Those who support charity and dedicate some of their time to a good cause are happier – and healthier! When we are kind to each other, we all win. Some studies even prove that being involved in a good cause increases dopamine, which is directly connected to our physiological response to reward and motivation.
One of the most exciting workplace trends I currently see is businesses allowing their people to be curious, learn new skills – sometimes skills they do not need directly to do their jobs – and letting them push the status quo. This is exactly what we are doing at Outbrain. We the employees (also called Outbrainers) are driving positive impact and initiatives that matter to us, from the environment and communal volunteering, to workplace equality and diversity.
So while keeping our employees mentally and physically healthy is something we take very seriously at Outbrain, empowering them to create Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) and drive impactful initiatives, makes us very proud! And the most exciting thing is, this has been happening for years. I am a member of the OB Green ERG, devoted to sustainability and the environment. A day like today, Earth Day, is an opportunity to learn, teach, and speak openly about the concerns we have around this topic.
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.Margaret Mead
Learning and daring to ask questions
Outbrain ERGs facilitate a safe space to learn together and challenge each other. Through social movements such as “Black Live Matters” and “#MeToo”, society has started asking uncomfortable questions and really listening to the answers. Emmanual Acho is a great example of this with his series “Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man”, providing an open and sincere space to question. Greta Thunberg is also an inspirational example of how change can be sparked when we ask the right questions and challenge those who at times do not want to hear. This is when real change occurs. We cannot know everything but we need to be humble enough to listen and be open to change our point of view. In our ERGs, we learn to do just that – to listen, really take it in, and then take action!
One Outbrainer, one tree
In honor of Earth Day, Outbrain is running OB Teach-In Earth sessions for employees. TerraCycle is coming in to share their vision on the environmental topic, Leonor Casas from Tree-Nation, as well as Alina Shkolnikov, Impact Expert, to teach us more about the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals). We are also running several peer-to-peer sessions to learn from each other and expand our toolboxes.
When we reached the 1000-employee milestone in January, we kicked off our collaboration with Tree-Nation and started planting the Outbrain Forest. We donated 1000 trees, one for each employee. We continue to offer trees to all our new hires and there are currently over 1145 trees in our newly launched forest.
For Earth Day, we kicked off a campaign inviting all citizens of the world to donate a tree in the Outbrain forest. Outbrain matched each of your donations with another tree! We reached a total of US$730 in donations, enabling us to plant 1778 new trees in three projects (Cameroon, Nepal and the US).
We encourage you to join our Outbrain Forest initiative and donate a tree. And why not join us literally, as Outbrain continues to grow globally and impact the digital advertising and journalism ecosystem.