people & partners
The Collective includes an immediate family of experienced collaborators and, indirectly, a constantly expanding universe of professional and social communities: marketing, PR and creative professionals, writers and editors, grassroots groups, nonprofit professionals, artists and creatives, activists and culture shapers.
Equal parts strategist, publicist, marketer, social entrepreneur, nonprofit leader, and writer, Scott has 20 years of experience and a broad perspective promoting ideas, products and services in various culture-shaping (and sometimes suffocating) worlds — advertising, media, interactive design, photography, technology, television and fashion.
Some years ago, catalyzed by 9/11 and an ongoing process of spiritual and social awakening, he broke the trance of an increasingly cynical consumer culture and started applying his corporate-honed skills to social impact. He has an insatiable interest in transforming failed systems, in big ideas and the behaviors that drive people, what resonates with them, and how to engage them.
In his new incarnation, he worked with Josh Baran on the media relations for the 2003 New York visit of the Dalai Lama, handling various press events and nearly 500 foreign and domestic journalists from all forms of media.
He founded Antidote Collective in 2004 and has since worked with innovative nonprofits, foundations, citizen groups, social entrepreneurs and thinkers at the intersection of progressive issues, media, arts and culture, socially responsible business and big ideas. He's helped dozens of clients on both US coasts and places in between, in Europe, and down under in Australia.
Those have included several subsequent US visits of the Dalai Lama, publicity for Phil Donahue’s anti-war film Body of War, PR for healthcare "whistleblower" Wendell Potter and groups like Rainforest Action Network, the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE) and Bard Center for Environmental Policy, branding for Rippel Foundation, strategic communications for the Local Economies Project of the New World Foundation, and creative naming development for American Express and global visual rebranding support for Coca-Cola with Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide's famed design and innovation division Brand Integration Group (BIG).
In 2002 Scott spent a week in India with leading environmental and anti-globalization activist (and bona fide heroine) Vandana Shiva, fellow activist and editor Satish Kumar, Ela Gandhi (yes, that Gandhi — his granddaughter), and about a dozen others on a small research farm discussing Gandhi’s approach to nonviolence and personal and community self-sufficiency. It was a profound introduction to what we now call Localism (or Local Living Economies).
His personal antidotes are a strong meditation practice and holistic living, which keep him centered and positive and his mind agile and creative (relatively speaking). He lives with his partner Amy Soucy and two cats in Beacon, New York, just north of NYC in the verdant Hudson Valley.
Affiliations + Ventures
- BEAHIVE / Founder
spaces for work and community collaboration partly inspired by the coworking and Localism movements
- Re>Think Local / Co-founder + Board Chair
nonprofit collaborative that educates and empowers locally owned independent businesses, organizations and citizens who care equally about people, planet and prosperity
- Social Venture Institute / Hudson Valley / Co-founder + Producer
retreat for world-changing social entrepreneurs and innovative nonprofit leaders
- BeaconArts / Board Member
nonprofit that has promoted and nurtured arts and culture in Beacon, NY, since 2002
- Progressive PR Professionals - PR/PR/PR / Steering Committee
network of 1000-plus communicators
PR STRATEGIST + CEO / BARAN STRATEGIES
Josh has been pushing progressive social change for more than three decades — before it was professionally fashionable. He's best known for his work in nonprofit communications, public affairs, crisis management, entertainment, publishing, religion and technology. He has been intimately involved in many high-profile campaigns and projects involving environmental protection, public health and human rights, counseling leading foundations, nonprofit organizations, corporations, media companies, film studios and music companies.
One of his special areas of expertise is in the intersection between entertainment and political, social and religious issues. During his long and varied career, he has worked with an extraordinarily broad range of clients, companies, and leaders — from Bill Gates and the Dalai Lama to Arnold Schwarzenegger; from Time Warner, Miramax and Sony Pictures to the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Pediatric AIDS Foundation, and Amnesty International; from Earth Day 1990 to managing communication for cases before the United States Supreme Court. He lives in NYC.
Steven is a New York-based graphic designer and illustrator who aims to deliver unforgettable work to his clients through a process of thoughtful collaboration and shared goals. Services include: branding, identity systems, illustration, iconography, information graphics, collateral design, web design, advertising, book covers, posters, package design, and typography. Clients have included A&E, Café Spice, Care for the Homeless, GQ, McKinsey & Company, New York magazine, Nickelodeon, Spin and Vibe magazines, and major book publishers.
FOUNDER/CEO / ON BELAY BUSINESS ADVISORS
Ajax works with Scott as a co-producer of Social Venture Institute / Hudson Valley, a weekend retreat for world-changing social entrepreneurs, and various other programs and workshops. He's also a fellow co-founder and board member of Re>Think Local.
Ajax is a well-known and respected serial social entrepreneur, CSR evangelist., trusted generalist business advisor, and global connector of confidential business transactions. He has turned his abundant creativity, talent and positive energy to building organizations and a community that expresses a deep commitment to being conscious of the triple bottom line of people, planet and prosperity.
He has deep experience leading and advising organizations in a wide variety of industries, from fitness to pharma, retail to manufacturing, clean tech to e-commerce. He is an accredited associate of The Institute for Independent Business and a longtime member of the Social Venture Network. As a former world-class rock climber and adventure athlete he understands commitment, drive and vision.
Communications Consultant + Media Analyst + Author
Following a 20-year career as a corporate public relations executive, Wendell faced crises of conscience and left his position as head of communications for CIGNA, one of the nation’s largest health insurers. In widely covered testimony before a US Senate committee in 2009, Wendell disclosed guarded internal practices of health insurers, describing, among other things, how the industry has developed and implemented strategic communications plans, based on deceptive PR, advertising and lobbying efforts, to defeat reform initiatives.
Wendell subsequently testified before House committees, briefed members of Congress and their staffs, appeared with members of Congress at several press conferences, spoken at hundreds of public forums, and has been the subject of numerous articles in the US and foreign media. Time magazine wrote that Wendell "may be the ideal whistle-blower" in part because of his "logical, specific and convincing" testimony.
His breakthrough book is an exposé of health insurers and a stark warning that corporate spin is distorting our democracy. Deadly Spin: An Insurance Company Insider Speaks Out on How Corporate PR Is Killing Health Care and Deceiving Americans (Bloomsbury Press hardcover, November 2010) tells us why — and how — we must fight back.
Wendell is currently a senior analyst at the The Center for Public Integrity, a non-partisan nonprofit that produces original, responsible investigative journalism on issues of public concern; the senior fellow on health care for the Center for Media and Democracy, an independent, non-partisan public interest organization; and speaks out on the dangers to American democracy and society of the decline of the media as watchdog, which has contributed to the growing and increasingly unchecked influence of corporate PR. He also serves as a consumer liaison representative for the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.
Wendell previously handled communications at Humana Inc., the Baptist Health System of East Tennessee, and was a partner in an Atlanta PR firm. He began his career as a journalist, later covering Congress, the White House and the Supreme Court, and penning a weekly political column for the Scripps-Howard News Bureau in Washington, DC. He has also served as press secretary to a Tennessee gubernatorial candidate and as a lobbyist at both the state and federal levels.
Wendell is accredited in public relations (APR) by the Public Relations Society of America, is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and the National Press Club, and serves on the Editorial Advisory Board of WhoWhatWhy.com. He lives in Philadelphia.
Yoga + Meditation Instructor / Resonant Heart Yoga
Amy and Scott co-facilitate the Visioning for Change workshops, a unique, profound approach to map an individual's or organization's future by combining awareness-based practices with strategic visioning exercises and community building.
A yogi, seeker, movement-junkie and devout student of the mind-body connection, Amy is a New York-based instructor known for her expressive and authentic approach to the art of awareness. With extensive training in both the Integral and Anusara methods of hatha yoga, Amy offers her skills to a diverse range of students in a variety of settings: NYC Public Schools, NYU and Fordham, New York Foundling Community Services, Spuytin Duyvil Preschool, corporate events, public parks, yoga studios and private homes. She is also a staff member of the Lineage Project, which brings mindfulness-based practices to vulnerable youth throughout NYC.