Understory, a global platform that helps organizations use technology and innovation to make our world more sustainable reached out to Georgia State’s ENI for assistance to find an intern. Their business offers a variety of educational resources and events to make sustainability accessible, practical, and actionable.
Here’s a glimpse into this internship from the perspective of the host company and their co-founder, Jen Singh.
How did you come up with the idea for Understory?
I have spent the majority of my career building new products and businesses within large organizations and small startups. While the past decade of business activity has centered around digital transformation, I firmly believe that the next decade will focus on sustainability transformation. Companies need and want to find ways to become sustainable businesses that lessen their impact on the environment, become carbon neutral, and make the world more sustainable.
I founded Understory to help accelerate this transformation and help organizations pivot to a net zero carbon emissions economy. Over 90% of CEOs believe that sustainability is critical to operations but only 48% have implemented sustainability operations in their day-to-day operations. Understory is on a mission to close this gap – what we call the ‘Sustainability Gap’.
What is your company? What inspired it?
Understory is a global platform that helps organizations use technology and innovation to make our world more sustainable. We work with organizations large and small to help them embed sustainability practices end-to-end across their business. How do we do this? In three main ways.
First, we offer a variety of educational resources and events to make sustainability accessible, practical, and actionable for business leaders. This comes in the form of market insight reports on topics like ESG Frameworks and Circularity. We also offer digital training courses that businesses can roll out to their employees.
Our second pillar is focused on using technology and innovation to accelerate sustainable change. We advise and connect organizations to sustainable technologies and emerging startups through workshops and other specialized services.
Finally, community is core to Understory’s success. We bring together leaders from across the sustainability landscape to cultivate and grow relationships. We offer a variety of virtual events and host a regular podcast that shares the stories of innovators making the world more sustainable.
Check out our website, sign up for our newsletter, and follow us on social media for everything sustainability. www.theunderstory.io.
Who is your target customer?
We target corporations and other businesses that are looking to implement sustainable practices throughout their organizations. Oftentimes, these organizations know that they need to make a change, but aren’t sure where to start. That’s where Understory comes in.
To start, we help leaders better understand the terminology, industry trends and why it’s time to change the way their business operates. From there, we help them quickly make the changes through training, tools and access to the technology. We work with a variety of different leaders – everyone from the CEO to Head of Sustainability to Corporate Innovation Team to the Venture Investment team – within an organization.
What has it been like working with your intern, Brittany?
In just a short amount of time, Brittany (GSU Intern) has become an invaluable, critical member of our team. Brittany develops the majority of our social media creative content and keeps us actively engaged within our Understory community. She brings creativity, new ideas, and an eye for design that has elevated our brand. Our social media reach has grown significantly during Brittany’s internship as a result of her efforts.
We are so pleased that Brittany is fully aligned and inspired by our mission to make the world more sustainable. Her enthusiasm to take on new challenges and be immersed in the business has made working with her an absolute pleasure.
What is the vision for Understory in the future?
Understory is a quickly growing platform. We are continuing to build out our products and services and expect to rapidly scale our community in 2021. Expect us to revolutionize the way both companies and individuals look at sustainability.
What does entrepreneurship mean to you?
To me, entrepreneurship means building. Anyone can have a great idea; it is when you start to do the work and build out that idea that you become an entrepreneur. I learned over the course of my career that entrepreneurship can happen in a lot of unexpected places. I first gained experience as an intrapreneur (an entrepreneur within a large corporation) where I had the responsibility to build new products and start new businesses. That opportunity (and others!) gave me the skills, confidence, and connections to eventually create my own business.
What is the most memorable thing that you have learned from your intern?
Brittany is amazing at video content – whether it’s creating or editing new videos. We have gotten some of the best social media engagement with her video content. I love how she’s challenged our team to embrace video and other new ways to tell our story.
Why should startups consider bringing on interns if they don’t already?
Interns bring a ton of enthusiasm and fresh ideas, both of which are important for any business. Between their hands-on help and creativity, interns can really help drive business growth. Plus, they are often a lot of fun to work with!
Interested in this story from the perspective of the intern, Brittany Duong Le? Click here to read her story.