A Visionary Strategist and Sustainability Leader Pioneering Change through Cross-Functional Collaboration!
Life is a journey filled with endless opportunities for growth and self-discovery, and along this path, a persistent question arises: What is our purpose? For many, the answer lies in the pursuit of innovation—driving meaningful change through fearless dedication and strategic thinking. In a world that often moves too fast, where concepts like these dominate conversations, there are individuals who stand out as pioneers, true game-changers.
Glorianne Montefrio, the Co-founder of Innoverse Global Media, is undoubtedly one of these remarkable individuals.
Glorianne is a visionary on a mission. Her goal? To create a world where sustainability is not just a concept but a way of life. She’s not just a strategist; she’s an innovator who thrives in the diverse, multicultural world of cross-functional teams. Her message is clear: making the impossible possible through innovation is the path to a better future.
With over 25 years of experience spanning various management roles in world-class organizations, Glorianne brings a wealth of expertise to her mission. Her journey has taken her through project management, strategic planning, financial market investments, sales, media, HR, and much more. This diverse background has provided her with a unique perspective on how sustainability can be integrated into every facet of our lives.
Glorianne’s work ethic and philosophy are rooted in a profound belief in the power of people and their potential to create positive change. She is a dynamic leader, a problem solver, and a risk-taker. Her high emotional intelligence allows her to connect with people and create transformative experiences.
But Glorianne is not just a dreamer; she’s a doer. Her reputation for implementing policies and procedures that boost corporate profitability speaks volumes about her commitment to turning her vision into reality. She’s passionate and ethical and possesses a “can-do” attitude that’s infectious.
Her dedication to sustainability is not just talk; it’s action. She’s taken the SDGS17 pledge selected by ICAN and is actively involved in youth empowerment initiatives like Gitex YouthX and Marine Sustainability Hackathons. Her work with Innoverse Global Media and Arivo is setting new standards in sustainability and diversity.
Glorianne is not just a name; she’s a force for good. Her journey is an inspiration for anyone looking to make a difference in the world. With her, the impossible becomes possible, and the world becomes a better place.
Below are the highlights of the interview:
Could you please tell me about yourself and what motivated you to embark on this sector?
My name is Glorianne Montefrio. I am the President and Co-founder of Innoverse Global Media (IGM). As a believer in Ikigai leadership, my purpose in life has been to innovate fearlessly, demanding dedication and strategic thinking in order to succeed in adopting meaningful change.
Could you please brief about your company and its inception story?
I have been managing teams and projects for the past 20 years, but my innovative ideas were hard to realize until I met Paul Lee, our CEO and founder. Together, we created IGM 3 months ago as the first-of-its-kind metal and transparent glass OLED touch screen TV, designed to bring families around the TV to experience the Metaverse together. The world still associates the Metaverse with Virtual Reality (VR) headsets and mobile phones, but the Metaverse is all about community and shared engagement. VR and mobile devices are driving users towards isolationism and individual experiences. When was the last time you wanted to wear someone else’s sweaty headset or crowd around a mobile phone for prolonged periods of time?
Last month, we launched our new product at the Global Educational Supplies and Solutions (GESS Dubai) Conference at the World Trade Center, together with our manufacturer, Shenzen OKView Technology Co., Limited. It was an amazing chance to connect with educators, suppliers, and businesses on how our innovation would be able to help with their Sustainability goals through our own SDGs (4, 9, 10, 12, 17). Come check us our at innoverseglobal.com
What challenges have you personally faced as a woman leader in the business world, and how did you overcome them?
My journey was a difficult one. I often sought support and mentorship from male leaders but found that women in leadership roles were succeeding in gaining a voice in the areas of sustainability and education. Innovation and technology, however, were still primarily male-dominated sectors. Drawing on the motivations and inspirations of my female mentors, I decided to partner with our CEO, a well-respected innovator who believed in female diversity in technology. Together, we’re overcoming the stereotype that a woman co-founder of a technology innovation company is not fit.
How do you see women contributing to the transformation of businesses? Can you provide any specific examples or case studies?
I see women growing in leadership roles that will transform businesses all over the world. Our ability to inspire and manifest ideas into reality has always been our strong suit. How many world leaders wouldn’t point to their spouses, sisters, or mothers as their driving inspiration?
In September, I brought together 20 women in Sustainability Leadership roles at the First All-Women Leaders Roundtable Session on Sustainability – Pioneering the Path to Net Zero at Century Financial. Throughout my career I have always been connected with women in Sustainability roles, as I myself am deeply motivated by Sustainability.
Last month, we participated in an Innovation Hackathon where I served as the only woman mentor to over 50 young innovators. It was inspiring to see so many young women taking up the mantle of technological innovation. I encouraged them to persevere, as I had done. At GITEX this year, the same group of students showed up to see a panel of women leaders in the areas of aerospace, marine, aviation, and education. I have seen the fire within them grow since the hackathon, as they were very passionately engaged in the GITEX panel.
In your experience, what are some of the unique perspectives and strengths that women bring to the table, and how do they impact decision-making and problem-solving?
Women leaders are quick learners with strong empathy towards the diverse viewpoints, needs, and concerns of their colleagues, customers, and stakeholders, who tend to be more risk-averse. We are naturally big risk-takers and learn from our experiences to ensure every experience is a meaningful one that leads us toward achieving our goals. Core to innovation is a user-centered design approach, and empathy helps us dive deep into understanding pain points and customer needs.
How can organizations foster a more inclusive and supportive environment for women to thrive and make a difference?
Since IGM was founded by a woman entrepreneur, we have walked the talk, believing that diverse backgrounds foster a stronger environment for women to thrive. The best way to make a difference is to be authentic, and while there are a lot of diversity initiatives at some companies, our company is founded on the principle that diversity and inclusion are the only way forward. Our education platform exists in order to bring diverse groups together and drive more communal engagement in classrooms and businesses, as well as in the home. Mobile phones and VR headsets drive us to separate ourselves as we explore the metaverse. Don’t you think it’s ironic to want to be alone while wanting to meet more people?
What advice would you give to aspiring women leaders who are looking to make a positive impact and drive transformation in their respective industries?
Don’t be afraid to take risks. Find your guiding star, choose your mentors wisely, and work with experts who value and support your goals toward making a meaningful impact.
Our founder’s old company, Amazon, was founded by Jeff Bezos, who famously said, “Be comfortable with being misunderstood.” In 2006, when he started Amazon Web Services, Forbes magazine publicly laughed at him and said he should stick to selling books. Little did they know that AWS would go on to own 40% of the cloud market share. His perseverance against all the critics led to his success.
Steve Jobs, founder of Apple, was questioned about taking a user-centered approach vs. a profit-based approach when he started. Their motto was “Think Different”. That very approach led to his success, which explains why Apple customers are still delighted with their products today.
At IGM, our motto is Think Big, Learn Better, and Make a Difference. I challenge every aspiring young woman leader to “Make a Difference”.
Can you discuss any specific initiatives or projects that you have led or been a part of, which have had a significant impact on the business or industry?
I believe my contribution to IGM TV and the Metaverse On-Demand Application, which focuses on the education of sustainability and innovation with a built-in Web3 rewards program, will forever change the way we learn and experience the Metaverse. While other technologies like VR and mobile are going to offer individual Metaverse experiences, they won’t deliver a shared experience, which is what the future of the Metaverse will be by the end of this decade. Others focus on the gaming aspects of it but fail to see the mass market adoption of spectating and engaging as a group.
Imagine a classroom of students taking turns navigating the class mascot avatar in a virtual world where they can learn about sustainability initiatives and what sustainability even is. These are the students that will save us in the future from our own climate crisis. Boyan Slat, the CEO of a non-profit group called Ocean Cleanup, was just 16 when he started the organization through a school project. School projects will take on the next level when kids are able to present in the Metaverse and gain investment interests to make their amazing ideas a reality.
What role do you believe mentorship and networking play in empowering women leaders and facilitating their professional growth and development?
By serving as a woman in technology leadership mentor, I have been able to see a meaningful step in local youth innovators taking an interest in achieving their goals against the difficult odds they face. They showed up at GITEX to see other women leaders inspire them. I believe it’s essential for aspiring young women leaders to see examples of success. There’s a lot of doubt that still exists that we can make it to the top, but when they are able to see the successes of others, I believe that makes a meaningful difference.
How do you balance the demands of leadership with other aspects of your life, such as family and personal well-being? What strategies have worked for you in maintaining this balance?
I have learned to draw clear boundaries and am firm enough to enforce them in order to balance leadership with other aspects of my life. I learned that I cannot and should not take on everything if it can be delegated to those I trust. All too often, women in leadership feel like they have to do everything, which means taking work home and living and breathing work 24/7. I know that we want to, in order to overcompensate, appear as superwoman, but the reality is that we’re more effective if we don’t burn ourselves out. Burnout is serious and can really set us back from reaching our goals. It’s better to keep moving at your own pace than to drive yourself according to someone else’s expectations.
Looking ahead, what do you envision for the future of women leaders in driving business transformation, and what steps do you believe need to be taken to further empower and support them?
I envision women persevering as others have before them. I believe that fear is one of the biggest attributes holding us back. Fear of rejection, fear of failure, and fear of existing leadership challenges But I believe the biggest step towards empowering women and driving business transformations is for us to put ourselves in roles that make a difference. We should pursue roles as CEOs, founders, co-founders, CTOs, CFOs, and other executive leadership roles, but most importantly, never give up. Many of the greatest leaders and inventors of all time had multiple failures. It’s their adversity and perseverance that made them succeed.