We came to Singapore to meet Stephanie Hancock and ask her to join our global CoolBrands NextWorld Storytelling project as the regional curator. We’re looking for people with international work experience and an eye for cool stories.
“She has plenty of international experience in any case,” says Anouk. “She spent the last 20 years working at different JWT offices around the world. It took her from Sydney to Toronto to Chicago. From Kellogg’s to Dell to Unilever. From North America she came to Asia in 2005, to Bangkok, and a few years later she migrated to in Singapore.”
“Migrated?” I ask. “It sounds like you’re describing a bird species!”
“Ha!” says Anouk with a smile. “Well if she were a bird, she’d an albatross cruising around the globe. But she’s been settled in Southeast Asia for quite some time now and she has extensive experience working in Thailand, Japan, China, India – and Singapore of course.”
“Together with her extensive experience of working with brands,” I say, “it makes her the perfect candidate to be a CoolBrands curator. She will know all the cool stories. The people with a vision and the brands with a purpose.”
“Well let’s find out if she feels the same!”
We’ve arranged to meet Stephanie at her all-day breakfast café Wild Honey in downtown Singapore, which she launched in 2009 with her husband Guy. She welcomes us with a big smile and a table that is already set for us.
After we have ordered our coffees, we sit down….
“From your profile it seems like you’ve lived all over,” says Anouk.
“I’ve been around,” says Stephanie with a smile, “I guess I am curious by nature. I love seeking out the new and I’m fascinated by people, brands, food, fashion, movies, books and anything new really… Even though I’ve been settled in Singapore for several years now, I think I’ve retained my global – or at least regional – curiosity.”
“As you know,” I say with a certain gravitas, “we’re here to see whether you would want to be our curator in Singapore.”
“It would be such a great asset for our global CoolBrands NextWorld Network. The network mainly consists of anthropologists, storytellers, media experts and brand builders.”
“Well,” says Stephanie, “I have 20 years of experience in brand building… And I’m not unfamiliar with the world of media. And you would want me to discover cool stories about people with a vision and brands with a purpose?”
Anouk nods and I look at her expectantly as she pauses for a few seconds with a pensive air. Suddenly her face brightens up and she says with a smile. “That sounds great! I accept. And actually, I already have a cool story: it’s about WILDAID, an international non-profit organization dedicated to eradicating the illegal global trade in wildlife.”
“That’s great! ” says Anouk. “We have already featured many NGOs in our storytelling platform. A few years ago we even launched an initiative called CoolCharity.”
“Then I also have the story of Lotus Outreach Australia, where I’m a board member. It promotes and supports girls’ education among the poor in Cambodia. If we include their story alongside that of the brands and visionaries, they will get the attention they deserve.”
“That’s exactly what we’re trying to do!” I say. “We share the stories with 25,000 opinion leaders worldwide and we ask them to share the stories in their networks. The stories are written in a narrative form, with a wow-factor and stickiness, ready for word-of-mouth!
“Cool,” says Stephanie with a smile. “I will start curating, and you can start writing!”
Tags: CoolBrands NextWorld Storytelling, NextWorld, CoolBrands Storytelling, Storytelling, CoolBrands, curator Singapore, coolbrands curator Singapore, Stephanie Hancock, meeting Stephanie Hancock, Stephanie, Hancock