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Sneak preview and why we started The Innovate for Growth Podcast

Trailer for The Innovate for Growth Podcast

I’ve been a fan of podcasts since discovering them a couple of years ago starting with Girl Boss Radio, The Tim Ferriss Show and Gimlet Media’s StartUp podcast and have been hooked since. For one thing, it means being able to get away from spending time in front of a screen and instead putting my phone aside to concentrate on listening to high quality in depth conversations on any topic you can think of.

Why we started the Innovate for Growth Podcast

It took awhile to gather the courage and skills required to start my own podcasting journey, but I haven’t looked back since. With The Innovate for Growth Podcast, my mission is to empower creative entrepreneurs like myself to be able to build successful businesses doing what they are passionate about, while being able to make a positive difference to the world at scale.

We have some amazing guests lined up for Season 1 from Hong Kong and around the world who are doing incredibly innovative work in their respective industries. Innovation becomes a whole new world of possibilities when you go beyond the tech industry and consider it in different contexts such as integration of service design innovation within businesses, material and methodologies for creating fine art, business models for character/children’s show IP, what it means to innovate with the whole education system and how brands leverage innovation to scale positive impact.

Here are some of the guests who will be appearing on Season 1 of The Innovate for Growth Podcast:

I hope you’ll enjoy The Innovate for Growth Podcast as much as we’ve done in creating it. And if you’d like to start your own podcast, WordPress makes it really simple.

What to do next:

  • Subscribe to The Innovate for Growth Podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify or any podcast player of your choice
  • Share this with 5 amazing creative entrepreneurs you know
  • Join our mailing list to get the latest episodes by email.
  • Join our launch party on Thursday 29 August featuring a live interview and Tai Chi performance and workshop with Master Chow Chin Ching, Founder of Chen Style Tai Chi Institute
  • Become a fan and support the production of the Innovate for Growth Podcast! It takes a lot of work to put together, edit and promote each podcast, and we are doing this in our own spare time because we believe in empowering more creative entrepreneurs to build successful businesses while making a difference.

Become a fan of The Innovate for Growth Podcast

One off sponsorship + enter prize draw to win an Innovate for Growth Podcast tote bag!

1,200.00 HK$

If you’d like to support us on an ongoing basis:

Is your brand interested in exploring podcasts as a marketing channel?

Brand sponsorship is a great way for your brand to reach and engage with its target audience in a relevant way while adding educational value. For more information, please email

A sustainable future in view for brands? Our panelists share their thoughts

We had some great conversations at the Innovate for Growth Sustainability Experts Panel + Q&A event a couple of weeks ago on the topics of how brands can innovate around Sustainability, challenges of scaling positive environmental impact, solutions for fashion pollution, and how the businesses our panelists work with are making positive impacts in Sustainability.

Our panelists included thought leaders in Sustainability from a variety of industries, including Sonalie Figueiras, Founder of Green Queen; Kate Okrasinski, Director of Innovation at MAKE Studios; Anita Varshney, VP Strategy & Innovation, SAP Next-Gen; Diana Chen, Sustainability Advisor at The Purpose Business & Host of Creative Mornings HK; Kate Padget-Koh, Co-founder of Fashionable Futures & Artist/Founder at Kate Padget-Koh; and Michelle Lee, Marketing & E-Commerce Director at The R Collective, moderated by the very engaging Lauren Berning, Sustainability & Innovation Consultant and Founder of TBC HK Improv Company. The panel discussion and Q&A gave an interesting snapshot of where we are with Sustainability in HK currently with a well rounded set of perspectives ranging from Service Design Thinking, Media to Consumer Sustainable Fashion and Corporate ESG (Environmental, Social & Governance) when considering Sustainability, and sparked many interesting ideas and potential collaborations for the future.

Here are some of the highlights from the event:

Challenges of Scaling Sustainability
Innovating for Sustainability – Long-termism, Sci-fi and Cathedral Thinking

Hiring for roles in sustainability
Solutions for Fashion Pollution
Sustainability impact goals for panelists’ businesses
How do consumers learn about Sustainability and Sustainable Brands?

The audience also shared their thoughts on the current state of sustainability in Hong Kong, ‘greenwashing’ from brands, as well as the obstacles for consumers to adopt an eco-friendly lifestyle.

Some interesting takeaways from the panel discussion:

  • This ethos of “sustainability” influences businesses in a holistic way, from product innovation to hiring the right talent that believe in what you do.

  • The world is shifting towards “Long-termism” and we need to wake up to band-aid solutions that eventually create bigger problems. When it comes to product innovation, Patagonia is a leading figure in “Cathedral thinking”, where an organisation looks so far ahead and aims to build legacies and longevity. Patagonia does this by considering what will happen 100 year from now and think backwards from that. (via Rosann Ling)

  • Fashion is one of the greatest source of pollution. The R Collective rescues luxury material and recycle them into new collections with the goals of reducing textile waste and pollution.

    Christina Dean, Founder & CEO of The R Collective, also founded Redress, an NGO that educates the fashion designers and consumers to change mindsets and practices to stop the creation of textile waste now and in the future. They partner with well known high street brands to create second hand clothing take back systems, and run fashion shows featuring sustainable collections that generate and showcase value in repurposing textiles waste in an aesthetically appealing way.

  • The R Collective partners with independent designers as well as fashion brands to rescue leftover luxury material, designing for longevity and durability. This is a great example of how brands can collaborate with artisans to scale positive impact by creating sustainable products that also have aesthetic appeal for consumers.

    By reimagining textiles waste and capitalising circular fashion, they are able to reduce the carbon footprint of an up cycled jacket by 60%.

  • Media is important for people to find out about what your brand is doing and learn about why and how to live sustainably. Green Queen, an eco-wellness platform founded by one of our panelists Sonalie Figueiras, does this by sharing resources, interviewing entrepreneurs in this field, publish eco-wellness/sustainability news, events, podcast and video content to distribute information and educate so consumers in Asia feel informed, inspired and know what they can do.

  • 82% of the micro-plastic pollution in our oceans come from nylon, polyester or other synthetic products, such as yoga pants made from recycled bottles.

  • On the subject of innovation in Sustainable Fashion – Kate Padget Koh believes there are a lot of innovation out there when it comes to new fashion technologies to create sustainable fabric e.g. Mushroom, Eco silks. However, the new luxury is going to be eco luxury where the value is no longer about looking for the most rare skin as fabric but rather being able to keep those skins on this planet without using them.

  • For sustainable growth, we need to re-engineer the way we perceive luxury services. Rather than products, service is about interactions (serving a cookie on a paper tray is not the definition of luxury. But having a strong customer relationship, listening to your audience and responding to those needs in innovative ways is) MAKE Studios: Design-led Innovation
  • Questions which brands will need to consider when planning to make positive sustainable impact at scale include:
  1. Is the consumer demanding this fully?
  2. Can they get to it at scale?
  3. There is still a gap in consumers knowledge about the why’s and how’s of Sustainable Fashion – most have subconsciously learnt to buy cheap clothes without considering its impact on the environment. Brands like H&M, Adidas & Zara making a commitment to manufacturing Sustainable Fashion is a good start and accelerates industry wide changes.
  4. How fast can you get these innovations to the market at a viable price point?
  5. How do you drive people to buy more when you are trying to encourage them to buy less?

Some amazing reads came up during the panel (via Anita Varshney) :

🔎 Book – Let My People Go Surfing : The Education of a Reluctant Businessman – Including 10 More Years of Business as Usual
🔎 Book – Science Fiction: A Starship for Enterprise Innovation
🔎 Cathedral Thinking
🔎 Why Long-term Thinking is your Best Short-term Strategy ?
🔎 Why waste is a fundamental design flaw ?

A big thank you to all of our panelists and attendees for joining the event. If you would like to receive updates in your inbox on the latest Innovate for Growth events, podcast and articles, please subscribe to our newsletter below.

How Brands can fuel the Sustainability Movement and accelerate the achievement of Global Goals

Guest post by Anita Varshney, VP Strategy & Innovation at SAP Next-Gen, a Purpose Driven Innovation University (Edited by Tracy Tsang)

Leading businesses today have mastered building authentic and long-lasting emotional brand rapport with their customers. As businesses around the world join in the sustainability movement, they have the potential to empower communities and impact economies in an enormous way. By instilling a strong sense of purpose and building emotional connection with consumers, change makers are able to lead and fuel these global social movements with their brands.

With ten years remaining to fully realise the transformative 2030 agenda for the UN Sustainable Development Goals, policymakers’ unwavering attention and a laser-sharp focus on the implementation of these global goals are required now more than ever.

Global enterprise leaders can play a significant role in leading climate change initiatives and sustainable transformation. In order to make a difference at scale, every business must commit to putting communities ahead of profits, and incorporate social impact into their business above and beyond seeing it as a tick-box Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) exercise. Successful brands will be those that continue rising to the challenge to address the big picture issues humanity faces.

So how can brands help to fuel the sustainability movement? Three ways businesses can incorporate sustainability into their brand strategy and inspire businesses to go beyond the traditional role that branding and marketing typically play for businesses.

  1. Redefining brand engagement:

    Shallow engagement driven by “likes” or “retweets” will give way to real engagement. Comments signify a deeper and more meaningful engagement in general, enabling brands to start a dialogue with their community.

    Impact marketing requires going beyond selling the value proposition to selling behavioral change. When it comes to movement building, inspiring people to take action proves most effective. When others amplify your message within their own communities, it leads to greater organic reach and credibility. Whether it’s the investors or investees, the community, or employees within organizations — the collective voice can help tell the story.
  2. Brands can redefine industry standards:

    Brands focused on authentic content and not just influencers will emerge as winners. Stories built on real-life experiences and implementable ideas promote deeper engagement and an opportunity for companies to innovate, develop their own business models, products and services based on real customer use cases.

    These interactions result in lifelong customers, who will engage, give feedback, and join the brand’s innovation community. The passionate, committed employees can then use this feedback as valuable input for the next prototype or idea. This process enables customers to redefine industry standards through crowdsourcing efforts from global community members who care more about the planet and want to lead sustainable lifestyles.
  3. Brands driven by partnerships:

    When sustainable brands come together, they develop alliances within ecosystems of organizations who want to see business as a force for good. They find ways to work together, share and amplify through their networks, and exponentially grow the movement to drive behavioural change.

    Partnerships can successfully amplify messaging for small teams with lower budgets and compressed timelines, as businesses collaborate in the movement to achieve the 2030 Global Goals.

It’s time for us to build purpose into the business model itself and to go beyond a mission-driven, do-no-harm approach to actually creating new value that leaves the world a better place than it found it. Given that the Experience economy is at all-time peak, let us use brands to help maintain wealth in communities, build an inclusive economic system that creates benefit for citizens and the environment.

If you’d like to receive our latest blog articles and Innovate for Growth Podcast episodes directly in your inbox, please subscribe to our newsletter below:


You’re Invited: Innovate for Growth Podcast Launch Party + Live interview & Workshop with Tai Chi Master Chow Chin Ching

**UPDATE: Please note that this event has been cancelled due to weather condition and current political demonstrations in HK

Master Chow Chin Ching, Founder of Chen Style Tai Chi Institute will be our special guest for a live interview to celebrate the launch of the Innovate for Growth Podcast on Thursday 29 August. He will also be giving a demo performance of “Sudden Thunder” style Tai Chi followed by a short class to try it out for yourself!

Book your tickets here

Master Chow was born into a Martial Arts family as well as the 1st Inheritor of Grandmaster Chen Qin Lei, famous for the “Sudden Thunder” style of Tai Chi. He is listed by Kung Fu Celebrity Archive of Beijing as a prestigious Kung Fu Master of China. Master Chow has previously been invited to collaborate with international brands including Chanel, HSBC, Audi Formula E World Champions, Tottenham Hotspurs Football Team .

The Innovate for Growth Podcast is a show where Tracy Tsang, Founder & CEO of Internet of Stories, meets world class creators/performers/artisans, mission driven entrepreneurs, and thought leaders in growth and innovation to chat about their life journeys, creative processes, and wisdom gained from building ventures out of doing what they love.

Our goal is to empower creators and mission driven entrepreneurs to develop in a holistic way, create scalable positive social impact, while enabling their personal and professional growth as a successful creative entrepreneur.

Book your tickets here

Previous guests in Season 1 of the Innovate for Growth Podcast include:

Surmayee Tetarbe & Sam Book, Creators of the Sassy Speaks Podcast;

Alexis Bautista, Founder of Kokonuzz Media Group;

Jaime Lau, Jack Storms and Antoine Gaussin, Gallery Director & Artists from The Spectacle Group;

Helen McEachern, CEO of Cherie Blair Foundation for Women

Malcolm Ong, Head of Product at South China Morning Post.

Natalie Chan, Founder & CEO of OWN Academy

Book your tickets here

If you’d like to receive the latest blog articles and podcast episodes directly in your inbox, please subscribe to our newsletter below:

Ep 001: “Should your brand be podcasting?” Surmayee Tetarbe and Sam Book, Creators of Sassy Speaks Podcast, Sassy Media Group

In this first episode of The Innovate for Growth Podcast, I met Surmayee Tetarbe and Sam Book from Sassy Media Group who are the creators behind Sassy Speaks, a brand new podcast series they’ve launched to celebrate Sassy Media’s 10 years anniversary.

With Sassy Media being a well established lifestyle media brand, it was interesting to find out more about their approach to creating their own podcast and how they have integrated it as part of their content and marketing strategy.

Some Practical tips:

  • Make sure content align with data and what readers expect
  • Make sure everything is on brand, market it every week and that when people are listening to a new episode they know what to expect
  • Try to work with a company that’s done podcasting before if you are looking to create an original podcast for your brand
  • Put as few barriers as possible to your audience as possible when you’re looking to grow your audience


Subscribe to the Sassy Speaks podcast

Any feedback, thoughts, questions, please email:

Sassy Mama

Instagram handles
Sam Book, Marketing Manager at Sassy Media Group: @sam__book

Surmayee Tetarbe, former Partnerships Manager at Sassy Media Group & Host of Sassy Speaks :


Other podcast interviews from The Innovate for Growth Podcast you might like:

Ep 002: “Innovation in Hong Kong – where are we heading?” with Patti Hunt & Kate Okrasinski, MAKE Studios

Ep 003: “The Business of Fine Art” with Jaime Lau, The Spectacle Group