‘A wicked problem’: The climate activist who finds it hard to switch off

Name: Laure Legros
The profession: Workplace climate activist
The organisation: WorkForClimate
The title: Head of experience
The pay: $110,000

Laure Legros (holding microphone) says she regularly deals with people who feel dread about climate change.
Laure Legros (holding microphone) says she regularly deals with people who feel dread about climate change.Credit: WorkforClimate

9am: We’re a remote-first organisation, so I mostly work from home. Our goal is to democratise workplace climate action so more people can see a role for themselves and get involved.

As soon as I drop my little one at day care I begin listening to news on climate. I live and breathe climate, so I do this outside work too, but I spend about an hour on it each morning at work.

It’s essential as the space evolves quickly, and there is always more to learn or new perspectives to include. It can be a bit of a rabbit hole, so I need to keep my consumption of climate news balanced.

10am: A lot of what I do is content creation or community building. We’re a small team, so we don’t necessarily have a set job description, and our roles get stretched. This means I’ve picked up a lot of new knowledge and skills; that’s one of the things I love about this job.

Most of the content that exists is aimed at an audience of sustainability professionals. For everyone else it can get complex and overwhelming. We try to create content that is accessible to everyone, without the jargon. I do the background research, and then our amazing content team helps make it an easier read.

This content goes out in our weekly newsletter, our blog and social channels. We also have playbooks which are standalone resources on topics like fossil-fuel free superannuation.

Noon: What WorkforClimate is trying to do has literally never been done before, so there’s a lot of experimentation and figuring things out. My role has a great balance between strategy work, coming up with plans and new ideas, and the execution of these new ideas. I love solving problems, and climate change is the biggest most wicked problem of them all, so that works well.

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I usually take a lunch break and try to go for a walk outside just to disconnect from the computer. I always find going on walks energising, and I can think of new ideas when I do that.

We’re a lean organisation and most of my team is Melbourne-based, so I’m not really accountable to anyone daily. However, I might check in with a team member about a specific project after lunch.

1pm: There’s a lot of demand currently for climate education and getting employees up to speed with what is going on, and seeing their role in climate action.

I regularly go into companies and deliver presentations on climate change, talking about why people should care, and what they can do about it, specifically when they’re at work.

We do coaching too, as there are numerous employees coming to us who are really feeling the dread of climate change. They understand what is going on and are wondering what their company is doing on climate change and how they could be doing better.

We create a space where they can meet others who feel the same way about the urgency of the climate crisis. We help them figure out ways that they can build their skills and influence to drive change at their company.

5pm: Working full-time on climate is a privilege, but it also means the line between my personal life and my work life gets blurry. I can’t really disconnect from it when I get home.

Like a lot of people working in the space, from scientists to activists, I’ve experienced eco-anxiety and feelings of dread about the future. I’ve had to put some mechanisms in place to not let it overwhelm me.

I try to recognise the many emotions we go through when facing the climate crisis head-on, and to use them as a fuel for action.

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Source: Thanks smh.com