Susanna Barla is a creative director and a brand architect. As a strategists to brands, institutions, and startups, this involves facilitating mutually beneficial partnerships between clients, understanding business development & brand development strategy, marketing and communications strategy, design strategy, and how to integrate it all together. But more than any of that, she’s a passionate environmentalist and philanthropist.
What brings it all together is her mission to re-connect people to be in harmony with nature. In order to reach this goal, she employs a strategy inspired by the Nordic Economic model, but adapted to the US, the UK and the rest of the world.
In 2016 she also founded the AYD foundation, a platform devoted to raising awareness of, and giving financial aid assistance for, refugees, as well as to provide long term solutions for them to exist in the world.
Her next step is to bring together initiatives, private and non-profit foundations and brands: Susanna’s commitment to partnerships sees her frequently on the road building strategic relationships with businesses, impact funds and brands, and includes investments, sponsorships, and new business ventures. With her prior success in marketing luxury products, she wants to bring the same methods to the world of environmentalism – with the ultimate goal of consulting the world’s giant corporates on how to become more eco-conscious.
Her motto? “Compete with brands and make caring the new currency”.
Susanna holds a BA cum laude from University of the Arts London (London College of Fashion). Her 14+ years experience working in brand & business development, marketing & communications, as well as in creative direction in the luxury fashion and design sectors, have led to her working with numerous brands and clients: Maison Martin Margiela, Paule Ka, Rick Owens, Louis Vuitton, White Cube, BMW, Minotti, DDB Worldwide Communications Group.
Jevan Tan resides in Singapore, graduating with a BA and MA from Stanford University, and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University. In an earlier professional career, he worked as the Regional Country Head of a well known US Investment Bank, Morgan Stanley International. Currently, Mr Tan incubates new companies and has private equity interests in oil and gas, mining and natural resource developments, food and pharmaceutical distribution, construction and building materials, hotels and real estate developments. He holds various key positions in educational institutions and community organizations in Singapore, China, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Sri Lanka and India. As an extension of his work with the youth in Singapore, Mr Tan and his associates intend to establish a non-profit Sustainability Institution and Foundation in Singapore. The organization will have an emphasis on Asia, focusing on sustainability research & analysis, management consulting & financial advisory, and private equity investments . They will also continue to expand their educational life skills and sustainability.
Ruth Glendinning was born in London UK, grew up in Texas, lived in the Caribbean, California and Oklahoma where she worked with Native American tribes, before firmly planting her roots in Austin, Texas. She is a social entrepreneur and innovator with a history of working with clients in the local, national and global arenas focusing on grassroots entrepreneurship with a special emphasis on women’s work, including food and craft accelerators.
Her entrepreneurial path began in Los Angeles and continued in Austin, Texas where she discovered her true passion lay in the social impact entrepreneurship sector of the market. It was here that Ruth developed the model of cultural strategy which demonstrates the importance of creating a balance between community, culture and commerce for sustainable economy which was most notably demonstrated with the creation of the Community Renaissance Market (CRM), a 60,000 square foot grocery store repurposed into a microbusiness incubator containing 40+ microbusinesses. To better reflect the purpose of CRM to incubate businesses which meet the criteria of sustainable, local, organic work, she trademarked the “SLOW Tech® Incubator” (Sustainable Local Organic Work + Technology) concept in which specific technology is added to no-or low-tech community-based human-scale businesses to better equip them to thrive. Ultimately SLOW Tech is about using technology to improve the human experience, rather than distract from it.
Ruth is the relationship builder/connector/creative partner on projects that are mapped to real needs in the market, catalyzed by expanding technology and activated by personal relationships. Ruth is also an Associate with Thriving Business Solutions, focusing on developing relationship capital and stakeholder tools.