Eva Dienel is a journalist, writer, and editor who creates stories that matter—stories with an environmental, social, or human focus that engage people in making the world a better place. She has been a writer and editor for a range of organizations, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Participant Media, Mother Jones and Outside magazines, and Sierra Club Books. Three years ago, she and her husband left their jobs in the San Francisco Bay Area and moved to a vineyard they developed in rural Australia, where they are raising their 8-year-old twins, writing, and making wine. For 10 months of the year, they live just outside Australia’s Grampians National Park, where they rock climb, hike, and mountain bike, and they spend December and January skiing, hiking, and trail-running with American friends and family in the Oregon Cascades.
Christine Bader’s last full-time job was as Amazon’s first director of social responsibility, a position she began two days after the 2015 front-page New York Times story about Amazon’s “bruising” workplace culture and quit 21 months later. Her 2014 book, The Evolution of a Corporate Idealist: When Girl Meets Oil, chronicles her career in corporate social responsibility: from working for BP in Indonesia, China, and the UK, to having the Deepwater Horizon disaster upend everything she thought she had learned about business. She has also worked with the United Nations, taught business and human rights at Columbia University, delivered a TED talk, and written for The New York Times and numerous other publications, In 2018, she relocated with her husband and 6-year-old twins to Indonesia to enroll her kids at the Green School, searching for community and a way of life that is sustainable in every dimension. This is a work-in-progress.
About Eva and Christine as a writing team: We met through our work with Business for Social Responsibility, a nonprofit that works with global companies on social and environmental sustainability. We connected over a love of words, running, and mothering boy-girl twins. By coincidence, we both landed in the Southern hemisphere and began exploring the relationship between work and life in earnest: Christine quit what was supposed to be her dream job and moved halfway around the world to Bali, the global epicenter of self-reflection. Eva, meanwhile, had moved to Australia with her family three years before and was crafting an approach to work centered around living “the life I want”—and profiling people doing the same thing. We reconnected over Skype and realized that we’re exploring the same questions and tensions in our own lives, and have been drawn to the stories of others on similar quests. We started sharing what we’d learned so far, and debating whether the answer is to “fix work” (Eva) or “f*ck work” (Christine). And so this book was born.
Eva is a journalist by training and Christine is an MBA, so neither of us has any tolerance for clichéd burnout memoirs, motivational self-help handbooks, or grand manifestos. We are not "people who have it all," and we don’t believe in five-step-formulas for success. We're living this experiment ourselves, asking these questions in our own lives, and exploring these issues through deep reporting. We believe we’ll find real solutions with broad applicability by profiling people and organizations who are going against the grain to reimagine work.
We also have a point of view based on our combined decades of work in corporate sustainability, seeing the best and the worst of business. We believe that work is one of the most powerful arenas for individuals to express their best selves, and for organizations to harness people and resources to achieve amazing things. (The opposite can be true as well.) Work is where business, society, culture, and politics intersect—and by fixing work, we believe it’s possible to fix a whole lot more.