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Meet Katharine Hargreaves of You Are The Magic

Today we’d like to introduce you to Katharine Hargreaves.

Katharine, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
My path has not been linear, nor has it always existed. My work has always been focused on connecting visionary people and powerful ideas in the belief that we have all the tools we need to change the world – it’s just a matter of increasing connections between nodes in the ecosystem.

I started in the field of communications and moved into digital information – and later interface – design as I saw how technology was transforming the playing field and swiftly becoming a key factor in shaping future networks. I pivoted into User Experience design and immersed myself in the tech field, learning from visionary thinkers, activists, pioneers, and futurists who saw the possibility and potential of design outside the traditional boundaries and silos.

Design became the doorway through which I was able to affect deep change in communities – both online and offline. I became interested in systems design, speculative futures and storytelling, improv and creative play as forms through which people can co-create culture from the ground up. As my philosophy and perspective evolved, so did my practice. I evolved from a design consultant and technology educator into an innovation coach, culture designer, and systems alchemist.

Now, I focus my future path on the human-centered technology that intrigues me the most: the mind. I believe that to design the new world; we must embody radical new perspectives that invite participation, come from purpose, and activate the collective.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
The idea of a smooth road is boring to me. We learn through mistakes, through the trial and error of living and failing and building new dreams to bring us closer to our ultimate vision. I have never been interested in someone else’s definition of success, and so I have chosen roads less explored and ultimately less safe than others. As a designer, I embrace chaos and the complexity that comes from living into the richness of life, of creativity, of infinite and endless change states.

The struggles have been both vast and subtle depending on the context I find myself in. As a free-thinker, there is always the resistance that comes with changing one’s mind. Most of the time, this means that I must work harder to value my own ideas and communicate their impact more clearly. As a woman in a male-dominated industry, I have encountered push back when I have played big or been too loud.

As a recovering perfectionist, I have had to master my mindset to push through the voices that tell me I am not good enough. As an entrepreneur, there are daily lessons and failures that come with running multiple ongoing experiments. There will always be reasons NOT to do something. I have chosen a road that is rough but deeply rewarding, and I value the struggles as much as the smooth moments – because, in the end, it’s the contrast that provides richness to the journey.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about You Are The Magic – what should we know?
I see my work as empowering people to design their world with passion, purpose, and power. I have two businesses that are the channels through which I work:

You Are The Magic is my bespoke coaching consultancy. I partner with individuals and organizations to create customized programs and cultures around empowered purpose, authentic leadership and embodied innovation. I believe that everyone is required to create a world that is creative, sustainable, inclusive, and inspiring. I help clients master the mindset and design a path forward that is expansive, aligned, effective, and impactful.

FEARLESS is a Restorative Workshop for Impactful Womxn. This powerful and creative leadership toolkit teaches women how to be effective agents of change at work and in life. We believe life is a game, and you can learn how to play harder and go farther.

I teach practical tools and cultivate powerful mindsets in all my work. But what sets me apart is my perspective on the path forward: I believe that changing the world doesn’t need to feel like WORK. In fact, the storytelling, play and creative improvisation that I infuse into all my programs create a space where people stop learning innovation and start lIVING innovation.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
There’s absolutely too many to list if I’m to be honest about the amazing support I’ve enjoyed along the way – which isn’t to say this has been easy, but that it could have been a hell of a lot harder.

My spiritual mentor and cosmic magician, Awno Ka, was instrumental in opening my mind to the spiritual core of my work and how to speak it into being. My early advisor Sara Anani and the team at Grid110 provided key support during the very early days of prototyping these ideas.

The community and my colleagues at the General Assembly have become a platform for so many of my early projects as they took shape – their investment in me has truly changed my life. I am thankful to my former boss Adam Leipzig for recommending that I look into UX in the first place, as this was the entry point to everything that followed. My coach Jenna Dillon helped me get serious about taking my vision to the next level.

I am lucky to call many amazing individuals and institutions collaborators in my creative process. In particular, Minami Digital for the invitation to step into the next level of my work, Jen Ann Simmons for being a partner in birthing the goddess, Arianne Edmonds and Sylvia Franklin for being the original FEARLESS dream team.

Helen Grossman for encouraging me to never settle for less than my vision, Anya Iverova for always helping me poke holes and clear the bullshit, Julia Thompson for always being down to dive deep into the world of ideas, and so many others who have played a critical part in helping me refine and iterate on my big vision.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:

Cami Rose Olson

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