By Catheryn Mallari, Manager – Global Integrated Marketing
As a lifelong learner, education has been a constant value in my life. When I discovered an environmental conservation and marine preservation project based in Australia, Oceans 2 Earth, I found the starting line for my next learning experience. As a bred and born California girl passionate about sustainability, this was a no-brainer.
It all came together in phases, prompted by an idea; a figment of a possibility that I told myself would happen “one day, someday”. However, once I shared my goals with my leader, the idea evolved from a personal pursuit to a larger vision, advocating for a reinterpretation of how organizations can support education and professional growth by nurturing skills and contributions beyond one’s role and empowering employees to experience their full selves.
Thus, commenced Phase 1.
Phase 1: Performance (The Trip)
I dove in headfirst (literally), kicking off with a skydive at sunrise, falling through a cloud and watching the sun peak over the hills to mark the start of a new adventure right before volunteering. Then, I hopped on a boat to an island and back again. On each trip, we executed different research methods on the islands and the Great Barrier Reef to evaluate the reef environments, record coral reef health and more. The data provided guidance for any steps research institutions would need to take to preserve the reef. As the largest living structure on Earth, stretching over 1,400 miles, the Great Barrier Reef not only helps store carbon, house marine animals and protect coastlines, but inspires awe like no other.
Learning about the impacts of global warming on the oceans, understanding the necessity of the ecosystem and getting involved with the research that informs climate change solutions were takeaways corresponding to concrete actions I could take upon my return home.
Phase 2: People
The opportunity to learn came from people in a variety of scenarios, at any moment, in every place, and gave me the chance to learn about topics such as:
- the significance of coral reef research and the contributions of marine biodiversity to a healthy ecosystem
- waste management and sustainable water systems
- Australia history, politics and fossil fuels
- the future of energy efficiency and sustainability in cars
Phase 3: Innovation
I may have traveled across the world to put the pieces of the dream together, but the manifestation of those learnings requires action, even the smallest of actions to trigger a ripple effect. It requires building a network of individuals with similar values that can adapt practices and recommendations that create more relevant and accessible change for different communities. This spring, I’m helping launch Xperi’s Green Team, a network focused on supporting Xperi’s environmental initiatives in reducing the company’s carbon footprint and contributing to new and existing sustainability efforts.
Through education and advocacy, the group will increase awareness around local and company news and policies to reduce climate change, provide opportunities for volunteering and create a community to share stories and experiences around sustainable living.