Driven by human interaction and the search for new experiences, Stephanie Dickson is a a third culture kid of Australian-Scottish descent. Fascinated by human interaction, she brings experiences from her previous role at a international marketing agency to Green Is The New Black, Asia’s first festival for people who want to live more conciously by improving the way they think, work and consume while doing more good in the world. She regularly conducts talks on designing meaningful events, recently filmed a documentary on eradicating climate change and is also a TEDx speaker.
The recently concluded Conscious Festival Powered by Holland and Barret at South Beach road drew over 4000 attendees and features 100 conscious lifestyle brands in fashion, beauty and F&B and 50 speakers from various backgrounds including corporates, social entrepreneurs and creatives. Definitely a green festival to bookmark for 2020.
Popspoken: How did you get into your current line of work?
Stephanie: Previously I spent four years working for and international events and marketing agency, planning luxury events and fashion weeks around the region. Four years ago I had an awakening and realised that fashion was one of the most polluting and socially corrupt industries. I realised was part of the problem and wanted to be part of the solution. As a newbie to the world of sustainability, I realised a few things.
Firstly, the events and experiences at the time were too businessy, hippie or preachy. And secondly that people were curious to discover better brands (both from an ethical and sustainable standpoint) but they didn’t know where to go or who to support. So, I took my skill set of running large scale events and decided to do a Conscious Festival to bring change-makers together who were using business as a force for good – but make it accessible, mainstream and sexy. That is how Green Is The New Black (GITNB) got started and since then we’ve developed a publishing arm which creates guides and content around living more consciously and a green steps program where we work with hotels, restaurants and large scale events to greener their operations.
In a nutshell, we help individuals and companies get greener, then celebrate their efforts and the power of #LittleGreenSteps.
Popspoken: How does a normal day look like?
Stephanie: I start off with my morning routine. Waking up as an early bird, coconut oil pulling, doing my kundalini yoga or HIIT, journaling, showering, having my breakfast and then finally opening my laptop. I do my best not to look at my phone for the first hour of the day but that can be challenging when we have a lot going on. Then it’s off to the Hive to work with the team, meetings and exciting work on GITNB.
Popspoken: What are the top 3 apps you use in your creative work?
- Asana – our team workflow and communication app, so beautiful, useful and pink!
- Keynote – for all of our presentations
- Instagram – for inspiration from activists, green warriors and positive images
Popspoken: What is the biggest challenge you face as a creative in Singapore?
Stephanie: In Singapore or anywhere, being creative while wanting to have a better impact on the planet and the communities always add a constraint which is sometimes hard to juggle with.
Popspoken: What is your biggest creative pet peeve?
Stephanie: When creatives think that sustainability is a nice to have and not a must have.
Popspoken: Do you have any advice for aspiring creatives?
Stephanie: I would say do you! Do not try to comply with whatever is already out there. Embrace your weirdness.
Popspoken: Where do you go and what do you do for inspiration?
Stephanie: Nature and adventures are always the best place for me to clear my head and create some space for ideas to grow. In Singapore, I love going to Bukit Timah nature reserve or else when I travel always going on hikes and walks.
I go shopping second hand, at Fashion Pulpit, Style Tribute, or even organise swapping sessions with my friends. I also regularly attend the events organised by the Straits Clan which are focusing on bringing the community together which is essential to my life.
Also watching documentaries, The True Cost, for example, inspired me to become a social entrepreneur and fight against the negative sides of the fashion industry. Others that continued to help me along my sustainability journey are Beyond The Flood, A Plastic Ocean and Chasing Ice.
Popspoken: Are there any books or blogs you’d recommend?
- Light is the New Black by Rebecca Campbell
- You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay
- The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson
Popspoken: Favourite travel destination and why.
Stephanie: Bali. Perfect destination both to chill out and get work done. The energy is healing and the diversity in landscapes makes the island so interesting.
Popspoken: What have you worked on that you’re most proud of?
Stephanie: We just got back from the Arctic where we went alongside with 80 committed people wanting to eradicate climate change on-board the National Geographic ship. Normally I get a bit scared when going on intense adventures or daunting expeditions, but I still push myself out of my comfort zone because that is really where the magic happens. We also shot our 1st documentary called The Naked Arctic Adventure.
Which we are doing a pre-screening of this weekend as the opening for our Conscious Festival. This was a monstrous task, one we completely underestimated, and something I never thought we would have done, but there you go – we are documentary producers now :) Aside from that I am so proud of our lean but epic team, and all the hard work they put in to pull off everything we do.
Popspoken: How do you approach getting stakeholders on board?
Stephanie: We’ve been lucky that we have met people at the right place, right time. A lot of it is network building, numbers games and then fostering relationships and building with people who understand what we are trying to build and how we can help them.
Popspoken: How would you like to be remembered?
Stephanie: As someone who positively contributed in the fight against climate change through action and community.