My Admission Statement: My learning journey started outside of the classroom. Everything that I’ve learned about sustainable and community development has been taught by young leaders, innovators, mentors, gurus, activists, believers, and my mom. I believe in the power of experiential education, and implement this powerful way of learning into everything I do, including my impact travel organization, Hara World.
Bio: Jazz is one of the leading pioneers of the zero waste travel movement in India. She is the co-founder of India's first zero waste guesthouse Hara House, a social enterprise that invests 20% of profits into community development projects. What started as a grassroots project led to the creation of Hara World, an experiential education and impact travel organization that empowers, educates and connects diverse young people through environmental justice programs. Jazz is currently the Director of Hara World and utilizes her background in nonprofit management, content marketing, and social innovation to lead her team of 20-somethings to become confident and resourceful leaders for sustainable development.
Jazz is deeply passionate about empowering youth, ethical fashion, and responsible travel. She is one of 4 co-founders of the Sustainable Travel Network, and hosts Impact India, a podcast that deep dives into the stories of social entrepreneurs and innovators in India. In her spare time, Jazz manages content at Causeartist, leads influencer campaigns for social and environmental impact brands, and develops content strategy and copy for social impact organizations around the world. Jazz was named 1 of 35 social entrepreneurs to watch for in 2019 by Causeartist, so keep in touch by following her journey at sunshineandraine.com and haraworld.com!
How did you get into the industry?
My background in sustainable development and nonprofit management totally happened by accident. At 18 years old, I founded my own nonprofit focused on supporting water conservation and sanitation projects around the world, which led me to learn the ins and outs of grassroots development in Canada, Ghana, and India. Of course, travel was a big part of my learning journey (pun intended!) and doing so responsibly in a way that positively impacts people and the planet was always a value of mine.
Creating a social impact travel organization came to me organically when I was able to clarify my values and my passions, and combine them to create a platform that would empower youth across the world. I also grew up with a single mother who was a travel agent and was learning cultural competency and my role in the world from a very early age. All of this influence has led me to where I am today, and is the foundation of my long-term learning journey that I am currently on.
Any emerging industry trends?
Social impact travel and the zero waste movement, two core focuses of my business, are becoming much more trendy as young generations begin to realize their responsibility to take care of mother earth both at home and abroad. There is a lot more credibility for experiential education which is another pillar of how we curate our travel programs. it’s a very exciting time to be in the industry because there is so much opportunity. I’m currently working to explore more of these opportunities through my sustainable tourism community, Sustainable Travel Network.
What's next for the Business in the near future?
By 2021, I will be launching a summer program which will act as a summer camp for young eco-warriors to learn about environmental justice. The goal is to connect with local communities and diverse facilitators in India to apply their learnings to everything they do at home and abroad. The mission is to create the future of education where youth are aware of their role in development and how to support sustainable growth of rural and metropolis destinations.
Your key initiatives for the success of the Business?
Collaboration across the sector (and beyond!).
What do I do best?
Make people smile.
What makes me the best version of myself?
Expressing gratitude to myself for reaching my goals, and to others who have helped me accomplish them.
My Biggest Success?
Creating a vision in my head and making it a reality. Woah.
My Most Challenging Moment?
When I decided to move back to India permanently in 2018, it felt like I had taken my entire world and flipped it upside down, again. I left my incredible job as Executive Director of a youth empowerment organization, moved out of my favorite apartment in Toronto, sold my car, left my partner of 3 years, sold everything I owned, and had to find a loving, new owner for my amazing dog of 8 years, Danny. It took me almost a year to realize that I truly made the right decision because I knew my heart was happier here, and leading Hara World and my many initiatives in India was my legacy. I always knew sacrifices and hard decisions would need to be made to work towards my purpose but damn, no one ever really tells you how hard it’s gonna be.
My Favorite Places/Destinations?
I am very grateful to have travelled extensively throughout my life. I have slept in the middle of the jungle in the Osa Peninsula, and stayed in cozy homestays in the peaks of the Himalayas. However, when I close my eyes and think of where my favorite place in the world is, I always end up back in Rome, Italy. I’m still unsure why but history and architecture are huge thrills for me and Rome is rich in both.
My Current Passions?
I have four passions: youth empowerment, sustainable fashion, responsible travel, and zero waste living.
My Daily Thoughts:
Goal of the Day: Get through my tasklist
Thought of the Day: How can I work more efficiently?
Action of the Day: Stretch every morning before I sit down to work
Deed of the Day: Engage with the youth in my community
Tip of the Day: You overestimate what you can do in one year, but underestimate what you can do in five.
What do you love most about Your City?
The young people changing the status quo.
Favorite breakfast meal?
I LOVE parantha, but oddly enough, oatmeal with bananas and cinnamon is the best.
What drink do you need to get through the day and at the end (and how many)?
Chai. 4 or more.
Where do you enjoy getting lost?