In your opinion, what’s something every media industry person should do before they’re 30?
Experience the world. Travel as much as possible. Move to a different city for a while if you can. Meet different people, immerse yourself in vibrant new cultures, scenes, attitudes and outlooks that can help broaden your worldview as you continue to discover the person you are forever in the process of becoming.
I speak from recent experience when I say that being a young person today can be absurdly confusing – a little bit like standing in front of the vast empty space that is your future and feeling a mixture of uncertainty, excitement, fear, nausea and ecstatic impatience about the infinite possibility of where it all might lead.
Figuring out what you want to do isn’t always obvious or instant. I think it’s essential to first give yourself some space to explore, free from the burdens of modern life and its structures, and go beyond the borders of what you know in order meet people who are like you, who are unlike you, who you never even imagined meeting in your wildest dreams and can show you the way they see the world.
I think laying this foundation is especially pertinent for those of us who work in media, which requires a lot of self-awareness and constant self-assessment about what exactly it is we are saying and doing, and how we are channelling our own perceptions through what we are creating and communicating.
Through travel and stints living abroad in other countries, a lot of ideas I had long assumed to be inherently true of all society, cultures and people were challenged, and, particularly as I spent time studying in East Asia, I realised that I was actually looking at the world through a very limited, Eurocentric lens. Understanding that the media plays a part in perpetuating this kind of outlook is the first step towards playing an active role in confronting and correcting it, because media also holds the power to change the way we see things for the better.
The experiences I’ve collected from my journeys so far continue to inform, enrich and enhance the work I do every single day – and have hopefully allowed me to get to know myself better, as I continue to evolve in the face of the life’s constant unknowns.
If you could only take one thing to a desert island, what would you choose and why?
Assuming something practical is not an option – a satellite phone or Bear Grylls, for instance – I would probably ask for a very, very long book that would never bore me upon rereading and rediscovering its words. In Search of Lost Time comes to mind.