Jonathan Baillie, ex EVP and Chief Scientist of National Geographic Society, has been appointed CEO of On The Edge Conservation – the foundation that uses media combined with the cutting edge technology to reconnect humanity with the natural world.
Using his 26 years of global conservation experience, Baillie will develop OTEC’s strategy for media content and technology, the primary aim of which is to inspire young activists to value, champion and secure the world’s diverse species and ecosystems.
Baillie succeeds OTEC’s Founder, Beth Blood who last year oversaw the organisation’s launch of the world’s first virtual influencers aimed at kids. Beth will remain Chair of On the Edge Conservation.
Featuring a series of animal characters – humanised by the latest motion capture techniques – OTEC’s virtual influencers vlog weekly on YouTube to engage young audiences with their cool lifestyles, whilst also voicing their predicament as EDGE species.
Jonathan joins OTEC following an extensive career spanning major, conservation not-for profits including the National Geographic Society, the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and remains President of the Board of US-based, NATURAL STATE.
An early career highlight for Baillie includes his instrumental contributions to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals from 1996 to 2007. The IUCN Red List is the world’s most comprehensive inventory of the global conservation status of species.
Jonathan also co-founded the EDGE of Existence Programme – a science-based agenda designed to highlight the world’s most Evolutionary Distinct and Globally Endangered (EDGE) species. On the Edge Conservation is committed to the preservation of several of the EDGE species found on the list.
More recently, in collaboration with the Wyss Foundation, Baillie initiated and launched one of the most successful and ambitious campaigns for the natural world, aiming to protect 30% of the planet by 2030. This has now been adopted by countries around the world.
This past year, with the support of the Scheinberg Relief Fund, he spearheaded the Wildlife Ranger Challenge to help keep rangers across Africa employed during the COVID 19 crises. It was the largest campaign to date for rangers, raising over 10 million dollars and supported over 9,000 rangers in 119 protected areas.
Jonathan Baillie, CEO at OTEC comments:
‘It is a great honour to be joining On The Edge Conservation as CEO. There has never been a more important time for people to understand, value and protect the diversity of life. OTEC is a leading media and technology company for nature using innovative storytelling to connect people with the natural world. I am looking forward to working with the world’s leading storytellers, conservationists and technologists to help redefine our relationship with nature, and convey the important message of wildlife conservation through its vital work in the kid’s media space.
Founder of OTEC, Beth Blood comments:
We are thrilled to welcome Jonathan to the team at OTEC. As a founding trustee of the organization, Jonathan has a thorough understanding of how we work and through his wealth of experience in conservation, he can make a valuable contribution to the team. During his remarkable career, Jonathan has spotted a disconnect between the younger generation and the stories we need to tell from our natural world. In joining OTEC, he unites with our mission of using cutting-edge media and technology to reconnect humanity with nature and protect the diversity of life’’