skin to look lighter. Initially make-up was used mainly for their rituals, but later became part of a woman’s daily life. Sourced from Germany and China, the wealthy imported the cosmetics to the regions. Rich women used female slaves to apply their makeup, who also created lotions and cosmetics for their wealthy owners. Poorer women settled for cheaper knockoffs, which required more frequent applications.


‘How is this portrait of Ancient society achieved?’ The Greeks applied creams with honey, combing olive oil for that special glow. For their lips and eye-shadows, they used earth-based pigments, ochre clays, red iron oxide, beeswax with ground charcoal, using darker powders to create the uni-brow! But the toxic white lead on their faces cut their glamorous wealthy lives short. In the Egyptians’ cosmetics, they used Malachite, a mineral stone with extraordinary green colour. Its use is linked to death, after-life, fertility and new life. Other colours were obtained from ground lapis lazuli stones or Pivet trees, giving the reddish-brown dye called Henna, used to paint and the skin. To lengthened lashes and enhance eyebrows, they used black kohl, animal fat mixed with powdered lead sulphide. The Romans combined Malachite with blue azurite for their eye-shadow, together with date stones and charred petal roses. Natural ingredients were used like poppy, mulberry juice, barley, honey, lentils, oregano seeds, vinegar as well as essence of rose or myrrh. Imported from Belgium was red ochre clays, thought wine dregs, sheep’s fat, blood and crocodile dung have to be the most interesting selections. To lightened their darker complexions they applied chalk powder, marl or toxic white lead.

‘Surely, Beauty products have evolved in the 21st Century?’ Beauty products have changed since their inception over time. Though many wonderful ingredients have been replaced with non-natural chemical substances. Scarily these include solvents, parabens, nano-


particles, asbestos, hormones and bleaching agents. The unnatural preservatives enable products to be stored for years in shopfront windows in direct sunlight. These toxins are absorbed and distributed by our cells throughout the body. Found in every day products like hair dyes, cleansers, mouthwash, shampoo, conditioners, soaps, shaving gel, baby wipes, soft toys for infants and pets, bubble bath, deodorant and toothpaste, as well as lipstick, mascara, nail polish, body or sun lotions, foundation, talcum powder, bottled water, carbonated drinks and decaffeinated coffee. These harmful ingredients can cause damage to the liver, heart, brain, lungs, central nervous system, birth defects, kidney and blood disorders. The body manifests hair loss, skin damage, itching, redness, dermatitis amongst other more serious problems.

‘Are there any beneficial ingredients in today’s products?’ Yes! Modern times has allowed us to learn about the amazing benefits of plants, vegetables and butters when combined into our skincare products. Essential Oils generated from plants and flowers have natural gorgeous fragrances, with antiseptic, antiviral and antibacterial properties. Vegetable oils are carriers, rich in vitamins that assist skin cell regeneration and protection. Some have the same pH as the body and rebalance human sebum. Others are natural preservatives, reduce cells stress and naturally assist the anti-ageing process. We’re able to create wonderful scrubs and exfoliants using ingredients found in the kitchen that don’t need preservatives if made fresh in small batches.

’The scary message of Social Media about ourselves?’ Whether we choose to buy expensive or cheaper brands of cosmetics, the frightening message Social Media is telling us about ourselves is ‘we’re not good enough, and we should hide who we are behind loads of make-up’. In my opinion, there’s nothing wrong with wearing make-up to get glammed up, for going out and looking wonderful. But is it necessary to always feel the need to hide who we really are? We’re following celebrities, famous and glamorous movie stars, singers and influencers. They’re rarely seen without a full-face or body make-up, some hiding blemishes, skin conditions and imperfections. I feel the ‘social media generation’ are constantly searching for role-models and images of what they perceive as beautiful. The irony is that many use Social Media apps like Snapchat and Instagram filters to alter or enhance their real appearance, colour and size, to ensure they’re gaining more ‘likes and followers’. These ‘fun tools’ distort the way they see and accept themselves. As a movement towards ‘Being My Own Kind of Beautiful’, I post photos on Instagram as a statement of self-love and acceptance. I’m wearing my all-natural skincare products which hydrate my skin without foundation. I threw out my paraben loaded brands and stopped applying 4 years ago. This is to show my followers that it’s better to deal and heal skin related issues through healthier nutritional options than to cover-up or worsen these conditions. I hope we can re-educate the next generation of youth through history and shared stories to love their own beautiful, choosing better options for their long-term happiness and health. About Lili – Owner of Essentially Lili –Get Your Own Pot of Magic to feel As Natural As You’ My quest to create all-natural products came from years of suffering with Eczema as a child and adult life. Finding products that were free of Cortisone & Chemicals that made the condition worse was difficult, and overwhelming trying to deciphering labels, especially where Manufacturers claimed to use ‘Bio-Organic’ ingredients in their products. I promised to create a range of products that are free from parabens or unnaturally sourced ingredients, that nourish, protect and rejuvenate the skin, leaving it soothed and wonderfully soft. The Vegan, Vegetable, Plant, earth based natural ingredients are from Aromatherapy suppliers that are EU regulated. This is what I always wanted personally for myself. Essentially Lili Pots of Magic help you find your confidence to Be Your Own kind of Beautiful! Made with Love in Zurich, Switzerland.


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Like Like


How Martha Bernal and Alexandra Lange Bernal are fundamentally changing how mothers and daughters relate.


he mother-daughter relationship can mean many things to different people. For some, it is a source of comfort and inspiration, for others it can be a challenging road. When it comes to our families, we are often impeded by years of ineffective communication and unresolved issues. This means that we struggle to express our innermost thoughts and feelings to the people who should be closest to us. For mother and daughter team, Martha Bernal and Alexandra Lange Bernal, their relationship has empowered them to support thousands of women through such struggles. Their workshops, events and 11 mentoring programmes have inspired their clients to not only change their personal mother-daughter relationships but to see these relationships in the wider context of their immediate communities and the world as a whole, the most fundamental of relationships. Their business, “Like Mother Like Daughter” is more than just a name, it’s a way of life and a shared vision that has only gone from strength to strength. We spoke to them about relationships, empowerment and entrepreneurship. Did you always want to work together? We’d always dreamt of starting our own business and we knew that we wanted to work together. In the last decade, we have been approached by thousands of women, mothers and daughters, and men alike, wondering how we manage to relate so authentically to each other, while still honouring our different personalities and independence. While we answered their questions with tips and secrets of our own journey, we realised the power of it all and the impact we had on others’ lives, for the better. We started sharing our vision of the world with each other - a world where every mother and every daughter will connect, communicate and bond, not only to improve their own lives, but for the betterment of humanity as a whole. The idea to build a business came organically as we shared this vision with each other. ‘Like Mother Like Daughter’ was born out of a desire to share the joy and wealth of these experiences with other mothers and daughters, so that they might benefit and embrace all of the rewards of their own fundamentally important relationships.

About. “Like Mother Like Daughter” was set up by mother and daughter team, Martha and Alexandra Bernal. Their mission is to help mothers and daughters who want to have a meaningful relationship and better communication with each other, but are frustrated because they don’t know how. With their proven 7-Step BONDING Framework, they take mothers and daughters on a powerful journey so that they can ‘Connect Deeply, Communicate Fully and Bond Truly’ with one another.


How did you put your ideas into action? In October 2017, we took a leap of faith and invested blindly on an international mentorship program for business owners and entrepreneurs, who wanted to multiply their impact. As soon as we committed our time and energy into creating and building what once seemed to be only a dream, the right people, resources and opportunities started to show up in our lives. One of these people has been Giselle Rufer, founder and owner of ‘Delance Swiss Watches’. A wo-


Tell us about your backgrounds in entrepreneurship. Martha: I was fortunate to have grown up in an entrepreneurial family and my father was my first life mentor. He taught me the importance of passion and determination and that every action, no matter how small, should be approached with a full heart, mind and soul. I benefited greatly from the family business — the leading cosmetic company in Colombia — as I was able to take on important roles and responsibilities in all branches of the organisation. During my university studies I established and structured the Human Resources department and then evolved into a bigger role in Marketing and Business Development. This role was vital in supporting my father, who was the CEO at the time, in national and international affairs, it was also integral to expanding my knowledge and leadership skills. In the last 35 years, I have been creating and leading new markets for existing businesses in a variety of industries across the globe. Between 2008 and 2017, I was part of a support system to the British Consulate in Zurich, Switzerland. At the age of 30 I became a proud mother of one. I promised myself that I would grow together with my daughter and that, at every step of the way, we would learn from one another and empower each other.

man who stands behind her values, which we share deeply, and her product creations. We are honoured to be female ambassadors to her brand. Over the past 2 years we have totally focused on our coaching and mentoring skills —we truly believe this is our life’s purpose; we share a deep passion for learning and creating positive solutions for the women and the communities around us. How does your process work? We work with mothers and daughters to re-evaluate negative communication patterns and beliefs that are passed between generations. We empower mothers and daughters to set realistic expectations within their relationship so that they can balance individuality and closeness. We believe in the power of being heard, understood, trusted and valued as women, teens and girls are able to express their feelings openly, without apprehension, judgement and/ or guilt. Consequently, the way a mother and a daughter relate to one another, influences the way they relate and communicate with other family members, partners, friends and colleagues. This brings more harmony and acceptance into our communities, allowing for everyone to be who they truly are, their unique essence, without being conditioned. Our process works by the mother, the daughter or both at the same time joining us on a six, or twelve month 1to-1 coaching and mentoring program. We say ‘either’ because most of the time one of them is more ready to take action and engage in the transformation, than the other. We work alongside two coaches and experts in the field of conscious parenting and energy healing, who support us throughout some of our programs on a 1-to-1 basis. Furthermore, we run a variety of one- to two-day events throughout the year, where mothers and daughters can rediscover the power of their own relationship as we explore and navigate through concepts and practical exercises on a group basis.

Alexandra: I have always found inspiration in my mother’s vision and dedication. I grew up in an international setting, attending a Swiss school in Colombia (I am half-Swiss on my father’s side) and an American school in Panama, before embarking on a journey of self-discovery after I graduated. I worked part-time jobs, undertook internships and completed my bachelor’s degree at the Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne in 2015. I’ve always known that the 9-5 office job was not for me and that there was more to my life than that. I worked for GoPro for two and a half years, which was a young, dynamic environment but then they made the decision to close operations in Switzerland. I believe that the Universe stepped in and paved the way for me to embark on this bigger mission. In my entrepreneurial journey, I’ve always understood the importance of finding the right business partner, who not only cherished my strengths, but who also complemented my weaknesses to create a strong, shared vision. What challenges have you faced and how do you stay inspired? For us, re-establishing the mother-daughter bond through our system, will have a direct impact on family dynamics, a child’s development and the subsequent relationships and empowerment potential for both women. Only a limited amount of individuals, schools and corporate organisations recognise the necessity of our work, which can be challenging. But we are working hard and partnering with organisations, world leaders and influencers, to promote our message and mission. For inspiration, meditation is something we have engaged in more powerfully these last twelve months and has served us to live a more conscious life. “The more we chase inspiration, the less success we have in finding it —you don’t need to go too far, it’s all within,” we keep repeating to ourselves. Other sources of inspiration are a good morning read or a walk in the park, forest, or the lake.


Sovereign Magazine

Is Yoga a solution for Fertility? Valentina Salonna on Yoga, Science and Acceptance By Beth Davies


alentina Salonna has been on the road to self-discovery all her life and has managed to find peace with herself after embracing all she can. She believes that having a deep understanding of the practise can aid a person in every aspect of their life, from physical and mental health to grounding and awareness. She gives an account of her beliefs regarding yoga, as well as her fertility awareness understandings, to further make people aware of the tremendous benefits it can provide to everyone and anyone who is willing to accept it as a lifestyle. What inspired you to create your business? Ever since I was young, yoga has been a big part of my life. My father always said to me, “Valentina, you are born to teach the essence of yoga!”, and I started to think, what if he was right? The moment to structure my knowledge and to receive an official acknowledgement of my yogic skills had come, so I signed up to E. S. Y. (Ecole Supérieure de Yogathérapie). I remember my first years of teachings in Epenex with a funny group of young curious scientists; they inspired me a lot! What problems are you solving? How does it work? I work predominantly with women and couples all over the world as a yoga therapist, sexologist and fertility awareness counsellor. My goal is to open up man and womankind to a new way of understanding yoga therapy, and I am creating a new way of conceptualising it, bringing together scientific credibility and natural fertility. I am part of the change I want to see in the outside world and therefore, share my experiences with you. I encourage people to remember that if there is no enemy within, the enemy outside can do us no harm. We do not have to be perfect to be what we want, to do what we want, to have what we want. Who are the people that could benefit?


Freedom is being me without anyone’s permission


Women and couples who want to come back to a conscious sexuality and a healthy approach to fertility, stopping the side effects of birth control pills or any other artificial/mechanic contraceptives. I work with both men and women who want or need to make a difference on this planet before they leave it. Also, I help couples receive the gift of giving birth naturally, especially when there is no more hope according to modern medicine. It can be challenging to make the public understand that yoga is not only a matter of helping posture, but also a way of understanding and managing our own overall health. Something I emphasise during my workshops and conferences is that for me, fertility awareness is much more than simply a method for natural contraception or a contraception aid. It is, in all respects, a lifestyle. Socially and anthropologically, we are living in a very interesting and innovative time! In human history, the correct, consistent and reliable practice of the symptothermal method is very recent, as interest in the woman’s cycle has arisen only recently. Women themselves haven’t focused on themselves as individuals for a long time. Who is one person that you admire the most? Why? For me, it’s Nelson Mandela – interestingly, not a woman. I greatly admire how a human being can remain human despite his role, his job, his convictions, his limits and his resources. His power of forgiveness and his capacity to remain humble and above it all, despite the injustice is more than an appropriate example for me. It is a reminder to stay worthy and enough, no matter what life throws at you. Mandela’s life is, to me, a tool to manage the infinite; a way to stay fertile and available to life’s proposals, even when your freedom is taken. About: Valentina Salonna is originally from Italy and is currently in her final year of studying for her PhD in Life Sciences, “Yoga Therapy and Mindfulness”, at the University of Lausanne. Her field of expertise is yoga, and both in the frame of this discipline and the art of living, Valentina became an entrepreneur, a yoga teacher and therapist, a sexologist and an expert in fertility awareness and natural conception.

Yogatheraphy, coaching and ateliers



Sovereign Magazine

Re cl aimi ng in ner pe ace af ter a bu r no u t By Beth Davies


eclaiming peace within yourself can be an arduous task; one that can take years. With some helpful guidance and advice, it is a sight that suddenly does not seem so unattainable. Following a personal burnout, Astuti Martosudirdjo decided to flip her life, and, rather than focus mainly on corporate success, begin focusing on her well-being and her inner peace. What inspired you to create your own business? After the burnout I experienced at the end of 2008, my own journey to thriving in life began. I learnt how important it is to stay true to what the inner guidance or intuition is saying to us when we really want to live experiencing inner peace. I had an undeniable calling to change my career entirely and dedicate myself to growing and supporting others in managing their equilibrium between contributing to something bigger than oneself and self-love and care. This was ignited by the knowledge, wisdom and insights I’ve gained after rising from the burnout, as well as my continuous passion for human and soul development. It’s my decision to say “YES!” to my Ikigai – my mission of inner peace combined with what I love doing; facilitating an accelerated transformational process for others to realise their Ikigai; their purposeful and contented lives. What did you do before becoming an uplifting life catalyst? I started to run my own business in 2012 when I built up an executive search company called Almarea GmbH. Prior to this, I enjoyed a successful career working for international organisations (both non-profit and corporate) in the Netherlands and Switzerland, within the human resources sector, as a team- and program-leader, an executive recruiter and a coach. I aided executives in all five continents in propelling their careers forward throughout the years. In 2016, Almarea evolved to become Uplift My Life Today as I focus solely on helping individuals to thrive in their lives, beyond their career. My choices of work have been a natural progression of who I have become over time. Who can benefit from your uplifting services? All my clients have tasted their sweet successes yet right now their hearts desire for something more and different in and from life. They usually



come when they feel scattered, depleted, and lost. Their measures of success in the past don’t serve them anymore. These are common symptoms to have when it’s time for them to focus on growing. They either require support to figure out what their priorities are and how to achieve them; or they know what they want yet they need help to let go of their fears and take actions. I generally work with people who embody either one of two main categories: achievement addicts and procrastinators. While these may sound wildly opposite, they actually share a number of similarities, which are not immediately apparent. Some traits of an achievement addict include having a large amount of energy and can come across as quite intense, as well as being assertive and passionate. Many are risk takers, with a strong desire to excel in whatever they do. Although these are good traits, they often carry unconscious limiting beliefs of themselves, such as that they are responsible for everything, others are more important than they are and that they must do more than expected to feel loved. The other category, procrastinators, often feel as if they are constantly fighting with themselves about committing to anything, finding it difficult to cope with changes or transition. They believe that if they cannot reach perfection, it’s not worth doing anything at all. These are limiting, as they lead to the feeling that they’re not good enough or that they don’t belong. Beliefs are part of human’s subconscious mind; they make or break people’s lives. Using methods like Rapid Transformational Therapy and life coaching (among others), I help both groups of people to rapidly upgrade their beliefs and conscious life choices so they immediately show up healthier and more peaceful in their lives. Where do you turn to look for inspiration? Nature! Nature has its own cycle and works perfectly (when it’s not being disturbed by humans). It takes time, space, energy and investment for everything to grow and thrive. There’s a perfect design in everything. Resilience exists naturally in all of us; nature is hugely resilient, and humans are part of nature. Observing nature allows me to be inspired, to learn with a more open heart and mind. Who is the one person you admire most? Why? My late father, Suwarto Martosudirjo. He was the first person in my life that allowed me to question everything and encouraged me to find my own answers for many things, especially about life skills. He helped me to formulate the questions and digest the data that I collected from my own observations and experience, and from reading books and discussing them with others. He helped me to become an independent thinker and for that, I am grateful.

Live. Life. Unapologetically!

“Is this it or is there more to life than this? There has to be more. I want more.” When these thoughts come through your heart and mind, it is time to act on it. The good news is you are just waking up to your unleashed potential! There are 2 truths that serve as foundations of Uplift Program program. First, you are a complete person and all the answers are within you. Second, you are MEANT to be here, with a life’s learning plan. Uplift Program is a facilitated selftransformation journey for you to access the deeper parts of who you are, bring them out and integrate them into your daily life. In it, you are conversing deeply and honestly with yourself and are to make decisions that impact all areas of your life, with no exceptions. Letting go of nagging recurring pains and obsolete detrimental beliefs today and replacing them with the ones that uplift you and your life rapidly is an integrative part in this process. Find out more at www.upliftmylife.today

About Astuti Born in the UK to Indonesian parents, Astuti Martosudirdjo currently resides in Zurich, after having lived in many other countries, such as Indonesia, Thailand, the UK, Switzerland, the US and the Netherlands. She describes her life as a blend of extreme mixtures: a corporate warrior and business owner, having both eastern and western cultures and mindsets, creative and structured, driven by both intuition and logic, loving being free yet closely connected. Her colourful personality directly matches her colourful life. She decided to make inner peace her life mission and share this with as many people as possible.


Sovereign Magazine

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The diamond shape Symbol of life, harmony and spirituality, the diamond shape tells the eternal story of womanhood. The infinity knot is a symbol of Eternal Love with no Beginning and no End. Restoring the sacred feminine is rebalancing the Divine Masculine and the Divine Feminine integral to our collective healing. THE SPIRAL at the Zenith, reflects the universal pattern of growth and evolution and represents the goddess, the womb, fertility and life force energy like water. THE STONE at the nadir, at 6 o’clock represents the south, the sun, the fire, and radiates the masculine energy. The sun is a symbol of power, growth, health, passion, and the cycle of life. To a unique watch! By its lines and shape the Delance watch embodies the values women care for. While the basic shape never changes, the watch becomes unique for each woman. Emotionally personalised, it tells her story, her dreams and her taste; through the choice of engraving and gemstones set at specific hours, symbolising the first kiss, the birth of a child, an extraordinary wish, or a special memory. delancewatches.com



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Sovereign Magazine - Issue 22