WHAT DOES ALL THE HUMANITARIAN WORK HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH WILDLIFE?
I am a designer. The kind who makes things that look good. But also the kind who was trained to listen to people, design for their needs, and co-create solutions with the people who will use the products and services we create.
My first design challenge took me to Guatemala in 2010, at a time when Lake Atitlán bloomed with toxic cyanobacteria. It was the first time I stood as a bridge between the scientists treating the problem and the communities who lived in the region and wanted to help, but didn’t know how. They found themselves working toward a common goal, but their competing approaches often stunted the overall progress.
After Guatemala, I spent many years helping organizations working in humanitarian aid and poverty alleviation to better understand the people they serve.
Today I do much the same, working to bridge wildlife conservation leaders and the people they need to reach. Organizations who embrace design, whether they are non profits or even large multinational companies, benefit greatly from design because it helps them understand their users. In wildlife conservation, the users can be farmers struggling with elephants eating their crops or the general public that doesn’t have constant interaction with the wild and can be confused by which actions need to be taken to protect our planet.
I am here to support the amazing work that wildlife conservation organizations are already doing, and augment it by supporting the relationships they have with the public and the communities on the ground who coexist with wildlife on a daily basis.
Now today, and always, I will be a designer for wild animals.