Written by guest contributor, Jonathon Reska

“Regardless of age, status or location, every person has the capacity to change the world”

– Stephen R Covey, author The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

With an altering attitude towards longterm travel, I decided to live a more purposeful life and contribute to causes reaching out and impacting the vulnerable in society.  Prior to arriving in Malaysia, I was presented with over 150 options to gain personal experience and help various organizations but many were of self interest seeking assistance with their bed and breakfast or assisting in the growth of a bar.  Thorough research led to an opportunity to assist with a social enterprise in Kuala Lumpur that described a noble endeavor with clearly written principles.  So I arrived at the office with my backpack and discovered the company, Earth Heir.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I was met by Earth Heir’s founder, Sasibai Kimis who was working on various tasks and started assisting right away.  Sasibai radiated passion and sincerity as she spoke of her ambitions which further exemplifying her social compassion and care for the environment.  Sasibai graciously invited another volunteer and myself to attend the “Dare to Innovate” conference where she was one of the keynote speakers.  Excited over the ability to learn more from her event presentation, I eagerly awaited for the day to arrive.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAs the 3rd chapter of the “Knowledge Reboot Series” facilitated by the international advertising agency, M&C Saatchi, the workshop focused on the how innovations are cultivating a new future.  The first speaker was Sasibai, who empowered those in attendance with her inspiring journey.  Sasibai began her presentation by describing several impactful moments in her life that influenced her bold decision to walk away from a life of corporate stability.  Following her heart and intuition, she courageously embarked upon an uncertain path working towards the fulfillment of her vision to make an ecological and social impact in the world.

As a social entrepreneur, Sasibai allowed her past experiences to become a driving force in her life rather than simply feeling sorrow for the injustices in our society.  Turning passion into action, Sasibai founded Earth Heir in 2013 to disrupt the current supply chain of consumer goods.  With the motto of “Celebrating Craftsmanship,” the social enterprise works directly with the artisans who are often vulnerable to exploitation.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERARecognizing charities that provide financial handouts is an unsustainable method to improve social conditions, Earth Heir has embraced a business model that is focused on fair trade principles and ethical partnerships.  Their vision is to ensure the craftspersons have a sustainable livelihood that will extend into the years to come.

Despite being in attendance as a special guest, disconnected from the creation or management of businesses, the powerful message presented and exemplified by Sasibai extends beyond the corporate world.  As consumers, we all have a responsibility.  Businesses have and always will adapt to consumer demands.  Individually, we can influence change in the world by simply altering our spending habits.  Educate yourself and know what your money will support.

Reconsider your next purchase, I know I will!