Designing Change: The Power of Design to Inspire a Climate Revolution

The fight against climate change needs all of us

After more than a decade of creating culture-defining work at Apple and Verizon, I've experienced firsthand the power of exceptional design and creative storytelling in building iconic technology brands. Despite a company's engineering and technical feats, distilling and communicating those accomplishments through compelling marketing is equally challenging.

There's a reason why so few have been able to do it well, or build a lasting legacy of design and innovation.

I recently joined Air Company as head of marketing to help accelerate its growth and redefine how design can serve as a crucial catalyst for the next era of sustainability.

Air Company is commercializing the world's most innovative carbon technology platform—the Airmade System—to provide hard-to-decarbonize sectors with sustainable alternatives that ultimately work to end our reliance on fossil fuels.

Sustainability has an inherent social purpose, but companies often struggle with creating a look, feel and presence that matches their mission in inspiring belief and action. By neglecting this area, companies fail to make use of the creative tools at their disposal in communicating with stakeholders from investors to customers to employees to the general market.

Design can bridge the gap between complex climate technology solutions and people's everyday lives. Electric cars existed before Tesla, but it was their focus on design that helped win hearts and minds and drive adoption.

The human element, the emotional response, must be considered as the climate industry works to scale mass adoption. It must mirror the thought put into the actual innovation and desired impact, reflecting the urgency of change required in this industry.

Inciting optimism while explaining complex tech provides an opportunity to reframe traditional climate communications. We must balance the gravity of the situation with the knowledge that only action sparks change. Marketers must partner with experts and condense cutting-edge science into concepts that relate to everyday people. Without this optimism, we could fail to inspire people who will bring necessary change.

Climate technology is still a fairly new industry—one that's continuously adapting and attracting new partners. Incredible work has been done thus far across innovation, public policy, communication and other areas. I'm thrilled to join this community of talented individuals and to contribute through the power of brand marketing and design.

While I believe there are many ways to drive change, I'm a firm believer in optimism. In my short time working in the climate tech industry, I'm more optimistic than ever about the mobilizing efforts I'm seeing across industries to improve the health of our planet.

The fight against climate change is a challenge that needs all of us—I look forward to supporting Air Company as part of this monumental movement of people working together on one of the most critical issues of our time.

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Andrew McKechnie
Andrew McKechnie is head of marketing at Air Company.

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