American Express teams with the 'Reluctant Businessman', Patagonia's Yvon Chouinard.
"We're part of nature and as we destroy nature, we destroy ourselves. It's a selfish thing to wanna protect nature." So starts this short advert for the American Express Members Project, which features Yvon Chouinard talking first about how he helped bring about the clean climbing movement. Now he wants to be dam buster. The clip shot and directed by Oscar winners and nominees is part of a partnership Amex has with community action group, TakePart.com. (More details below.)
For as Yvon Chouinard observes in the video, "To do good, you actually have to do something."Dam Busting
Patagonia's blog, The Cleanest Line, has more details on the Members Project video, as well as the Matilija Dam, which Yvon is so keen to 'bust.' Seems the dam's removal would be the largest in the United States and would allow native Southern Steelhead trout to once again use the river to spawn and the release of six million cubic yards of sediment.
The Cleanest Line also report that "All proceeds that Yvon receives from the commercial will be divided between five of environmental groups of his choice: Conservacion Patagonica, Atlantic Salmon Federation, Freedom to Roam Coalition, Native Fish Society and Save our Wild Salmon."
Describing themselves as "an independent online community that connects its members directly to the issues that inspire them to engage, contribute and take action" theTake Part team of editors, writers, and researchers believe in the power of information. They "strive to present issues in an easily digestible and thought-provoking manner that reveals personal relevance and inspires further exploration."
For its part American Express are collaborating with Take Part to expand the audience for Take Part's action inducing stories, via their Member's Project. In 2007 the project listened to members and awarded $2 million USD to UNICEF's clean drinking water program for Tanzania, Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola, and Guinea. In 2008 it donated $1.5 million USD to the Alzheimer's Association.
The Member's Project is open to the general public, and does not require that people be Amax card holders. Members are encouraged to vote for five new charities every three months, that will get funding from American Express. They are also urged to volunteer and donate themselves.
More American Express
• Amex Members Projects Voting Closes in Six Days
• Amex Cardholders, Time To Vote on the Finalists at Members Project
• Amex Helps You Spend And Give Money To Charity At The Same Time.
• Vote for Architecture for Humanity and Lulan at Amex Members Project
More Yvon Chouinard
• Patagonia's Yvon Chouinard: One of America's Best Leaders
• Yvon Chouinard Gets Fortune Magazine Cover Story
• Yvon Chouinard Wins Environmental Good Guy Award
• The TH Interview: Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia