‘I thought Greenpeace would be intimidating, but I couldn’t have been more wrong’

Anthony, otherwise known as the “meme guy”, began at Greenpeace as an intern. He talks about the trust and responsibility he was given then and now as junior digital campaigner, as well as balancing his job with his passion for music.

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I actually started at Greenpeace as the digital mobilisation and social media intern, which was an unreal experience. The people here are so friendly and welcoming, which was really important for me because I’d never worked in an office before. Greenpeace is such a productive organisation I thought it would be intimidating, but I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Before I started working here, I was working in retail and as a porter in a hospital, and I felt like I didn’t have any skills. Now I can use Photoshop and do basic coding. I know best social media practice, how to campaign and how to think strategically, which is incredible compared to how I felt when I started. People here are entrusted with a lot of responsibility which really helped to build my confidence.

During the first two months of my internship I was asked to write a strategy outlining how we should cover a non-violent direct action (NVDA) on our social media channels, but to be honest at the time I didn’t really realise what it was for. Then, during the second NDVA that I covered, I asked another person in my team what I should be posting and they sent me the document I’d written. The realisation that I’d actually written a document that was important and directed other people was so surreal.

Now I’ve been a junior digital campaigner for just over a year and a half. My role involves asking people to do things online to put pressure on the targets of our campaigns, like the prime minister or Burger King. This could be signing a petition, sharing a video with a message for a target, or tweeting at an MP. We also make a lot of content, and I specialise in memes which is pretty awesome, I’ve even been nicknamed the “meme guy” around the office!

At Greenpeace, Anthony has developed a variety of skills, including strategic thinking and how to make the best social media posts. Kotrina Sagdijeva

Being a digital campaigner is definitely demanding at times. It’s such an imperative part of Greenpeace’s work now that most of us live the majority of our lives on the internet. However, it does allow me to have more freedom and a more stable work life balance than other styles of campaigning, because my output is mostly online.

This means it can be easier to balance other aspects of my life, like pursuing other passions. Outside of work I’m a guitarist in a jazz, soul and hip-hop band which takes up the majority of my spare time. Recently we launched an EP and have been touring. I feel incredibly fortunate that not only do I have a job that I love, but one that also allows me the space to pursue other passions.

Growing up I had always been quite political, which developed from this passion for music, but I was more interested with anti-war and anti-racist movements. I even wrote my dissertation about how hip-hop can be used as public sociology, focusing on how British rapper Akala teaches people about racism, the slave trade and colonialism.

However, I started street fundraising for Greenpeace in my first year of university back in 2014 where I became very interested in environmental justice, especially as a social justice issue. After that, getting a job with Greenpeace became the endgame for me, so I feel incredibly fortunate that I’m here – even more so because I’m now best friends with Mo, our resident black labrador, who is literally my ride or die.

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