Welcome back to the Humans of the Hub series! This week we talked to Aleksandra Arcipowska, aka… Ola, Manager Online Data Tool & Visualizations for the Climate Program at World Resources Institute!
Ola works for the World Resources Institute (WRI), a leading global environmental and non-profit think-tank focusing on the crossroads of environment and development.
During her environmental engineering studies in her country of origin, Poland, Ola started to become increasingly involved in the NGO movement and started working closely together with environmental NGOs. Her master thesis became the benchmark for her decision to continue her involvement in the sector as she realised “doing environmental actions you can actually change someone’s mind”.
More specifically, she conducted a multi-criterial assessment of the big highway project that would cut an important national park of Poland in half. Her research received attention from Greenpeace and was reused in campaigns, which ultimately contributed to the annulment of the highway construction.
As she moved on to work with research centres and think-tanks all over Europe, she came to like the aspect of ‘applied’ research to develop solutions to real problems related to political processes and dedicated her work to climate and energy.
WHAT DOES OLA DO?
Ola elegantly combines her academic engineering background with her passions for NGO work and applied research through her current job as a Product and Project manager for the Climate Watch data team within the organization of WRI.
As such, she coordinates and manages internal collaborative processes of the data team, which as a whole aims at collecting data that support the climate change convention (UN triple-c process), creates tools to build a capacity that can support various stakeholders, such as governments, and helps increase transparency on relevant discussions through open-source databases and informative visuals.
Ola’s daily professional work is supplemented by her profound drive to ‘walk-the-talk’ – or as she explains it: ”if you want other people to act in a certain way, you have to start doing it on your own first.”
Therefore, Ola is volunteering to be one of 20 sustainability champions within global WRI (of approx. 1000 employees), which allows her to organize small educational activities around the topic of sustainability to improve conditions in her direct environment and beyond.
OLA AT THE HUB
“The first I met here [at the hub] was from Conscious Kitchen, and the fact that we organize a teambuilding with Conscious Kitchen is amazing. It opens up a totally new level of cooperation with other organizations”, Ola remembers.
Especially inspiring is the potential of escaping silo miniature ecosystems, which one tends to get enclosed in when working on specific projects. “There are people sharing what they are doing or sitting on the same floor doing work. Which is great! We cannot only be in our own silo world […].”
Ola also highly appreciates the Hub’s open culture. “The hub is open to the external world. It’s not only us ‘mixing up’, but the fact that the Hub opens the door and lets other people come to question things makes it even more transparent.”
Thank you, Ola, for your insights! If you would like to find out more about Ola and/or WRI, feel free to visit her WRI profile or LinkedIn page or check out the Climate Watch project she’s working on.