Katie McCoy had always been interested in nature. She’d taken a scientific path and after university was working as a microbiologist. But it was during an Earthwatch expedition to monitor biodiversity in the Puerto Rico rainforest that the dots connected for Katie. She saw how she could combine her passion for nature with her science background and make a meaningful impact on the world.
“The thing that influenced me was the holistic approach they were taking in this forest. They were obviously concerned about the conservation of the forest and the biodiversity within it, but they also had this sustainable forest management business going there. That was the first time I really started thinking about forest friendly businesses, and bringing the social aspect in.”
On her return, Katie was accepted onto a Conservation Science MSc programme at Imperial College. After graduating, she turned her attention to influencing the private sector - the missing link, as she saw it - between scientists and academics influencing policy and the public sector.
“What I do now is all about bringing new business models together based on shared values; benefits on the social and environmental side but with a strong business lead” explains Katie.