Having lived across the globe-- in places like London, Stockholm, California, Montreal, Oman, and now Dubai, Natasha Rockstrom is a global citizen with a passion to ignite generosity
in all around her. It all began from the seeds of a business school social experiment, where she along with her MBA colleagues and local elementary students sold t-shirts to buy bananas to gift for hugs on the streets of Stockholm. What transpired
transformed her and showcased that the 'business' of love is powerful and universal. When an elementary student hugged an elderly woman who was brought to tears, they learned this woman lived alone with no family nearby, and this was her first hug in a long time. At the end of the experiment, 1200 hugs with 1200 such stories had rippled into the city, and the spirit of human connection rang radiant in everyone's hearts.
From that point forwards, Natasha felt a strong pull to connect people through acts of giving. In her own journey, from visiting ashrams as a young child to business school to embarking on a 3-year unplanned and unpaid adventure where she volunteered and learned about social enterprise, she reflects, "It forced me to redefine my relationship with money and that forever changed the future of how I engaged in the monetary world. I realized that we don't own money or land or resources but rather are guardians or stewards of that resource. My inner knowing of that I was always a child of the universe empowered me to always ask and I've always received more than I ever needed."
Since then, Natasha and her partner Martin launched InJoy Giving
, a social enterprise that inspires generosity and awakens happiness through online gifting experiences and in-person community events that celebrate human connection. She recently completed a 6-week learning journey
, through which she whole-heartedly experimented with the power of small acts, accessing different forms of capital
, and holding space for emergence amid a structured business setting. From gathering a crew of colleagues to gift muffins around the office building, to walking into high-stakes business meetings with the question, "How can we come together and bring generosity and love back into our community," Natasha's creative mind and heart of service is a steady wand that casts magic into her daily life and all around her.
She credits her inspiration
to her grandmother, who was "a nun who ate what she needed, with few possessions that fit in a small bag, a heart big enough to take in the whole community and a peaceful smile and big hug always available," and from whom she learned that the biggest acts of generosity are embedded in the small things.
An entrepreneur, mother, wife, and steady servant leader, Natasha finds herself consistently fueled by the sight of people lighting up
with wide smiles and the sound of her daughter's delighted laughter. In addition to crunchy popcorn, she loves music, children, and unearthing opportunities to embody love on a daily basis.
Join us on September 5th, 2015 to learn more about Natasha's vibrant journey.
Five Questions with Natasha Rockstrom
What Makes You Come Alive?
Imagining a world in which people practise everyday random acts of kindness to large intentional acts of giving as part of the beingness of living! Living to awaken magic in our daily lives through acts of generosity and inspire the world around us with our kindness. To be able to engage youth to live a 'new story' by building a world that their hearts know is possible and being able to empower them to make a difference in their everyday lives. To be part of building a new way of living and being that sustains multiple forms of capital - love, social, cultural and spiritual capital.
Pivotal turning point in your life?
A turning point that stands out is a social experiment where we organized a group of elementary students and EMBA colleagues to come together and experiment with the power of giving. We sold t-shirts to raise money to buy bananas. Then we sold those bananas on the streets of Stockholm in exchange for hugs. Buy a banana, pay with a hug. We delivered 1200 hugs and the stories of happiness ripples etched the learning in our minds. Giving created happiness value for both the giver and the receiver! The kids felt empowered in making a difference and smiles rippled everywhere. <br /><br />When we truly give, we receive in happiness, and we spontaneously create joy in people and the environment around us. Every generous act or kind thought has the power to change the world, while changing us from within, and it's a real kind of magic. From there the idea to connect people through acts of giving was born.
An Act of Kindness You'll Never Forget?
Saher who is the founder of the NGO Adopt a Camp here in the UAE dedicates her life to meaningfully improving the lives of 57,000 abandoned low income workers (men) here in the UAE. She has time for each and every single one of them. Each of them can reach her on her mobile which is on 24 hrs a day. She is a mum to three kids and dedicates her time and energy to the health and education of her 57,000 'adopted' boys. On her way to see me recently, she saw a young man sweeping the floors and crying, and she asked how he was? After our meeting she took him to her home and cooked him a meal to show him that someone was listening and someone cared. She adopted him right there and then! She has a huge heart and her endless love and ability to serve inspires me always.
One Thing On Your Bucket List?
To live a simple life in nature for one year.
One-line Message for the World?
Be Love. When you have a question - ask yourself, what would love do?