Nga Nguyen: Founder, InnerCompass.io & Principal, VisionFwd.com

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My Native Admission Statement: I'm a creative hybrid of sorts– This quality extends to a myriad of things that I do both personally and professionally. Fashion designer for multi-million dollar product lines such as INC Macy's, Eileen Fisher Inc, Jockey International, and two independent fashion label collaborations Baby Lady Ltd, rock + moss for 15 years before receiving a masters degree in Interaction Design at SVA. Shortly after grad school, I found myself on a personal journey entering into yoga study. I became a 500 HR Yoga certified teacher and spent two years teaching asanas, and workshops on energy and the subtle bodies at Atmananda Yoga Sequence studio. Currently, I am the Principal at VisionFwd, I work with companies to achieve innovation and growth through research and strategy at the intersection of business, design, and technology. I am also the founder of InnerCompass.io, where I hold space for the community to share the topic of inner and outer alignment in the work that we put out into the world. An active member in the entrepreneurial tech ecosystem I have been engaged in contributing my work on the human-centered design practice speaking at tech conferences.

Any emerging industry trends?

There is so much happening right now. Where to start? I would say, given the trajectory of technology seeping into our everyday lives and complexity to our ever changing environment, I see the rise and importance meta-design. Designing the conditions for good design/business of products and services to emerge and thrive; for the long term, with a sustained sense of continuity and value, not some random spark of luck or defined by a single strong personality. And that meta-designers, whose fundamental aspects are strategic, humanistic, and philosophic.

How do you motivate others?

Empower others to lead their own work and help them grow outside their comfort zone. Set big visions but tactful and achievable. Understand what ignites an individual and tie that into the larger picture. As humans, we yearn to be connected and contribute to something larger than ourselves. Give honest compliments where/when it's due.

Career advice to those in your industry?

The job of tomorrow has not been defined. So it's an opportune time to go out there and seek what inspires you. Learn something new. Once you know what you like, go beyond just learning and consuming content. Learn + launch by doing small experiments and projects. Moving from concept to the first-hand experience builds confidence. Beyond learning + launch is to share + teach and others. You never know whose life you will touch or inspire.

What makes me the best version of myself?

The personal practice of:

Suspend judgment.

Cultivate patience and understanding.

Be open to constructive criticism; it's not personal.

And lead with . . .

Authenticity + Enthusiasm. It's a precious commodity that no one can give to you, but you can self generate and be able to make an impact by your mere presence.

What do I do best?

Mildly psychic . . . just kidding. I have all the characteristics of an empath. I sense and feel things very strongly. As humans, we all have the capabilities to intuit and logically re-arrange information in our mind. I think it's the wiring in our brain where it wants to makes sense of the world around us as part of its survival mechanism. Honestly, it is sensitivity and wanting to cultivate this part of ourselves. I naturally integrate disparate information and connect the dots to situations. Like yin and yang– IQ (left-brain) + EQ (right-brain) are both essential.

What are my aspirations?

To have inner and outer harmony is essential for me. The idealist wants to change the world. The seeker involves changing the self. If these two can co-exist, what would it look like? For me, it's mutual trust, honesty, and respect in a transparent for collaborative exchange. I believe we are on a cusp of re-defining the way we work and define a new value of transaction. The digital world has affected our attention span resulting in an immediacy-impasse culture to deliver on convenience at the cost of meaning and value in the human relationship– personally, socially, and globally. I am inspired to reframe through a regenerative economic model with the help of emerging technology.

Look forward to making a formal announcement to the public soon on the new initiative.

My Most Challenging Moment?

Handling difficult conversations with grace towards those you admire and respect. Especially when it involves trust, boundary issues, or abuse of power. But more importantly, know when to walk away even with a desirable opportunity cost attached. I take a long view stance on how a decision affects the larger picture, as well as my overall wellbeing. My go-to solution in solving the problematic situation is sleep. Sleep on it before you rush into making a decision. And the choice you make should not keep you awake at night. Inner peace is valuable.

A Day in My Life:

What do you love most about Your City?

I love the melange of cultural backgrounds, how fashion/beauty, tech, real estate, finance, and the arts co-exist what really gives this city its vibrancy and charm. There is so much going on; it's a great city to be a be creative and entrepreneurial. You can be a chameleon and feel authentic in your own skin.

Favorite breakfast meal & restaurant?

Pancakes and espresso at Midwinter Kitchen, a farm to table restaurant in Gramercy– The golden and caramelized color, slight crispness balanced to the lightness inside meets with a nuanced sweet and savory to every bite. Unfortunately, they have closed so I’m in search of the perfect pancakes here in New York City. The weird thing is I was not into pancakes until I had the pancakes at Midwinter Kitchen and now I can’t stop thinking about it . . . it’s THAT good!

What Else to Know?

Upcoming events:

* Sept 9th 360Fashion.net Fashion & Tech Conference at Knotel in NYC

Oct 25th AI World Conference at Cambridge Innovation Institute in Boston

* TBC (to be confirmed) – Nov 4th Hopper X Women Technologist Conference at Mariott Marquis NYC

TBC Fall workshop: Inner Compass + Heart Space in Midtown Manhattan

Digital presence:

(t) @nga_nyc

(t, insta) @innercompassnyc

www.visionfwd.com

www.innercompass.io

https://www.linkedin.com/in/visionfwd/