Ariana Marshall, Ph. D. – GBB Director
Q. How have your academic and work experiences led you to working with the GBB program?
After completing my Bachelor’s in Chemistry, although I liked to learn about how how everything is synthesized, I really was most interested in how this would be applied in the environment. That led me to study environmental science, then I realized that there are so much scientific studies out there which may have the answers to the world’s woes but if this science is never converted to policy or was never vetted by the general public to see if it is relevant, then it would simply exist out there in someone’s online journal article. That seemed to be waste of time and resources to me and so I knew that I wanted to be a facilitator of communication between these falsely perceived separate worlds of science and policy, science and public engagement. My dissertation work was focused on evaluating that communication in a rural community. I sought out extracurricular activities, jobs and career opportunities while completing this research so that I could hone that skill of being a facilitator. The Green Business Barbados Program is definitely a way for me to facilitate the merging of these worlds, the solutions to our environmental issues are out there or right here…..
Q. Why are you working with the Green Business Barbados Program?
I am working with the GBB program because there is simply too much evidence of the demonstrated value of sustainability and resulting creative business opportunities, for us to ignore in Barbados. As an environmental organizer and educator I can organize events, write articles and give presentations until I’m blue, at the end of the day if we don’t implement sustainability within our businesses, these efforts will be dwarfed by the largely detrimental impact of our business practices. The way we do business is the way we live. How we live is based on what we value, therefore why not address our values at work? Most of us are not independently wealthy and need to work in order to feed our families, most of us buy or sell something in the process of feeding our families, pursuing our personal interests and having fun. So since most of us plan on surviving through some form of business, do you see why I believe in the amplification effect of incorporating sustainability practices into our places of businesses? It is undeniable. I am confident that our local businesses can create concrete, logical and profitable solutions to our local and global environmental and economic issues which we can truly be proud of as a Nation. (I promise that I don’t talk this much in person unless you want me to )
Q. What has been your most recent environmental revelation?
My most recent revelation is that the desensitization which is happening in Barbados in terms of environmental issues isn’t really separate from the desensitization that happens in regards to hearing about crime, yet never really thinking that it could happen to us. We hear so much bad news, we see garbage floating in the wind, piled in alleys in Bridgetown, piled up in garbage receptacles by the sea, but do we think that our actions really have the power to change anything? At times the issues seem very distant until we have to deal with the problem, someone comes firing shots in our neighbourhood or someone’s piled high garbage blows in front of your business. Then we act, then we think decide to be more vigilant, then we decide to move the garbage and maybe not let ours pile so high again. So my revelation was that if more people hear and see what it is like to deal with other people’s irresponsibility, it would help us to turn on our “feelers” again (I just watched Equilibrium it would be like deciding to not take our Prozium anymore!). Through sharing our experiences through programs like the Green Business Barbados program both of problems and solutions, we can remember what piled high garbage really smells like, what being without water really feels like, what harsh pesticides and other chemicals really feel like in our nostrils and lungs and likewise how clean and resourceful Barbados was in the past!This can help with our increased sensitivity and therefore lead us to act more responsibly collectively.
Q. Where might I know you from?
Many moons ago I played tennis competitively.
Q. What is your favorite quote at the moment?
A. Ya can’t plant yams and reap eddoes – Bajan proverb
Q. For fun you…?
Stay on the beach as long as possible. Play the game “appliances” and any other game along those lines where someone has to guess what I’m doing, what I’m saying, what I’m acting….Taboo, Charades etc.
Q. What are you reading, watching listening to now?
Rather Be- Clean Bandit Feat. Jess Glyne, The Happy Song by Pharrell. Firestarter Sessions by Danielle Laporte