Mark Pershin Steps Down as CEO

Posted Thursday January 25, 2018 by Mark

This photo represents our power to influence nature being ultimately eclipsed by natures ability to wipe us out.

It is with a heavy heart that I announce my resignation from my leadership role as the CEO of Less Meat Less Heat. I hope you will take the time to read and understand my reasons for doing so as I have in my best attempts to explain and communicate them to you. Ultimately my decision stems from my understanding that, as Albert Einstein so eloquently put it, that ‘we cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them’. That ‘thinking’ is more than just a thought but rather the overarching paradigm of the perpetual-growth capitalistic socio-economic model within which we live. In the interests of brevity however I will keep it short and leave the full discussion of my reasoning to my personal blog which you can find here.

 

Less Meat Less Heat (LMLH) has come a long way from its humble beginnings as an idea I had on a particularly pensive walk back when I was living in Amsterdam about three years ago. I originally conceived LMLH out of necessity from the realisation that we cannot solve the climate crisis through the transition to renewable energy alone, as I later argued here. I was ultimately frustrated at both the grass-roots climate movement and our international geo-political response to the climate crisis for being so narrow-mindedly focused only on the transition from fossil-fuels to renewable energy, since this left out both a third of greenhouse gas emissions as well as massive opportunities for sucking the carbon out of the atmosphere – trees.

 

Although we worked hard at changing their minds, not much has changed since, with LMLH still being the minority of organisations attempting to address climate change through diet change, alongside the vital decarbonisation of society (side note – Al Gore did briefly mention the impact of livestock agriculture at his presentation at COP23, however this only accounted for about 10 seconds of a half-hour-long presentation). LMLH was ultimately conceived to fill a gap in the marketplace of ideas required to solve the climate crisis and this is precisely why I was so passionate about LMLH until recent months. I still believe it to be a vital part of the global grass-roots climate movement, so I hope we can find someone to take over my role as CEO, however I understand due to the high demands of the role and non-existent pay, this may take some time.

 

I would like to thank you all for your amazing work, passion and determination over the years. Over the past 3 years we have achieved a lot at LMLH, from building a movement both on social media and in real life that spans the world to crowdfunding, developing and publicly launching a multi-platform smartphone app that had been used by thousands to learn about the climate impacts of their food choices, just to name a few key milestones. Let’s not forget that we actually represented our growing movement at two international UN climate talks – COP21 and COP23! I have learned a lot throughout this incredible journey and had a lot of fun along the way. From the bottom of my heart, I’d like to extend a BIG THANK YOU in the form of virtual hugs and kisses (redeemable in person next time we meet) to all volunteers and supporters no matter how big or small your involvement – none of this would have been possible without your hard work and support.

 

What happens next?

This is a difficult question to answer at this point since one of the downsides of being a founding director of an organisation is that everything is led and coordinated by yours truly. Hence without me at the wheel there will likely be a drastic slowdown in activity until a time when we find someone else to take over – we have just put up the position description so if you or someone you know are perfect for the role, then please check out the details and apply here. I’ve been convinced by eager volunteers that some activities can continue, such as building the movement through social media, screening events and the occasional fundraising BBQ to keep the [digital] lights on. I believe this to be possible, however programs such as upgrade of The Climatarian Challenge, Skip Beef for the Reef and the LMLH schools program will have to be put on hold until further notice. This is unfortunate to say the least, but I don’t see any other way. Should you have any ideas on how the organisation can move forward then please do let me know through our contact form.

 

UPDATE 15th Feb – We have just recruited a new CEO and will be making an official announcement through a press release over the coming weeks once the dust has settled. Exciting times for all! 

 

If you would like to join me on my journey of systems change, then please drop me a line at mailto:me@igorvoronkov.com (ensure you’ve read my reasoning in full here first).

 

Much love,

Igor Voronkov

(The founder formerly known as Mark Pershin)

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