uncluttered white spaces found Stephen Campbell on Twitter. After following for a good length of time, we decided we needed to know more and thought you did too.
Stephen is the Campaign Director at Greenpeace Australia Pacific. Here is the interview. Enjoy.
Your Generation: X
Tell us about Greenpeace & how you came to be involved:
Greenpeace is a global campaigning organisation, committed to defending nature, and creating a green and peaceful world. I have been part of the organisation for over ten years, and started as a nuclear campaigner working on plutonium transports in the Pacific, the Lucas Heights reactor and disarmament.
Where are you now – literally & metaphorically?
In my back yard, on holiday!
At the oasis, dreaming and thinking.
What makes you tick / get up in the morning / think you’ve had a good day:
There has hardly been a day when I have not wanted to jump out of bed and get stuck into it. I love the detail, the challenge, and the practical aspects of Greenpeacing. I love the wins. When I am out on an action in a boat, I have to pinch myself to remember that it’s not a dream.
UnclutteredWhiteSpaces.com creates a platform for good ideas focusing on entrepreneurship, creativity and leadership. With this type of lifestyle comes with it a lot of highs and lows… can you share with us a notable high in your career?
My major career high was building the Greenpeace forest campaign across Asia in the mid-noughties. With a couple of colleagues we raised the money, and then funded new teams and infrastructure in China and Indonesia to add to the existing teams in Australia, PNG and Japan. I spent a lot of time building the vision with the senior management across the region and then built the strategy and the teams on the ground. In 2005 I spent substantial time in China where I learned a huge amount about the challenges of campaigning in the developing world. We have won some really important campaigns over this time.
How about a notable low:
There aren’t that many lows in my work, but the biggest challenge is that change is usually the result of years and years of hard slog.
Any relationship between the two?
Definitely. When the media, corporations, the public or the politicians notice that something is a big issue and that Greenpeace is the centre of the change, its usually as a result of all those hard years of slog – documenting and investigating, building international capacity and building the strength of the campaign. So the recent Nestle campaign for instance which looked like it only took two months to win, was built on the back of some of the work we did in Indonesia mid-decade, as well as other great work in Europe.
Do you have a personal Mission?
I want to make a difference. Plain and simple. I believe the old saying that activism is the rent that I pay for the privilege of living on our beautiful planet. I want to contribute my skills in the right place, at the right time, to make the biggest impact. I’m happy facing a media scrum at an action, trawling the corridors of power to kick some sense into our politicians or cleaning the loos on a Greenpeace ship.
Do you fill up at BP?
Very occasionally yes, but then I minimise as much as possible how much I fill up, period. I catch the train to work, cycle and walk and its great to leave the (small) car at home. Greenpeace isn’t calling specifically for a boycott of BP, but we are calling on supporters and the public to pressure BP to shift their investments heavily into renewables, instead of the trend, which is into extreme oil like offshore drilling and tar sands.
Are there any companies/ brands you specifically avoid?
Personally, no specific companies. I tend to avoid particular products. I’m basically vegetarian, avoid fossil fuels (as much as possible), am on green electricity and have solar hot water. I grow some veggies and fruit, compost and harvest rain water at home. I check where my timber comes from when I buy timber products, avoid genetically engineered products and stuff where I know the contents are dodgy, like food containing unsustainable palm oil or tuna. My family is reducing what we consume all the time, but we still live incredibly well! Of course Greenpeace often lets a company know if their practices are poor….
Anything happening at Greenpeace that our readers should know about and get involved in?
There is always something to be involved in! Our key campaigns are climate, forests, oceans, GE and whales. We work on other things from time to time. The site, twitter feed and Facebook page is always full of actions that people can take, whether on or off line. Every piece or work we do has a “TakeAction!” component. If you become a supporter there are weekly action alerts that we can send to your inbox. We also recruit volunteers, and activists for our work in the “real world”, so it is a very busy place with plenty of opportunities for participation.
So time to give up your Social Networks… where do we find you online or out and about if we were considering stalking you?
I’m on twitter @SteveCamps which is my “professional” feed, and have a new blog up at http://steve-campbell.tumblr.com. Facebook I keep for personal use, but you can always follow Greenpeace Australia Pacific on FB as well. Out and about I tend to see lots of live music, but regularly go to the Sydney green drinks event “GreenUps” and festivals like Woodford. And there is always another rally to attend.
In your view, finish this quote: ”What the world needs more than anything right now is…”
“a rapid energy revolution away from fossil fuels and into the alternatives that are already available”.
Thank you Stephen for joining us and taking the time to share.