Exclusive Interviews

Spreading her wings: Lili Liu on breaking free from her fixed identity as a pianist

We often identify ourselves based on what we do, believing it is our identity. This fixed identity is often tied to the core of our sense of self when defining who we are. Sometimes we are seen as being one thing, when we have more to offer. Renown classical pianist Lili Liu knows this dilemma all too well. Her identity reaches far beyond the practice room or the global stage. Lili is constantly on a mission to reinvent herself, to grow and seek out new ways for self-expression.

Paul Lamar Hunter’s story will inspire you to never give up

Paul Lamar Hunter grew up in a two-bedroom house with twenty-one siblings, often without enough food, clothes or space to sleep to go around. Despite this, he’s overcome the perils of poverty, neglect, abuse and family dysfunction to become the first in his family to earn a college degree. His story is proof that it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish. The proud father of four shows that neither limits nor lineage determines the quality of one’s life. Though adversity changed the trajectory of his life, his touching story about personal triumph and beating the odds will inspire you to persevere.

Off The Grid: Indie hip hop artist Ultra_Eko on intent, manifestation and the higher self

“Life is what is happening to you now, so try to live it as best you can, and keep trying to grow and learn.”

Ultra_Eko is an independent hip hop artist from South London, UK. He writes songs based on the message he wants to put into the world, from a place of passion and love for music. His debut album Off the Grid works on several levels in terms of its meaning and can also be interpreted as a call to arms in terms of how we are all living our lives.

New Age Learning: Introducing Education 3.0 with Chris Kelly, Founder of Onyx Global

Chris Kelly is a Black Founder and Education 3.0 Curator of world-class digital educational experiences. He has spent the last four years teaching at the International College of Beijing, and has now returned to the US to launch Onyx Global, his first initiative as a Founder. He is also a Doctoral Candidate in Adult & Professional Education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, focusing on International Education Administration and Leadership. He trains people on how to become efficient effective learners for the rest of their lives through The Onyx Learner Academy, a self-directed digital learning experience that will help learners both in-person and online, for post-COVID and on into the future.

Dr. Alan Barnard has developed the Harmony Decision Maker app that helps people make better decisions

Dr. Alan Barnard is a serial entrepreneur, app developer, author, speaker and one of the leading Decision Scientists and Theory of Constraints experts in the world. His life goal is to help people discover and overcome their own limiting assumptions or beliefs that could be blocking them from seeing and unlocking their inherent potential. 

For over thirty years, Dr. Barnard’s research has been focused on two simple questions. Firstly, why do good people make, and often repeat bad decisions? And secondly, is it possible to develop simple decision support methods and apps that can help people avoid common decision mistakes to help them make better, faster decisions when it really matters? 

Soraya: The Other Princess by Saber Azam is about a woman’s undeniable strength amidst repeated tragedies in Afghanistan

With an enormous career in helping those touched by war and pain, Saber Azam has dedicated his life to making a difference. In his first novel, Soraya: The Other Princess, he pens a compelling story recounting what transpired in Afghanistan over the past seven decades. This historical fiction is inspired by the life of an exceptional woman, Soraya Ludin, who was the only woman of her country to study at and graduate from the University of London in the 1960s. It attempts to portray how women were and are perceived and treated by their still tribal societies.

UStrive Manufacturing pivots to make organic face masks & gowns during Covid-19 pandemic

When the world was shaken with the most horrific pandemic humanity had ever seen, UStrive Manufacturing answered the call to help front-line workers in need. When the pandemic hit, they immediately got to work making a difference. They pivoted from being a U.S. certified organic t-shirt manufacturer for some of the top brand names in the country to making masks and gowns. UStrive is helping communities in big ways by innovating, scaling up to meet demand and partnering to expand capabilities. A pivot helped this company not only make an impact, but show what forward-thinking innovators can do in a time of need. 

Gabriella Eva Nagy’s books are both visually stimulating and educational, reflecting values that are eternal

Gabriella Eva Nagy is a Hungarian-born American who is an illustrator and storyteller known for creating colorful children’s books. Her whimsical illustrations of nature use bright and vibrant colors that are an invitation to the sweet surroundings of the natural wonders and serenity. Her books are both visually stimulating and educational, reflecting values that are eternal. Gabriella has published over a dozen children’s books during the past six years including her first work in 2014, Lady, Lady, Ladybug. She is the director of a non-profit organization, Reflection, that was founded to reflect Christian values through art, literature and multimedia on a multicultural platform.

Army Veteran and author Dee Bryant empowers young girls to be anything they want to be in Girls Wear Combat Boots Too

We all have moments where we are faced with challenges. How we face those challenges and move past them is an important process in growing as an individual. This is hard enough as adults, but children may not have the maturity or tools to move beyond their struggles. So, what can they do? This is where Dee Bryant comes in.

Dee Bryant is retired military leader, a motivational speaker, and a two-time published author, with one goal in mind—helping to inspire children towards positive change. Dee is determined to help kids tackle the issues before them, while getting them to understand, that they can move past their fear consisting of self-doubt, fear of failure, or fear of making mistakes.