For me, a better world means healthy people who don’t have to worry about their health and putting food on their plates, people that are free to pursue their dreams, and that give back to the community. A circular world in which happy people have meaningful jobs and give back.
I think two of the things that need immediate action are education and mental health. Not everyone has parents that give you mental health support, and incentivize you to study, and learn as much as possible to do good in life (not because some parents are bad parents, but because they don’t know better, and because their parents probably didn’t know better either) and without having a very strong mental health support people suffer in silence, thinking there’s something wrong with them, therefore some people end up finding themselves in places they would never want to be. We have to do better for the generations to come.
I’d say I own my mental health to ballet. Being a professional dancer taught me discipline, and gave me the willingness of working on myself to be better every day, but when I was younger I just cared about being a better professional (this is what society tells us, right?) you have to work hard to be the best at what you do to be successful and ultimately be happy. So when I was younger I was careless about others around me, I was careless about the world issues, about the planet, about animals welfare, and about giving back.
Now I’ve changed, and through SheSapiens I’m advocating for creating a world where women are caring towards each other and where they get the mental health support they need and feel empowered to learn about anything they care about.
So how can each of us work towards building a better world?
We can improve society by finding a purpose we want to advocate for — and turn it into a meaningful job that gives us the quality of life we want while helping others.
I think we should change the narrative when we ask children or young adults “what do you want to be?” and ask “what do you want to solve or contribute to the world?” instead, because for me “what do you want to be?” just has one answer — everyone just wants to be happy. But when people ask us from a very young age “what do you want to be?” you understand that you need to become something to be happy, because becoming something will satisfy and feed your ego (this is want happened to me in ballet), but when you ask “what do you want to solve or contribute to the world?” you understand that you have a purpose and a mission on earth that is about giving back to the community in some way, this way you can live a meaningful life, and I think this is the most rewarding thing you can ever experience. Knowing that every one of us has the power to shape the world and make this world a better place is what drives me to keep going.
What is success for you? For me success is feeling happy during our journeys, not thinking that happiness is always one step further “I’ll be happy when I accomplish this or that” because when you accomplish one thing it will make you happy for a while, but then this happiness will fade off, and then you will be looking for the next reward. Success for me is thinking “I can allow myself to be happy every day because I’m doing my part in shaping a better world, and I’m aligning my everyday actions with my values and dreams”.
We must become conscious consumers in order to see a change in the economy and companies — voting with our money, supporting those that in our eyes work towards creating the world we want.
The regenerative economy or circular economy is what I envision for a better world. The business paradigm is shifting, and the companies we need now are the ones that aren’t built just to make a profit, but we need companies that solve social or environmental issues, companies that make this world a better place, just like any individual, companies have to be responsible and CARE.
An Ethical Business is thought to have four pillars: People, Animals, Planet, and Profit. This means that ensuring the wealth of employees, reducing or eliminating animal products and testing, and minimizing or even reversing its environmental impacts should be as important as turning a profit for it to be sustainable in the long run. This is triple sustainability: social sustainability, environmental sustainability, and economic sustainability.
In order to achieve this, each one of us has to become conscious consumers. Because when you buy a product or service, you are voting with your money, you are giving something you earned with a lot of hard work to that company. If you enjoy music for instance when you go to a concert or buy a song you are keeping the music industry alive. If you like dance, when you go to a dance class or go to the theatre you are keeping the dance industry alive. Whatever we pay for, is like saying “in my perfect world we need that”. When you buy a new house and decide where you will get the furniture from, you can choose between supporting a global macro business, or go to a local carpenter and get customized furniture supporting a local and small business, or buy second hand and save some furniture from ending in the landfill.
Realizing how much power every one of us has to help shape the world of tomorrow just by being mindful about what we buy and where we spend our money, it’s transforming. It’s innovating.
That’s why I also think companies should be transparent and become activists in their fields. Any business, apart from giving solutions, selling great products, or offering great services, also have to show how they contribute to a better world, and what is important to them.
Because “sustainability and green” are now very popular words, we need companies to be real and tell us the truth, not just using marketing to brainwash us. We want to see how good they do, so show us how happy your workers in your supply chain are, show us how you don’t destroy the planet, show us how good you treat the animals involved…
Now I want to explain why I created SheSapiens, why it is she? why it is for her?
Empowering women plays a huge part in the change.
Firstly, women are about 50% of the world. Girls and women are the key intervention to deal with almost all issues of development and equality. Early marriage and early birth needs special attention. Women everywhere are challenged to control their fertility, that contemplates a number of issues, including pregnancy, contraception, maternity, and sexuality. And these issues unite women around the world.
Violence against women, particularly at home, is another broad issue. 1 out of 3 women will experience violence at the hands of an intimate partner in her lifetime according to a 2004 study by the WHO. If violence against women was considered a disease, we would declare an epidemic.
Advocating for girls' and women's education is a fair thing to do. Violence is costly and in some countries 3–4% of the budget is spent on social and health costs of violence, however, is not just an economic question, it is a question of justice. We have to eliminate violence against women because women have this right.
To improve women’s health we must treat specific health problems, but the conditions of women’s lives must also change so that women can gain more power over our lives and our health. At the base of such social change is extending women’s capacity to be in charge of our own lives, to understand and exercise our human rights.
Societies need women to be healthy and fully engaged, because it’s only fair that women have full equality in their societies. It’s important that we inspire, empower and equip women to take leadership for important causes and reasons with more conviction and confidence.
Many studies found indisputable evidence that women are as strong as men for leadership and sometimes even better. Women have the tendency to use more a participative and democratic style, less autocratic and directive as men do, but women’s natural tendencies are suppressed in a more male-dominating setting.
To finish with this, I think the power of building a better tomorrow is in the hands of women, because it is ultimately us who decide who we want as partners to mate! So men have to work on themselves to be good enough to meet our expectations, because if they don’t, well, then they just won’t have offspring.
Nowadays anyone with access to the internet can find a lot of educational and self-help content that is free in one search, and that’s one of the things I’m offering through SheSapiens.
The internet and social media can be viewed as a bad thing — Some sociology theorists see television and social media as being designed to induce self-hatred, negative body image, and depression, with advertising being used to suggest the cure. Social media may promote negative experiences such as inadequacy about our life or appearance. The number of “likes” and “followers” can trigger powerful reward centers creating a lasting mark on our self-worth. This use of social validation combined with programming us to only share snippets of our lives that will elicit a response has normalized unhealthy social comparison. But while social media may be doing a lot of damage to global mental health, it depends 100% on how we use it, and using it for impactful positive outcomes is innovation for me.
Also for me, reinventing myself and working towards a meaningful purpose that makes me happy is to innovate. The traditional path we are told to follow is to do something we can be paid for and do the same thing for the rest of our lives. And if you are happy doing it, then you are considered very lucky. I’m not saying that following the traditional path is wrong, but that certainly doesn’t work for everyone.
I made a drastic change in my life one year ago, always with an innovative mindset. Trying to innovate with my approach: focusing on helping people, especially women through an online initiative, trying to involve people in a digital community, which in itself is innovating. In an increasingly global world, to innovate for me is to unite communities and give them a sense of mission.