Anushka Sharma

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We managed to steal some of the brilliant Nush's time, bringing her back to earth and away from the incredible work she's currently immersing herself in. Nush is THE voice championing diversity at Google's Campus London and encouraging collaboration.

Are you currently working on a personal project?

For just over a year now, I have been a PoCTech Community Ambassador for Google’s Campus London.  I am passionate about building, supporting and engaging London’s startup scene to ensure it’s racially and ethnically diverse, with entrepreneurs that'll build more inclusive businesses.

I am also planning a provocative event entitled “Is Earth-based Religion relevant on Mars?”  It’s part of my strategy to tackle questions around Future Space by asking questions that will challenge the panel and audience which I am carefully assembling.   The crux of it, is to ensure we have a diversity of thought in our endeavours to become a multi-planetary species.  

As well as the Space ambitions, I have few other plates spinning, in Quantum Computing and Artificial Intelligence and I usually share updates when they are locked down on social media across platforms @nushkino so watch this space...

Have you always wanted to work in the creative industry? If yes, can you tell us why? If not, how did you land your current position?

I have moved like a rogue between Industries, from Politics, to the Olympics to the Startup Ecosystem and immersing myself with innovative technology to create and design experiential hands on events. My fave project last year was working with SubPac to present the UK's first audio-led Virtual Reality experience. The night brought together London’s Tech community to experience true immersion in Virtual Reality with SubPac. You may have seen Timbaland rocking his SubPac on his Instagram feed.

I most recently produced the Brand Conference at the Virtual Reality Show in April, and Disruption Summit Europe in September working with Lab For Hire. Lab For Hire is a collective of disruptors, strategists, designers, technologists and other disruptive souls. We act as an outsourced innovation team for organisations big and small, on projects across the landscape of research, development, startup sourcing, events, strategic thinking and product development, to name but a few.

I’ve got long term aims to continue building on my niche in the space industry, bringing together the next generation of startups and innovators. This year I worked with Disrupt Space Summit in Berlin to tell the story on social media, following being a mentor for the space startup hackathon at the inaugural summit back in 2016.  You must be thinking Space? Well the trigger for this rogue move was when NASA accepted my application to attend the launch of a satellite in California.  I dreamed of becoming an astronaut as a girl growing up in South West London, this amazing opportunity helped me to realise I could carve a role for myself in the new space industry without being a rocket scientist!

The honest truth is that I have always strived to keep learning, adapting and making lots of moves zig zagging across industries and sectors, but always in roles where I can personally grow and measure impact and outcomes I have contributed to.  Whilst that makes my CV a bit of challenge for most HR teams it has given me a breadth of insights that I think the world is just about realising about our generation of individuals.  

I aim to work in an inspiring and collaborative environment, working on ground-breaking technology with potentially extraordinary impact

What has been your biggest achievement to date and why?

As a Londoner, born and raised it was an immense honour to be a member of the Olympic Stadium Venue Team in executing the Opening and Closing Ceremonies as well as the Athletics and Para Athletics tournaments. In my role as Protocol Manager of the Olympic Stadium I was tasked with the arrangements of everyone in the Royal Box, to the wider Olympic Family.  That was a whopping 10,000 high profile guests out of the 80,000 audience at the ceremonies.  I was so proud to rep for Balham all those months leading up to London 2012.

On a personal level, an example I recently recalled was being at the foot of a mountain in Iceland, knowing that on the other side there was a Glacier, whilst on a creative and science expedition. Me being the weakest physically member of the group, I focussed my mind on moving forward step by step on the incline and not allowing a negative thought in my mind.  The result was the awe in reaching the top, shaking with adrenaline, kissing the ground beneath my feet and succumbing to the beautiful sight of Mother Nature’s creation of the beautiful Glacier and proudly celebrating alongside my supportive comrades.  I simply love an adventure.
 

What would you describe as you biggest obstacle so far?

Imposter syndrome and confidence. For me, when you’ve had career highs, with no mentor’s to steer your path it’s incredibly challenging to steer yourself blindly.

The work I do to champion diversity and social mobility regardless of your background is a huge personal cause of mine. My roots in South West London run deep and I want every kid to have the same chance for every job in London, the UK and beyond, we still haven’t got there yet, so there’s still work to do.  This is my contribution to help to build confidence and prove that if I can do it, so can you.   I never had a mentor, it seems like an urban myth for most kids that grow up where I did, it’s time to help build the pathways to inspire everyone that we set our own limits.  
 

Taking a lighter note what and who inspires your creative process?

I love getting lost in London and soaking up the art and creativity that is expressed all around me.  I find when I am looking for inspiration, going to a gallery or discovering some urban street art in Shoreditch really inspires me.  I also love connecting with my tribe over a meal or a coffee, simply checking in and catching up allows us to pool what we have experienced and worked on since the time we last met.    

What three tips would you give your younger self?

1) Everyone tells you to find a mentor, it's something I struggle with even today.  Find a tribe of trusted people to hold each other to account with goals.   

2) Trust your gut, if you have a feeling that something doesn't feel right, try to spend some time to understand what is unsettling you.  It will make you more aware of your deal breakers as you progress in your career.   

3) Grades do not define you or your goal.  I barely scraped through my A Levels and carried the shame for years later.  I never had anyone to tell me it was ok to fail.  We learn from failing, and we win by walking towards goals not running away from the unresolved.

What words of wisdom do you have for other creatives?

Stay away from energy vampires, it’s really important to read your own creative energy when you are in different environments and with different groups of people.  Once you start to tap into that inner wisdom you will focus your time and energy more consciously. It’s basically creative self care.  

If you had the opportunity to get a message across to a large group of people, what would you message be?

Be kind to everyone

What legacy would you like to leave behind?

I want equal access to Space, the Moon, Mars, Asteroids and beyond. If we are going to be an multi-planetary species in the next 20-30 years I want fair access for everyone.  Democratic access to space!  I know that sounds mad, but I care that we all have a stake in Space.  The Elon Musk’s, Jeff Bezos’ and Richard Branson’s may get us there.  What we do, when we get to Mars and beyond is a conversation that involves us all as humans.  

Instagram + twitter @nushkino





 

Soala ClarkeComment