Insider’s Climate Action 30 highlights 30 global leaders working toward climate solutions. Our list includes activists, influencers, academics, scientists, business executives, entrepreneurs, and public-sector and nonprofit leaders working to address the climate crisis through collectivism and accountability. To set our list apart, we invited each honoree to share the progress they’re making to achieve their climate goals as well as the specific actions they think our readers can take to do the same. This was a major opportunity for our finalists to tell “truth to power” and elevate their climate mission in their own words.
The project — launched at the start of Climate Week NYC and coincided with the UN General Assembly — features an interactive list, a Twitter moment, and an Instagram Reels campaign campaign for honorees to share a video of their personal call to action alongside footage of their work.
The package also includes a virtual event with three, one-on-one conversations with the finalists. Honorees discussed topics such as the best ways to engage and activate a community of consumers, accelerating climate action beyond the role of global organizations, and how to connect the dots between climate policies, financing net-zero, and climate tech.
To execute Climate Action 30, Insider assembled a team of editors, reporters, designers, photographers, distribution producers, and project managers to build the multi-platform features that make up the inaugural list.
Our editorial team was an essential voice in shaping the sensibilities of the list, driving the identification and vetting process for those honored. At the beginning, we set up a call for nominees that we shared on our site, added to social channels, and included across our newsletters. We received hundreds names through this process and this approach helped us understand the types of climate leaders our readers care about.
From there, editors and reporters sifted through the submissions as part of the verification process. They also worked to make sure the final list was global in nature and diverse. Both aspects were important in order to reflect the broad challenge of the climate crisis. The editorial team also leveraged journalists across different desks like politics, finance, and business to weigh in on candidates who were tapped outside of the form submission.
Once finalists were selected, our reporters conducted in-depth research and personal interviews with a majority of the honorees to craft a write-up about their past work and current impact in their respective industries. Through lengthy discussions, they ensured those included were truly differentiating themselves from their peers in tackling the climate crisis.
With the combined support of design and photography, the final list materialized as a gorgeous and clean layout that lets readers navigate the finalists’ calls to action with ease and dive into a particular honoree if they want to read more. Over 25 of the finalists featured original photography in their places of work, which connected to the uplifting, yet urgent, nature of the project’s context.
For the Instagram campaign, we worked with a team of distribution editors to create a visual package of the honorees’ calls to action. To do this, we asked finalists to provide behind-the-scenes footage of their company, organization, or social action, as well as visual examples of how Insider’s audience can get involved.
Our distribution team’s publishing strategy centered on promoting the videos across specific Insider accounts — Insider, Tech Insider, Science Insider, and Business Insider — instead of one centralized page. Even though the number of followers varied across the four pages, we saw higher engagement when a finalist’s video was posted on a page that had similar content to the specific account. Many platforms are pushing vertical video so we used what we have learned across the board to best tell these stories. In doing this, we were also able to reach a broader audience by appealing to a variety of niches and interests, and the success of this approach is reflected in the significant number of viewers and accounts reached.
The final list and subsequent virtual event sparked dialogues on social platforms, where readers and finalists shared notable call-to-actions and prompted online discussions on topics like fair wages for garment workers, green steel, CO2 technologies, and Indigenous activism in Canada and Brazil.
Statistically, the list saw over 10,000 pageviews in the first week and reached over 30,000 accounts on Instagram. The project generated the highest number of Instagram followers on Insider’s account for the month of September, while the event drew over 29,000 total views.
The social campaign included 13 Instagram reels published across four of Insider’s main accounts (Insider, Tech Insider, Science Insider, Business Insider). The videos combined for 578,460 total views. Specifically, Leslie Samuelrich’s call to action on responsible investing saw 64,000 views while Lauren Flanagan’s appeal to use solar energy and green hydrogen batteries to support emergency weather crises reached about 49,000 accounts.