“The recession in some ways closed some doors, as it was very tricky in industries like media to find good opportunities,” she said. “But I think it also opened a door, and many people started thinking differently about their path.”
Ten years later, Radparvar’s path led her to create Reconsidered, a consulting practice that helps organizations craft socially responsible strategies. She works with organizations on communications, community-building, and strategy to drive positive behavior change, either internally or with their customers. One current project involves working with Fashion for Good, an Amsterdam-based initative that has a startup accelerator for sustainable fashion technologies, such as water-less dyeing and using mango waste as alternative leather. Radparvar is helping Fashion for Good create a museum called the Fashion for Good Experience, which will be dedicated to educating visitors on sustainability issues in the fashion industry and facilitating behavior changes in consumers toward more sustainable options.
“I’m working with them to create a space to spark these ‘a-ha’ moments that will shape the minds and hearts of the people coming through the building,” she said. “[The visitors] should leave with the intention to make a real change … in how they think about fashion.”
Radparvar grew up in Guam, a U.S. territory in the Pacific Ocean, and applied to Princeton thinking that it would be a long shot. “When I did get the acceptance letter, it was not only exciting for me, but also for my community,” she said. Four years later, she became the first woman of Chamorro heritage (the indigenous heritage of Guam) to graduate from Princeton.
As an undergraduate, Radparvar was involved with The Daily Princetonian and worked at the University’s Office of Communications. She had summer internships at Hearst Magazines, Cosmogirl, and InStyle. She pursued a degree in history and wrote her senior thesis on Guam during the period from 1944 to 1994.
Radparvar spent a year and a half traveling the world after graduation, spending time in Asia, Europe, and South America, and then returned to Guam to set up a SAT tutoring service. By then, she’d become hooked on the socially responsible business strategies she encountered at many businesses during her travels. “It was very new at the time,” Radparvar said. “There wasn’t a lot of talk about corporate responsibility or socially responsible business.”
She explored this concept for a few years as a journalist, and then created an ethical fashion retail business that sold sustainably made Cambodian fashion accessories. However, she wanted to be more involved on the corporate side, and after receiving her MBA from NYU Stern and working for some corporate clients, she founded her Reconsidered, which is based in the Netherlands, in 2017. She describes her focus as “change management” — looking at the business and emotional cases for shifting a company’s model to achieve a positive social impact.
“I felt like there was a lot of opportunity to explore how behavior change principles can be incorporated into the work that corporate responsibility teams were doing,” she said.
Radparvar also plans to give back to her native Guam. She delivered the keynote speech University of Guam’s Conference on Island Sustainability this year and has discussed her consultancy work with local politicians and organization leaders.
“I want to work on projects that matter,” Radparvar said, “and continue being excited by the work that I do.”