Eric Unmacht

Executive Leadership Program - Vancouver Class 02


I am the communications strategist for the Vancouver Economic Commission, working to grow the city's low-carbon, knowledge economy, particularly the tech, digital entertainment and interactive, and green economy sectors. I am also co-founder of Evolve Sustainability, focused on internal and external communications designed to promote organizational health. 


Storytelling and natural science have long been my passions. After graduating from the University of California, Berkeley in environmental geography, I worked as an environmental consultant before discovering journalism at the Willamette Week in Portland, Oregon. I went on to attend Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism in New York, and then to report for 10 years as a radio and print journalist in North America and Asia. Overseas, I covered events from the Khmer Rouge tribunals to the Asian tsunami for such media outlets as The Christian Science Monitor, BBC, TIME and Newsweek. While reporting in Indonesia, Eric became interested in corporate social responsibility. I returned to the U.S. to work with Patagonia as managing editor, guiding such projects as the award-winning Footprint Chronicles. During my time with Patagonia, I earned a graduate degree in environmental management from Johns Hopkins University, and did internships at the World Wildlife Fund in Washington DC and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature in Asia. I moved to Vancouver with my wife, a native of British Columbia, and daughter to lead Lululemon Athletica's community sustainability program. 


I have long developed an appreciation for the connections between environmental, social and economic health through my reporting overseas and work in organizational sustainability. My focus on employee engagement in sustainability with Lululemon and Evolve, together with my 15-year practice of vipassana meditation, and more recently aikido, have fueled my passion for the connections between personal and community health.