Free Agent & Founder, Grist
Chip Giller is a social entrepreneur working at the intersection of media, culture, community, and emerging technology. He believes in a planet that doesn’t burn and a future that doesn’t suck. His current focus is on the transformative opportunities opened up by new immersive technologies, such as virtual reality and augmented reality, to build relationships, foster empathy, and shape culture.
Giller has been an innovator in the climate movement and media field for more than 25 years, leading creative storytelling teams and partnering with nonprofits, companies, philanthropists, activists, and other leaders to accelerate progress to a better, more just world. In 1999, he founded one of the first digital news organizations and first nonprofit newsrooms, Grist, intent on using a new type of journalism to engage the next generation on environmental issues. Over more than two decades, Grist has helped to introduce climate into the mainstream, held power to account across our threatened democracy, and inspired millions to get engaged, take action, and even shift careers to focus their lives on the climate crisis. The organization has also played a vital role in training a new, diverse generation of journalists who are now reporting for some of the country’s most influential media outlets. Grist has been recognized in many ways for its impact, including as the 2021 recipient of a General Excellence Award from the Online Journalism Association.
In 2017, Giller launched Fix, Grist’s solutions lab. Fix explores the world of what’s possible, identifying and celebrating a diverse array of climate solutions leaders; connecting them to each other through creative events to deepen their impact; and telling unexpected stories about justice and progress, including through an award-winning climate-fiction contest.
Giller is dedicating his time now to preparing mission-driven storytellers for extended reality (XR), which he believes will be the next platform for communications, community engagement, and organizing. He continues to sit on the Grist Board and also co-directs a philanthropic fund that supports social-justice leaders.
Among other honors, Giller has received a Heinz Award for founding the country’s most influential green media platform, and been named a TIME magazine “Hero of the Environment.” He has been featured for his work in such outlets as Vanity Fair and Outside, and appeared on broadcast programs such as NBC’s Today show. Before launching Grist, Giller was editor of Greenwire, the first environmental news daily. He and his family live on Vashon Island, near Seattle.