Passing the Thread with Anne Therese

Changing the world for the better isn’t ever easy.  There are some days it’s downright disheartening with constant inundation of content and statistics. Perhaps no one understands this feeling more, or how to reimagine climate anxiety, than our new muse, Climate Optimist, Anne Therese (@annetheresegennari).  Our thread is passed to her from Britt Bergmeister (@brittbergmeister), of On Duty Citizen (@ondutycitizen), at a crucial time environmentally, and as fires rage the West Coast.  While our thread changes hands, we’re excited to showcase Anne’s, woven with the bold yarns of some rebel sanity and a real positive change-maker.

Having grown up in Halmstad, a small town in southwest Sweden, appreciation of wild nature was ever-present in Anne’s upbringing. From an early age, she felt the desire to be a creator, and would often write and make songs.  More than anything, she wanted to make a difference in the world, especially as she began to see the destruction of the climate crisis. Coming into adulthood, she was able to envision her path to cultivating a better tomorrow by pursuing her artistic, entrepreneurial, and environmental passions.  

She studied business and marketing, and moved to New York City to pursue modeling. Her goal wasn’t necessarily related to the modeling aspect, but the scope of influence she could potentially cast as an eco-warrior model.  Frustrated with the realities that silenced her with the job of being a signed model, she began to feel disconnected.  The detachment encouraged her to seek out other models with similar sustainable ethics.

Ever at the forefront of being a change-maker, Anne championed the idea of an ethical modeling agency in which models could use their pop-culture status to advocate activism; the agency would replace the historically silent muse with an innovator with a powerful voice.  In 2017, Anne accomplished this vision when she co-founded Role Models Management (@rolemodelsmgmt) with Val Emanuel (@malibumama_). The agency focuses on providing an “environment where models feel safe and comfortable to learn and grow” while empowering them to go out and change the world. Consequently, the agency attracts brands that share the mission and “pairs them with like-minded models who will authentically (and proudly) represent their brand.”  

As her identity as a Climate Optimist further actualized, Anne spoke out about reconstructing the narrative on climate change.  Instead of being paralyzed by frustration and anxiety towards climate change, the discussion was shifted to our daily potential to create a sustainable future.  Thinking more along the lines of, “What kind of world do we want to live in?” inspires a hopeful and actionable intention. Interweaving the motivations of climate change and quality of life creates hope in building an abundant life. The emphasis is on the joys of being alive today, coming together with other mission-driven individuals, and collectively tending to how the world can be better.

Anne is a frequent guest on podcasts discussing her role as a Climate Optimist.  She also hosts her own, Hey Change, which promotes an ethically sustainable life through happiness in embracing change in the unknown. Most recently, Anne founded The Action Squad (@climate_actionsquad), a community for passionate change-makers and climate leaders. The Action Squad provides a platform to bring people together by empowering them with resources and communal motivation. They host live sessions with industry professionals, classes on human psychology, live polls, documentary and film screenings, and more. On September, 10th they showed the experimental documentary, The Need to GROW (@theneedtogrow), and hosted a panel discussion. The film is about our planet’s vanishing topsoil and calls to action the urgency faced in only having 60 years of farmable soil left on Earth. Narrated by Rosario Dawson, the documentary chooses to take a solution-based approach to the pressing concern. Anne is devoted to soil health advocacy and spreads awareness of the issue on her social platforms with the hashtag #soilissexy. Follow it to learn more about the importance of soil and how we can enact sustainable solutions. 
We cannot wait to watch Anne’s Climate Optimist journey continue to unfold.  She reminds us to slow down and reimagine the possible changes we can make in the world.  We find hope in taking action by producing our conscious designs to inspire people to step sustainably into each day.

Join our next journey as our thread passes to Robin Shaw, a model with Role Model Management. Find out how she inspires us by using her platform to spread awareness about the issues most important to her.