#iocbabes : Dato’ Hans Isaac, Freda Liu and Alia Bastamam

Last week was pretty hectic. I was running around managing a few things happening at work and my baby, the Inspiring Orchid Conference. I know it looks like I’m working in fashion or talent management industry from the pictures on Instagram but it was all for the conference. Don’t worry, I’m not quitting my job or anything (note to my parents).

I have to admit, my perception on a lot of things changed with the new people I met. For instance most of the people we interviewed for the Inspiring Orchid Conference were such long shots and we never thought in a million year (or longer) they’d say yes to join us. Most people argued why we spoke to so many elites and celebrities rather than focusing on people who are making ‘real’ contribution to women empowerment. To those people I say:

1. Women empowerment is a lifestyle not some vague concept only policymakers should worry about

Young people (myself included) do feel distant to women empowerment because it sounded so ‘canggih’ and intimidating. We constantly talk about addressing the issue from the macro perspective but neglect the contributions that individuals can make to champion the cause.

We want more people to feel included when we discuss women empowerment. We try to diversify on the speaker list for the conference to illustrate that you can empower women through various channels not just shouting at one another to pass laws. Women should feel that when they make decision for themselves even if they are against what the society thinks than that is empowerment.

2. Youth and celebrities can be separated. What kind of lie is this?

Seriously. For if you agree then either you have been living under a massive rock or you’re living in denial under a massive rock. As much as you want to deny this, young people (not exclusively though, I’ve seen grandmas fangirl-ing over Justin Bieber) are drawn to celebrities. Which is why you girls came to this page isn’t it? Because I wrote Hans Isaac. hmmmppph.

But haven’t said that, we made it a point to invite speakers including celebrities whom we believe have some values they can share with the delegates in terms experiences and contributions they have made for the cause. I was moved to hear that Alia Bastamam; alongside other local designers have been actively involved in helping the underprivileged women and children through various charity initiatives and internship opportunities. Did you know that?

Also, the perception and perspective on various social causes (ie: environment, heritage conservation, equality, etc) are vastly shaped by the media. What we see and hear influenced how we perceive something. We hope during the conference we can discuss how the media has changed to support/challenge women empowerment over the years and how are they balancing between what sells and what bring values in everything they screen.

Of course there are instances that reinforced my existing beliefs on a couple of things; which I shall keep to myself.

Anyway, thank you for reading the lengthy essay I wrote. So reward yourselves with the pictures we took. I know some skipped right to the pictures. Shame on you!

Us with Hans Isaac
I wasn’t boring, he’s just not feeling too well. Seriously! Please believe me guys.. Anyone?
Freda Liu! *applauses*
Freda Liu in the house! ;D

No she’s not angry or annoyed, I believe the word that you’re looking for is passionate.
and of course; Alia Bastamam!
Oh this picture wasn’t supposed to be here. we were not rummaging her boutique, we were uhm… researching. Yes! We were doing research on the brand and Alia. Yes, that’s the true story. 

One with the maestro
Again, I suck at looking poised in candid pictures. No I did not have a sour candy in my mouth, how dare you!!

Last but not least, this week also made me realize how EXTREMELY important it is to have a strong team to work with because as much as you are passionate of what you do, there will be days you’ll lose momentum (and hair). And the people you have around you will help you get your shoes together. I meant to say some other word and you all know that. My parents don’t so please, don’t ‘jatuhkan’ my grace. 😛

Missing Qis in the picture. Sorry hun, please know you are appreciated and I love you girls (and the rest of the team who are not in this picture) mucho!

To those of you who have not signed up for the conference, click on this link and register! Seriously, come out of the Rocky Residence people.

We also update the speaker list on our website so stay tuned for more exciting news!

Nadia Ismadi

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