A new website curates the best sustainable stores, restaurants, retreats and events around the world

Born in Indonesia and raised in Sydney, Mel Nahas left a successful career in the music industry and launched Conscious City Guide in 2016. Since the site launched, Nahas has featured over 6,000 events on her community platform.

How did the idea for the Conscious City Guide come about? At the height of the design and fashion blogging era, I started a blog about conscious lifestyle called The Bharani Effect, just for fun. Every week I emailed subscribers about the new interview feature, along with a list of conscious events I had researched.

So I decided to leave my full-time career in the music industry, with a seed of an idea inspired by the conscious events I was listing in that newsletter. I put my music industry experience to work and turned the blog into what it is today, with the help of my co-founder Kiki Falconer.

What does the Conscious City Guide offer that was not yet available? It unifies a fragmented market of mindful events, retreats, workshops and experiences. For example, unless you follow or subscribe to all meditations, sound baths or schools or practitioners of regenerative agriculture, how do you know what’s going on? Yes, you can follow certain teachers, but where do you go to learn and more? I saw that people still needed a curated place for their own discovery.

What is your selection process for what appears on the site? It’s community powered, which means anyone hosting a conscious event can list it on the Conscious City Guide.

How has the concept evolved since its launch? And what are your plans for the future? It started as a newsletter, grew into an event marketplace and is now a platform. In addition, we now include editorials from our community of event creators, sharing their guidance and stories about their practices. The plan is to bring as many people as possible to conscious events so that we are all more connected to ourselves, each other and the planet.

What makes an event “conscious”? We look for events that offer connection, expansion and transformation for the self, our communities, our land – or better yet, all three.

How did your music and entertainment background help and inform what you do now? Music and the music industry are definitely a muse for me. The way music inspires and moves people, changes them. In a very literal way, we are grateful to receive support from the Live Nation Women fund.

In addition to events and experiences, tell me about the resources you offer and how do you get and create them? We introduced articles to the site recently because we discovered that some people didn’t know enough about a certain event to want to try it out.

Tell me about some of the experiences, retreats and practitioners you present that excite you the most and why?

Amy Yeung of 4Kinship, a sustainable art clothing brand owned by Diné (Navajo) that makes a huge fundraiser and awareness for her community. We produced and promoted the Voices of Siihasin show with Jewel and Lyla June during the pandemic, as the Dinétah were one of the hardest-hit tribes. The way Amy raises funds and awareness through fashion and art is inspiring.

I love Julie Piatt (Srimati). From their monthly online group meetings, retreats at holy sites around the world, as well as their line of plant-based Srimu cheeses, I am grateful to have played a role in the production and expansion of all these offerings.

The Sacred Market is a large creative and curative arts fair that also hosts smaller gatherings, which I appreciate. Co-founder Mia Luciano has created a platform that shares ancient knowledge and presents it in such a thoughtful and artistic way that it speaks to an audience they might have ignored.

One of our original team members, Lenea Sims, started her own community care club for creatives seeking collective liberation called Outer Work. It’s amazing because it’s collaborative, it holds its members accountable. It’s membership-based, but for those wanting to try it out, visit points are available through the Conscious City Guide.

Finally, one of our first creative partners, Spirit Weavers Gathering, its founder, Mea Woodruff, has just hosted the group’s ninth annual meeting, and the way she honors and builds an inclusive community is something we can all learn from.

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