The first thing Rick Ridgeway did upon arriving in Australia was hire a car, and drive straight out to the wetlands on the western edge of Melbourne’s Port Phillip Bay to indulge one of his passions – birdwatching. The largely featureless, marshy landscape, over the course of the day, revealed no less than 109 species of Australian birdlife. Rick ticked them off as he went, delighted.
As Patagonia’s VP of Public Engagement, the mountaineer, surfer, author and environmentalist was in Australia to meet key stakeholders and discuss the idea of business as an agent for environmental and social good. In his years at Patagonia Rick has been responsible for several landmark initiatives, including the iconic “Don’t Buy This Jacket” campaign, which challenged the idea of rampant consumerism.
The morning after his birdwatching expedition Rick found himself at Bells Beach, and in the absence of any surf he counted bird species while recounting the story of, in his younger years, almost missing the last boat of the Antarctic winter and being marooned on the ice continent for six months.