Carrie the founder of an events agency is the organiser of Empiricon, a sensory experiential platform, advocating knowledge-driven conversations and empowering action. It will be held on the 19th of September 2018.

What’s your story?
I started my career in education, teaching English to foreign students. For a long time, I felt an emptiness and a need to do more. I felt lucky that I was born in Singapore, a country that gives us access to education, and I wanted to find a way to make life meaningful by doing more. Education was the only way I knew how. Then I found events, fell in love with the adrenaline rush of creating a platform with the right people, bringing important conversations to the table, and impacting others to do more too. So, Tabula Rasa was born, with the goal of always curating meaningful experiences and driving change.

What excites you most about your industry?
Honestly, the competition, and the collaboration. I’ve found that despite being in a highly competitive industry, the energy and desire to collaborate is very strong. I’ve met so many amazing people, highly intelligent and passionate people, who want to make a difference, people who want to create change. This inspires me to keep going, to keep building strong ecosystems of people who care. Also, it’s an exceedingly intense and fast-paced industry, pushing us to constantly innovate and bring people together.

What’s your connection to Asia?
I was born in Singapore, and have never felt more at home. The global mindset and behaviour is one of the reasons why we’re so successful as a country. Asia also has its own identity of being global yet culturally strong at the same time. I love it here – opportunities are always aplenty, and the people are innovative, empowered, and pretty cool.

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Singapore, for sure. I’ve grown my business and ecosystem here in this country but also, being a part of Asia, Singapore has ties to so many regional leading organisations, especially those based in the exciting startup community – Hong Kong, Korea, Thailand, Japan. It’s always exciting to be a part of such vibrancy.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
“Fake it til you make it”. Might not sound like great advice but it has helped me through many tough situations. Every time someone asks for an answer I do not have, I tell them I’ll get it, and I make sure I do. This propels me to go deeper, dig further, and find an answer I do not have. In the earlier stages of my career, there were times where I had to “fake it”, which meant telling someone yes, I can definitely do this, and then go back and find out how to make sure I master it, thus, “making it”.

Who inspires you?
Elon Musk. He’s a rock star. A man who dreams of a future and set out to create it. Of the many inspiring people who do great work, he is one of my biggest motivators.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
That the world is filled with amazingly intelligent and passionate people. I constantly get blown away by the amount of research, innovation, and work that’s being done out there. From deep-tech innovations to social enterprises, to sustainability advocates, and the everyday man who wants to exist, belong, and do good. It’s highly inspiring and drives me to keep doing more.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
Nothing. I feel that all my experiences have led me down this path, and if I had done anything in a different time, I may not have taken the same chances, met the same people, or made the mistakes I made. We can only keep living and working on ourselves.

How do you unwind?
I honestly do not know how to answer this question. Life moves really fast, and I do enjoy the intensity. Hmm, I do try to take short trips to clear my head, I read a bit, and also spend quality time with my family, but it’s not really about unwinding, it is to ensure I have time for the thoughts in my head to settle.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Ahh, definitely the beautiful beaches in Indonesia and Thailand. I feel most at peace on the beach, by the sea, with a tall glass of beer.

Everyone in business should read this book:
Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl. It is definitely not a business-book but it reached into the deepest parts of me. It is Frankl’s account of being a prisoner during World War 2 and how he used psychotherapy to imagine outcomes of continued living and identity. It made me question my own existence and having life, and what we’re doing with it. What my mind experienced during the read has indirectly (or directly) solidified my reason for doing things in this life.

Shameless plug for your business:
Thank you for asking! Tabula Rasa is an events curation agency. We create meaningful experiences through our event platforms to better drive action and build a community.

We’re the organiser of Empiricon, a sensory experiential platform, advocating knowledge-driven conversations and empowering action. It will be held on 19 Sept as a partner event of SWITCH (Singapore Week of Innovation and Technology) with a topical focus on deep-technology for sustainability, where we bridge the gap between the challenges our planet faces and technology, highlight sustainability issues, and explore how deep-tech can advance our cause towards resolving these issues. Join the community, one that wants to do more together.

How can people connect with you?
[email protected]

Twitter handle?
@carrieliauw

This interview is part of the ‘Callum Connect’ series of more than 500 interviews

Callum Laing is an entrepreneur and investor based in Singapore. He has previously started,
built and sold half a dozen businesses and is now a Partner at Unity-Group Private Equity and Co-Founder of The Marketing Group PLC. He is the author two best selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’ and ‘Agglomerate’.

Connect with Callum here:
twitter.com/laingcallum
linkedin.com/in/callumlaing
Download free copies of his books here: www.callumlaing.com