Connecting people, places and ideas

RUTH LANDY | Principal

I’ve been making connections between people, places and ideas since I was a child, growing up as an expat in Geneva, Switzerland. I loved fondue, mountain railways and Swiss maps, whose exquisite detailing turned each walk into a local adventure. In a time before Google Earth and GPS, Swiss maps taught me scale, positioning and strategy. They were later recognized as true masterworks of data visualization.

Bridging borders, languages and cultures is in my DNA, the daughter of a UN labor law expert who was also a refugee and an immigrant.

No surprise I ended up on my own global journey, working on five continents for UNICEF, WHO, GAVI and the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health to:

  • Communicate the power of vaccines to global influentials;
  • Launch advocacy initiatives on health, nutrition, education and child protection;
  • Coordinate civil society action seeking G8 commitment for maternal, newborn and child health;
  • Manage teams and strategic plans in New York, Geneva and Vientiane;
  • Craft video reports in the field about saving lives and creating opportunity.

It was a life-changing experience. Along the way, I learned that collective action multiplies impact; spending money takes as much skill as raising it; a gender lens is essential; and storytelling principles are universal.

California is fertile ground for new beginnings. Now based in San Francisco, I consult for organizations large and small, working to better our world. To support clients, I draw on my global track record in advocacy and communication; my local experience as an award-winning documentary filmmaker; and new thinking, notably from Bay Area innovators in social media, human-centered design and data visualization.

Today I draw inspiration from Beth Kanter, Hans Rosling and new changemakers pushing the advocacy envelope, whether down the street or across the globe. When in need of perspective, it’s time for a short, steep walk up Bernal Hill. The splendid pattern of the cityscape below is an invitation to always think bigger picture.