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Podcast Show Notes Ep 015: “Redefining the future of education” with Natalie Chan, Founder & CEO of OWN Academy

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In this episode I’m delighted to chat with Natalie Chan, Founder & CEO of OWN Academy and one of the most inspiring education innovators in Hong Kong. OWN Academy bridges classrooms and the real world by giving secondary school students practical industry experience with companies like New York Times and Cartoon Network, helping them to discover their unique talents and career path. Natalie will be sharing more about their programmes and industry partnerships, the challenges and future for OWN Academy, and her experience and insights from Davos.

What we talked about: 

  • Natalie’s career journey going from corporate to becoming a film producer, to discovering her passion for education 

  • The power of media in helping her create positive impact that reaches many more people 

  • Do 12 year olds kids of this generation really know what they want to do with their lives? How OWN Academy help students discover their talents and the wide range of career opportunities that are available

  • How they are making it possible for secondary school students to get experience working with companies like New York Times and Cartoon Network

  • Natalie’s criterias when choosing companies to work with 

  • OWN Academy’s biggest challenges and goals as a forward thinking education innovator

  • Natalie’s own role models and mentors

  • Her experience at Davos and insights on education and future of work

Natalie’s advice for mission driven creative entrepreneurs:

” Figure out your business model first (…) Ultimately to be sustainable and really make an impact you have to have a business model that supports it, so figure out how to make money. “

End of Season 1

This is the final episode of Season 1 of The Innovate for Growth Podcast. We’re going to be taking a short break while preparing our next season with some amazing guests lined up, including an international children’s character and TV show creator, a Tai Chi master and an author documenting the stories of Hong Kong’s traditional tradesmen and women. Until then, stay tuned!

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

Ep 001: “Should your brand be podcasting?” with Sam Book & Surmayee Tetarbe, Sassy Media Group

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

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

Ep 004: “Making of the real life Marvel Tesseract and the artist entrepreneurial journey of a world renowned cold glass sculptor” with Jack Storms, The Spectacle Group

Ep 005: “Discovering the Uncharted Territories of Helicopter Aerial Hyperphotography – a story of chance and serendipity” with Antoine Gaussin, The Spectacle Group

Ep 006: “How can brands adopt sustainability and scale positive impact on the environment? ” with Sonalie Figueiras, Green Queen

Ep 007: “When Creativity meets Sustainability” with Diana Chen, The Purpose Business & Creative Mornings HK

Ep 008: “Will Fashion ever be Sustainable in the Future?”with Kate Padget-Koh and Kanch Porta-Panjabi, Fashionable Futures

Ep 009: “Reducing Fashion Waste and Pollution at Scale” with Christina Dean, Founder & Chair of Redress, Founder & CEO of The R Collective

Ep 010: “Making Fashion Recycling Easy and Rewarding for Parents” with Sarah Garner, Founder of Retykle

Ep 011: “From Print to Digital First – Transformation and Innovation in the world of News Media” with Malcolm Ong, South China Morning Post

Ep 012: “Solving Social Issues through Kindness” with Jeff Rotmeyer, ImpactHK & Love 21 Foundation

Ep 013: “Empowering Women Entrepreneurship in Developing Countries” with Helen McEachern, CEO of Cherie Blair Foundation for Women

Ep 014: “How Press Freedom Concerns Led To The Very First Crowd Funded News Organisation in HK” with Tom Grundy, Hong Kong Free Press

Ep 010: “Making Fashion Recycling Easy and Rewarding for Parents” with Sarah Garner, Founder of Retykle

For those of you with young children, it can be frustrating to have barely worn baby clothes piling up at your house from your kids having rapidly outgrown them.

In the last of our mini series featuring sustainable brands, I talked to Sarah Garner, Founder of Retykle, who started the company to take the hassle out of resale of second hand children’s clothes to make life easier for parents. In this episode, Sarah shares with me more about the environmental issues caused by fast fashion, some exciting innovations and trends that are happening in the fashion industry, how Retykle enables parents to make money while offering a solution for conveniently recycling kids clothes, and her own entrepreneurial challenges as a non technical founder.

Key talking points:

  • How her personal frustration with going through baby clothes quickly as a new parent led to her starting Retykle
  • The definition of ‘Fast Fashion’ and how media and brands play a part in generating the demand for it
  • How Retykle enable parents to make money while providing a convenient solution for recycling kids clothes that no longer fit
  • Challenges of being a non technical founder when optimising and scaling efficiency without a playbook
  • Local consumers’ changing attitude to second hand clothing
  • Growing trend of fashion resellers and brands incorporating sustainability
  • Innovations enabling sustainability happening in the consumer space, rental/reseller business models, and within fashion brand supply chains
  • Simple habits that you can incorporate into daily life with kids to be more sustainable as a parent and cut down on waste
  • Creating a brand community with influencers that stand for values they believe in in order to change consumer mindset at scale

Sarah’s tips for creative entrepreneurs who want to make a difference:

  • Be constantly learning and stay curious
  • Find something that you feel extremely passionate about and a problem that’s worth solving

Click here for full show notes and links for this episode.