Human of Beautiful Business: Aditi Khorana, Author

How the stories we tell create the world we share

“Any story that becomes a common trope or archetype says something about the society and the time that we live in. And this [prevailing] idea of the unknown being a dangerous space is an idea that we’ve abided by for thousands of years,” states Aditi Khorana in her inspirational TEDx talk.

This is reflected today, she points out, in our quantified and scheduled lives, where we have created structures — from mapping our trips, to logging meetings to planning the future — to guard against the unknown. Our close relations reinforce this narrative, encouraging us away from the unknown, ‘risky’ paths.

But as Aditi points out, “Everything that has ever been created — all the great art and inventions — have come out of the void of the unknown.” She speaks from personal experience — her first novel Mirror in the Sky resulted from stepping beyond defined societal narratives, going into the ‘negative space’, and seeking her own path.

Her description of the unknown — “immensely powerful, astoundingly mysterious, and, ultimately, a paradox” — sits at odds with the way we have been taught to plan our lives and businesses, more concerned with mitigating risk, forecasting results, and driving outcomes. But it is by daring to take this step, she emphasises, that we will actualise our vision for a better world.

“You can’t venture into this space with an agenda and yet it holds clues to some of the greatest questions of our time.”

How would business and society change if we were to approach uncertainty not with anxiety and fear, but with curiosity and humility? How transformational and liberating could a new world be, if we started to nurture a new narrative?

As one of our keynote speakers at the House of Beautiful Business, Aditi will examine current narratives and explore potential futures. In the meantime, we leave you with a parting quote (and a link to her new book, The Library of Fates)

“I truly believe that if you can find the courage to break away from the familiar, and from the expectations others have of you, you are following in a radical tradition of transforming yourself as you transform the world. Perhaps no one told us when we were growing up about our own extraordinary powers to reshape the world and ourselves, but that doesn’t mean we can’t do it on our own. People have been doing this throughout the ages — even though they felt just as lost and uncertain as we are.”

The House of Beautiful Business takes place in Lisbon, November 3–10, 2017. Alongside start-up founders, executives, nonprofit leaders, investors, writers, philosophers, scientists, designers, technologists, artists, we will be discussing and prototyping how to lead with purpose and passion; how to build human companies and workplaces; and how to design for deeper connections in an age of exponential change and massive societal disruption.

Hosted in collaboration with the BCG Henderson Institute, the House will serve as salon, stage, and sandbox for people who are keen on rehumanizing business and exploring meaningful conversations around humanity and technology. You can find more information and buy tickets at: houseofbeautiful.biz