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The Reify Spotlight Series amplifies the authentic stories of women and underrepresented groups in tech, entrepreneurship, and leadership.

Joyce
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My mission is to save lives and improve livelihoods in the face of climate disruption.”

Can you tell us about one of your accomplishments?

"Fifteen years ago, I set out to create my own consulting firm, but I knew that I needed a little bit more experience. So I gave myself a 10-year goal, and here we are, 15 years later. My firm is five years old, and I was so incredibly proud of the 15 clients that I served in my first year of work."

How would you describe your perspective?

“In order to be hopeful, we need to be thinking about the future. So the future is youth, the future is thriving, the future is wonderful livelihoods… I wake up every day thinking about how to make things better for youth because we are giving them a real mess.

How we can create more thriving in the face of a lot of real challenges? And where can our livelihoods get better due to my work every day. How can I improve livelihoods, especially for those who are currently less served? So I'm really excited about my work every day when I wake up with those things in mind.

What does advocacy look like for you?

“Advocacy is a huge part of my work. My firm, Climate Resilience Consulting, invests more than 5% of our profit in groups that we think are doing really important climate resilience work at neighborhood scale, community scale, and national scale. I also invest over 5% of my time in pro bono efforts."

I'm very active with the Anthropocene Alliance, which is the nation's largest group of frontline survivors of flood and wildfire risk. They say that when you serve, it serves you more than it serves others—I'll be very frank—I learned so much about how to do climate change resilience at the scale that my firm works, which is city government or state government level, from working directly with community members.

What's a struggle you've overcome?

"One of the major struggles in my line of work is that we deal in an area with a lot of tragedy. Climate change is really unfair, and it creates a lot of loss."

"And so one of the things that I need to do is make sure that I stay hopeful, and that I stay solution oriented... I work on reading—both for pleasure, as part of self care, and for work—to ensure that I can stay on the leading edge and both ask and answer some of the very deep problems that we need to solve for the major humanitarian challenge of our era: climate change."

What's something you're working on that's "in progress"?

“I’m working on taking more time for exercise and meditation. It's been on my list forever. But I reminded myself at the start of 2022 that every day is a new day."

"So even though I may not have started January 1st, I can do a little bit today, and I could do a little bit tomorrow, and it will feel good when I do. So that's really a huge part of just constantly coming back to what I know will be good for me—and good for the things that I care about, for the people I care about, for my work especially—and every day, starting over, if needed, on those goals."

What is the most adventurous thing you’ve ever done?

"Well, I grew up in Boulder, Colorado, and my sister and I spent weekends all year in the Rockies. It's just such a wonderful thing, to be a woman in the wild and know that you are capable."

What's something you've rated 5-stars?

"Both during COVID and in the context of climate emissions, we can't be getting on an airplane every time we want to go and take a breather. So I've really challenged myself to figure out—Are there ways to travel virtually, in an effort to make sure that I am part of the change I want to see in the world, including around my personal choices? Virtual travel apps get five stars from me!"

What's something you're geeking out about right now?

“Migration and managed retreat from climate change. I know, gosh, this is really tough subject. But what I'm geeking out around is wondering how can we turn from a loss—the loss of everything, my community dissolving—to a new utopia. ‘This is going to mean a better life for my family.’ So it's a little bit ethereal, not like being able to tell you about some TV show I love, but I'm really geeking out around how to change our minds around migration, how to think about it in terms of the Great Migration, to the Harlem Renaissance, and all the hope that was part of that. To make that a fact—not only hope but reality for the next generation that's going to need to move.”

How do you manage the distraction of "perfectionism"?

"Part of helping with my own perfectionism is ensuring that others feel empowered and enabled to do great work, and then learning from the work that they share, even if they have perhaps fewer years in the industry than I do.

And reflecting on my own work—and finding where I've made errors, but it's been okay—acknowledging that even when it's not perfect, it's also okay. And I really do that best when I'm working with colleagues in the space."

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