Hannah Doress is Vice President of The Breaking News Network and Producer of the Beta-stage Climate News Network. She helps agencies, advocacy organizations and others leverage the power of breaking news and social media. Through Hannah Doress Events / Word Out Consulting, she consults on full spectrum promotion and partnership development for events and campaigns. She co-founded Shore Up Marin, a multiracial sea level rise coalition, produced four Earth Day Marin Festivals and two Days of Action on Climate & Sustainability Solutions, and is a Senior Fellow of the Environmental Leadership Program. Learn more about her work here.
How did you become involved in your current career?
My current work using communications, social media, partnerships and events to make climate relevant, empower diverse communities and drive support for solutions was inspired by my mother’s work. Her collective of 12 women formed to make women’s health information accessible and eventually published the international best seller, Our Bodies, Ourselves. We face similar challenges in making environmental information accessible for the public. I love my work with cross-sector organizations to communicate and collaborate with diverse communities and stakeholders in a resonant, relevant, reciprocal and actionable way.
What environmental issues are of most concern to you?
We need to take a more rapid and diversified approach to implementing cross-sector climate solutions. I wholeheartedly support mitigation strategies like renewables and efficiency. We can’t solve our climate challenges without putting equal emphasis on methods to sequester greenhouse gases (preferably win-win natural ones such as carbon farming) and efforts to adapt and shift infrastructure and prepare communities for rising sea levels and other climate impacts.
What do you think are some challenges and opportunities facing women in the environmental movement today?
It’s exciting to see how much progress there has been in growing women’s environmental leadership. We are still digging out from historical inequities that prevented our mothers and some of us accessing the best science education and opportunities. Many of us face subtle and not so subtle social bias at work and even in public events. Because men so often hold the reins of power we are often faced with tough choices about when and how to address inequities. We all benefit from supporting each other to prevent and address these dynamics. One thought would be for WEN to educate the environmental community on gender equity. We might do this through publishing best practices, writing for external blogs / publications, offering panels for conferences or producing collaborative events with other organizations. We can also leverage our leadership to shift workplaces and communities towards skill-sets and values traditionally seen as female, such as emotional intelligence, collaboration, inclusion, long-term sustainability and systems perspectives.
What are your suggestions on how WEN members can become more involved in your sector and the environmental movement?
Many of us work on multiple environmental issues at once, move from one subspecialty to another, and occupy multiple types of roles over our careers. Therefore we can benefit from learning from each other about different subject areas and roles.
I recommend staying abreast of what’s working across diverse fields and sectors to stay ahead of the curve. I use Twitter, among other tools, to track and cultivate key thought-leaders in climate solutions, social media, collaboration, communications psychology, etc., and I attend conferences with high quality messaging and technical content such as Netroots Nation.
If you’re interested in learning more about the areas I’ve mentioned, or getting my take on your communications, outreach, advocacy, or marketing efforts, please don’t hesitate to call (415) 450-0110 or email me.
Thank you to all who dedicate their time to WEN and to supporting greater opportunity for all in environmental fields.