5 years, and still a privilege

5 years, and still a privilege

2 May 2017

Our team leader explains why impact storytelling is still a privilege after five years.

I never imagined doing this.

I have always loved tourism and thought that I would spend my life pursuing this passion. In fact, it was this passion that took me to India. And what I experienced in the three years I spent in Mumbai changed me. It gripped my heart with the harsh realities of poverty, but also revealed to me the resilience of the human spirit.

Coming home to Singapore, I sought to use my skills in a way that could impact lives more directly. Joining the Singapore International Foundation 6 and a half years ago gave me this opportunity.

What started out as a role in corporate communications, evolved into leading the team of Our Better World to pioneer storytelling for social impact on a global scale.

It has been five years since I started Our Better World with Josh. There is a word he uses to describe how we view the work that we do - privilege. It is a privilege to do this work every day.

When I tell friends that doing this job has been harder than my time in Mumbai, they are shocked. I explain that it’s because it is so much more than a job. I have never felt more challenged and alive at the same time.

I believe stories with heart have the power to inspire action and impact lives.

I believe stories anchored in good values have the power to shape culture for a better world.

I believe stories of everyday people quietly doing good in Asia need to be told and amplified, so that everyday people viewing content online can get inspired to come alongside them and support that good.

I believe Our Better World can grow to be a global movement, where it is less about being the best in the world and more about being the best for the world.

I do what I do because of my convictions and beliefs.

My beliefs grow deeper as I hear how our stories have impacted lives in different ways. Over time, I have realised that no action is too small. For example, you cannot discount an online share of a story because like a dandelion, when its seeds scatter, they spread far and wide with the wind, taking root where it lands. Every seed matters. The ripple effect can be exponential.

I have also realised that the process of syncing my heart with my head adds true growth to my character and life. So, when the going gets tough, I remind myself of the convictions and beliefs that keep me anchored. I walk steadfast, learning from others, learning from hard knocks, learning new ways to get better.

What also keeps me going is knowing that I am not alone in this. Bosses take a chance on me, mentors guide me, my team supports and challenges me, and our community doesn’t only support us but also shares with us how we can get better.

When I connect with many of you who share the same beliefs, I am heartened. The times you have championed Our Better World leaves me speechless, gratified and grateful.

I dream of a global community that shares the same beliefs, working together to flood the digital space with stories that inspire action for a better world. It will take hard work and collective effort. There are many variables beyond our control, but I can absolutely see this dream becoming a reality in the years ahead.

I never imagined doing this, yet here I am. Five years into it and more convinced than ever of the potential in Our Better World.

As we celebrate our fifth birthday, it remains a privilege for me to play a part with you in shaping what Our Better World can become. I invite you to stay the course with us as we evolve what we do with impact stories and the coming opportunities for you to get involved.