Well done, Subaru!

There aren’t many so-called cause, social good, or CSR (corporate social responsibility) campaigns that suit my standards. Most such campaigns don’t pass a basic sniff test for corporate greenwash. But to coincide with the seasonal opening of the National Park system over Memorial Day weekend, Subaru launched a new integrated campaign and microsite, Zero Landfill, that’s a winner by any standard.

Why it’s good

Not to minimize the impact of the stunning images and production quality, here’s why the campaign works:

  • The history timeline demonstrates Subaru’s commitment to environmental responsibility through product stewardship, recycling, and zero waste — starting in 1989. (Bonus points because the timeline uses years and months in rings to echo the growth rings of a tree.) This classic “show, don’t tell” creative approach to demonstrate sustained commitment is the opposite of the common “cause of the year” bandwagons many companies jump on.
  • The integrated, multi-channel campaign engages you wherever you may be at the moment. So far I’ve bumped into the #DontFeedTheLandfills creative via TV advertising, tweets (including video), Facebook post, Pinterest pins, and Instagram.
  • Clicking the bright green “How can I help?” button in the lower left takes you to simple steps anyone can take to translate new-found awareness into actions that can make a difference for the National Parks.
  • There are no annoying pop-up windows, floating social icons, or overwhelming array of choices.”Get Involved” offers three options: updates via email, Twitter, and Facebook.

I may return to the #ZeroLandfill campaign as it evolves, but meanwhile, kudos for the campaign launch Subaru!



More on the Business Case for Gender Parity

I have come to value re:Work with Google as a solid source for new ways of thinking about “the future of work, people analytics, and how we can all make work better.” Check out this speaker’s video, The power of gender parity, (James Manyika, McKinsey & Company), from re:Work’s latest annual event.

If, as many believe, business is all about money, then the additional trillions of dollars projected for an improvement in the McKinsey Gender Parity Index data should cinch the business case for change.



Google Balloon Internet Access: The Thrill of a Big Idea


I nearly missed this. You know how it is. In today’s stimulus-saturated world, I set limits for my daily news scans and then unplug each weekend for 24 hours. So as I approached the unplug deadline after an early morning hour of visual overload (and depressing news), another video didn’t really appeal. But it was from a trusted source in my Google+ circles (thank you, ) so with my left hand on the ‘power down’ button, my right hand clicked play. Wow!

A Big Idea

“The idea does sound crazy, even for Google—so much so that the company has dubbed it Project Loon. But if all works according to the company’s grand vision, hundreds, even thousands, of high-pressure balloons circling the earth could provide Internet to a significant chunk of the world’s 5 billion unconnected souls, enriching their lives with vital news, precious educational materials, lifesaving health information, and images of grumpy cats.”

In an exclusive, Wired magazine goes on to add fascinating details, animations and clips as it tells the story of the initial tests in New Zealand. Just as I was beginning to focus too much on the prevalence of grumpy cats, a breathtaking reminder arrives of the global promise of Internet access.

Next Up: Digital Literacy?

While Google, and hopefully others, work on bringing balloon Internet access to remote areas, digital literacy is looming as a pressing, parallel need. From a local story on Middle-schoolers share technology with seniors, to the national news on the state of broadband access in the U.S., come recent reminders of how many people have been left out.

In case you missed it, the Google Project Loon announcement video on YouTube is embedded below.

Fusing Bikes Into Copenhagen’s Landscape


Love the look of these new bikesharing stations in Copenhagen’s biker paradise. Couldn’t agree more with Transport magazine’s assessment: “This system design is just plain cool: each bike will be equipped with Wi-Fi and GPS, made interactive with a monitor betwixt the handlebars, providing seamless navigation.”

Wow, Elevated Bike Lanes Could be Coming to London


I’m just a sucker for a big, bold idea — especially when it combines two priorities, cycling and reducing carbon emissions. So Sam Martin, if London doesn’t jump on this fast enough to suit you, please know there are folks in the USA eager to help you turn this concept into reality.