Anthem Features

Meet an Anthem Judge: Lance Gould, Brooklyn Story Lab

Lance Gould is the Chief Executive Officer of Brooklyn Story Lab, a content-strategy firm that teaches purpose-driven orgs how to think like media companies. Lance is also a member of the Anthem judging academy — read our interview with him below.


For those who are unfamiliar, can you tell us a bit about yourself and the work that you do?

I’m a former journalist who had newsroom-leadership roles at HuffPost, the New York Daily News, the Boston Phoenix, and Spy magazine. After 30 years in the space — and nudged by an unexpected layoff — I started my own media-consulting firm, Brooklyn Story Lab. Our mission is to teach purpose-driven organizations how to think and behave like media companies, so that they can get 1) more visibility and thus 2) more impact for the social good work they’re doing.

What expertise are you bringing as a judge for The Anthem Awards?

Hmmm. Not easy to talk about oneself in that way, but I have written or edited for more than 100 publications in the U.S., UK, and Canada, so I have a decent sense of storytelling. And I have covered or collaborated with various UN agencies since 1991 — I was at the very first Earth Summit in Rio in 1992 — and so I have a similarly decent sense of the issues that have been identified as the world’s most pressing problems.

What are you looking for in Anthem Awards entries?

I think actually moving the needle a little is more important than promising to move it a lot. What is the project doing to actually make impact?

What does it take for a project or campaign to cause real-world change?

Scalability. If you can ideate a solution that makes actual impact in one locale, it offers the potential to be able to make impact in another locale, as well.

What social impact campaign, grassroot effort, fundraiser or project has recently inspired you?

Piñatex, the vegan leather made out of pineapple leaves (video: The pineapple industry harvests about 27.5 million tons of pineapples every year — and generates over 76 million tons of waste in pineapple leaves. Left untended, that waste would turn into harmful methane emissions — but Piñatex turns that potential waste into vegan leather for major brands. Well produced video and campaign that courts corporate ingenuity.


Don’t miss your chance to get your work in front of Lance – enter the 2nd Annual Anthem Awards by our Final Entry Deadline September 23 here.

Patagonia – Don’t Buy This Jacket

Patagonia has put social impact at the core of their brand mission and values from the start, and their iconic Don’t Buy This Jacket campaign demonstrates how brands can use their platform to make an impact — or better yet, to help reduce our impact. This 2011 ad ran in the New York Times on Black Friday, making a lasting impression for its bold message addressing the issue of consumerism head on and asking readers to take the Common Threads Initiative pledge to reduce, repair, reuse, recycle, and reimagine a world where we take only what nature can replace.

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Ad Council’s Love Has No Labels Movement

Love Has No Labels is a movement by The Ad Council to promote diversity, equity and inclusion of all people across race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age and ability.

Read our Q&A with Heidi Arthur, the Ad Council’s Chief Campaign Development Officer on the team behind LHNL collaborates with partners to combat implicit bias—from crafting PSAs to driving viewers to take action, to how brands and companies should approach corporate social responsibility with authenticity.

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