WHO IS BRADLEY LYON?
Bradley Lyon is a communications and knowledge management specialist. Currently, he is the Community Development Lead and Knowledge Manager at the Rocky Mountain Institute – Carbon War Room (RMI-CWR) where he is contributing to the launch of an online community of practice that targets renewable energy practitioners in the Caribbean and other island states.
Brad is also a consultant at the World Bank, where, over the past six years, he’s worked in different capacities and contracts with the Latin American and Caribbean Urban and Disaster Risk Management unit. His main contributions at the World Bank have related to building a knowledge management initiative to influence and encourage knowledge exchange across climate and disaster resilience investments in the Caribbean.
Prior to the Bank, Brad worked in a hospitality-focused start-up company as a Business Developer and Relationship Manager where he created the company’s first environmental and social responsibility campaign and built marketing campaigns to target new clients and increase revenue.
You can connect with Bradley here:
IN TOR 097 YOU’LL LEARN ABOUT:
- What it’s like to be a climate change risk management communication specialist (and the benefits of being highly specific in what you do as a consultant in the humanitarian world).
- The difference of his and Richard Branson’s experiences in working against climate change from a business and a sovereign (i.e., political) standpoint.
- How passionate and engaged communities can directly influence a project efficacy and need to follow through, and acknowledging local capabilities as an engagement tactic.
- Brad’s advice on personal branding, time management and setting a unique field of specialization that is attuned to the future challenges and conversations.
OUR CONVERSATION INCLUDES THE FOLLOWING:
- The World Bank
- Peace Corps
- Disaster Risk Management
- Climate Change
- Communications in Humanitarian Work
- Climate Science Communication
- Washington, DC
EPISODE CRIB NOTES
World Bank consultant, 6.5 years. Risk Insurance for Latin America and the Caribbean, focus on natural disasters.
Last year with Carbon War Room, Richard Branson energy transition startup, also in the Caribbean. Working on building an international community.
Brad brings communication expertise to the table.
’10 Disaster Risk Management. A new management field focused on prevention.
A lot of money is still going to reaction.
Climate Resilience, slowly gaining traction.
Explain what you do like I am a person and you are a person
When talking about risk, it is always about turing discoveries from research into actionable practices on the ground.
Might explain the focus on communication.
WB makes an effort to sell their action-focused VP. But sometimes the solution comes up only after the conversations.
Rain in Central America. It can be small, but ongoing accumulation could cause damages like those of a brief, strong hurricane. How to craft a convincing message for people to understand the danger?
Communication instances could take the form of workshops or pieces like videos of brochures, sometimes social media.
WB holds recurring meetings where they have the chance to broadcast their messages.
Simplifying complex conversation topics
Ongoing talks allow parts to gain increased understanding.
Prevention is now a standard subject in development projects and decision making.
The conversation still needs to evolve and encompass issues like urban development, water.
There are instances, mostly due to politics, where there is hostility towards topics like climate change.
For better or worse, the Caribbean is hungry for a climate risk conversation as the patterns become more erratic, even if it includes reengineering local economies.
It’s about meaning more than soundbites.
Creating the spaces for conversation is the critical step.
Homeruns, or slow grind
Working from DC has its challenges, when it comes to on-the-ground implementation accountability.
It’s about getting the right people.
Environmental impact and assessment training.
It’s all about people and their passion. They can work together. Environmentalism can be very exciting for people.
It’s not about building a bridge, it’s about community accomplishment.
Branson versus the World Bank
In Rio +20, Branson was on the table across the WB. He commits to an island. He’s put on the spot: “Why not 10?”
He had been working a lot in energy transition, but it was the first time it was involved in a political frame for climate change.
Many players want the dynamics of business in political and sovereign fields, but sometimes that is simply unfeasible.
Last 1.5 years has been a difficult transition to independence. Working with coaches to build time management habits, and some help from Benjamin Franklin.
Brad keeps a strict record of his time and uses. Working, but also reaching out online and in person, it is important to build a brand but it is dangerous not to commit to anything else.
He tends to bring a lifecycle view to the projects for accountability on the use of time.
An independent’s career path
Brad is also a yoga teacher
Compensation might be thought of beyond payment. Would you accept a mission fighting corruption?
Reaching higher grounds by making his learning conscious. This leads to finding better focus.
Up until now and from here on
Business major. As an undergrad, he chose the Peace Corps over becoming a flight attendant.
“There is something wrong in trying to help people under a profit mantra.”
The Peace Corps offered an opportunity to reflect, in Guinea, West Africa.
Development work tends to be too focused, ignoring elementary needs from the population, i.e., hunger.
Brad (as well as all humanitarians) needs a deep reflection on priorities.
There is always a pull towards collaboration in every ground situation.
Brad has many interests.
Countries have made strong commitments to climate change, including financial ones. The private sector presence is prominent.
Climate Change itself is critical. Innovations are something to be kept in the loop on.
“Not following through.”
Once projects are done, who will keep the reports? Will they read them, act upon them?
How is a community left? Do learnings remain? Do parties keep bridges?
More often than not the answers to all of these are negative.
Start with a routine, inside an organization.
But never stop figuring yourself out.
Take time for yourself every so often.
Don’t delude yourself.
Be more granular. Yes, you are a development practitioner, but, how specifically?
Move forward from what you already are.
Please share, participate and leave feedback below!
If you have any feedback you’d like to share for me or Brad, please leave your thoughts in the comment section below! I read all of them and will definitely take part in the conversation.
If you have any questions you’d like to ask me directly, head on over to the Ask Stephen section. Don’t be shy! Every question is important and I answer every single one.
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