Category: WORLDCHANGERS

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I’m Paola Zancanaro from NamuStore and I’m a #WORLDCHANGERS


The WeGiveIt #WORLDCHANGERS series asks heroes, experts and leaders to share their ambitions, routines and more. 

This month on the #WORLDCHANGERS series, WeGiveIt speaks to Paola Zancanaro, founder of NAMU, a wonderful sustainable brand of clothing and accessories for women.

Paola Zancanaro - Namu
Paola Zancanaro – Namu

Location: Bali, Indonesia and online

Current job: founder and creative director of NAMU

One word that best describes how you work: sustainable

First of all, tell us a little about your background and how you got to where you are today.

First, I have been working in fashion for the past 20 years organizing events and fashion shows across the globe. I started my career in London working for Vivienne Westwood , where I immersed myself in the world of fashion from marketing to sales. VW is one of the most creative designer in this industry and I truly treasure my experience there. After 3 years at Giorgio Armani working on events I moved back to Italy, my own country and started my career with Prada, which lasted almost 15 years.

During one of my many trips to Asia I decided to relocate to Bali in 2007.

Bali is a creative hub, where you can explore and make your dreams come true working along skilled and passionate artisans

How can you define your business ethical?

My company NAMU  was founded in 2009 and since then it showcases our shagreen accessories collection and our Resortwear Collection along with other brands all made in Indonesia.

At NAMU  we like to support local artisans and to keep alive traditional artisanal techniques.

Because we are sustainable, we handpick all the brands available at NAMU STORE, which shares the same values that we have.

We do not follow trends but like to offer transeasonal pieces that last forever and can be pass from generation to the next one.

Our philosophy is handmade is luxury, – each handmade piece differs from each other making each item unique and one-of-a-kind.

What motivates you?

Keeping alive traditional artisanal techniques and keep learning from local artisans motivates us every day.

We like to support small businesses and to work with them; they are not our suppliers, they are part of the NAMU family

Tell us about a moment when you knew that it was all worth the hard work

Sitting in my office and hearing our staff talking to clients about the brand and our philosophy!

They are ever so proud of NAMU and they never stop learning about new techniques we work with.

They support the brand as if it is theirs and they are the best Ambassadors of NAMU!

How did your company get involved with a cause or charity partner?

Since I arrived in Indonesia I have been wanting to work closely with an NGO that supports children and education; children are the future and they all deserve to receive an education.

I was thrilled to meet Kartika Soekarno through a dear friend and support her Foundation. The KS Foundation  not only supports kids and their education but also mothers with pre-natal care through birth, infancy and early years up to secondary school.

We designed a pouch for the KS Foundation and all sales are donated to the Foundation and its activities.

How do you recharge? What do you do when you want to forget about work?

Yoga and traveling!

Work is always at the back of my mind but I try to combine my passion for traveling with work finding new suppliers and artisans to work with in countries that I love the most.

What book are you currently reading?

Autobiography of a Yogini

What would you have done differently if you knew then what you know now?

Definitely using less plastic, I am trying to embrace a life plastic-free.

Fill in the blank: I’d love to see Kartika of KS Foundationn answer these same questions.

You can buy pieces from NAMU collections in Bali, NAMU STORE or on line NAMU.

We love to interview brands with purpose and listen about their work and their way of giving back. We can help you to optimize your Cause Marketing and your Brand Strategy to reach your profitable and ethical goals.

Have someone you want to see featured or questions you think we should ask? Email Sara

I’m Laila Charlton-Meyrick and I’m a #WORLDCHANGER

The WeGiveIt #WORLDCHANGERS series asks heroes, experts and leaders to share their ambitions, routines and more. It’s published regularly at www.wegiveit.co.uk/blog

This week on the #WORLDCHANGERS series, we speak to Laila Charlton-Meyrick, experienced strategic advisor to UHNW clients and now Impact investment consultant.

Location: London

Current job: working on a new project to provide “purposeful” wealth management

One word that best describes how you work: collaboratively

Current mobile device: iPhone and MacBook Pro

Favourite website: https://theconduit.com

First of all, tell us a little about your background and your work experience

I am originally from Iran and came to the UK with my parents and brother over 30 years ago, in order to escape the war back in my country. I arrived with almost no knowledge of English. I left my home, my school friends and more importantly my extended family, who play a huge role in my culture and in particular in my family. I went on to finish my secondary education in the UK at Francis Holland in London and got my degree in Finance and French at Santa Clara University in the USA. I went on to build an international professional career in Finance, which over the last 20 years has had me working in a research role at Cross Border Capital, in management consultancy at McKinsey & Co and as an advisor to several HNW/UHNW individuals at UBS AG  and Credit Suisse more recently. I am a mother of 2 beautiful daughters and married to a loving husband who is English by blood but has lived almost all his life outside the UK.

What are your plan for your future?

I have recently left my career in banking, with a mission in mind: “shift the mindset” of private asset owners towards investments and initiatives that make a positive impact on our world. Impact investment is the future. In the face of social and environmental challenges that directly or indirectly will affect us all, wealth holders around the world are increasingly drawn towards investments that generate not only financial returns but also benefit people and the planet.

Why did you decide to move from conventional to impact investment?

Having spent almost two decades advising clients to invest in the conventional way to achieve the financially optimal portfolio, I have learnt that this type of investment is not always the best solution for a “real person”. Humans have emotions and they are influenced by context and environment, and their best portfolio isn’t just financially efficient, it also needs to be one that feels emotionally comfortable.

What motivates you?

The endless possibilities of life, people connections’ and my desire to make a change creating an impact on the world around me. Last but not least being a role model to my daughters it’s a constant motivation.

Tell us about a moment when you knew that it was all worth the hard work

Although stepping outside of the large organisations where I have been working for the last 20 years it wasn’t an easy decision, it has given me the opportunity to be more creative and focused on my agenda and although unnerving at times, I strongly believe that I owe it to myself, my family and the planet. I live on to play my part and use my skill set to mobilise funds towards investments and initiatives that make a positive impact on our world.

How do you recharge? What do you do when you want to forget about work?

I LOVE being outdoors and particularly being by the water. My family and I live in West London and lucky enough to be by the river. We get to enjoy lots of walks, cycle rides and runs. Given the pace of life these days, I am a strong believer in creating peaceful time for oneself that promotes creativity, which I thrive on.

What book are you currently reading?

Factfulness by Hans Rosling. My sister in law told me about this book. I was instantly gripped as it is an incredibly written book. It’s about our world and it provides factual information to help understand what we have achieved so far and what more we need to do on the urgent issues we face today such as poverty and climate change

What would you have done differently if you knew then what you know now?

I would most certainly have lived a more mindful life and by that I mean I would have taken a more active and conscious approach to manage my personal and professional life. I feel I could have begun this journey that I am embarking on now a decade ago at least. Having said that it is not too late and I believe we can always reinvent ourselves and redefine our goals: that is life.

Fill in the blank: I’d love to see Diana Verde Nieto of Positive Luxury answer these same questions.

Laila Charlton-Meyrick

www.linkedin.com/in/laila-charlton-meyrick

We love to interview people who believe in brands with purpose and listen about their work and their way of giving back. If you want to optimize your Cause Marketing check out how we can help.

I’m Francesca Griffiths from Casa-Londra and I’m a #WORLDCHANGER

The WeGiveIt #WORLDCHANGERS series asks heroes, experts, and leaders to share their ambitions, routines and more. It’s published monthly at www.wegiveit.co.uk/blog

This week on the #WORLDCHANGERS series, we speak to Francesca Griffiths, founder Casa-Londra, Trustee and President of NPH UK charity

Location: London

Current job: Property Lawyer, Founder Casa Londra Limited, Trustee/President NPH UK

One word that best describes how you work:
Multitasking

Current mobile device:
iphone 7

Favourite website:
www.casa-londra.com

First of all, tell us a little about your background and how you got to where you are today.

I am Italian, grew up in Genoa and moved to London in 1995 with an Italian law degree and the ambition of working in one of the big legal firms in the City. My parents were not keen to have me in London long term, I am an only child and they wanted me to take the traditional Italian bar exam and settle down in Genoa. They were very surprised when I announced them that I got a law firm sponsored position at the College of Law, wanted to live in London and qualify as an English solicitor!

London gave me great opportunities, as a solicitor I practised in what was one of the leading international law firms called Coudert Brothers, spent a year in their beautiful offices in Paris and specialised in corporate finance. In the meantime I met my husband Dominic, also a finance lawyer, we married in 2001 and started a family. With young children working in a big firm as a corporate lawyer was too challenging though, the hours were crazy…

As I have always loved the London property market I decided to abandon the finance world, specialise in property law and work as a solicitor in a smaller law firm in the West End with more reasonable working hours. I created an Italian desk and started assisting Italian clients who wanted to invest in the London property market. Property law is a very complex subject in the UK and my Italian clients feel reassured with me dealing with their transactions and explaining what a leasehold and a freehold are all about!

Whilst assisting my Italian clients in purchasing their London pied-a-terre I realised that they needed more services, not only the legal support but also assistance with their property search, with the management and letting of their flats after the purchase and sometimes even with the refurbishment and interior design. An Italian real estate agency in London was certainly needed and in 2009, with a few girlfriends,  I started Casa Londra in the sitting room of my house in West London.

Casa Londra now manages over 200 properties in Chelsea and Kensington, all owned by Italian clients. I have two business partners, six employees and a chic little shop on The Old Brompton Road. I feel very lucky as I still practice as a solicitor in Child and Child, a great law firm specialised in property, but I also supervise the various activities of Casa Londra and I consequently have a very exciting and diverse workload everyday.

So with two jobs already under my sleeve, I was not planning to take more on board but NPH UK was a beautiful and unexpected surprise…

Why did you get involved with NPH?

Two years ago a friend of mine introduced me to Mariavittoria Rava, an amazing person who is President of Fondazione Francesca Rava NPH Italy. Mariavittoria was looking for an English law firm to create the UK fundraising office for her charity and I offered to help her on a pro bono basis.

Nuestros Pequenos Hermanos (NPH) is an international charity assisting orphans and abandoned children in Haiti and nine countries in Central and South America since 1954. I was immediately taken by this incredible organisation which has saved the lives of thousands of children, giving them a family upbringing and great life opportunities. The work carried out by Fondazione Francesca Rava, the Italian fundraising office of NPH in the last 18 years under the direction of Mariavittoria Rava touched me deeply. Mariavittoria’s passion and determination to give a better future to disadvantaged children were incredibly contagious and I realised that it was time to give back and find some time in my life to help others.

NPH UK is now a registered English charity of which I am President and Trustee, together with Mariavittoria and Stefan Grafe. Since the incorporation we have set up an office and organised three successful events in London: the official launch of the charity at the Italian Embassy last November, a winter ball at Bulgari Hotel in January, followed by a ‘Flower Power’ themed dinner at Sumosan Twiga in May. We raised about £160,000 through these three events and I am already working on the next occasion, a Christmas Family Ball in a cool Chelsea location… watch this space!

What motivates you?
I am a people person, I love making connections and putting people together though my network of friends.

What is the process to finding your cause or charity partner?

People can access the charity directly through me or the website:

Every child needs a family

Tell us about a moment when you knew that it was all worth the hard work

Preparing the grants for the NPH Homes and the various NPH projects following the London events was certainly the most exciting part of the job. These funds make a huge difference in the lives of the NPH kids. Through a very efficient system of scholarships, many of them are able to attend secondary schools or universities and end up having successful careers,  frequently returning to their home countries to contribute back to the community. There is nothing more rewarding than that.

How do you recharge? What do you do when you want to forget about work?

I love spending time with my family. I have three gorgeous children aged 9, 12 and 16 and I always try to have quality time with each of them. London is a very hectic place and we often escape to our holiday home in Santa Margherita Ligure, the place where I grew up and where my roots still are.

What book are you currently reading?
Il Giardino dei Finzi Contini by Giorgio Bassani. A few days ago I gave it to my daughter as I loved reading it when I was her age. She hasn’t opened it but I am glued to it like thirty years ago!

What would you have done differently if you knew then what you know now?

I would have got involved in charity work earlier on in life. For many years I worked so hard on my career, the company, … I should have been less selfish! There is always a bit of time in everyday life to help others.

Fill in the blank: I’d love to see Mariavittoria Rava President of Fondazione Francesca Rava NPH Italy (a real world-changer!) answer these same questions.

Francesca Griffiths
Managing Director Casa-Londra

We love to interview people who work hard but find some time to giving back to society. We can help you to optimize your Cause Marketing and your Brand Strategy to reach your profitable and ethical goals

I’m Nick Hart from Turner and I’m a #WORLDCHANGER

The WeGiveIt #WORLDCHANGERS series asks heroes, experts, and leaders to share their ambitions, routines and more. It’s published monthly at www.wegiveit.co.uk/blog

This week on the #WORLDCHANGERS series, we speak to Nick Hart, Head of CSR for Turner, the company behind CNN, Cartoon Network & TCM


 

Location: Soho, London

Current job: Head of CSR for Turner, the company behind CNN, Cartoon Network &TCM

One word that best describes how you work: Helping

Current mobile device: iPhone, iPad and iPod

Favourite website: Spotify

First of all, tell us a little about your background and how you got to where you are today.

I started in an editorial on a movie magazine and moved through various TV companies doing publicity while also getting involved with the production and putting on events. I came to Turner to look after publicity for the entertainment channels and linked Cartoon Network with several children’s charities. At the same time I set up a short film festival with some well-known directors and actors and so this experience of helping young people’s careers and the charity links meant it was a short step into CSR.

Why did Turner get involved with your ActionAid?

We get involved with a lot of organisations as we have very diverse output and offices throughout EMEA. We pick ones which relate to our output and/or our locations so work with a lot of children’s charities, schools, homeless and environmental organisations. For several years we have been working with ActionAid to build schools in Africa which is a project that our staff from around EMEA get involved in. As well as fundraising all the money for the project they spend a week living in a remote African village helping the builders and getting to know the local people which is always an unforgettable experience. So far we have provided buildings in nine countries and are about to go to Zambia to build a pre-school.  

What motivates you?

It’s very exciting when you realise that by using your assets you can make a big difference. Our assets are our people who all have paid volunteering time, our channels, websites, cartoon characters, presenters and expertise. So for example, we can donate airtime or web banners for a charity to fundraise, give the rights for an organisation to use one of our famous cartoon characters to front a campaign, encourage our staff to use their skills mentoring young people or send a team of volunteers to paint cartoon characters in a playground.

What is the process of finding your cause or charity partner?

Our strategy is to work with a broad range of organisations working in a variety of areas and therefore we don’t have the pressure that companies have when they just have one charity of the year. This allows us to test the water with new organisations to find which aspects work for both of us and often they grow and prosper in ways that no one imagined at the start. When new organisations contact us we look for the synergies and work out what we can offer and what the links are, but it is different in every case.

Tell us about a moment when you knew that it was all worth the hard work

There have been several small things that we have done that really brought that home to me. The one I will never forget is when we were in Rwanda building a school there was a young boy who always stood at the back of the other children, didn’t join in and covered his mouth. He had been born with a very disfiguring cleft palate and as soon as the volunteers knew this we organised and paid the surgery which completely changed his life. At the other end of the scale, we built a school in Mali to replace a grass hut which housed over 100 children. The local government was so impressed that they built another building and put in playing fields, so what had been one primitive shack now looks like a western primary school.  

How do you recharge? What do you do when you want to forget about work?

I love the sea and the countryside and go to the south Cornish coast as often as I can. It’s wild and unspoiled, miles from anywhere, there are great beaches and walks, friendly people, lovely pubs and not much phone coverage so it’s perfect.

What book are you currently reading?

Ernest Hemingway’s short stories. He writes very succinctly but somehow describes people and situations better than anyone.

What would you have done differently if you knew then what you know now?

I would have moved into the CSR world earlier although my varied background and experience are very useful in doing this job.

Fill in the blank: I’d love to see Miranda Harman from ActionAid answer these same questions.


The WeGiveIt #WORLDCHANGERS series asks heroes, experts and leaders to share their ambitions, routines and more. It’s published regularly at www.wegiveit.co.uk/blog.

Have someone you want to see featured or questions you think we should ask? Email Paul