AN INTERVIEW WITH ARIAHNE THOMPSON FROM WWF

Ari and I had the pleasure of working together at LUSH for many years. She ran incredible campaigns for the business and not only impacted change on social issues but really impacted how the business functioned when it came to campaigning. She created entirely new training programs for the teams across the business, changed the way we processed all Charity applications and built incredible relationships with hundreds of small grass roots groups. Fair to say, Ari is an absolute change-maker. 

Why did you start your business or take the role that you're in now? 

I've always had a strong moral compass and any sense of injustice against people and planet rocks me to my core. When I moved from school/study and into the workforce I found it very difficult to do work that did not align with my own values. Eventually I found myself working for a brand where my passion and values were really nurtured and in fact helped to propel me along in my career. As the Campaign Manager at LUSH Cosmetics I managed the charitable giving component of the business as well as partnerships with a range of incredible not for profit organisations.

 

Some of those partnerships allowed me to work on a number of cause-related marketing campaigns focused on human rights, animal welfare and environmental protection. I learnt so much during this time and I eventually found myself wanting to work for an organisation whose sole purpose was to create positive change for people and protect the planet we call home. Once I made that decision it wasn't long before I found myself at WWF-Australia.

 

What inspires you and gets you out of bed in the mornings? 

I truly believe my purpose is to be a part of protecting our natural environment and the people and animals who rely on it. There are so many things wrong with the world but we're also living through some really exciting times, we're on the precipice of real positive change. I'm so excited to contribute to a better future and passionate about helping people become mechanisms for change. That's what gets me out of bed every morning, that and my dog wanting to go for a walk.

 

Ariahne Thompson - from WWF

What's been the best lesson you've learned in business or your career and why? 

Nobody paid me to say this but ARNA's own Natasha Ritz once told me not to take things too personally. Juggling being a young professional and an activist at heart has often been a struggle. Sometimes I've had to accept that I couldn't help, couldn't fix things, couldn't execute the way I wanted, couldn't say the things I wanted to or that people couldn't see the same future that I could. And that's okay. I was also recently told to find my purpose, honestly that's a game changer.

 

What does the future look like for you? 

I think about this question almost daily in my current role. What does the future look like? If we continue with the status quo the future looks grim but if we start to utilise existing technologies for good, take more care in how we consume what the planet provides us, share power and not take ourselves so seriously, the future looks bright. My personal future is somewhere between the rainforest and the reef, finishing my Masters in Global Development and taking on every opportunity that I can to work alongside disrupters and change makers.

 

Ariahne Thomspon from WWF

What's one piece of advice you'd give other women in business or in their careers? 

Set your intentions and back yourself 100%. It doesn't matter what you do, what you're passionate about or what level of skill you have, if you don't invest in yourself then your journey forward will be that much slower. Impostor syndrome is a real thing and almost every woman I know, no matter how kick ass, struggles with it. It's easier said than done but investing that energy into your growth is so much more advantageous than comparing yourself to those around you.
And another one for the road - speak up, someone has to.

 

Connect with Ari on LinkedIn
See more about WWF. 

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