What is your background briefly?
I’m the Head of Creative & Editorial at the Rainforest Alliance. Before joining the Rainforest Alliance 7 years ago, I worked as a journalist across digital, print, and public radio, and television for 20 years.
Does it seem like a logical background to what you do now?
I love my current role at the Rainforest Alliance. My career path began in traditional journalism, which then led to advocacy journalism. Just before I joined this organization, I worked for 8 years as the editor of Amnesty International USA’s human rights magazine. Those last few years, I began to observe that some of our generation’s most distressing humanitarian crises are either driven by or exacerbated by climate change and related issues, like water shortages. The Rainforest Alliance appealed to me because it’s an organization devoted to impactful, proven climate solutions.
The youngest members of our global alliance are speaking up and sharing their worries, as well as their smart ideas for potential solutions to #climatechange. If these are tomorrow’s leaders, we have hope in our future. #ActOnClimate#YouthClimateStrike @climatestrikeUS pic.twitter.com/VUxoG6kC57
— Rainforest Alliance (@RnfrstAlliance) March 13, 2019
1 min pitch for what you are doing now?
I lead a team of designers, video producers, and writers in content creation for general audiences. Our job as storytellers is to spread awareness about our mission and impact, tell stories that help people understand the stakes of inaction, and engage people in our global sustainability movement.
We are building an alliance to create a better future for people and nature by making responsible business the new normal. We work at the crossroads of business, agriculture and forests. By bringing diverse allies together we are making a deep-rooted change on some of our most pressing social and environmental issues. Together, we amplify the voices of farmers and forest communities, improve livelihoods, protect biodiversity, and help people mitigate and adapt to climate change in bold and effective ways.
Tell us more about how the environmental movement is moving away from the “deep green” identity in order to embrace a broader audience?
At this juncture, we will soon be contending with a global climate crisis unless we radically transform our systems of commodity production and consumption. Businesses large and small are critical to achieving change at the scale needed to truly make a difference. Consumers can play a critical role in influencing company behavior—not just by calling out poor practices but also by rewarding sustainable ones. This is why we must reach a broader audience. Although “deep greens” have been advocating for sustainable practices for decades, we believe that aspirational consumers—whose numbers are especially strong among the millennial demographic—can exert a strong influence on business practices.
— Rainforest Alliance (@RnfrstAlliance) March 25, 2019
How does your new brand identity reflect your desire to build a broader movement?
We worked with our branding agency, Futerra, to develop a brand that would speak to a broader audience—not just those in the traditional environmental sustainability space—through a more vibrant colour palette, a dynamic new frog logo, and an optimistic tone of voice.
How can people find out more about you & your work?
Please learn about our work by following us on Instagram/Facebook/Twitter and visiting rainforest-alliance.org.
Anything else you’d like to add / we should have asked?
Perhaps I can say something about the frog here? When the Rainforest Alliance was founded more than 30 years ago, we chose the frog for our logo because of its role as an indicator species; it’s one of the first animals to die when an ecosystem is in poor health. After merging with sustainable agriculture organization UTZ last year, we wanted to reinvent our logo to reflect the dynamism of the newly merged organization to reflect our role as a global leader in sustainability. We began to think of the frog not as a victim but more as a leader—after all, frogs also show us when an ecosystem is in good health by their abundant presence. The artists at Futerra did thousands of renderings of our frog, and what you see now is a much sleeker, more actively engaged and alert amphibian that we all love already.