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by Divya Samtani
The Savvy Sapiens Podcast

The Sustainable Dramatist


Introduction:Lauren Berning is one seriously funny human with a lot of experience and advice to share. A passionate performer in her spare time, she's just left a day job in digital collaboration at Asia’s largest luxury company where she was responsible for helping employees use online tools to communicate better, something she did at a bank previous to that. After more than a decade in the workforce, she is now taking a break from work to figure out what she wants to do next, but is certain that it will have to do with sustainability. Lauren’s clear about the fact that her values are a massive key to her success, and on this episode we learn how to use our time and skills in a way that drives success in our careers as well as creates a world that we all want to live in. 

Show Notes:

0.00 - 2.30: 

  • Why Lauren chose to do a postgraduate in social anthropology and undergraduate in theatre and performing arts 
  • Her passion for drama and improv comedy at school  
  • Getting a good spread of knowledge in high school and having to do all the core subjects throughout 

2.30 - 5.00:

  • Lauren's early ambitions to be famous (and how that turned out) 
  • What it was like to study theatre at university in the US and the disappointment she felt at not being able to specialize 
  • Realizing that she loved the cultural aspects of performing arts 

5.00 - 7.30: 

  • The impact of going abroad on her life and mindset 
  • Her annoyance at American schools for not suggesting international universities  
  • Exploring the relevance of “brand name” universities 
  • Her uncertainty after graduating about what to do and her spontaneous decision to move to Boston  
  • Starting her career at various temp roles and finally landing a job at MIT for a few years  

7.30 - 10.00: 

  • Her experience at MIT supporting professors and putting her hand up to do more  
  • Lauren’s advice to young graduates and interns about how to leave a lasting impression 

10.00 - 12.30: 

  • The importance of emotional intelligence and being able to read the environment  
  • Tips for interns on communicating with managers and maximizing your impact  
  • Lauren’s personal experience with interns and what kind of qualities stand out to her vs. frustrates her  

12.30 - 15.00 

  • Challenging your own thinking as an intern before delivering work and anticipating questions in advance  
  • Interns having a digital advantage over older people and the value of leveraging that in the workplace 

15.00 - 17.30:

  • The origins of Lauren’s passion for sustainability and how her experience of living in Hong Kong has accelerated her passion for sustainability 
  • Voting with your dollars, with your career and with the city you live in  
  • Her ambition to work in corporate social responsibility (CSR) 
  • Defining corporate social responsibility  

17.30 - 20.00: 

  • The trend towards being socially responsible as a company 
  • The existing concept of P&L (profit and loss) and the emerging concept of EP&L (environmental profit and loss)  
  • The business sense behind running and investing in socially responsible companies 
  • The importance of values and making career decisions based on your values  
  • Being an almost adult and the absurdity of “adulting”  

20.00 - 21.55:

  • The secret to a happy life being playful and feeling like a kid 
  • Lauren’s advice to her 16 year old self  
  • The importance of


Episode 7

Season 1

by Divya Samtani