Whole Foods Chief, John Mackey: Amazon, Environmental Insights

Whole Foods Chief, John Mackey: Amazon, Environmental Insights

Why did John Mackey, the CEO of Whole Foods make such an unexpected and rapid deal with Amazon this month? Alison van Diggelen’s recent conversation with Mackey reveals a glimpse inside the head of this provocative and feisty leader.

Days after my interview with John Mackey at the Commonwealth Club on May 1st, he began a courtship with Amazon that led to an agreed acquisition of Whole Foods by the global commerce giant. The courtship is something Mackey describes as “truly love at first sight.” Our conversation took place as news circulated of a potential bid by Albertsons grocery chain and reveals some of the motivations behind Mackey running so fast into the arms of Amazon.

During our tumultuous conversation – we were interrupted several times by angry PETA protesters – we also discuss his book “The Whole Foods Diet”; how a PETA member helped change his views on animal products; and what he thinks is the most environmentally conscious single act we should all do.

“How many of you are parents out there? So what wouldn’t you do for your children? You’d do almost anything wouldn’t you? That’s how I feel about Whole Foods….it’s my child, I love it. I’ve given almost 40 years of my life to nurture and develop it. There’s almost nothing I’d not do to protect it, to help it to flourish.” John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods 

Listen to the podcast: (this segment starts @55:45)

Here’s a transcript of our conversation, edited for length and clarity:

Alison van Diggelen: As a public company, how can you balance long term goals such as healthy eating with short term goals like maximizing profits for this quarter?

John Mackey: Whole Foods now has shareholder activists who want to force us to sell the company. The very short term profit mentality has entered into our shareholder base. Whole Foods has always had this purposeful long term perspective. We’re now faced with the biggest challenge in the history of our company. Can we stay independent to fulfill our mission or are we going to be sold out to the highest bidder for short term gains? Stay tuned…

Alison van Diggelen: Is Whole Foods something that you are personally attached to forever? Do you anticipate on your deathbed you’ll still be CEO of Whole Foods?

John Mackey: I hope not. I’ll be dead pretty soon. (laughter)

Alison van Diggelen: Do you have a retirement plan in place?

John Mackey: I’m moving to Florida… No! I haven’t taken any compensation at all from the company for 10 years. I’m doing it because I just love it. It’s the purpose of my life. I’m a servant leader. I’m just trying to serve Whole Foods and help it to prosper.

How many of you are parents out there? So what wouldn’t you do for your children? You’d do almost anything wouldn’t you? That’s how I feel about Whole Foods….it’s my child, I love it. I’ve given almost 40 years of my life to nurture and develop it. There’s almost nothing I’d not do to protect it, to help it to flourish. However, there comes a time when daddy has to leave and that time is not yet, I hope…

Alison van Diggelen: So you’re going to hang on to it till…

John Mackey: I’m not hanging on to it…If it’s appropriate, what my heart calls me to do, I’ll continue to lead it. There will come a time when it’s not appropriate any longer and I believe I’ll have the wisdom and the grace to recognize it and I’ll leave. But I don’t think that time is right now.

Continue listening to the podcast to discover Mackey’s tips for entrepreneurs, how Whole Foods was almost destroyed by a flood; and his challenge to Nobel Prize winning economist, Milton Friedman.

Other highlights:

On environmentalism (@55:00 in the podcast) :

If people think of themselves as environmentalists, that would entail completely eliminating the consumption of animal foods. That’s the most environmentally conscious single act you could do.

On how Mackey reconciles libertarian stance with government action on climate change (@57:00 in the podcast)

We need government regulations. The government is the umpire that sets certain standards to make sure that we have a good society. I’m not an anarchist…I believe in government that’s well defined and stays within its appropriate boundaries. Certainly setting environmental standards is a very important function of good and responsible government. It’s always a matter of what standards, to what degree.

Alison van Diggelen: Do feel part of the role of the president is to advocate for action on climate change?

John Mackey: When I go out in public that there are really four topics I try to not to talk about: politics, religion, sex or GMOs. You’re guaranteed to make people angry. I can’t afford any more protesters wherever I go.

Find out more

NPR’s How Will Things Change For Shoppers After Amazon Buys Whole Foods?

Love at first sight – Analysis by Fortune

Patagonia’s Yvon Chouinard: Saving National Monuments, The Planet

Patagonia’s Yvon Chouinard: Saving National Monuments, The Planet

Patagonia’s Yvon Chouinard calls himself a “benevolent dictator” who levies a 1% “Earth Tax” from his company to fund environmental activism. Currently Patagonia is funding a campaign to protect Bears Ears National Monument, now under threat from President Trump’s executive order this week.

Alison van Diggelen, host of Fresh Dialogues sat down with this revered pioneer of environmental responsibility. Chouinard explains how a Scottish rugby shirt inspired his Patagonia business; why he believes regenerative agriculture could save the planet; and what he’s doing to ensure Patagonia’s environmental mission continues after he dies. Chouinard’s book: “Let my people go surfing” is an attempt to challenge business as usual and the culture of conspicuous consumption. The interview took place at the Heritage Theater in Silicon Valley in October, 2016.

Listen to this special Fresh Dialogues “Uncut” podcast:

 

Here are some highlights of the conversation:

On his 1% for the planet “Earth tax”

Yvon Chouinard: Your typical large corporation is out to make as much money as they can for the shareholders. And what the shareholders do with their profits is their business. We believe it should be done in the business as well. I believe in taxes. Especially the kind of taxes where you get to decide where the money goes. I think that’s called taxation with representation… So we just tax ourselves 1% of our sales – not our profits – 1% of revenue is given away to 900 different small activist organizations working to save our planet.

On Private vs public ownership

Alison van Diggelen: You’ve said that your stock holders are ‘the people of the planet’

Yvon Chouinard: That’s right. When you’re CEO of a public company you have no power. Your board, your stockholders tell you what to do. I can do whatever I feel like. We’re sole owners. We can make quick decisions, be a lot more efficient, move quickly. I would never think of becoming a public corporation….I’m a dictator…

Alison van Diggelen: A generous dictator?

Yvon Chouinard: The most effective form of government is probably a benevolent dictator. Things get done. Look at American politics. The best you can ever achieve is a compromise. And compromise never solves the problem. It leaves both sides feeling cheated.

Alison van Diggelen: What else have you been able to do because you’re a private company and you have this “dictatorship”?

Yvon Chouinard: [Laughter] It’s all through the company. There’s no boss looking over your shoulder. It’s a level society throughout the whole company. Outside the company we’re getting to be very visible. I can’t believe the power we have. We’re getting invited to the White House all the time to advise on policy (under President Obama).

On Patagonia’s business conflict: making money vs saving the planet

Yvon Chouinard:  I’d say buying a jacket from us causes less harm to the environment than buying a jacket from another company that doesn’t put all the thought and processes causing the least amount of harm. For instance, we only use organically grown cotton. That’s fine. Growing cotton organically causes less harm but it doesn’t do the world any good. It still causes the world a lot of harm. That’s why I decided to go into the food business. I want to go beyond organic foods, organic cotton to what’s called regenerative agriculture. The difference is, regenerative agriculture builds soil and captures carbon.

And so now I have to go to my cotton farmers – who supply us with cotton – and say: you can’t plow any more because every time you plow, it releases all the carbon you’ve captured back into the air. So agriculture is one of the biggest causes of global warming so it’s probably the biggest thing we can do to save this planet. I’m really excited about this. I think it’s our only hope to regulate the climate. We’re not going to do it any other way. Agriculture has a chance of sequestering so much carbon out of the air through changing our grazing practices and our farming practices; and basically going back to the old way of doing things. And that’s what gets me excited.

On Being a Reluctant Businessman

Yvon Chouinard: I never wanted to be a business man. I was a craftsman. I just happened to come up with ideas that people wanted. I love working with my hands. I slowly got trapped…I had no desire to get rich. I’ve done a lot of climbing on every continent and became aware of all the destruction to natural world…I decided to use my resources, which is my business, to do something about the natural world. That’s the reason we’re in business.

On the Scottish inspiration for Patagonia

Yvon Chouinard: I was in the business of making climbing equipment…I came to Scotland to climb Ben Nevis and saw a rugby shirt in department store in Edinburgh. Back then, active sportswear was basically grey flannel sweatshirts and pants. Men didn’t wear colorful sports clothes. It had a blue body, yellow stripes. I was wearing it around Yosemite, everyone said, ‘Woah!’ A light went off…I imported a few. I said, maybe I’ll get into the clothing business.

On Steve Jobs, Apple and influencing businesses to be green

Yvon Chouinard: We’re influencing small companies, not large companies. A lot of the green stuff is green washing

Alison van Diggelen: Do you feel Apple’s efforts are green washing?

Yvon Chouinard: Absolutely – it’s like that with every large corporation. They’ll pick the low hanging fruit, but when it starts getting a little tougher…They’ll do the things that turn into more profits, but when you really have to knuckle down and be truly responsible, they’re not going to do it.

Alison van Diggelen: What’s been your biggest influence in greening the world? Business side or consumers?

Yvon Chouinard: Young people. I wrote this book “Let my people go surfing” – that has gone around in 9 languages and that has influenced a lot of young people and small companies are really paying attention. The idea of changing large corporations is pretty naive of me.

On Patagonia’s business philosophy

Yvon Chouinard: I never liked authority, I never liked telling people what to do. We decided to do it in our own style. That’s the title of my book “Let My People Go Surfing.”  I don’t care when you work as long as you get your work done. You go when the surf’s up. Not next Tuesday at 2 o’clock. So it’s affected our management style. It’s created a way of managing a business so that we’re not tied down. We don’t drag our butts to work every day. We skip up the stairs two steps at a time. You don’t have to do it like everyone else. We don’t hire MBAs; we don’t have advertising agencies. We do most things ourselves because we can’t trust other companies to do it.

Alison van Diggelen: Beyond your lifetime, how will you ensure Patagonia keep the environment central to its mission?

Yvon Chouinard: We’ve become a B-corporation company… In a B-corporation you can put down what your values are and they have to be values that are good for the planet, good for society.

Alison van Diggelen: Will your son or daughter stay at the helm?

Yvon Chouinard: I don’t know…I have no idea what’s going to happen after I’m dead.

Alison van Diggelen: Are you grooming them to do so?

Yvon Chouinard: Yeah, they are slowly taking over more responsibility, absolutely. My daughter is head of sportswear design right now and my son is on the board. They both have the same values that my wife and I have.

Alison van Diggelen: One last question: going back to Scotland – John Muir, I know he’s been an inspiration to you. Do you have a favorite quote or inspiration from him?

Yvon Chouinard: [laughter] When I was a climber, it was John Muir and Emerson, Thoreau and the transcendentalists, philosophers which had a different attitude to climbing mountains than say the Europeans did, which was to conquer the mountains and our attitude was: you climb them and leave no trace of having been there.

Listen to my report on Chouinard and consumerism on the BBC World Service (starts @16:00 on the podcast)

Here are Fresh Dialogues Transcript & Highlights of my BBC Report

Want to hear more interviews and reports: Subscribe to Fresh Dialogues on iTunes

This is the second in the series: Fresh Dialogues Uncut

The “Uncut” series launched with an in-depth interview with Google’s Dave Burke

BBC Report: Patagonia Founder On Why Business Needs a Healthy Environment

BBC Report: Patagonia Founder On Why Business Needs a Healthy Environment

By Alison van Diggelen, host of Fresh Dialogues

Why should businesses even care about a healthy environment? That’s a fundamental issue for Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia, the outdoor clothing company. Chouinard and Patagonia are respected by many environmentalists who credit them for putting this philosophy into practice:

“Fundamentally, businesses are responsible to their resource base. Without a healthy environment there are no shareholders, no employees, no customers and no business. Our mission is to use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis” Yvon Chouinard, Patagonia

Chouinard is putting his money where his mouth is with a generous company “Earth Tax” devoted to environmental activism. He explained to me how he’s inspired young people and companies to protect the environment.

Nevertheless, Patagonia is arguably fighting a losing battle, especially at Christmas time, when rampant consumerism is in full swing. Here’s my latest BBC report that explores the contrast between Patagonia’s priorities and that of Silicon Valley shoppers who just want “more stuff” and wouldn’t dream of being seen twice in the same dress (dahling!)

This week, as the pro-business, “to hell with the environment” Trump administration prepares to take power, I plan to launch a new series of interviews. My aim is to profile leaders and organizations that are making the environment and climate change action a priority; and are standing up to Trump’s anti-science, anti-environment recklessness.

My report aired on BBC Business Matters on December 23rd.  The segment starts at 16:00 on the BBC podcast.

Here’s a transcript of the segment (edited for length and clarity) and a longer version of the report:

BBC Host, Roger Hearing: Alison, I know you’ve been looking at all this…the commercialization of Christmas…I imagine where you are in California, there are a lot of people being pushed into buying things they might not want to? I gather you’ve been investigating…

Alison van Diggelen: Absolutely. I had a rare interview with Yvon Chouinard…he’s the founder of Patagonia, the sustainable outdoor clothing company and is revered by many environmentalists. Chouinard explained to me why his company wants to minimize its impact on the environment and inspire other businesses to do the same. I visited one of Silicon Valley’s busiest malls to see if this green message is resonating with consumers.

[Music: Walking in a Winter Wonderland at Valley Fair Mall]

Alison van Diggelen: I’m here in the mall and there’s a tangible sense of stress as Christmas fast approaches. Shoppers crowd their favorite stores, cell phone lists in one hand, fistfuls of bags in the other. Exhausted mothers and fathers are pushing prams, groups of teenagers maraud the aisles, laughing and posing for photos.

I’m right by the “North Pole” and Santa is waving to wide-eyed children, surrounded by about a dozen Christmas trees with twinkling lights and red baubles. A baby took one look at Santa and started crying. There’s a sickly sweet smell of cinnamon and pumpkin spice in the air. People are looking for bargains: quantity not quality. For many shoppers, “the environment” is the last thing on their minds.

Eggnog gal: There are a little bit of Grinches…but that comes with Christmas. They’re very angry and hostile and they just want to get in the mall, get everything they want and leave. Maybe it’s just the crowds, the financial burden. Maybe they’re just not in the holiday spirit this year.

Young mom: My son’s closet looks like Beyonce’s…it just has so much clothing in it. I love children’s clothing and I buy him so so much. He’s two and a half and he’s so cute! [laughter]

Teen: I just feel like, if I wear a dress once, people see me wear it, like I’d rather have a new dress…something else people can see me in. I’d rather have more stuff than just like one really expensive thing.

Alison van Diggelen: This “wear once” mentality is abhorrent to Yvon Chouinard, who’s notorious for wearing the same flannel shirt for over 20 years. His company, Patagonia is known for its sustainable outdoor clothing. As a founding member of the “One Percent for the Planet” organization, it donates one percent of its sales (not just profits) to environmental causes.

Alison van Diggelen: You’ve impacted so many businesses. Steve Jobs once called you to “green” Apple?

Yvon Chouinard: We’re influencing small companies, not large companies. A lot of the green stuff is green washing.

Alison van Diggelen: Do you feel Apple’s efforts are green washing?

Yvon Chouinard: Absolutely – it’s like that with every large corporation. They’ll pick the low hanging fruit, but when it starts getting a little bit tougher…They’ll do the things that turn into more profits, but when you really have to knuckle down and be truly responsible, they’re not going to do it.

Alison van Diggelen: What do you feel has been your biggest influence in greening the world? The business or consumer side?

Yvon Chouinard: Young people. I wrote this book “Let my people go surfing” that has gone around in nine languages and that has influenced a lot of young people and small companies are really paying attention.  The idea of changing large corporations is pretty naive of me.

Alison van Diggelen: I spoke with Jesse Simons of the Sierra Club, an environmental group founded by Scottish naturalist John Muir. He praises Patagonia’s eco leadership but feels it could do more…

Jesse Simons: I’d like to see Patagonia go “all in” on their work on clean energy (and follow Apple’s lead by) committing to 100% clean energy and doing it all the way up the supply chain to ensure that every piece of clothing, zippers, everything are coming from a manufacturing site powered by the wind, the sun and the earth.

Alison van Diggelen: Gary Cook at Greenpeace credits Patagonia’s efforts against our “throw away culture” with its “don’t buy this jacket” campaign and its repair and recycling services. But he points to the company’s continued use of toxic chemicals and he’d like to see them eliminated from its supply chain.

Although Patagonia is seen to be raising the bar on corporate sustainability practices, its prices are out of reach for many consumers. Back at the mall, I spoke with another bargain hunter…

Diana V: We went to check out the Patagonia store in Reno, Nevada and couldn’t find anything for under $100, so we left…We’re just being very cautious right now with our money. Waiting to see what happens with our economy and our national political situation.

End of Report

Bonus material 

This part of our interview didn’t make the final cut:

On Patagonia doing more

Sierra Club’s Jesse Simons: I’d like to see them (Patagonia) work with other outdoor industry brands to show them how it actually makes biz sense to stand up to bad trade deals. It would be great to see them take their leadership and use it to get other companies to similarly pay a living wage, take care of the environment in countries where they’re manufacturing their goods, so that they can feel good about saying no to bad trade deals.

Chouinard talks on Earth Tax, Agriculture and Death (I’ll post the full interview here soon for your listening pleasure)

A: Tell me about your trip to Scotland in 1970 – why was that the inspiration for Patagonia clothing?

Y: I was in business of making climbing equipment. I came to Scotland to climb Ben Nevis and saw a rugby shirt in Dept store in Edinburgh. At that time, active sportswear was basically grey flannel sweatshirts, pants. Men didn’t wear colorful sports clothes. It had a blue body, yellow stripes. I was wearing it around Yosemite, everyone said “Woah!” A light went off…I imported a few…I said, maybe I’ll get into the clothing business.

A: Tell me about that 1% for the planet? An earth tax?

Y: Your typical large corporation is out to make as much money as they can for the shareholders. And what the shareholders do with their profits is their biz. We believe it should be done in the business as well.

I believe in taxes. Especially the kind of taxes where you get to decide where the money goes. So we just tax ourselves 1% of our sales – not our profits – 1% of revenue given away to 900 different small activist organizations working to save our planet.

A: Some people say there’s a conflict here: you are an environmental company. You’re saying: save the planet but at the same time, you’re saying: buy our products. You have to make your products, you have to sell your products. You have to make a profit in order to stay in business. Otherwise you go belly up. So talk about that conflict between being a company, a business and doing good for the planet.

Y: Well, to put a spin on it. I’d say buying a jacket from us causes less harm to the environment than buying a jacket from another company that doesn’t put all the thought and processes causing the least amount of harm. For instance, we only use organically grown cotton. That’s fine. Growing cotton organically causes less harm but it doesn’t do the world any good. It still causes the world a lot of harm. That’s why I decided to go into the food business. I want to go beyond organic foods, organic cotton to what’s called regenerative agriculture. The difference is, regenerative agriculture builds soil and captures carbon. And so now I have to go to my cotton farmers – who supply us with cotton – and say: you can’t plow any more because every time you plow, it releases all the carbon you’ve captured back into the air. So agriculture is one of the biggest causes of global warming so it’s probably the biggest thing we can do to save this planet.

A: So is that going to be a major focus for Patagonia?

Y: It’s a major focus for me, that’s for sure. I’m really excited about this. I think it’s our only hope to regulate the climate. We’re not going to do it any other way. Agriculture has a chance of sequestering so much carbon out of the air through changing our grazing practices and our farming practices; and basically going back to the old way of doing things. And that’s what gets me excited.

A: Tell me about the long term future. How are you going to make sure, beyond your lifetime, that Patagonia keeps the environment central to its mission.

Y: We’ve become a B-corporation company. That’s different than a regular corporation. In a B-corporation you can put down what your values are and they have to be values that are good for the planet, good for society. So the way the law states: if I die tomorrow, the stock is in a trust and this trust would have 8 years to divest 80% of that because the law doesn’t want you to have all your stock, your foundation have all your stock in one corporation. (In) a B-corp you wouldn’t necessarily have to do that and we wouldn’t have to sell to the highest bidder which would be to go public. All the laws force you to go public, pretty much…we wouldn’t have to do that

A: But would it keep the environment central to its mission?

Y: That’s part of the values that we’ve inculcated in our charter, under being a B-corporation.

A: Will your son or daughter stay at the helm?

Y: I don’t know…I have no idea what’s going to happen after I’m dead.

A: Are you grooming them to do so?

Y: Yeah, they are slowly taking over more responsibility, absolutely. My daughter is head of sportswear design right now and my son is on the board. They both have the same values that my wife and I have.

A: One last question: going back to Scotland – John Muir, I know he’s been an inspiration to you. Do you have a favorite quote or inspiration from him?

Y: (laughter) When I was a climber, it was John Muir and Emerson, Thoreau and the transcendentalists, philosophers which had a different attitude to climbing mountains than say the Europeans did, which was to conquer the mountains; and our attitude was you climb them and leave no trace of having been there.

BBC Conversation: Alibaba’s Jack Ma has a green mission

BBC Conversation: Alibaba’s Jack Ma has a green mission

By Alison van Diggelen, host of Fresh Dialogues

Jack Ma may be the richest man in China, but he’s also one of the greenest. Or is headed in that direction. He has commented publicly on China’s serious pollution and said that it’s a problem that “must be solved.” The Ma man is putting his money where his mouth is (see below for details).

Since 2009 he’s served as the Chairman of the Board on the Nature Conservancy’s China program and says, “Our challenge is to help more people to make healthy money, “sustainable money,” money that is not only good for themselves but also good for the society.”

So what’s behind Jack Ma’s environmental conscience? With vast wealth comes the ability to take a longer term view of the world:

“Most companies, when they’re doing good, they enjoy today’s wonderful life. They don’t worry about five years later—but I worry about five years later,” says Jack Ma. “I think one thing’s for sure — China’s environment will get better in 10 or 20 years. Business people like myself are beginning to pay attention to social issues including the environment and taking action and really treating this issue very seriously. And we’re doing it not for P.R. reasons, but because we know it is important. We know it is serious and that if we don’t take action, it will hurt ourselves, our children and our families.”

Here’s a transcript:

McDowall: Our guest is Business Matters regular, Alison van Diggelen. Among her many talents, Alison is an acclaimed interviewer and is host of the Fresh Dialogues series, which you can find online, and which features experts on green technology, sustainable enterprise, celebrities and inspirational women… Alison, good afternoon to you in the Golden State. Can we talk for a minute about Alibaba? What do you make of this chap Jack Ma?

van Diggelen: Well I’m quite impressed by Jack Ma. Jack Ma has a green mission, a Fresh Dialogues report

Of course, I’m always looking for the environmental, green angle as you mentioned earlier Mike. And he’s probably made enough money for a small country to live on, so he’s really turning his attention to the environment. He’s actually a major player in putting the attention on China’s environment. Its really bad: air pollution, water pollution. So I understand he’s putting 0.3% of the revenues from Alibaba into environmental causes, which I say: three cheers to that! (Reuters reports Alibaba’s revenues were $2.4Bn in the last quarter).

McDowall: Point three percent? Mind you, the revenues are enormous.

van Diggelen: Yes, absolutely. That’s probably a good tranche of money there.

McDowall: So he’s obviously someone we’re going to be seeing a lot more of in the future. He appears to be keen to raise his profile internationally. He’s obviously very well known in China and you know, ringing the bell on Wall Street…Yahoo was a big investor. We’re going to be seeing a lot more of this guy.

van Diggelen:  I think a lot of people…the froth and the excitement…part of the reason for that is that it’s an opportunity for global investors to buy into China’s growth and as everyone knows that is just poised to keep growing. I think only half of the Chinese population is online, so there’s a lot of growth potential there.

McDowall: Sure. We’ll keep watching….

Keep listening to our conversation as we discuss: The Scottish referendum, Larry Ellison’s retirement and why the Ig Nobel Prizes will make you laugh, then make you think.

You can listen to other Fresh Dialogues BBC Conversations here where we discuss: the future of driverless cars, Apple’s green credentials, Tesla’s new gigafactory and many more topics.

 

Competition: Fresh Dialogues Doing For Drought

Competition: Fresh Dialogues Doing For Drought

California is in its worst drought since 1977. Some say it’s the worst in a century.

Reservoirs are only a third full. Rainfall totals were about 40 percent of normal last winter. Farmers are pumping groundwater to keep crops alive. Wildfire risk is extremely high. And wildlife is in danger as creeks run dry.

Although some people are saving water, (even refusing to shower) much more could be done!

What are YOU doing to help save water? What do you think should be done to save water?

Have YOUR voice heard by sharing your top tips and creating awareness…

WIN the Fresh Dialogues #DoingForDrought Competition

Let's talk about droughtTop Prize:

* Winner will receive a Fresh Dialogues Drought Hero Award and be interviewed and featured on Fresh Dialogues YouTube Channel next to top green influencers like Elon Musk, Tom Friedman and Meryl Streep.

*He or she will get to meet an influential green industry leader.

* The winning video will be featured on Fresh Dialogues and will help influence water use in California and may also help shape water policy both here and around the world!

Honorable Mention Prizes:

*Each will receive a Fresh Dialogues Drought Hero Award

* Each video will be featured as “honorable mentions” on Fresh Dialogues.

FAQs

1. What’s the plan?

Make a short #DoingForDrought video (2 minutes max) on YouTube and mark it public. It could feature an interview with a family member, friend, or local business owner who is affected by the drought,  or it could be just you, telling the world what you’re doing for the drought.  If you don’t have a YouTube channel, use a friend’s channel or set one up, it’s easy.

OR

Make a #DoingForDrought poster illustrating what you’re doing or what you think should be done.

2. Then what?

Send us a link to your video or send us a jpg of your poster using our contact page with your name, email and hometown.

3. Does it cost to enter?

No. It’s a free competition, open to all.

Fresh Dialogues Doing for Drought 4. What’s the Deadline?

Competition starts today and ends Friday October 10th, 2014

4. Who decides?

The winner and honorable mentions will be announced on Monday Oct 13th, 2014 by the Fresh Dialogues team. We will be looking for energetic and pithy messages. Be creative, be practical and most of all, have fun with it!

5. What else?

We encourage you to share the competition with friends and colleagues using the hashtag #DoingForDrought @FreshDialogues and share updates at Fresh Dialogues Facebook Page

6. Still got more questions?

Send us your burning questions using our contact page or on Facebook

Good luck!

Remember:

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead