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Never Let a Crisis Go to Waste

Have you ever given a second thought to kelp? Other than when you’re on the beach, and you step over it, or see it tangled up in the waves? Kelp is kind of like the grass of the sea, and if you really think about it, we don’t give any thought to the grass beneath our feet, either. We take for granted that these things are just a part of nature, and we have to “deal” with them. But we’re beginning to learn just how valuable and integral kelp actually is (it’s being researched as biofuel and is made into food that actually tastes great – so I’m told!). While many cultures have used kelp for years for food sources and medicine, the U.S. is just starting to have a kelp awakening, and when I came across this NYT story, I not only saw kelp for the nutrition-packed food source that it is, I also saw the power of innovation at play.

During the darkest hours comes the greatest opportunities, if we can keep our wits about us.

Here’s an excerpt from the article that really resonated: “Everybody put the horse before the cart,” said Casey Emmett, 36, the C.E.O. of the Crop Project, a company that buys seaweed from farmers and then dries and mills it so that it can be used to make food, fertilizer and biomaterials, like plastic. This year, he said, the Crop Project, in conjunction with GreenWave, was able to harvest 5,000 pounds of kelp during the peak months of the pandemic, which they dried in a tobacco barn. Before the pandemic, Mr. Smith, of GreenWave, said that the intention had been to process the kelp in commercial kitchens. “We didn’t feel comfortable processing in close quarters,” he said. Instead, Mr. Smith found that Connecticut had almost 100 empty tobacco barns: “I never let a crisis go to waste.”

I love Mr. Smith’s words in this story: never let a crisis go to waste. At BrandAlive, when the pandemic started, and we were also uncertain of our course, we knew if we kept calm and focused inward, while the winds were swirling, we would have a chance to see and capture what would not be possible under normal circumstances. This led us to realize that more than ever, people needed an anchor, something to hold onto. The result: we created a course on brand strategy that is helping individuals and companies better understand their purpose and their story. If you’d like to check out an overview of the course, you can click the link here.