Alex Goetz

Roles at NAAEE:

30 Under 30

Toledo, OH, United States                                      SEE OTHER BIOS HERE
Age: 27

Alex is a film and media maker creating educational films on wildlife and conservation to inspire change.

Tell us about yourself!

Early on, I knew I wanted to have a career working with wildlife. However, as I went through school, I realized that math and sciences weren’t my strongest subjects. Instead, I gravitated more towards arts and media. I didn’t know how that would translate into a career until I watched Planet Earth for the first time in high school and realized that wildlife filmmaking is a real career that people have. From there I was hooked. I finally knew how I wanted to use my skills, to create films and photos that hopefully inspired people to conserve and explore the natural world around them.

I co-founded a media production company, Running Wild Media, which focuses on creating educational media content for different conservation organizations, wildlife groups, and zoological institutions. My hope with this company is that we can create engaging content that can make a positive impact for wildlife, but also educate children on environmental science, who may be having the same experience I did in school but just haven’t found a way to engage with the content yet.

What inspired you to become a champion for environmental education?

While I always have had a love for wildlife, it wasn’t until I started to realize what was happening to environments around the world that I really felt the motivation to act. I don’t know if I would call it passion or obsession, but I live to try and inspire positive change in people’s impact on the environment. The opportunity we have today to reach millions of people through video, photos, or social media is so powerful, and my goal is to learn as much as I can about environmental education and effective communication to motivate change.

What advice would you give to the next generation of leaders that are looking to bring about positive change in their communities through EE?

Really take a deep look at how people are learning and consuming content. Sometimes, we need to adapt how we’re educating and meet people where they are. It could inspire them in the classroom, or inspire them on Youtube or Instagram where they like to spend their time. But also, don’t be afraid to inject your story into the content you create. It will make your content relatable and hopefully people will connect with you on a personal level and believe more in your message.

What keeps you motivated, inspired, or hopeful for the future?

This is a really tough question. Not only is the conservation world rarely positive, but also the media and film industry is very tough to exist in when trying to pave your own path through it. I think it’s the moments between the exhaustion from filming and editing for months straight, when you finally release a project you’ve been working on and someone tells you they’ve connected with it. It’s those moments that inspire me to keep going. It could be one hundred people or just one person, it doesn’t matter. The exponential impact of inspiring one individual can be huge.

There’s just so much potential to reach people in today’s world and inspire positive action. That’s what keeps me hopeful.

If you had to live in one place for the rest of your life, where would it be?

Yellowstone!