Left to Our Own Devices Podcast

Episode 2: Shiza Shahid

Creating Intentional Community in Difficult Times with Shiza Shahid

With so many of us feeling displaced and insecure, this is the perfect time to create intentional communities that last beyond our current crisis. In this powerful episode, Erica speaks with Shiza Shahid, entrepreneur, investor, activist, speaker, founder of the Malala Fund, and co-founder of Our Place. Despite being a multi-hyphenate, Shiza has a deep focus on building an intentional, deliberate, “chosen” community. You’ll hear about how she creates gatherings and experiences that energize all involved. And you’ll hear about the vision behind her new venture, Our Place, which is an ethical, sustainable, mission-driven kitchenware line, rooted in the belief that when you bring people together around a home-cooked meal, you make the world smaller in the best way. Everything Shiza does is rooted in intention, community, tradition and identity. Which is why, when you hear about Shiza’s team rituals and her strategies for managing life and work in quarantine, you’ll see how they point right back to her intentions.


“Relationships are everything.” – Shiza Shahid

“My community is chosen. It’s not accidental…I chose each and every person that I spend time with and very often I’m choosing them because I admire them. I admire their values. I admire their intellect. I admire what they’ve done in the world, what they’re driven to do. I admire the way in which they lift me up and the way that I can do the same for them, so it’s very much a community of people who are on the same wavelength.” – Shiza Shahid

“A lot of our experiences are designed for extroverts…If we can start to think about how different kinds of people connect, then we can create gatherings that really bring out the best in all of us and that leave us feeling energized and not depleted.” – Shiza Shahid

“Home cooking is the bedrock of culture and tradition…You come into my kitchen and you will know who my mother is, who my grandmother was—it is built into our DNA. When everything else falls apart, home cooking remains this place where we express our identity.” – Shiza Shahid


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