Ruqayya Diwan Adamjee, Creative & Social Impact

By Saira Ansari | Members Only

Nov 11
Ruqayya was born and raised in Karachi and graduated with a BsC in Economics from Duke University. She recently finished a 3 year stint in Acumen Pakistan, an impact investment fund. She started off supporting the recruitment and selection process for the Acumen Pakistan Fellows Program and moved on to become a Portfolio Associate where she was responsible for developing and managing Acumen Pakistan’s investment portfolio across the microfinance, education and housing sectors.
Ruqayya is also the mastermind behind the extremely creative Instagram account called “life_spaced_out”, which portrays daily life through simple yet beautifully curated doodles. We are personal fans and are excited to share some snippets of her work in this post!


1. What inspired you to work at Acumen?

I was inspired to work with Acumen because it constantly takes risks in order to support those brave entrepreneurs that are striving to create sustainable social businesses. What’s great about Acumen is its focus on developing a sustainable solution to poverty as opposed to encouraging dependence on grants.

2. Tell us about your Instagram account “life_spaced_out.” What inspired it, how much time does it take, how you choose your topics, and what you hope to achieve with it?

I created ‘life_spaced_out’ as a way to make myself draw something every day and as a medium to foster my creativity. The drawings usually take less than 15 minutes; my topics are inspired by my own experiences, as well as those of my friends and family. Right now, the account is just for fun! However, I hope that I can eventually use it as a tool to create awareness about important issues relevant to Pakistan.

gup shup

Gup Shup from life_spaced_out’s series titled “Choti Khushiyan”

3. Are there any networks you have been a part of which have helped you learn and develop your skills and experiences?

I am part of the Young Professionals Network (YPN), a platform for professionals who drive social-sector impact in Karachi through workshops and seminars offered by the AmanFoundation. The last workshop was a really fun team building session which taught us both how to play football and how our actions on the field translate into our professional lives.


Puranay Ganay from life_spaced_out’s series titled “Choti Khushiyan”


4. What is the most valuable piece of advice you’ve ever received? Do you have any advice for our readers who are passionate about a career in international development and/or start-ups?

‘The way to achieve the perfect work-life balance is not to do any work’. This doesn’t mean that you should do nothing, but that your work should be so enjoyable that it doesn’t feel like work! I’m still in the process of figuring out what that is for me.


Barish Mein Nahana from life_spaced_out’s series titled “Choti Khushiyan”

And some bite-sized answers for our readers…

  • Success to me means: Staying inspired, being happy and helping others
  • Online resources/books I refer to for inspiration/increasing my knowledge: The Art of Creative Thinking – Rod Junkins; Financial Intelligence – Joe Knight and Karen Berman; Predictably Irrational – Dan Ariely; Harry Potter – J.K.Rowling
  • My favorite quote is: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: Only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: Only love can do that.” – Martin Luther King Jr.