An extraordinary women, we feel beyond honoured that Elisa Sednaoui is one of our flower revolutionaries. Read about our conversation with her and all the amazing work she does...
Your 3 favourite Sana Jardin fragrances?
It’s hard to choose because I do feel the fragrances support me through different states of mind and so I like to be able to access the variety. But if you put a gun to my head, Tiger By Her Side will need to go first, Revolution de La Fleur, Nubian Musk to follow.
What does the Elisa Sednaoui Foundation do to empower others?
It works to better the quality of educational experience, both on the side of the students and those who facilitate and teach.
We effectively curate interdisciplinary educational programmes which use the Arts, project-based learning and everything that is considered “extracurricular” (from gardening, to nutrition and coding) as tools for the development of life skills, such as the building of confidence, deep listening, conflict management, taking initiative, taking instructions…
Academic education worldwide needs support, as it can’t bear alone the responsibility of preparing youth fully to the world of tomorrow, including its job market.
Educators and teachers who have chosen to dedicate their lives to educating the next generation also need to be better supported throughout their careers, they need professional development, so that they fulfil their visions and engage the solution-makers of tomorrow.
Why did you start your foundation?
I decided to start a new organisation, because I had a very specific idea in mind to begin with, which was, already back then, the “Funtasia educational centres”. The potential of a safe space for life-long learners, which would revolve around a horizontal type of leadership; a place where creatives and professionals at large could come together to inspire the generation of tomorrow and their teachers, was a very vivid image in my mind.
Because we are talking about refreshing the way we do education, granting access also to individuals living in underserved or rural areas in the world to qualitative and innovative education, I felt the need to start fresh, with a new team which ended up forming and strengthening over time.
What progress have you seen in the fashion industry in the last few years? (For example – becoming more inclusive, valuing women more, sustainability?)
I have seen some type of progress but in honesty, to me, it’s not enough progress yet, given what Fashion, with its power, could be capable of. Profit is still prevailing over ethics and morals, over what is best for us as humans, and for the planet.
We have seen big loud spurts of inclusion in the role models being put forth by media, which is so refreshing and really makes us think what took us so long?
It’s become very trendy to talk about “sustainability” and to work in the sector, and I do hope it means we are really on the brink of the much needed change of conscience our planet seems to be in dire need of and not of another fashion, which appeases our superficial antennas and helps us feel better about ourselves.
I look around myself in the kitchen, consuming, and thinking how will I be able to get rid of this plastic ? Are companies actually going to do the change? For the right reasons?
Ufff... you got me started with these questions. I also want to say, please, let’s be kind to men and all genders, not only women, in this phase of change. It makes me uncomfortable how to celebrate women we often have to crucify unjustly men, when I think we should focus on how to build a better relationship, today, with all the experience and tools gathered.
What would you like to see develop in the non profit sector? For example, increased emphasis on the creative process not the outcome, a focus on the middle east?
Absolutely, I would love to see more credit being given to the creative and learning process and the potential that lies within it, rather than leaning so much on the practical and physical outcomes.
What I mean is I think we have now surpassed the phase where imparting one specific skill, such as for example the production of one object that can be sold, was enough.
We say at Funtasia that today it is not only about teaching the man how to fish, it’s about teaching what to do when the old fishing rod is not working anymore. It’s about creating spaces where individuals can discover themselves, their skills and interests beyond their everyday life. Spaces where we are allowed and can allow ourselves to take creative risks, creating the opportunity to unleash our potential as individuals, so that we can realise ourselves, whichever is the path we want to take in life.
I also would like more intentional effort to bring genders and socio-economic backgrounds together, through quality programs, rather than continuing to “segregate” those who we consider “disadvantaged”.
What is special about Sana Jardin to you?
It embodies the proof that it is possible to create a luxury product whilst effectively transforming the way people are doing business.