Using entertainment to drive impactful change at WaterBear

Poppy Mason-Watts, Chief Growth and Impact Officer at WaterBear, is dedicated to leveraging the power of entertainment to inspire positive action. WaterBear is a leading free streaming platform and publisher that offers a wide array of award-winning and sustainably certified films. By encouraging viewers to shift away from mindless scrolling and engage with thought-provoking content, WaterBear aims to address environmental and humanitarian issues. With a strong focus on collaboration and impact, Poppy, along with the dedicated team at WaterBear, strives to make a tangible difference in the world. In this interview, Poppy shares insights about WaterBear’s mission, joining the UN Global Compact, their impact on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and personal commitments to sustainability and human rights.

Inspiring action through entertainment 

As part of the founding team and a company director, Poppy Mason-Watts holds the role of Chief Growth and Impact Officer at WaterBear. Her responsibilities encompass driving impact through productions and partnerships, ensuring brand partners prioritize impactful marketing and content production, formulating growth strategies for the platform, and engaging a global audience in conscious thinking. Despite the challenges that come with the role, Poppy is driven by her passion for making the world a better place and utilizing the power of film and entertainment as catalysts for change.

Motivation and alignment 

WaterBear firmly believes in the power of radical collaboration for good, bringing together NGOs, brands, philanthropists, filmmakers, and Fortune 500 companies. Recognizing that brands and businesses hold significant trust among Gen Zs and millennials, WaterBear actively collaborates with them to drive meaningful change. Joining the UN Global Compact, an organization with an extensive network of businesses that share a commitment to driving positive impact, was a natural alignment for WaterBear’s mission and values.

“I go to work wanting to make the world a better home, using entertainment and film as a lever to drive change – what more could you really want in a role?”

Impact across the SDGs: Stories as tools for change 

WaterBear aims to effect change across all the SDGs by utilizing stories as powerful tools. Their films and campaigns cover a diverse range of topics, including biodiversity conservation, climate change, human rights, and more. Since its launch a few years ago, WaterBear has prioritized impact at every level of its operations. From launching impactful campaigns aligned with film releases to measuring the tangible effects of films and campaigns, WaterBear embeds ethical and sustainable practices throughout the organization. The entire team at WaterBear shares a common goal of making a difference, and every initiative is designed to foster collaboration and drive progress towards the SDGs.

Personal commitment to SDGs: Fast fashion and human rights 

For Poppy, SDG 10 (Reduced Inequalities) and SDG 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production) hold significant importance. She is particularly passionate about addressing issues related to fast fashion and human rights. Inspired by friends who work in the slow fashion industry, Poppy strives to make sustainable choices, such as reducing waste, supporting second-hand brands, and purchasing from small brands owned by friends. WaterBear has recently initiated a partnership with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, focusing on promoting circularity as a cultural concept. Additionally, Poppy’s strong commitment to human rights led her to embark on a swimming challenge across the English Channel to raise awareness and funds for the ongoing migrant crossing disasters.

“Don’t give up – if you face challenges making a change in your organization, find another way. Small steps are key – find your sword, the one thing your brand feels comfortable championing.”

Joining the UN Global Compact Network Netherlands’ Board: learning and collaboration

Poppy’s decision to join the UN Global Compact Network Netherlands’ board stemmed from her desire to learn from individuals and businesses actively driving positive change. Drawing from her extensive experience in media, entertainment, and marketing, Poppy aims to bring a fresh perspective to the board. She recognizes the pivotal role that stories play in transforming mindsets and uniting communities and looks forward to exploring how the UN Global Compact’s work can be amplified through powerful storytelling, empowering businesses to embrace sustainable practices.

Integrate the SDGs into your business and personal live

Poppy offers valuable advice to organizations and young professionals seeking to integrate the SDGs into their endeavours. She emphasizes the importance of persistence and finding alternative routes when faced with challenges. Small steps are key, and it is crucial to identify the one cause or initiative that aligns closely with one’s brand values. Poppy underscores the significance of storytelling, highlighting that audiences are more engaged by compelling narratives that champion underrepresented stories and reflect the genuine commitment of businesses to their sustainability goals.

Poppy Mason-Watts

Poppy Mason-Watts

Chief Growth en Impact Officer, WaterBear

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