Annie Leonard, the creator of the viral video “The Story of Stuff,” has just been named Greenpeace USA’s new executive director. A longtime environmental activist, Leonard has proven her gift for crafting compelling narratives, particularly in her series of animated pro-sustainability documentaries that question excess consumerism. After years of watching Leonard’s progress at The Story of Stuff Project, we at Inhabitat are excited to see how Leonard’s storytelling prowess and leadership will grow Greenpeace’s reach around the world.
Although Annie Leonard is best known for “The Story of Stuff” video that went viral in 2007, her rise to the top was built upon over two decades of experience. Leonard’s history with Greenpeace even traces back to the late 1980s, when she joined the organization’s toxic campaign for a decade to investigate and expose how developed countries shipped waste to poorer nations. Her muckraking spurred her to co-found the Global Anti-Incinerator Alliance and The Story of Stuff Project, which has released nine animated explainer videos viewed over 40 million times.
According to the Greenpeace press release: “Leonard’s abilities to build networks across communities and break down complex problems into simple stories will help Greenpeace expand the environmental movement to new communities and inspire people to rebuild our economic and political systems in ways that prevent catastrophic climate change, reach zero deforestation, and protect our threatened oceans.”
“Corporations can apply their ingenuity to environmental progress, not destruction,” says Leonard. “And we will keep working with a broad network of supporters and allied movements to push them to do the right thing.” Leonard, who will manage the organization from Greenpeace’s San Francisco office, will begin her new role in August.
Images via The Story of Stuff Project