Talk Boutique is excited to welcome Arash Aazami to our speaker roster. Touring as a musician, pioneering in online tech, hitting rock bottom, and climbing back up again. Arash’ life journey gave him an uncanny ability to rethink, re-invent, disrupt even himself, and turn crisis into opportunities. Arash’ stories and presence fill the room with hope and momentum to make that positive change.
One-on-One With Arash
What’s an accomplishment that you are most proud of?
I am a college dropout who became a mentor at the world’s number 1 business school, INSEAD in Paris. I am not particularly proud of that, but it shows that we can do things that are impossible according to the rules we learn.
Describe a major business or other challenge you experienced throughout your career and how you resolved it. What lessons did you learn in the process?
In 2014 I was leading a successful energy company that I had founded 4 years before. But I was unhappy as it did not act in line with the initial belief I had to make a change in the energy industry when I founded the company. I could not turn things around anymore in the shareholder structure that we had grown into. It was a very hard decision to make, but I left my own company and parted with my shares, and decided to start all over again. Big lesson: only invest your energies into that which you really believe in. Go for the end goal and never lose sight of it. And believe that you can build up something from scratch. You don’t need your company, wealth or personnel to make the change you believe in.
How did mentors influence your life? What’s one core message you received from your mentors?
My mother is my greatest mentor. She had three sons to take care of and no job in The Netherlands after 8 years in West Africa. She went on and became an entrepreneur and an activist for women’s rights at the same time, never giving up on her dreams. She taught me that one single person, regardless of her situation, has the liberty to make any decision to change herself, and the world around her.
Will we ever cease burning fossil fuels?
Yes. It took the earth 500 million years to build up existing reserves of oil, coal and gas. It takes us 500 years to burn through them. This means we will have to use 1 million times less fossil fuels to match our pace of consumption with the earth’s ability to replenish them. A world running on 100% renewable resources therefore is a 100% certainty.