At SXSW 2018, supermodel and entrepreneur Karlie Kloss and adidas Head of Global Brands Eric Liedtke, sat down with NPR’s Guy Raz for a conversation on creating change.
Onstage, Kloss and Liedtke share their stories, their inspirations, and their visions. Although their work is seemingly worlds apart on a surface level, Kloss and Liedtke both exude a visible passion for improving the world and solving issues they care about.
Kloss didn’t enter the tech industry with the intention of creating a non-profit to address the gender disparity. She instead entered tech as the by-product of her curiosity.
“I wanted to understand what code was and all of the ways that technology was transforming the world around me.” – Kloss
While learning code she recognized the cultural issue in the tech industry and launched the nonprofit, Koding with Klossy, that empowers girls to learn to code and become leaders in tech.
Liedtke’s story is slightly different. A lifelong ocean conservancy advocate and avid water-sports fan, Liedtke used his executive position at adidas to launch a large-scale sustainability-focused campaign. He explains that as a company it is essential to ask, “what is one of the most important things we can do and make a difference in?” With Liedtke’s vision as a guide, adidas chose to address the waste and massive scale consumption of single-use plastics.
“Right now there is about 270 million tons of plastic in the oceans… a huge dump truck of single-use plastics goes into the oceans every minute.” – Liedtke
To curb the production and use of single-use plastics, adidas eliminated plastics in their retail stores, global campuses, and products – and from what Leidtke describes, that’s only the beginning.
The session ends on an optimistic note encouraging the audience to take action, pursue what they are passionate about, and create change with only one thing in mind: “Don’t let perfect get in the way of better.”
Whether you are driving change as the CMO of one of the world’s largest brands, developing a non-profit and using your platform to educate, or making more thoughtful decisions as a consumer, action of any scale is essential because the cost of inaction, as Kloss and Liedtke describe, is severe.
Watch the video above for the full Featured Session. Browse more 2018 Keynotes, Featured Sessions, Red Carpets, and Q&A’s on our YouTube Channel.
Photo by Nicola Gell/Getty Images