DR LOLA TILLYAEVA (TILL)
Wellbeing activist, entrepreneur, and humanitarian
Born in Uzbekistan, Lola Tillyaeva spent much of her childhood and adolescence exploring spiritual traditions and philosophies across different eras and cultures. Her self-driven study eventually allowed her to gain a profound understanding of how harmony for the mind, body and soul can be achieved by implementing principles of ancient philosophies into our modern lives.
Ambassador to UNESCO
For over ten years, Lola Tillyaeva served as the Ambassador of Uzbekistan to UNESCO in Paris. During her time in office, between 2008-2018, UNESCO included important Uzbek cultural heritage elements, such as the Navruz spring festival, the Uzbek verbal folk art of Askiya, and the traditional manufacturing methods of atlas and adras, into its List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity and in the UNESCO Register of Good Safeguarding Practices.
Lola is also the creator and founder of The Harmonist, a maison de parfum inspired by the ancient Chinese philosophy of Feng Shui. Its bespoke approach to fragrance design has helped propel the brand to the forefront of the luxury perfume industry. Since its inception in 2016, the young brand has exceeded expectations and growth forecasts and is currently available in 13 markets across the world, including France, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Mexico, Brazil and the US, where customers can find the fragrances in some of the most important department stores and perfumeries. The Harmonist has been nominated several times at the prestigious US Fragrance Foundation Awards and has won Allure magazine's Best of Beauty Award 2022.
Dr Till is the author of Be Your Own Harmonist: Awakening Your Inner Wisdom for Physical, Mental and Emotional Wellbeing. Launched in September 2020 in Los Angeles, the book is an in-depth guide to building a more balanced life and draws upon decades of research in science and spirituality, as well as Lola’s personal experience. In September 2022, the book was launched in France, with the widely appraised film director Claude Lelouch writing the foreword for the French version, titled Vers la paix intérieure.
Connecting science and spirituality
In 2022, her longstanding commitment to empowering people in their journeys to greater wellbeing and self-knowledge led to the establishment of the Human Kind Institute. The initiative is a platform that connects and enriches our modern thought with the experience and wisdom of the past, finding solutions to modern life problems.
The initiatives of the Human Kind Institute include arts and cultural exhibitions and installations, wellbeing and mental health forums and educational programmes, film series on social change, and speaker series featuring renowned experts.
The first project of the initiative, the Human Kind Film Series, is based on Lola’s book, and premiered at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York, in September 2022.
Passionate about culture, Lola believes it can foster global peace and tolerance. In 2020, she founded the Paris-based gallery La Maison de l’Ouzbékistan, which serves as a portal to the rich heritage of Uzbekistan. Visitors to the gallery can discover the country’s centuries-old craft traditions.
Dedicated to promoting the Uzbek cultural legacy to international audiences through a range of cultural projects, in 2017, Lola produced a documentary paying tribute to the 15th-century Uzbek astronomer and mathematician Ulugh Beg. For its unique way of integrating modern cinematography with the mysterious beauty of 15th-century Central Asia, the film Ulugh Beg: The Man Who Unlocked the Universe was awarded the Kineo Prize for Best Foreign Documentary at the 74th Venice International Film Festival.
As an acknowledgement of her commitment to safeguarding one of the world’s most endangered heritages, in 2022, Lola was appointed F4D’s Goodwill Ambassador for Preserving Cultures at the 10th Anniversary of F4D’s First Ladies Luncheon, during the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly.
A committed philanthropist, in 2002 Lola founded the You Are Not Alone Foundation, which offers comprehensive assistance to orphaned and disabled children. The foundation has initiated and implemented a number of large-scale projects, building, renovating and refurbishing several orphanages in Uzbekistan. The charity also provides funding to support the treatment of children in need. In collaboration with the French association La Chaîne de l'Espoir, over the past five years, the foundation provided over 140 Uzbek children from disadvantaged backgrounds diagnosed with congenital heart conditions with live-saving surgical procedures performed by top French surgeons. Lola also allocates educational scholarships to talented Uzbek students to pursue their studies at leading European universities.
Art for sustainability
Striving for sustainability, in 2017, Lola spearheaded The Harmonist’s charitable initiative, The Droplet, an interactive art installation designed to raise awareness of the issue of water scarcity. The installation’s inaugural showing was held at the AD Intérieurs 2017 exhibition at Monnaie de Paris.
As a wellbeing activist, Lola also promotes a holistic approach to health care. She frequently writes on topics pertaining to the wellness sphere and has been published in Thrive Global and Real Leaders.