We had the good fortune of connecting with Aja Duniven and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Aja, can you talk to us a bit about the social impact of your business?
Social impact is at the heart of my work. Whether I’m working as an advocate for animal welfare, creating affordable housing for the homeless, giving a speech, or guiding others through the personal development journey, I’m always working to uplift those around me in my personal life and business. I’ve been trained as an entrepreneur, but ultimately I am an artist. Every aspect of my art is created with the goal of bringing benefit to the world and to as many beings as possible.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
The main focus of my work is to create avatars that address the world’s greatest challenges and tell stories of transformation using traditional and futuristic media like documentaries, augmented reality, and virtual reality. I conducted research on 5 continents around play and social change with impoverished communities. During my research, I uncovered a unique way to tell stories using toys, costumes, and technology. Compelling stories are the foundation of the social impact I create through my art and business. Every character is birthed through the community it is meant to serve and those interested in solutions to global problems. For example, the Sammy Bear Avatar creates solutions for homelessness and affordable housing. He was created by those who have struggled with homelessness themselves or are passionate about finding a way to create sustainable housing globally. The Weeping Woman Avatar reveals injustice in the world like the horrors of slaughterhouses and results of climate change and she was birthed through women who have suffered and want to instigate global change. The Deer Avatar was born from community members who were struggling with their health. Now the Deer Avatar guides people on a journey to balance self-care and care-for-others so communities and individuals can live healthier and more balanced lives. I have set my compass to an impossible goal of freeing all beings from suffering. In the process of working towards that goal, I know I will continue to inch myself and the communities I work with closer to a world free of injustice until the day I die.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I have a wide network of friends from around the globe that I met during my travels. It is always so fun when one of them comes to Colorado to visit! I delight in the opportunity to share meaningful experiences and see my travel friends in a completely different context than where we met or where we visited last. One of my favorite things to do with visitors is to share deeply meaningful experiences like visiting the mountains to experience the vast beauty of nature or traveling to the reservation to meet the communities they have heard so much about. I love offering the opportunity to experience things they have never done before like delivering supplies to orphanages or passing out packages of socks and goodies to the homeless. I find these types of unforgettable experiences are what we talk about for years to come. I am also a fairly good cook and love to indulge my guests’ senses with an abundance of delicious homemade vegan food. It is always a joy for nonvegans to delight in my food and feel inspired to cook more meat free and dairy free foods for themselves.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
The community organizers in Kenya and South Dakota have been extremely supportive of my work and have been essential in the distribution of resources that we collect through the nonprofit organization I run called Global Peace Train. Without the communities and their leaders, my work would not be possible. The support of the Global Peace Train board has also been a significant force in guiding my work and creating the foundation for me to pursue my dreams. Todd Herman’s book The Alter Ego Effect gave me confidence that the work I do is not just for fun but has real-world impact that is measurable in traditional environments like sports. Lastly, without support from countless donors and the kindness of my mentors, I would not be able to manifest my vision. A big THANK YOU to all who have helped me attain my goals along the way!
Website: www.extendedrealityexpert.com and www.globalpeacetrain.com
Pax, Isak Hanold