Jodi Monelle is the Founder and CEO of the planet’s leading sustainable lifestyle platform, “LIVEKINDLY.” The platform was designed to inform and illuminate people to eco-conscious choices. Choice is a very powerful thing, the thing that makes survival possible.
Jodi created “LIVEKINDLY” as an empowering force to combat the usual judgmental nature of those cultures, to uplift women leaders, and strengthen their experience across all industries, and as a solution-focused and accessible platform to those just curious about living more sustainably or incorporating more plant-based meals into their diet.
We are not defined by the things that make us separate and distinct, but by the moments that we share with others.
What inspired you in your life to create your platform?
That’s a great question and I never know how to answer that concisely because there are a myriad of reasons. On a personal level I went through a bit of a journey myself. It wasn’t an intentional thing, but I just found myself reconnecting with the planet in a way that I felt like I needed to live in alignment with my own values. I always professed that I cared about climate change, animals, and people, but I wasn’t actively doing anything to help. I wasn’t doing anything intentionally ill-willed, but also nothing to counter it or make a positive difference. On a more professional level with how I started LIVEKINDLY, I have a background in media and marketing, but it was never really fueled by purpose. It was just creating content for the sake of creating content. When I first went plant based, I found it difficult to connect with an inclusive, encouraging, supportive community of people. I was met with a lot of judgement and negativity and pressure to be ‘perfect’ overnight — not always directly but it was a general sentiment I felt when reading articles or browsing vegan/zero waste Facebook groups. Media coverage when it comes to topics such as climate change typically feels alarmist or fear mongering. And it’s mostly true, but the news stories made me feel totally hopeless! I believe it makes most of us feel that way. My drive was to bridge my passion for sustainable living and my expertise in media to create a community that was focused on inclusivity, how we can celebrate progress, and empower people to make positive changes in their lives. Creating a dialogue about how we can collectively make a difference.
How do you battle that challenge of negativity?
I still see it a lot unfortunately and it’s not good for the brain to be on social media too often. Honestly, I understand it because sometimes I fall into that too because there is a sense of hopelessness, especially with the pandemic. Of course, it’s hard to stay positive in tough times. I deal with negativity by being a realist. We can’t solve problems that we are facing overnight. I stay positive by focusing on all the good things that are happening — the innovation and activism we see in younger generations.
What purpose would you like people to receive from the platform?
The purpose is serving an inclusive community that is focused on making positive change. That sounds broad, but it really is a holistic approach. It can mean so many different things for so many different people. For me, it could be sustainable living, for someone else it could be health and wellness, or mental health, or animal rights. But overall, it’s about progress and celebrating the steps we collectively take toward building a more compassionate world for one another. The fact is we need community dialogue and conversation to get better. We have a lot of people arguing about how to do it rather than people getting out there and doing it, talking about it, and finding solutions. As cheesy as it sounds, at its core, it’s about bringing people together and doing good.
I love the name “LIVEKINDLY.”
Thank you. There was a lot of intention behind that. I purposefully avoided the labels “sustainable” or “vegan.” Many people resonate with wanting to be kinder. Not everyone wants to be living a zero-waste life, not everyone wants to give up meat, but I believe living kindly is something most of us want to do.
I totally agree with you. Do you think that something like this should be taught in schools from an early age?
Teaching compassion is important in general. I don’t have children, so I’m far removed from the current state of the education system, but in my own experience, there is so much that is missing in schools that is so valuable, like how to manage your finances or understanding politics. Compassion should be taught to kids too. At a young age we are taught not to bully, or to learn how to share toys, but it’s missing later in the education system or in life in general. Even in business and the work environment, we’re taught about etiquette, politeness and decorum, but we’re not talking about compassion. Not many people have their heads in that space unfortunately. We’re all here to climb the ladder. We all have an agenda, and we are all focused on ourselves, which is also important. But we do tend to forget about others.
If someone wanted to learn more about your platform, how would you suggest that they do so?
There are several ways. You can find us on Instagram, Facebook, Tiktok, YouTube or you can go to the website. We have a myriad of content. If you want more thought-provoking opinion pieces, we have articles, and you can check them out on Facebook and subscribe to the newsletter. Our content mix looks different on different platforms, something for everyone. Being in the digital space is great and it’s a wonderful way to connect with millions of people in real time, however especially with COVID, people miss true human interaction. We see a lot of room to grow and expand our community where people can find true connections. More to come on that.
Is there anything you’d like to add that we haven’t touched on?
One element that is super important to me is seeing more women in entrepreneurialism and leadership roles, but particularly in ESG (environmental, social, and governance), human rights and generally “Business for Good.” Women are huge drivers for positive change and can lead with compassion while turning a profit.
I feel a certain level of responsibility to create more space for the voices of women in senior positions. It doesn’t necessarily get easier holding a C-suite title — unfortunately you’re met with a host of new challenges and ways to be silenced. But I would encourage any woman reading this to not let that stop them. We need more of us.