I helped with one of CI’s biggest and most successful campaigns, Nature Is Speaking. Nature Is Speaking is a series of short videos launched on social media, portraying celebrities as a particular aspect of nature. For instance, Harrison Ford, a CI board member, plays the part of Ocean in Nature Is Speaking. He gives a voice to ocean, explaining what negative influences humankind has had on the ocean and why the ocean’s natural ecosystems are immensely important to the general wellbeing of the earth. These short videos are promoted in a variety of different places and aim to encourage humankind to be aware of our impact on the earth and its consequences. One of CI’s mottos that goes hand in hand with Nature Is Speaking is “Nature doesn’t need people, people need Nature.”
Conservation International currently has 8 Nature Is Speaking videos, and is working on a few more. Through my involvement in this campaign, I researched potential celebrities that would be a good fit to voice the future videos, celebrities that shared an interest in environmental conservation and could give time and energy to supporting CI and its work. CI is hoping to premier their newest Nature Is Speaking video at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) this December in Paris, an event in which CI has been specially asked to attend and take part in.
Another brand campaign that I worked with my supervisors with is the potential for CI to become involved in Global Citizen’s annual summer festival. I drafted a brief on this potential campaign, stating what CI’s goals would be in taking part in this festival and how we would do so most effectively. CI is constantly looking for different campaigns to participate in, in order to spread the CI brand and become more popular domestically.
I also had a summer intern project this summer, to which I devoted a lot of time and thought. I, along with 4 other interns, was given the assignment to come up with the best ways for CI to engage and activate the millennial population. This specific goal is not specific to CI, as a great deal of corporations and organizations are interested in appealing to this huge, important group of young people. We spent weeks researching millennials and the different types of millennials, as they are definitely not a monolith. We then brainstormed many ways that CI could activate these different millennial groups, as well as specific ways that CI could make these happen in the near future.
One of the biggest campaign ideas that we came up with was inspired by a group called Gear Up for a Greener Earth (GUGE). GUGE is a movement started by 4 recent college graduates at the beginning of this summer. These 4 boys decided to bike from Washington, DC, to Seattle, Washington in order to fundraise for CI and spread its mission and brand. GUGE chose CI as its beneficiary because they thought CI truly encapsulated environmental conservation and sustainable development. Upon hearing about this fundraiser, we realized that this cross-country bike trip sounded like an amazing experience and something that we were all interested in personally participating in, although maybe not quite to the same extent. Through this realization, we decided that a similar campaign, run be CI, could be extremely effective in raising awareness and activating millennials by allowing them to participate in an active, outdoor experience, all while raising money for the conservation of nature. We believe that, by pairing this outdoor adventure fundraiser with college CI brand ambassadors, CI could successfully appeal to young millennials, therefore increasing domestic brand awareness as well as fundraising for CI’s mission.
8 weeks at Conservation International flew by, and although I feel like I barely dipped my toe into CI’s work and operation, I know I learned a great deal about the environmental conservation world, as well as exploring my passion for environmental protection. It was a priceless experience to work with smart, engaging, active individuals all striving towards the overall betterment of nature, and I know I grew a tremendous amount in my short time at CI. Looking back at this amazing opportunity, I realized that I do want to pursue a career in environmentalism in my future, to continue to give back to nature. After all, people need nature to thrive.