7 min read

Round up: Surprising Validators, New Research, Why Twitter Mattered, and A New Way To Work With Me

Round up: Surprising Validators, New Research, Why Twitter Mattered, and A New Way To Work With Me
Photo by tam wai / Unsplash

It's been especially exciting this past month to connect with a couple of surprising validators in the plant-based transition. In one instance, I recorded a Living Change podcast interview with a CFO (amazing wisdom therein, the episode will drop in January 2023) . The other instance came about as I was just doing my usual thing, paying attention to an NPR story, early one morning.  See below for more.

As I've mentioned before, core to my climate influence research and amplification is finding as many of "surprising validators" as I can, whether in plant-based eating, or riding a bike or ebike for transportation - and beyond -  and then sharing those conversion stories for their biggest sector impact. I use my platforms - podcast, LinkedIn, Twitter, and any other way I know to do this (I've been known to email the media with tips on these topics, even when I don't have a client in that space - just to NUDGE leadership coverage). I cannot wait for Living Change to launch next month - and will update you here as the episodes drop.  

Finally, a note about my business model for my client work: It's changed. See below for the details on that, as well as other interesting news tidbits you can use if finding, developing, and leveraging climate influence is a priority.  Thanks again for reading!


A Surprising Plant-Based Validator

While eating my breakfast, pre-early morning dog walk, recently, my ears tuned to NPR playing in the background. Did the Morning Edition host, A Martinez, just say he had gone plant-based?  Yes. Yes, he did.

This is about more than just one man casually commenting on changing his diet and how that impacted his own health. This quiet revelation came during a segment  where the mainstream cooking show, America's Test Kitchen, was sharing a plant-based chili recipe (!). The point is: this is a network with a huge audience , and it would have seemed too niche a food angle for them to run even a few years ago. And, A, enthusing with his comment about going plant-based was off-the-cuff and more powerful than he realized at the time, I'm sure. Even the un-emphasized "drops" of an insight like that count as one more repeat message that listeners can take in. Listeners feel like they know A, and so, it turns out they DO know people who are moving away from eating meat, dairy and eggs, and are living (very well, thank you) to tell the tale.

As ever, I'll keep my ears and eyes tuned and share more of these as I come across them. And, ideally, find leaders who can come on my podcast to share their conversion story broadly.  The perception of who is vegan or plant-based is all we have to shift to impact a social norm, people!

Love chili but trying to eat less meat? ‘Morning Edition’ tests a plant-based version
Jack Bishop of the PBS television show America’s Test Kitchen walked Morning Edition host A Martínez through a recipe from the kitchen’s new vegan cookbook. Texans beware: This chili features beans.

Watching As Consumers Move/Choose Plant-based

There's new research about the consumer move in the plant-based direction. Plant Based Food Institute and Kroger partnered and leveraged 84.51° data/insights. A quote:

“The research was conducted as part of Kroger’s long-term strategy predicated on listening to their customers. Kroger is committed to learning from consumers and creating the optimal merchandising strategy for plant-based foods to best meet the needs of shoppers,” said Holly Adrien, natural and organics strategy and innovation manager at Kroger.
Summary of research findings:
95% of plant-based consumers surveyed said they increased or maintained their plant-based spend versus the prior year**.
In year two, plant-based consumers generally decrease or maintain their level of spending on animal-based foods, which shows a reversal from year one (COVID timeframe) spending*
43% of plant-based customers increasing or new to plant-based products choose plant-based milks over conventional dairy milk**
Customers who buy plant-based foods are motivated by personal health concerns (such as cardiovascular or cancer concerns) and 49% state they believe plant-based alternatives are healthier than animal-based foods*.
Research shows shifting plant-based shopper spending behaviors and motivations across plant-based and animal-based food categories - Plant Based Foods Association
The first-of-its-kind research aimed to understand plant-based shopper behavior and consumer sentiment to identify whether shoppers are shifting away from their animal-based foods spend and increasing plant-based foods spend and if so, why. WASHINGTON – Plant-based food sales in the U.S. hit a reco…

ANOTHER Story On The Obviousness of #Bikes4Climate

There is simply no downside to giving more people the choice to bike or ebike for local transportation. Send this article to your mayor and city's transportation department!  A quote from this piece by Tanya Mohn in Forbes:

“It is extraordinary to see that dollar-for-dollar, protected cycle lanes are not just carbon neutral but fully mitigate the greenhouse gas emissions created when the same amount of spending goes on highways,” Watson added. “The case for investment in cycling is not just good financial sense, it is essential for healthier, safer and more equitable cities.”
Protected Bike Lanes Increase Safety, Save Money And Protect The Planet, New Report Finds
Investing in protected bicycle lanes has significant potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, lower transport costs, prevent road fatalities, and improve the quality of life for people in cities around the globe.

Why (Likely) Losing Twitter Will Be An "Observe And Learn" Loss

Take a listen to this super-interesting Marketplace Tech discussion with Shamika Klassen, an information science Ph.D. candidate at the University of Colorado, Boulder, who co-authored a research article about Black Twitter . Klassen's point about how even observing "Black Twitter" was a way for a lot of not-Black folks to simply observe and learn about the community rings true to my own experience of learning from it.

I think that whole “my best friend’s Black” or “I got a Black neighbor,” all that stuff is nothing compared to being able to see live conversations that are happening in the Black community without having to put that labor on a Black person to inform you. So I think it’s going to be really unfortunate that there’s going to be people who aren’t able to engage in that way.

In fact, simply watching Twitter conversations, with whatever tags, has also been a way to study up on lots of other new-to-me communities. (Take "Bike Twitter", for example. ) Furthermore, Black Twitter and other communities like it, have certainly been an amazing tool for media, re: finding sources and developing at least some background understanding before interviews.

Just watching the flow of conversations and noting which are the leading voices on a range of topics has been an incredible short-cut to knowledge for me.  I will miss it - very much - if it does fully implode.

Black Twitter has been a cultural engine. Where will that community go if the site breaks?
Black internet users — trendsetters across many social media platforms — might just form their own new space.

Doing Business The Hourly-Advisory Way

The ways to work with me are now only one: hourly advisory phone calls. I wrote a LinkedIn post about it - and here's a bit about why this approach is the BEST way to scale Climate Influence quickly:

When I thought about how my insights could scale climate #leadership, the one-off guidance calls - and the way I could help clients activate *quickly*, has been the gold.

I'm now scaling my insights and expertise only through *hourly advisory calls* that can jumpstart a lot of clients.

To change the social norm of leadership, we need to see even a few more corporate (and political) leaders change it up.

And, those leaders need to make sure *they are seen* doing so.
Andrea Learned 🚲 Ⓥ on LinkedIn: #sustainability #climate #communications #leadership #livingchange #podcast
Some personal news (about my business model)... But, first: insights I’ve gained in 15+ years in the #sustainability and #climate spaces (and before that, 10+…


As ever, thanks so much for reading. Please share this newsletter with peers and colleagues, as it - along with my LinkedIn account (and Twitter, for as long as it lasts) - is the best way to learn from my thinking without being a client. And, when you are ready for a thought-catalyzing Breakthrough Strategy Session , I'm so ready to help you push through to bigger climate-acting ideas and smarter storytelling, done better and faster.