It’s so easy to fall into the mindset that your job is the most important work in the whole world. Employed as a journalist? You are dedicating your career to uncovering the truth and preserving the freedom of the press! Work at a bank? You handle the money of the masses and are an integral part of how our economy functions. Manage a factory that makes those cardboard pizza boxes? You help keep one of the world’s greatest culinary treasures warm and safe and oh so delicious. But here at Island Press, I’m convinced my job might actually be one of the most important on the planet – because I’m working to save it.
During last year’s State of the Union address, President Obama declared “no challenge poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change.” Indeed, as we confront rising sea levels, skyrocketing temperatures, and geo-political uncertainty, it’s critical that humanity seize on the environmental opportunities of today to prepare for global stresses that will only grow as time goes on.
That’s where the Island Press Urban Resilience Project (or URP) comes in. Launched in 2013 with support from The Kresge Foundation and the JPB Foundation, the Urban Resilience Project’s goal is to imagine and inspire the sustainable, equitable, resilient cities of the future. My job as Online Marketing Manager is to develop and implement new forms of online and digital content delivery for URP. Working closely with thought leaders on everything from ecology to community development to green building, I help publish resilience-themed articles in media outlets such as The Guardian, Salon, and The Huffington Post. I also cultivate our terrific content into a variety of media forms: webinars, coursework with the U.S. Green Building Council education platform, and even an URP Flipboard e-magazine (definitely worth checking out). In addition to these efforts, I’m responsible for developing metrics and reports on the impact of online marketing content for Island Press as a whole. Need a feel-good story about the impact of our environmental work? I’m the guy to talk to.
The UN has predicted that by 2050, 66 percent of the world’s population will live in urban areas – a sobering reality that will no doubt put added strain on roads, housing, energy consumption, and infrastructure. We need these systems to be as resilient as possible. As URP helps grow the public’s understanding of urban resilience, however, it’s critical that we also take into account the human impact of our efforts. Economic, social, and environmental justice are incredibly intertwined. After all, what good is a clean planet if we don’t have happy, healthy humans around to enjoy it?
Both at my 9 to 5 desk job here at Island Press and in the wider world of resilience thinking, I’ve learned that today’s preparation determines tomorrow’s success. And I’m working to make it a greener, fairer tomorrow for everyone.
I want to hear from you! Are you working to improve your community? Have ideas about building a world that is sustainable and just? Consider collaborating with Island Press. If you are interested in partnering on short-form as part of our Urban Resilience Project, please reach out to email@example.com