Helena Wasserman Eriksson, former Forbes 30 under 30 founder, is now the brains behind Stage 6, a coliving self-development programme. She discusses the possibilities in personal transformation and her mission to help people change their lives for the better.
We all know the feeling of being desperate to create change, but it can seem so endlessly out of reach. It is exactly this predicament that a new concept in Singapore is setting out to address via its wellness coliving programme Stage 6, pioneered by Helena Wasserman Eriksson. “We call our coliving a life accelerator programme because instead of accelerating companies, we’re accelerating people so they can thrive in their lives,” she says. “It takes a minimum of 66 days to put a new habit in place and rewire the brain,” she explains, which is why the programme is designed to be, at minimum, three months long. As she prepares to open its doors to her first intake, she talked Hive Life through her vision.
“What I realised is that, to really be happy, to really thrive, we need to unlock all our blockages, fears and insecurities and find the courage to do what we came to do in the world,” says Helena. “Our mission at Stage 6 is to support changemakers and people eager to become changemakers.” Growing up, she envisioned big plans for herself. “I knew that I wanted to do something meaningful.” She began her career in the nonprofit sector as an intern for the Clinton Foundation in New York before shifting into business and technology by working at Techstars and then in big data. By 2017, she had been named a Founder of the Future in 2016 by Founders Forum, appeared on the Forbes 30 under 30 list, and appeared as one of the 50 most inspirational women in technology in Europe in 2017 by Inspiring 50 for her work at Big Data for Humans.
But still, Helena felt there was something missing. “My job was not aligned with my values and it just became very painful to stay in that role, because it really wasn’t what I cared about. It took me a while to have the courage to make that shift. I think there are a lot of people that are in that same position, you know, prioritising money and security over what really makes us happy. Aligning our values with the way we earn and spend our money brings integrity to our lives and it feels so good!”
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Stage 6 operates on the premise that humans are a product of their environment and Helena’s belief is that the key to personal transformation is a strong support system: “If you have 10 people who have the same mission, the same goal, if they can support each other in a coliving environment, then it’s much more powerful than if you’re on that journey on your own,” she sets out. The coliving programme takes place in the Stage 6 house, a heritage building situated in the heart of Singapore’s Outram district near the private members club the Straits Clan and other innovative concepts. Stage 6 has four ensuite bedrooms, a common kitchen, a wellness studio, and a salon to host talks.
There is a strong focus on peer-to-peer support through ‘circles’ in which participants are placed in groups of two to four people to connect and offer support, bearing a similarity to Young President Organisations (YPO) forums. There are two rules: confidentiality, and speaking authentically. “It’s an hour where people can be themselves and find support,” says Helena. The day kicks off with a strict morning routine nicknamed the ‘6AM Club,’ which involves 20 minutes of exercise, 20 minutes of meditation, and 20 minutes of listening to motivational content inspired by Robin Sharma’s book, 5AM Club. “Research has shown that is the best way to start your day, so you can open your mind, body and soul to a state of possibilities to achieve what you might think is impossible,“ Helena explains. They also offer a coaching programme to all residents so they can work on their personal and business goals, in addition to hosting an array of events, including themed ‘family dinners’ and inspiring talks where phone usage and small talk are not permitted.
Stage 6’s core demographic is individuals aged 25 – 50 who are looking to find new meaning in life. “We want people that, first of all, believe that they can transform into their better self. We want people that have a global and open mind, who want to have a positive impact on the world.” To join, they need to sign up to one of the organisation’s coliving packages, ranging from SGD 2000 to SGD 6000 a month, which are soon to be available in cities beyond Singapore, Helena hopes. “We’re always going to have a social space where people can meet and be together face-to-face, which is really important to us. Everything happens digitally today, and we want to go back to the basics and actually get people to connect in person. We’re going to launch programmes for people that cannot move in with us, and every building will be a centre for wellness and impact.”
Stage 6 coliving applications are now open at www.stage6.co.