Archive for September, 2019

Annie Leonard – Greenpeace USA Executive Director/Story of Stuff creator- a closer look

Wednesday, September 25th, 2019

Happy Wednesday! This week, we’re taking a closer look at Annie Leonard, the founder of the Story of Stuff Project. Annie Leonard is a tireless fighter for the environment and a longtime leader in the movement to change the way we make, use, and throw away Stuff. She has been the Executive Director of Greenpeace USA since 2014.

After interning at the National Wildlife Federation, Leonard began working with Greenpeace on a campaign to ban international waste dumping, traveling around the world to track garbage and hazardous waste sent from developed to less developed countries. “I was sneaking into the factories where it was being disposed, interviewing the workers, taking hair samples and soil samples to prove the environmental health harm,” she later explained in an interview with Cornell University.


She later testified to Congress on the topic of international waste trafficking. The work of Greenpeace and other organizations led to the 1992 Basel Convention, an international treaty to protect less developed countries from the dumping of hazardous waste by transnational corporations based in developed countries.

Leonard has over two decades of experience investigating and explaining the environmental and social impacts of our stuff: where it comes from, how it gets to us, and where it goes after we get rid of it. Her film, The Story of Stuff, blossomed into The Story of Stuff Project, which works to empower people around the globe to fight for a more sustainable and just future. The project has built a community of over half a million people and released 8 more videos since The Story of Stuff, which have been viewed over 40 million times and been incorporated into countless school and faith curricula. Simon & Schuster published Leonard’s New York Times bestselling book, The Story of Stuff, which takes a deeper dive into the issues of the film.


A hallmark of Leonard’s work with The Story of Stuff Project has been her keen recognition that solving environmental crises requires working across a wide range of movements to fix economic and political systems that are currently dominated by corporations at the expense of people’s health.

Let us know if you’d like to bring Annie Leonard to speak to your organization, campus, or conference!


—And that is the story for this week! Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with the latest from all of our speakers, scientists and change makers!



Climate Change- Special Edition: a closer look

Tuesday, September 17th, 2019

Happy Tuesday!  We’re going a day early.


This week, instead of looking at one speaker specifically, we’re going to look three of our speakers whose work involves climate change related issues. Remember, this Friday, Sept. 20, is the beginning of the Global Climate Strike, and Boston in general (and our office in particular) will observe it by closing for the day (emergency services always available!).

Michael Mann is a climate scientist and the head of the Earth Science Systems Center at Penn State. His work contributed to the International Panel on Climate Change, and the group’s efforts were recognized with a Nobel Peace Prize. His research analyzes current and historical climate patterns, and led to the well-known ‘hockey stick’ chart that shows the impact of human carbon emissions on the climate.

Sandra Steingraber’s work as a biologist (and activist) looks more specifically at the here and now- in particular, how the sources of our energy are extracted and used at the cost of human health. Fracking increases the amount of leaked methane into the atmosphere (a much more impactful ‘greenhouse gas’ than carbon dioxide). It allows cancer causing chemicals to leach into the water table. And, as the folks in Massachusetts’s Merrimack Valley will tell you, it’s not particularly safe, either.


Robert Bullard views climate change through his training as a sociologist. His decades of research have reveals dozens of ways in which environmental impacts affect communities of color the hardest. From incinerators located in poorer neighborhoods to the failure to protect these neighborhoods from repeated flood damage (Houston, New Orleans, etc.) it is the people without the economic power to fight back that pay the heaviest price. For Dr. Bullard, climate change is already starting to impact communities in low-lying regions of the US, and contributes to the tensions on our southern border.


While all three view the problem very differently, what they share in common is this; the knowledge that the house is on fire and we’re not doing nearly enough about it.


Please contact us any time for more information on these speakers or anyone else on our exclusive roster. Just not this Friday, please.


—And that is the story for this week! Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with the latest from all of our speakers, scientists and change makers



Novelist Carolina De Robertis – a closer look

Wednesday, September 11th, 2019

Happy Wednesday! Today, we are going to take a closer look at novelist/translator Carolina De Robertis, whose newest novel CANTORAS has just been released.


A writer of Uruguayan origins, Carolina De Robertis is the author of the novels The Gods of Tango, Perla, and the international bestseller The Invisible Mountain. Her books have been translated into seventeen languages, and have been named Best Books of the Year in venues including the San Francisco Chronicle, O, The Oprah Magazine, BookList, and NBC. She is the recipient of a Stonewall Book Award, Italy’s Rhegium Julii Prize, and a 2012 fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, among other honors.


She is also an award-winning translator of Latin American and Spanish literature, and editor of the anthology Radical Hope: Letters of Love and Dissent in Dangerous Times, which features essays by leading thinkers and writers in response to the shifting political atmosphere in the U.S. In 2017, the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts named De Robertis on its 100 List of “people, organizations, and movements that are shaping the future of culture.” She teaches fiction and literary translation at San Francisco State University, and lives in Oakland, California, with her wife and two children.


CANTORAS has already been receiving incredible reviews! The New York Times Book Review review of CANTORAS has posted online! Reviewer Dina Nayeri, writes: “‘Cantoras’ is bold and unapologetic, a challenge to the notion of ‘normalcy’ and a tribute to the power of love, friendship and political resistance. It’s a revolutionary fable, ideal for this moment, offered with wisdom and care. De Robertis takes us inside a repressive regime during a time of global revolution and social discord much like our own.” The full review can be found online here!


Entertainment Weekly included CANTORAS in their roundup of “20 New Books to Read in September,” which can be found online here;


Fodor’s included CANTORAS in a roundup of “16 Books to Inspire Your Travels This Fall,” which can be found online here;


The Millions included CANTORAS in their weekly “New Release Tuesday” feature, which can be found online here;


BookRiot included CANTORAS in a very fun feature – “September 2019 Horoscopes and Book Recommendations,” which can be found online here;


Let us know if you’d like to bring Carolina De Robertis to speak to your organization, campus, or conference!


—And that is the story for this week! Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with the latest from all of our speakers, scientists and change makers





Stormchaser Warren Faidley – a closer look

Wednesday, September 4th, 2019

Happy Wednesday! This week, we are all thinking about that people of the Bahamas and the devastation they have experienced, and the folks along the East Coast who wait to see what Hurricane Dorian will bring. With this in mind, we’re going to take a closer look at the ORIGINAL storm chaser, Warren Faidley!

Warren Faidley is a prize-winning photojournalist, adventurer and disaster survival expert. He is officially credited as the first, professional storm chasing photojournalist. His expertise has been sought by insurance companies, Fortune 500 companies, and other institutions around the country.


Warren and his images have appeared worldwide in National Geographic, The Weather Channel, the BBC, Discovery Channel, CNN, Fox News and many more. His photography has also been used for advertising and promotional work for Paul McCartney, Universal Pictures, Sheryl Crow, MTV, The NFL, NASCAR, Warner Bros., and thousands of books, editorial publications, television and social media outlets. A Google search under his unique name shows an average of over 60,000 references.

Pursuing thousands of individual thunderstorms, tropical cyclones and assorted natural disasters, Warren has survived a mind-numbing number of extreme and deadly situations, including hurricanes winds of 165 mph, tornadoes, lightning bolts, rattle snakes, gunfire, swarming spiders and even angry farmers with rusty pitch forks. Warren began his pursuits at age 12 when he was carried away and nearly killed by a flash flood. A few weeks later he was riding his bike in to the core of violent dust devils.



In 1997 he captured the first tornado ever shot on motion picture film. He was a consultant for the motion picture Twister and serves as a disaster survival expert for corporate and media interests. Warren often provides live reports for news media and public safety outlets. He also serves as a volunteer search and rescue / EMS operator. The media often refers to Warren as “America’s Top Storm Chaser.”



Warren has been an advocate for responsible storm chasing, including a successful mission to expose “fake storm chasing scientists.”

Let us know if you’d like to bring Warren Faidley to speak to your organization, campus, or conference!


—And that is the story for this week! Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with the latest from all of our speakers, scientists and change makers