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52 minutes | Jun 5, 2021
Helen Brain: Building a Sustainability Strategy that Drives Real Change
In episode 36 of the Alt-Normal, we ask the hard and important questions at the intersection of sustainability and advertising with Helen Brain, a Strategy Director at MediaCom UK with 16 years of experience solving business challenges within media, digital, social & content across a diverse set of verticals -- including retail, tech, government, luxury, fast moving consumer goods and utilities. She sits as Joint Head of MediCom’s Social Chang Hub, supporting clients in creating positive social change and a sustainable future. Additionally, she represents MediaCom in GroupMs’ Mission Zero team and the IPAs Climate Charter alliance, both of which aim to support the industry in transitioning to a zero carbon future. To make sustainability sustainable (and not just another fleeting trend that’s lost all meaning much like ‘brand purpose’), brands need to start asking the right questions to have the greatest possible impact. After all, sustainability is a scientific field that is now entering the world of marketing, and the level of collaboration that takes place with experts and thought leaders will shape a brand’s sustainability success. It comes down to three questions: What does your audience care about within sustainability? What are you doing that’s credible to be talked about publicly? Where is the ownable opportunity within the sustainability convo for your brand? On this episode, we unpack what today’s post-pandemic brands (what Purpose Disruptors calls “systemic amplifiers”) can consider when building out a sustainability strategy: • Sustainability is about how your product or service is helping your audience (especially those who are most affected by climate change and historically underrepresented) • Consumers want to live a low carbon footprint, but they can’t always act upon it. Why? It’s too expensive. • Greenwashing isn’t intentional for the most part. When there’s a gap in sustainability know-how, brands need to recruit experts who can support them in collaborating towards a solution. Collaboration is advertising’s greatest currency for a sustainable future. • Reducing carbon emissions has to coincide with making a profit. Both have to happen for sustainability to impact people and planet • To drive behavior change, we need to frame climate change as an opportunity (vs. responsibility) • Look to these brands who are doing it right: IKEA, Ben and Jerry’s, Unilever, Patagonia and Sky. Follow Helen on Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/helenbrain/ More about the show: https://www.digseedgrow.com/thealtnormal-podcast Produced by Resonance™, the creative practice of Dig | Seed | Grow This show is hosted at Destination Outpost, a coliving and coworking community based out in Bali.
52 minutes | May 29, 2021
Megan Lierley: Centering the Female Body in the Women’s Liberation Movement
In episode 35 of the Alt-Normal, we explore the essence of “what it means to live in a female body” from the perspective of branded content, authentic storytelling and feminism with Megan Lierley, the managing editor of Blood & Milk -- a women’s health and lifestyle website created by Cora. The mission of Blood and Milk is to consider and expose the physical, physiological, emotional, spiritual, psychological, social, political, cultural and economic forces that influence the way women exist in their bodies while striving for wellness. She is also a freelance writer and editor with work published in The Lily, The Good Trade, and Women's Wear Daily, among others. She writes a weekly current events and culture digest. Since 2017, the women’s liberation movement has exploded on the scene with diverse expressions of feminism taking many new forms on the collective and individual level. Brands like Cora have also been instrumental in driving the women’s health conversation forward with both women in the US and abroad, by partnering with NGOs in developing countries like Kenya and India to provide organic tampons and pads to millions of underrepresented girls who on the whole lack access and education. Conversations and curiosities have deepened on all sides -- period poverty has drawn more awareness as a timely issue to reverse (underrepresented girls stay home 25% of the month because of their period, which ultimately affects their future livelihood and the GDP of their home countries) and Western women at home are openly speaking out about their most vulnerable experiences (imagine an article titled “What you need to know about postpartum masturbation” drawing hundreds of thousands of curious female visitors each month). With a content writing background and a deeply curious feminist lens, Megan helps us deepen into the following questions. • As a conscious brand, how can you do impactful storytelling justice? Think centering authentic listening and learning over the potentially harmful effects of rushed, performative and exploitative leanings of white saviorism. • As an empowered women curious to deepen her connection to self, what does it mean to own your authentic expression of what it means to be a feminist and fully inhabit the female body? Subscribe to Megan’s newsletter at meganlierley.com/newsletter. Blood & Milk: https://bloodandmilk.com More about the show: https://www.digseedgrow.com/thealtnormal-podcast Produced by Resonance™, the creative practice of Dig | Seed | Grow This show is hosted at Destination Outpost, a coliving and coworking community based out in Bali.
58 minutes | May 24, 2021
Piril Kadibesegil Yasar: Stakeholder Capitalism is the Future of Sustainability
In episode 34 of the Alt-Normal, we explore the far reaches of stakeholder capitalism with Piril, a Sustainability Manager at Allianz, one of the world’s largest asset managers. Her passion for social + environmental impact and women’s empowerment started early on having grown up in the developing country of Turkey. Through her leadership since 2014, Allianz Turkey became the first insurance company in the country to commit to the UN Global Compact, sign the Women Empowerment Principles, report under the Global Reporting Initiative and kick off nationwide CSR campaigns in schools. While stakeholder capitalism (where ALL stakeholders within a business are considered, not just shareholders) isn’t new, it’s taken decades for this concept to find mainstream acceptance and take a seat at the table. That said, a massive gap exists between intent and impact where business objectives exist separately from ESG and CSR (corporate social responsibility) programs of giving back. If sustainability is no longer a ‘nice to have’ but rather a ‘must have’ by consumer demand, how can corporations make sustainability the most SUSTAINABLE practice? In a post-pandemic moment where companies are grappling with how to put their best foot forward, Piril lays out the basic tenets of the Materiality Exercise to help bridge business strategy, stakeholder interests, SDG goals, systems mapping and consumer feedback to spot the most mutually-beneficial opportunities for creating shared value and ultimately, more benefit and resources for all -- especially those who have been historically underrepresented and in the case of Allianz, historically uninsured. With palpable optimism and passion for the power of stakeholder capitalism, Piril moves us to envision the future of scaling shared value in the corporate world. Our conversation ranged in topics including: • Her love for corporations was solidified after taking a yearlong sabbatical to run a B&B with her mom (“I hated every moment away from corporate white collar life”) • The evolution of ESG, CSR and stakeholder capitalism since the 1970s • How to start a company’s sustainability journey towards shared value with the Materiality Exercise • Biggest barrier to operationalizing stakeholder capitalism and closing the intent-impact gap • The future of sustainability practices in corporations More about the show: https://www.digseedgrow.com/thealtnormal-podcast Produced by Resonance™, the creative practice of Dig | Seed | Grow This show is hosted at Destination Outpost, a coliving and coworking community based out in Bali. Note: All views shared on the show represent those of our guest and not the company she represents.
80 minutes | May 13, 2021
Melissa Stangl: Shipibo-led Ayahuasca is a Medicine For Our Times
In episode 33 of theAltNormal, we get to the root of ayahuasca (plant medicine) with Melissa Stangl, co-founder of Soltara Healing Center -- a Shipibo-led ayahuasca center in Costa Rica with a focus on integration. After years of corporate and working in scientific labs as a Cancer Research Biologist, she officially moved down to live and work in the Amazon jungle. With a background combining engineering, science and management, her mission is to help advance the plant medicine and psychedelic movements and bridge the Western world with indigenous and holistic health. This conversation went deeply personal on both sides. While having a life-changing experience with Ayahuasca isn’t news, the underlying root cannot be emphasized enough. Disease does not just magically appear out of thin air. Our emotional traumas live in the body and spiritual disconnection affects mental health. When we HEAL the emotional roots of our physical problems (ie: anger towards a parent underlying a chronic illness - true story), the chances are...those physical ailments will also heal in time. The power of psychedelics in the right ceremonial setting (and respecting the indigenous roots of the medicine) reveals the undeniable connection between unresolved trauma and disease. When we lean into our innate capacity for healing, possibilities multiply. Without a doubt, the mainstreaming of plant medicine can be world-changing in a post-pandemic (overly-medicated and overly-intellectualized) moment. And it doesn’t have to be a game of “allopathic medicine vs. traditional medicine.” With mental health on the rise, what could be possible if we supported people to cultivate resilience in their bodies with ayahuasca as one powerful modality, of many? Other highlights of this episode include: • The journey from cancer research biology to the jungle to start an ayahuasca center • What makes Shipibo-led ayahuasca different than other approaches to plant medicine • The BREAKTHROUGH healing story of how a woman diagnosed with Lupus (autoimmune disease) completely healed her symptoms on ayahuasca • Why “integration” is often an overlooked (yet crucial) piece to the plant medicine puzzle • Preserving indigenous wisdom tradition with the rise of ayahuasca commercialism and tourism (how to run a conscious plant medicine business) • The importance of expanding access to the less financially privileged underrepresented BIPOC who may benefit from plant medicine the most More about the show: https://www.digseedgrow.com/thealtnormal-podcast Produced by Resonance™, the creative practice of Dig | Seed | Grow This show is hosted at Destination Outpost, a coliving and coworking community based out in Bali.
89 minutes | Apr 30, 2021
Nicholas Powers: Chemical Exodus for a Free Black America
In episode 32, we reimagine what’s possible when we bridge psychedelics, healing and our most underrepresented communities of color in this reimaginatively rich conversation with Nicholas Powers. Nicholas is a poet, journalist and Associate Professor who has authored several books, including “The Ground Below Zero: 9/11 to Burning Man,” and has written for the Village Voice, Huff Post, Business Insider, and Chacruna among many others. With the voice of a poet, mind of an academic, spirit of a healer and resiliency of a Black American man, Nicholas weaves a story about the “real America” that rarely gets told. If the ‘dual pandemic’ of COVID-19 and racial injustice has taught us anything, it’s that America is anything but its idealized version of freedom and justice for all. To move past the endless “isms” that continue to plague our country requires a sober reckoning not just in the mind, but more importantly in the body -- where intergenerational traumas and internalized racism are experienced and held if they’re not properly released. In this conversation, we center psychedelics as one possible solution. While this story isn’t new, psychedelics can become yet another form of colonialism if we don’t address the elephant in the room -- what if we broke through the deeply stigmatized War on Drugs and gave communities of color access to psychedelics in a set and setting that helped them burn through their trauma chains? A “chemical exodus” (also the name of his upcoming book) is underway! “America will not evolve until Black America is free.” -- NP This conversation of masterful storytelling, history and poetry includes: • What it’s like to live through (and witness) a dual pandemic of COVID-19 and racial injustice • The major differences between talk therapy and psychedelic healing • How Nicholas experienced healing in a post 9/11 world in just one night (vs. the average person in 9 years) • How to combat the real stigma around psychedelics in communities of color given the War on Drugs • Discerning between the importance of a psychedelic state vs. psychedelic drugs • Defining the “Chemical Exodus” for Black America and why reclamation (of their land and identity) is at the core of this revolution More about the show: https://www.digseedgrow.com/thealtnormal-podcast Produced by Resonance™, the creative practice of Dig | Seed | Grow This show is hosted at Destination Outpost, a coliving and coworking community based out in Bali.
55 minutes | Apr 20, 2021
Mariah Mansvelt: Breaking the Silence to Reclaim Yoni
In episode 31, we peel back the layers of all things feminine care, social justice and period power with Mariah Mansvelt Beck, the co-founder of Yoni. The brand’s mission is to protect vaginas globally and revolutionize the fem care industry with 100% organic tampons, pads and pantyliners (with period proof underwear on the way)! With a Masters in International Development from the University of Cambridge and experience working for Doctors Without Borders alongside Yoga teaching experience, business was the last thing on her agenda, which then begs the question -- how did a social worker start a feminine hygiene company that eventually became B Corp certified? After a cervical cancer scare, Mariah turned her life around by asking big important questions, one of which became the genesis for Yoni. What actually goes into the body, especially the most absorbent part (the vagina)? After much exploration, the answer became clear. Not only did mainstream menstrual care products lack transparent labelling, but they were heavily sprayed with pesticides. Only four companies dominated the fem care industry at that time. When you consider that the average woman wears 13,000 tampons during her lifetime, this equals 6 years of chemicals in her most intimate body part. In 2014, Yoni became one of the first brands to tackle this issue (and more), putting organic products on mainstream shelves. So what does this mean today? The conversation has shifted in major ways, with brands like Nike and Pantone empowering women to talk openly about their menstruation, and lots more innovation on the product level (think CBD oils for cramps and biodegradable plastic tampon applicators). That said, 1 in 4 women in their menstruating years lack equal access to products or education, otherwise known as the “period poverty.” Without awareness, knowledge and more acceptance of the period conversation as the most NATURAL conversation, we risk keeping a generation of girls and women in a state of silence, disempowerment and shame. What could be possible if our next generation of girls (including those coming from our most underrepresented communities) broke through this universal taboo to reclaim their period power? Other dynamic topics we cover: • An inside-out look at a B Corp certified business that benefits self, community and planet • What’s really going on with ‘Period Poverty’ and the ‘Period Tax’ • Old story versus new story of conscious consumerism in the feminine hygiene industry • Why we need more diversity in the fem care space around product innovation and storytelling/advertising More about the show: https://www.digseedgrow.com/thealtnormal-podcast Produced by Resonance™, the creative practice of Dig | Seed | Grow This show is hosted at Destination Outpost, a coliving and coworking community based out in Bali.
86 minutes | Apr 11, 2021
Jee Chang: The New Economy of Feminine Leadership
In episode 30, we explore the embodied intersection of business, brand and leadership with Jee Chang, founder and Leadership Director of UME Agency, a collaborative design studio on a mission to create a more vibrant, livable future for all of us by helping brands grow from the inside-out. Her work focuses on elevating principles of feminine leadership and to move hearts and minds to greater consciousness in business whether it be through executive coaching, brand strategy & design, or teaching at Parsons – The New School. In this dynamic conversation, we unpack the inside-out philosophy that powers UME, which can also be mapped onto the body-heart-mind connection -- where business is the body, brand is the heart (what you stand for and why you exist) and leadership is the mind (to empower teams to grow). Supporting this philosophy, we peel back the layers of feminine leadership that guide inside-out everything, from how teams function, client relationships to approaching creative and design thinking. Unlike traditional models of leadership that “power over,” feminine leadership is relational, holistic and regenerative -- inviting even more abundance, creativity, innovation, trust, possibility and collaboration by “powering with and behind.” By serving others to find their power and answers within, feminine leaders (by no means restricted to women) have the capacity to take a step back and nurture the right space for holistic growth and possibility to happen organically. By letting go of the old model of leadership relying exclusively on action and measurable linear growth, we can reimagine an emergence of feminine leadership (think future “Chief Gut Officer”) that welcomes the power of intuition and gut checking business decisions with a radically new feminine lens. How might we use our gut, or second brain, as the new metric for how we work and co-create together? We cover this and other soulful explorations, including: • Growing up Korean-American and how identity shaped her lens on leadership • Why brand, business and leadership are inseparable in thinking about how organizations evolve and change • What it takes to reimagine a brand from the inside-out • The organic journey from Creative Director to Leadership Director in an all-women’s collaborative design studio • Unpacking the guiding principles of Feminine Leadership and how this style can impact the most rewarding creative work and collaboration • Somatic practices that you can use today to elevate consciousness and connection in your work space UME Design: https://www.umedesign.co/ More about the show: https://www.digseedgrow.com/thealtnormal-podcast Produced by Resonance™, the creative practice of Dig | Seed | Grow This show is hosted at Destination Outpost, a coliving and coworking community based out in Bali.
81 minutes | Mar 29, 2021
Carol Cone: Purpose in Business is at a Crossroads
In episode 29, we tour the evolution of purpose with Carol Cone, internationally recognized “purpose queen” (by the BBC) who has dedicated 35+ years to steering the purpose movement, 250 purpose programs and more than 30 research studies with major brands like Unilever and Microsoft to name a few -- ranging from social purpose, ESG strategies and communications, cause branding, nonprofit positioning, fundraising and stakeholder engagement. Her innovation (“My Special Aflac Duck”) to have Aflac sponsor the build of a social robot and comfort pediatric cancer patients during their first 1000 days of treatments was named one of Time Magazine’s Best Inventions, Best in Show at CES and winner of 2 Cannes Lions. Presently, the purpose conversation is at a crossroads -- as a brand, are you on the side of operationalizing purpose authentically or riding the trend at the expense of ‘purpose washing’ (intent externally without real impact internally)? With impact front and center, brands have the power to tap into the $12 trillion opportunity should they walk their talk and align with one of the UN’s seventeen SDG goals. Carol highlights a core insight of purpose -- that as a market segments, it also matures (think: how brands unite purpose across storydoing and storytelling matters even more). Helping us unpack the 4 C’s of purpose driven leadership (commitment, culture, colleagues and collaboration), she makes the case that purpose architecture touches all stakeholders and isn’t just good for business, but also people and planet. To reaffirm what we already know to be true in line with Paul Krugman’s wisdom, “every social and environmental issue is an economic opportunity in disguise.” • Discerning between authentic purpose vs. purpose washing with brands like Avon, Audi, P&G, PNC Bank and Aflac • The evolution of purpose from cause marketing to stakeholder capitalism • How George’s Floyd’s murder and the subsequent BLM resurgence accelerated the purpose conversation in business • The gold standard of purpose and how the B Corp certification fits into the picture • Why operationalizing purpose is a present challenge for B2B companies • How the marketing, advertising and comms industries will need to shift to do purpose right • The brilliant impact of “My Special Aflac Duck” in connecting business + innovation + pediatric cancer patients Carol Cone On Purpose: https://www.carolconeonpurpose.com What will be your organization’s authentic purpose in 2021? https://www.carolconeonpurpose.com/post/what-will-be-your-organization-s-authentic-purpose-in-2021 More about the show: https://www.digseedgrow.com/thealtnormal-podcast Produced by Resonance™, the creative practice of Dig | Seed | Grow This show is hosted at Destination Outpost, a coliving and coworking community based out in Bali.
58 minutes | Mar 21, 2021
Carrie Zhang: Dispelling the Model Minority Myth for Asian Liberation
In episode 28, we dive into the intersection of mental health and social justice with Carrie Zhang, founder of Asian Mental Health Project. This initiative aims to educate and empower Pan-Asian communities in making mental healthcare more accessible using content creation and community events to de-stigmatize topics of mental health and critical social issues. CNN featured her project in their roundup, “People of Color Create Their Own Mental Services Online.” The work of Asian Mental Health Project couldn’t be more relevant than it is today, especially in the aftermath of a President who stoked public hysteria by coining COVID the “Chinese virus.” In a worldwide moment of heightened anti-Asian sentiment and hate violence with historical roots dating back to the 1800s, the numbers paint a sobering picture of how COVID has accelerated this racial injustice -- more than 2800 incidents of Anti-Asian discrimination have been reported since the pandemic began (according to NowSimplified). Thanks to Carrie’s project, the Pan-Asian community is coming together to share their lived experiences and connect with mental health experts around a range of topics -- releasing perfectionism, unpacking people pleasing as a trauma response, and understanding intergenerational trauma are just a few. As a daughter to Chinese and Taiwanese immigrants, Carrie is no stranger to the barriers that keep the Pan-Asian community from seeking out mental healthcare (8.6% of Asians seek this out compared to 18% of the general US population). The new story around Asian mental health care is about the capacity to “tell our story without feeling like we have to be adjacent to whiteness or another group. We can be who we are without being a model minority -- caring for and understanding ourselves in the way we haven’t before.” This and other illuminating topics, include: • The impact of the project’s weekly wellness events “stay in, check in” • How AMHP practices allyship with Black Lives Matter and the intersecting movement towards BIPOC liberation • What is the model minority myth vs. new story emerging around Asian mental health • Unpacking the Western European origins of mainstream psychotherapy to make sense of why we need alternative inclusive modalities for the Pan-Asian community • What’s next for AMHP (show your solidarity and support by donating through the link below!) Asian Mental Health Project: https://asianmentalhealthproject.com More about the show: https://www.digseedgrow.com/thealtnormal-podcast Produced by Resonance™, the creative practice of Dig | Seed | Grow This show is hosted at Destination Outpost, a coliving and coworking community based out in Bali.
61 minutes | Mar 11, 2021
Rada Yovovich: The Future of Work Rides on Accessibility (DEI Follows)
In episode 27, we sit down with Rada Yovovich who makes the case for banning the “D” word (diversity) and instead, pushing play first on “accessibility.” Rada Yovovich co-founded a next-gen consultancy, The Darkest Horse, focused on helping teams build integrated future-of-work talent management strategies, politics and cultural practices that support a culture of diversity, equity, accessibility, and radical inclusion. She’s an experienced coach, meta-coach, mediator, trainer and facilitator based in Chicago. Contrary to how DEI tends to trend in organizations, Rada laser focuses on the power of accessibility as the primary starting point. Diversity is merely a consequence if all the other pillars are operationalized first. In a moment when organizations are able to hire the best talent from anywhere in the world, accessibility comes down to the basics -- can talent show up to work, and feel supported in their neurodiversity by the structures and culture of their work spaces? While hiring for a diverse workforce is the right thing to do (and by default, translating to more justice for more kinds of people), Rada moves us to ask, “is it justice if diverse employees and workers are not being treated equitably?” In looking ahead, what we need is to actually move towards justice and liberation, which if considered as an add-on to DEIA, can more precisely target the points of privilege and oppression we exist in. From there, we can begin to delve into questions around who holds power within an organization, and how to implement capacities for growth (such as antiracism) within the systems that hold sway to create real change internally. We dig into thought leadership across a wide-ranging spectrum, including: • The origins of “the darkest horse” archetype and how they’ll lead the future of work • Discerning between the D-E-I-A-J as leaders reimagine work culture, develop greater fluency in change management and open up paths for antiracism • The case for making accessibility the starting point, which has the potential to open up greater capacities for growth and change • Intrapreneurship vs. entrepreneurship and how to embrace the former as a skillset and state of being for innovation within an existing system • As a call to action for the modern day changemaker, how can you create a big vision for the future and simultaneously hold a deep unconditional appreciation for what is true right now? Rada Yovovich: https://radayovovich.com Darkest Horse: https://www.thedarkesthorse.com More about the show: https://www.digseedgrow.com/thealtnormal-podcast Produced by Resonance™, the creative practice of Dig | Seed | Grow This show is hosted at Destination Outpost, a coliving and coworking community based out in Bali.
64 minutes | Mar 3, 2021
Julie Ann Otis: Embodying What We Already Know Is Possible
In episode 26, we drop into deeper layers of ease, enoughness and somatics with Julie Ann Otis, an intuitive healer and artist committed to an experience of ease for every body. Through Samana Consulting, she offers civic engagement art, courses, and one-on-one sessions for leaders all over the world in universities, non-profits, lobbying organizations and social justice spaces to change the landscape of what is possible in healing, pleasure and innovation. After 10+ years in nonprofit management, Julie Ann now dedicates her life’s work to supporting her clients embody what they know is already possible -- her modalities range from focusing-oriented therapies, creative visualization, meditation, neurobiology, somatic feedback, and Metta meditation practices. She has published two poetry collections -- elastic union and Sermons of the Real. In a culture that perpetuates separateness and gives rise to systems of oppression we know all too well, Julie Ann bridges East and West (or in other duality, materialist and spiritual) to language a much needed reimagining of our times -- the importance of taking up space in our birthright states of being, with as much pleasure, joy and ease as possible. After grappling with her own existential crisis and subsequent healing journey in Bali, Julie Ann emerged with a new window into the world that very acutely discerns “accomplishment-oriented” healing with the possibility of healing outside a consumerist Western lens steeped in grind culture, fixing a thing, and over-efforting. For her, spiritual breakthrough comes from travelling into the body to resensitive ourselves to the wholeness of our being, on the levels of physiological, energetic, emotional and intuitive. Like a tour guide into the inner unseen landscape, Julie Ann shines a curious light on all of ourselves with a touch of poet, artist, healer and social justice activist. In the dance between inner and outer worlds, she asks of us, “How do we make peace as captivating as conflict?” In this soul-alivening conversation, we peek under the hood around: • The legacy of Amanda Gorman during the Presidential Inauguration and her gift of embodied presence as a cultural leader of our times • The journey from a hardcore materialist to an intuitive healer, artist and pleasure activist (and the role Bali played in this life-changing sojourn) • How to embrace somatic-intuitive intelligence in the body, and the power of this energy • Knowing the felt difference between over-efforting and enoughness (especially if you find yourself hopping from one healing to the next) • Reimagining culture if love and power were to take up the same space • Reflecting on the ever-abundant question, “where can we do less?” Julie Ann Otis: https://www.julieannotis.com Sermons of the Real: https://www.julieannotis.com/sermonsofthereal More about the show: https://www.digseedgrow.com/thealtnormal-podcast Produced by Resonance™, the creative practice of Dig | Seed | Grow This show is hosted at Destination Outpost, a coliving and coworking community based out in Bali.
70 minutes | Feb 24, 2021
Nadine McNeil: Spiritual Activism for Knowing Thyself
Black History Month BONUS release drop! We remastered three episodes with prominent black expat leaders of the Bali community, centering on the intersectionality of consciousness, spirituality, activism and plant medicine. On this episode, we fearlessly bridge the worlds of spirituality and activism with the one and only, Nadine McNeil of Universal Empress. Her mission as a yoga teacher, speaker, wisdom mentor and humanitarian is to ignite infinite possibility in people around the world and share yoga with diverse underserved communities. She is the founder of the BadAsana Series ©: Yoga with Weights and long-time teacher at the Yoga Barn, the largest yoga and wellness facility in South East Asia. Prior to her deep dive into yoga in 2008, Nadine travelled the world in service of the UN, UNICEF, Global Volunteer Network and Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons for nearly two decades. These and other experiences rooted Nadine’s continued devotion to activism. Additionally, her globally expanding Women’s Circles are rooted in her mantra: when one of us suffers we all suffer. Yet when one of us heals, we all heal.This conversation was igniting on all levels, bridging the medicine of activism and spirituality into one potent conversation. Contrary to the perception that Yoga is all love, light and OM, Nadine shines a light on what’s typically overlooked — that for real change (and real movements) to happen, we must access our anger and injustice, the “most potent emotional frequencies in Dharma.” By reaching for the lessons within our fire and rage, we can then ignite transformation in the direction of justice, move beyond the “danger of the single story,” and collectively challenge what Reverend Kyodo Williams calls the “impoverished imaginations” of our times. With the Old World crumbling, humanity needs a new story that includes all voices and identities -- leaning gracefully into the complexity of who we are, not simply what’s perceived as “normal” or comfortable to face this existential crisis. Inspired by the work of Kyodo Williams, author of “Radical Dharma,” we cover wide ranging topics that centers spirituality as a force for activism, helping us show up in the world in our true Dharma and extraordinary differences. We travel landscapes far and wide, including:• As a woman who is “Jamaican by birth, Universal by outlook,” how Nadine claims her identity as one that was significantly shaped by a lifetime after leaving Jamaica at age 16.• What is actually dangerous about “the single story” and how she brings this concept alive in her own engagement with diversity.• After spending 22 years with the UN in emergency response and humanitarian stints, what broke the camel's back and inspired her on the path of Yoga.• What role can (and should) Yoga play in current COVID times of systems collapse, racial injustice explosion, and the collective sentiment of rage and violence worldwide.• Unpacking the “Democratization of Yoga,” what she describes as the removal of the illusion of elitism attached to the practice in modern times.• In response to Kyodo Williams’ TEDx talk where she famously declares, “I don’t want your love, I want your justice for the people of different ethnicities, cultures and countries,” what Nadine feels is the role of love in a time of violence (and whether Yoga requires that we love everyone).• How we can compassionately and gracefully transform violence into something of value for ourselves and community.• How to navigate the scarcity mindset as a person on the spiritual path who shows up in contribution, yet not always manifesting their highest financial abundance.• How Nadine transformed dwindling interest in online Yoga (on both sides) during COVID-times into abundance and “keen intuitive and observation skills to discern how [she] could best serve others.”• How culture needs to shift right now to break through our impoverished imaginations and hold more space for difference and diversity.Follow Nadine at https://www.universalempress.comMore about the show: https://www.digseedgrow.com/thealtnormal-podcastProduced by Resonance™, the creative practice of Dig | Seed | GrowThis show is hosted at Destination Outpost, a coliving and coworking community based out in Bali.
91 minutes | Feb 23, 2021
Melvin Hart: Plant Medicine and the Path to Self-Mastery
Black History Month BONUS release drop! We remastered three episodes with prominent black expat leaders of the Bali community, centering on the intersectionality of consciousness, spirituality, activism and plant medicine. On this episode, we get deep with Melvin Hart, a Neuromuscular Therapist, Shamanic Medicine Practitioner, Intuitive Coach, Healer and Spiritual Nomad who has worked with hundreds of people from around the world and participated in 100+ plant medicine ceremonies, helping his clients integrate their experiences into everyday life through his platform, the Evolutionists. As an Indian-Black man raised Hindu in New York, he has never checked any conventional boxes. In fact, at age 18, he found himself unjustly locked behind bars for the next 8 years (“his grandfather was a senator; his family grew up in law enforcement. So I kind of got the wrong end of the deal.” - NYPost). According to the ACLU, 1 out of 3 Black boys born today can expect to go to prison in his lifetime, as compared to 1 out of every 6 Latino boys and 1 out of 17 white boys. While his formative years were influenced by an institutionally racist criminal justice system and years of “seeing the worst side of humanity,” he prevailed against all the odds to come out not simply alive, but incredibly resilient, in service, and powerful beyond measure.• In this poignant conversation, we travel all the lifetimes Mel lived and wisdom collected along the way, covering a wide ranging conversation that includes: • What it was like to be indicted unjustly at the ripe age of 18 and actually experiencing “the worst side of humanity”• His transition from prison to the real world, and how he picked himself up by his bootstraps despite the staggering reality that former inmates face each year (650,000 men and women nationwide in the US return from prison to their communities, and face nearly 50,000 federal, state, and local legal restrictions that make it difficult to reintegrate back into society)• While he evolved a successful career merely 5 years following prison, Mel gave it all up to heed his greater calling for ayahuasca in the jungles of Peru — what he saw and how it changed the game forever • How plant medicine is not the silver bullet, but rather the amplifier of who you already are and who you want to be• The kind of world he envisions as a Shamanic Practitioner and his reaction to George Floyd’s wrongful murder and the traumas confronting humanity today -- “you can ignore reality, but you can’t ignore the consequences of you ignoring reality” • Mel’s personal spiritual practice that combines his diverse background, accountability structures, and multidisciplinary approach to healing More about the show: https://www.digseedgrow.com/thealtnormal-podcastProduced by Resonance™, the creative practice of Dig | Seed | GrowThis show is hosted at Destination Outpost, a coliving and coworking community based out in Bali.
83 minutes | Feb 22, 2021
Swaady Martin: Diversity is Our Collective Superpower
Black History Month BONUS release drop! We remastered three episodes with prominent black expat leaders of the Bali community, centering on the intersectionality of consciousness, spirituality, activism and plant medicine. On this episode, we sit down with the legendary Swaady Martin, one of Africa’s most recognized young leaders, influencers and tastemakers. She’s a multi-awarded serial entrepreneur most notably of YSWARA (a socially-conscious gourmet tea company contributing to the reversal of the African commodity trap) and a changemaker-activist who has founded Tounche Global Consciousness Summit (events that have brought consciousness transformation to 2000 diverse individuals worldwide), a Racial Reconciliation Circle in honor of James Patterson (her father and former Black Panther Party Leader of Brooklyn), and THE LOVINGKINDNESS BOMA (a collection of children’s books to cultivate greater love, kindness and compassion within the family). Formerly a GE executive of 10 years, she pursued her own hero’s journey that has evolved over continents and projects at the intersection of inner growth activism, conscious entrepreneurialism, and her great love for Africa. Among her many honorable accolades, she’s been named on Oprah Winfrey’s “O Power List” for Africa in 2014.In this dynamic conversation, we cover her life’s journey in these core explorations:• What it was like to grow up as the daughter of a Black Panther Party Leader in Brooklyn, and how early life exposure to activism influenced her worldview later on as an “inner world activist”• Her love for her corporate days as a former GE executive, stemming from her lifelong dream of becoming a businesswoman as early as 6 years old • Making the transition from corporate to conscious (and serial) entrepreneur of YSWARA and how this business brought her love of African culture, values and ancestral wisdom to the forefront of business storytelling• The impact YSWARA had on the local African communities and plantations she’s worked with, which is more relevant than ever today in what Harvard deems as “the age of corporate social justice”• How diversity is missing from the healing + consciousness communities worldwide, and why Tounche Global Consciousness Summit emerged to meet that gap with new voices, perspectives and cultures • The critical work of running a weekly James Patterson Racial Reconciliation Circle (named in honor of her father’s role as Black Panther Party Leader) in light of George Floyd’s murder and the explosion of racial injustice worldwide • The inspirations and intentions behind writing a collection of children’s books that places diverse girls at the forefront of storytelling• Her love letter to Bali and how this oasis of beauty and biodiversity has supported her during these COVID crisis timesMore about the show: https://www.digseedgrow.com/thealtnormal-podcastProduced by Resonance™, the creative practice of Dig | Seed | GrowThis show is hosted at Destination Outpost, a coliving and coworking community based out in Bali.
61 minutes | Feb 17, 2021
Cindy Gallop: Make Love Not Porn Celebrates “Real World Everything”
In episode 25, we go bold with the legendary Cindy Gallop to explore new aspirational models for human sexuality, body positivity and social justice in the sextech industry. While her background spans 30 years in brand-building, marketing and advertising (having started up BBH in New York and named Advertising Woman of the Year), she founded social sextech platform Make Love Not Porn to promote good sexual behavior and good sexual values, which she launched at TED 2009. Her other software IfWeRantheWorld is now taught as a Harvard Business School case study to enable brands to implement the business model of the future -- Shared Values + Shared Action = Shared Profit. As the world’s first ever human-curated and crowdsourced social sex video sharing platform, Make Love Not Porn (MLNP) celebrates not just the most private part of our lives (sex), but essentially -- everything. Real world everything to do with body parts, intimacy and relationship dynamics in the bedroom. Nothing feels more powerfully supportive to body positivity than real humans watching other real humans (Make Love Not Porn-stars) have sex. According to Cindy, “people want us before even knowing we exist.” In this pandemic alone, website traffic has nearly tripled, while the last 9 years has seen 100% organic growth. MLNP has seen positive universal acceptance and been recommended to couples by sex therapists. In an age where the average age of a child coming across hard core porn is 6-8 years old, parents have also weighed in with the significance of how this platform could help socialize and normalize sex for their children to develop healthy, happy and loving sexual relationships. All that to say, MLNP has the potential to completely reimagine the landscape of human sexuality with “education through demonstration.” As a champion of diversity, gender equality and social justice in white male-dominated tech and advertising industries, Cindy embodies that it is completely possible to live a very different life and still be extraordinarily happy. In fact, the lockdown is the perfect opportunity to re-actualize everything, since all bets (of what’s considered status quo) are off. In this dynamic conversation, we cover: • The journey from advertising legend to sex tech founder of Make Love Not Porn • The emotionally moving impact MLNP has had on human sexuality, relationships, intimacy and love • How Make Love Not Porn-stars model aspirational culture and the importance of creating a “how-to” platform for real world sex • The 3 biggest barriers to becoming the next Facebook for social sex • The hurdles female-founded sex tech startups face (compared to male-founded startups in the same category) • What sex tech is and why we haven’t even begun to see the enormous potential for this trillion dollar category • Cindy’s favorite female-founded sex tech startups (plus the rich diversity present) More about the show: https://www.digseedgrow.com/thealtnormal-podcast Produced by Resonance™, the creative practice of Dig | Seed | Grow This show is hosted at Destination Outpost, a coliving and coworking community based out in Bali.
75 minutes | Feb 8, 2021
Emily Viola: The Truthful Brand Imagines Better (and Proves It)
In episode 24, we imagine the new story of humanity, progress, and cultural leadership with Emily Viola, a Cultural Strategist and Head of Planning (North America) at Futerra, a B-corp certified change agency that joins the magic of creativity and the logic of strategy to make sustainability so desirable, it becomes the new normal. She combines over 20 years of consumer insights and brand planning with the study of market dynamics and future technologies, specializing in Gen Z, Millenial and Multicultural audiences. While sustainability is here to stay, the scope of how we think about this word has expanded massively, thanks to the rising fluency of Gen Z and Millenials. What began as silo-ed discourse around environmental stewardship, risk mitigation and reporting about pollution and bad practices has transformed into a mindset and collection of practices to consider the longevity of our species -- from the air we breathe to the water we drink, all the way to how businesses benefit all stakeholders and address social and environmental justice. Thus, the scope of sustainability must evolve to imagine a better future, in order to change the world. All that to say, traditional cause marketing campaigns, greenwashing and glossy mission statements can only take brands so far. Through original research, Emily and the Futerra team affirmed the inevitable -- that today’s Gen Z and Millennial populations have a higher aptitude and fluency for sustainability (“only 41% of consumers felt products were providing the right amount of info on sustainability, while 86% of corporate experts thought consumers were satisfied”). They expect brands to be truthful over perfect and demand greater sustainable proof at the product level. How will brands today avoid becoming future dinosaurs and lead the movement from the inside out? In this incredibly imaginative and culturally rich conversation, we explore: • Why it’s critical to integrate logic and magic to create a new story for humanity • Why “honesty” is the new “transparency” and what Gen Z and Millenials expects from truthful brands today • How to think about building a sustainability strategy for brands that want to do better • How to become a cultural leader in 2021 (think: intentional energy) • The importance of dialectical thinking to reimagine the nature of progress • The power of “perspicacity” and moving from “ism” to “ish” to catalyze innovation More about the show: https://www.digseedgrow.com/thealtnormal-podcast Produced by Resonance™, the creative practice of Dig | Seed | Grow This show is hosted at Destination Outpost, a coliving and coworking community based out in Bali.
78 minutes | Feb 1, 2021
Mansi Jain: Reimagining the Nature of Leadership
On episode 23, we explore the exciting intersectionality of business, adaptive leadership and new ways of being with Mansi Jain, a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach and Transformational Facilitator with over a decade of experience coaching leaders, teams, and organizations across industries and geographies. She integrates modern research and ancient wisdom around psychological, spiritual, and systems development, while also drawing on her background in consulting with McKinsey & Company, leading a large-scale organizational transformation from the ground up and teaching through Wharton's Leadership Program at the University of Pennsylvania. At her core, Mansi is guided by a purpose to co-create a world where we continually choose love over fear. Amidst headlines in Forbes, Harvard Business Review and Time Inc. pointing to more feminine models of leadership surfacing in 2021 around authenticity and emotional agility, there’s much to unpack about the shape of leadership to come in our world’s most influential organizations. Having worked with leaders to explore their capacity for holding deeper states of vulnerability and presence, Mansi shines a light on what is possible when leaders reimagine the fundamental nature of “leadership.” The old story was around providing answers while the new story centers on creating space for the answers to be born. For her, it’s about the skillful ability to bring together the right people, courageously admit that you don’t know, and encourage your team to play in the mess -- even going so far as to create conflict where it’s needed to ultimately deepen into a clear path forward. This then begs the question, what would it take for leaders to show up as their full self and encourage their teams to embody the same? In this spiritually rich conversation, we cultivate curiosity around: • Examining leadership at the interplay of reactivity vs. creativity and fear-based vs. love-based • What it means to cultivate leadership at the intersectionality of complexity theory, adaptive leadership and wisdom traditions. • The power of dropping into nature in her transition from a multinational firm like McKinsey to an independent consulting practice • What love would look like at the organizational level (against the backdrop of “Women are Better Leaders During a Crisis” - Harvard Business Review) • The reimagining of courageous conscious leadership in a moment that’s filled with uncertainty and despair More about the show: https://www.digseedgrow.com/thealtnormal-podcast Produced by Resonance™, the creative practice of Dig | Seed | Grow This show is hosted at Destination Outpost, a coliving and coworking community based out in Bali.
98 minutes | Jan 23, 2021
Rick Smith: Awakened Leadership Starts with Welcoming Everything
On episode 22, we drop into the body and rediscover authenticity with Rick Smith, an Authentic Relating (AR) Expert with a background in classroom teaching and education consulting. Over the past twenty years, he’s spoken to over 100,000 people in fifteen countries on five continents. His best-selling book Conscious Classroom Management has now sold over a quarter million copies, and continues to touch the lives of teachers and their students. This conversation is an experiential taste of authenticity (and how to integrate this into modern day leadership), much like a mindful yoga flow for communication. In this dynamic conversation, we unpack the true meaning of Awakened Leadership and how it all begins with learning how to lead yourself. We explore the power of listening, presencing and adopting the mantra “I don’t know” to cultivate this potential. Not to mention, so much of where we begin starts by fundamentally relaxing the nervous system in a new way. From here, everything else becomes possible. While AR began as a movement in San Francisco in the late 90s, it has grown worldwide to 14 different countries and is catching fire not just in New Age-y communities, but in spaces we’d probably expect least -- businesses, the corporate sector and conflict transformation. According to Rick, this has everything to do with “people discovering themselves and creating tools to carry it forward.” Key topics we cover include: • Why Authentic Relating is so much more than “The Club Where You Bare Your Soul To Strangers,” as featured in The Atlantic • How leaders can balance vulnerability and authentic power at the same time, especially when imposter syndrome kicks in • The key qualities of stepping into awakened leadership, including “shifting from performance into presence” and “inner apology to inner authority” • The importance of presencing and calming the nervous system to tap into power (and practices to support this) More about the show: https://www.digseedgrow.com/thealtnormal-podcast Produced by Resonance™, the creative practice of Dig | Seed | Grow This show is hosted at Destination Outpost, a coliving and coworking community based out in Bali.
71 minutes | Jan 13, 2021
Arthur Woods: Operationalizing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion to Drive Impact
On episode 21, we dive deep with social entrepreneur Arthur Woods to explore all things diversity, equity and inclusion and how this triad comes to life operationally in today’s organizations. Arthur works at the intersection of equity, inclusion and technology and was named as Forbes 30 Under 30 and 40 Under 40 by BEQ. He is the author of Hiring for Diversity, a three-times TEDx speaker and has advised leading brands from Disney, Sonos and MetLife to the Smithsonian (with a background at Google). Most recently, he is the Co-Founder of Mathison, a talent marketplace helping employers recruit and retain professionals from underrepresented communities globally. While evidence from McKinsey shows a strong and consistent case for diversity and profitability, the question still remains -- how do today’s leaders operationalize DEI and move from intent to impact? It’s not enough to simply hire for diversity or build solutions at the organizational level. The truth is, to build inclusive systems and culture where everyone feels empowered to be themselves and show up fully, leaders must rise to the occasion and commit to both a mindset and behavior change. When leaders change, everything changes -- everything from redesigning the hiring process to be more equitable to enabling members of our most underrepresented communities to discern which organizations they choose to work for (and from there, holding their leaders accountable to act on their inclusive promise). Speaking from personal experience, Arthur embodies his own call to action -- to empower not just leaders, but also job seekers to demand the inclusivity they wish to see in the workforce. In this episode, we cover wide ranging topics: • What “forced innovation” looked like in 2020 and the potential it has to integrate with inclusive leadership • Unpacking the triad of diversity, equity and inclusion and which one currently presents the greatest challenge • The vision (and business model) of Mathison to diversify hiring through the Equality Hiring Index and reinvest profits in our most underrepresented communities • What a healthy DEI culture looks like, and why real change starts at the level of leadership • A call to action for leaders and job seekers in 2021 More about the show: https://www.digseedgrow.com/thealtnormal-podcast Produced by Resonance™, the creative practice of Dig | Seed | Grow This show is hosted at Destination Outpost, a coliving and coworking community based out in Bali.
75 minutes | Jan 6, 2021
Charley Wininger: The Power of MDMA to Heal Society
On episode 20, we go deep with Charley Wininger to unpack the layers of MDMA as a powerful gateway medicine to a new paradigm. Charley Wininger is a psychotherapist in private practice who just published his book “Listening to Ecstasy,” a personal narrative and guide to the safe, responsible use of MDMA for personal healing and social transformation. Licensed as a Psychoanalyst and Mental Health Counselor, he specializes in relationships and communication skills, and has been treating couples and individuals in his Manhattan and Brooklyn offices for over 30 years. He has often been featured in The New York Times and Newsday as “The Love Doctor”, and has appeared several times on TV and recently featured on Forbes for his book. In this post-pandemic world that has only exacerbated the #1 mental health issue of loneliness in our country, the story of MDMA (“chemical of connection”) is a highly relevant one. As a psychotherapist who grew up as a hippie and student radical during the countercultural movement, Charley has spent the last 50 years experimenting with psychedelics (and the last 20 with MDMA), which has informed his own approach to his psychotherapy practice. What might it feel like to drop into deeper states of empathy and compassion to dissolve the defenses and embody more of you who truly are? While simple, the potential of this question and exploration of it is profound (with or without psychedelics), given all the “isms” that plague our culture, be it racism, sexism, homophobia and all other systemic prejudices that go unseen and unexamined in society. Integration of our psychedelic experiences is the key to true transformation. In this episode, we cover wide ranging topics: • The experience of “coming out of the chemical closet” as a lifelong integration practice • How to safely and responsibly use MDMA for personal and societal healing (and why integration is the key here) • What an MDMA “roll” typically looks like with Charley and his community, with “set and setting” all consciously considered • What does listening to ecstasy mean in 2021 times and its capacity to heal our world’s most pressing and seemingly impossible problems like systemic racism and violence • The long term therapeutic benefits MDMA could have on veterans and victims of PTSD after just 2-3 sessions and supportive therapy • As an instrumental member of the MAPS (Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies) community for the last 20 years, what kind of world he envisions for the psychedelic space Check out Charley’s new book “Listening to Ecstasy” here: https://www.simonandschuster.com/books/Listening-to-Ecstasy/Charles-Wininger/9781644111161 More about the show: https://www.digseedgrow.com/thealtnormal-podcast Produced by Resonance™, the creative practice of Dig | Seed | Grow This show is hosted at Destination Outpost, a coliving and coworking community based out in Bali.
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