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THE BIG PICTURE

FLORA LAN
Leader of Greennovate
Participant at the SHANGHAI OPPORTUNITY PANEL

A career in social entrepreneurship is not what Flora anticipated. As an economics student, she planned to work for an investment bank and have her many years of studying pay off with a prestigious job. But her path changed when she discovered Greenovate, a sustainability consultancy, and started working on youth education: “I helped them spread the message of sustainability among young kids and high school students, and the students loved it.” Travelling
around China to 14 provinces and hundreds of schools, Flora saw the costs of environmental damage with her own eyes. She could not think of more meaningful work than trying to make change by changing mindsets.

CONNECTING THE DOTS
Now the leader of Greenovate, Flora helps companies and nonprofits develop their message and connect with stakeholders around the sustainability agenda. She is convinced we need new narratives about the good life. “The way we are doing things under the current definition of success is not going to work,” she says. To make a change, her work focuses on education and redefining the way we do business,adopting a more holistic approach. “How can governments work with businesses? How can businesses work with art? How can artists work with people in rural areas?” she asks. “It’s all connected, and people must play on their own strengths to make change happen.”

Opportunity leaders are characterised by their belief in systemic change, and Flora is no exception. “Sustainability at the end of the day is about system-thinking,” she says. “When people realize that it’s about system-thinking, they practice it in every part of their lives. That’s the bigger picture I want to show.”

NO FEAR OF FAILURE

Having built new opportunities and solutions from the ground up, Flora knows what it means to take a risk. But fear of failure does not take up much space in her mind: “I’m not a risk thinker, I’m a trier.

When I try something, things may fall apart, or they may grow. And when they fall apart, I just try again.” Flora is part of a new generation of young change makers who see great potential in the challenges of our time. Inspired by the opportunities for connecting across geographical and cultural boundaries, she is always looking for people who share her mindset and mission. In the digital age, “You can find people who share your passions and connect with them.” From there, who knows what you can build. After all, these days “it’s not about how big you are. It’s about how big your impact is.”

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