Not My Problem: Inviting Newcomers to the Climate Space
Not My Problem is sparking conversations and inspiring folks to engage with the climate space by telling positive stories and sharing solutions. Learn more in this exclusive interview with Naman Bajaj, Content Writer and Founder, as featured in Make The World Better Magazine.
/6 mins/ SparxTeam
It may be surprising that a lot of people are on the fence about climate change, succumbing to the negativity instead of taking action. By telling positive stories and sharing solutions, we can create a starting point for newcomers in the space and provide encouragement for those striving to make a difference.
We spoke with Naman Bajaj, Content Writer and Founder of Not My Problem, about how his platform is sparking meaningful conversations and inspiring folks to engage with the climate space.
What was the “spark” that first inspired you to start creating impact-focused content?
After completing my MBA in 2020, I had a filter in my mind: I wanted to work with startups that were doing something good for people and the planet. However, I had limited knowledge about the impact space, so I decided to talk to people who were building something in this area to learn more.
Of course, founders are busy people, juggling hundreds of different things. Why would they want to talk to someone like me? What would they get out of this conversation?
So, I decided to start a podcast series where I would interview founders of sustainability and social impact startups, where I recorded, edited, and published videos for free. This gave founders free PR and marketing for their brands, and I got some screen time with them.
I did around 50 episodes and that’s how I learned about this space. Through the solutions that these founders are building, I learned about the problems plaguing the planet and humanity. I thought it was a less overwhelming way to learn about the climate crisis and humanitarian problems that we are dealing with.
I decided to replicate this experience for others. I pivoted from podcasts to written content since I felt that it was easier to publish and distribute. In January 2021, I started building Not My Problem, a platform where I share stories of startups from around the world that are solving problems related to the climate crisis.
What do you consider to be your biggest success? Can you share any stories of the impact your work has had that have surprised you?
I am grateful to have received a flood of beautiful and kind messages in my inbox. They help me keep going on tough days. One message, in particular, stands out as my biggest win to date: someone told me that they use the positive and impactful stories I share to initiate climate change conversations within their circle.
Instead of focusing solely on everything that’s not going right in the world, they introduce these impactful solutions to people in their group to start a conversation. People are more receptive when they hear these positive stories. It gives them hope that there are solutions being developed to combat the crisis, and they can become part of these solutions as customers, investors, employees, or cheerleaders.
What are some of the challenges you typically face in creating content or building out your audience?
Most of my content is focused on people who are on the fence about climate change — folks who know things are not going well, but they don’t know where to start. Since I have been in this space for the past few years, I have these biases and assumptions that come into play when I am writing. One of my biggest challenges is to make my content free of these so that it does not become overwhelming for anyone wanting to make a change.
In the last few months, I have also understood that content distribution is a beast in itself. If your content is not reaching the right audience, it doesn’t matter how good it is, unless you are writing only for yourself. I have doubled down on my distribution in the past six to seven months and have started seeing some early wins. My LinkedIn followers have grown five times and the newsletter subscribers have quadrupled.
How do you feel having a platform and community help to make the world better?
Our newsletter is read by people from 85 countries. It’s amazing to think about the wide reach of our content and the diverse audience it attracts. One thing I’ve come to realize is that you never know who is reading your content and how it might be impacting their lives. I receive messages from people who tell me they discovered new brands through my LinkedIn posts, even though I’ve never seen them interacting with my posts directly. It’s a powerful reminder of the influence we can have through online platforms.
Are there any upcoming initiatives or projects you’d like to share?
One of the most common requests we receive is to compile a database of the brands whose stories we share. So, we have started putting all of these brands into a Notion board, segregated by countries and categories. Paid subscribers to our newsletter have access to this database. I keep adding 25–50 brands to this database every week.
How can people help support your mission?
I have been fortunate to have amazing connections in my network who share impactful startup stories with me. This makes my job easier, as I don’t have to actively search for them. If you come across any such stories that you want me to share, feel free to send me an email or message me on LinkedIn or Instagram.
If you enjoy newsletters, consider subscribing to our weekly newsletter, Not My Problem. Every Friday, we will send positive climate change stories to your inbox. If you are able to, please consider becoming a paid subscriber to support the time, research, and love that goes into crafting each edition.
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