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UC co-founder reveals dream dinner guest list

Image credit: Renu Kannu - Shelley Beach, Southwest Australia

It’s been over two years since Uncommon Conferences was established and its co-founder Banu Kannu still finds something, almost daily, that reminds her why the business and its offering is needed.

This week we depart from our usual posts about URL & IRL events to take you behind the scenes of Banu’s life in Perth, her mild podcast addiction, best pandemic discovery and current beverage of choice.

These questions were inspired by Monocle - which we credit with being inspirational on so many levels - as a business, source of content, FOMO-inducing events and generally being badass.

What did you get up to this past weekend?

It was a lovely family weekend with a getaway to Kalamunda, a hilly region east of Perth. Topped it off with a Sunday session in the beautiful 120-year-old Federation-era Kalamunda Hotel and managed to watch some of the Olympics too, which is always fun.

What’s your ideal start to a Sunday? Gentle or with a jolt?

Very, very gentle. The only thing jolting me awake should be a salted caramel frappe from Maccas and the sound of footy on the telly.

What’s for breakfast?

My ‘famous’ green smoothie. DM for the recipe 🥒🥬🥑🍏🥝

What’s that podcast you’re listening to?

Almost too many to list but here are my current faves – in no particular order (feat. several women and women of colour, all brilliant):

On life & love:

On business & events:

How do you get the heart rate up?

Mainly ballet barre at home with Marnie Alton (my most prized pandemic-induced discovery)

How do you slow the BPM down?

Long walks around the river with a podcast

Pantry essentials you can’t live without?

Good pasta, olive oil, chilli flakes, Tim Tams


Sparkling water, ingredients for my 'famous' green smoothie

What makes Uncommon Conferences so… uncommon?

Sometimes I think of us as the Marie Kondo of the conference & events world – if any of your practices and processes around how you design and deliver an experience or gathering doesn’t spark joy, ditch it. Joy is incredibly underrated in the business world as a driver for change and we want to fix that. When you bring people together intentionally and purposefully, giving them the power and agency to discuss, debate, decide and, most importantly, DO; there’s so much joy to be had in that collective experience.

A glass of something you’d recommend?

Into dry Roku martinis at the moment (with a twist of lemon) 🍸

Dinner venue you can’t wait to get back to?

We’ve been really lucky here in Perth with minimal lockdowns over the past 18 months, but I can’t wait to get back to El Xampanyet in Barcelona – and a bottle of their house Xampanyet, of course 🍾

Image credit:, El Xampanyet - Barcelona

Who would join?

Actually, no one. I love dining out on my own, especially on trips. You taste the flavours more intensely plus the staff are always nicer to you #lifehack.

Early bird or night owl?

🦉100% night owl. It’s probably one of the main reasons Marcus and I work so well together – complete opposite circadian rhythms. That and the fact that we are constantly (almost spookily) balancing out the energy and creativity that's needed for UC to be at its best. It's like there's an imaginary seesaw between Perth and Singapore and one always knows when the other needs a little bounce ✨

Skincare regime?

It used to be Eminence (Hungarian, organic and amazing), but I’ve recently switched to The Ordinary. Love (and need) the retinol products at my fast-approaching midlife situation 😣

What’s something you took for granted pre-pandemic that you’ll never take for granted again?

Oh wow, where do I start – pretty much everything! But mainly the travel; like most people, I guess. Also, the better boundaries that used to exist between work and rest, online and offline. This whole ‘living online’ thing can’t be good for us – we need to get out, and get back, to proper tech breaks and nature!


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