Get Together

Chad Nelsen, CEO of Surfrider: Bringing activists around the world together to protect our oceans.

Episode Summary

We speak with Dr. Chad Nelsen, the CEO of Surfrider about how Surfrider got started in Malibu, California, and what they’ve done to expand the organization and its impact around the globe. Chad started working at Surfrider when he was 28 years-old and fresh out of grad school. At that time the foundation had just six employees and 20 chapters. Today, there are 190 Surfrider chapters and clubs and over 500,000 activists and supporters worldwide.

Episode Notes

"Why join Surfrider? You’re going to have friends for life. I hear people say this is the best thing that they’ve ever done, and that’s
pretty amazing. Beyond all the good work we’re doing, there’s that
human element that’s probably equally valuable." - Dr. Chad Nelsen,
Surfrider CEO

If you’re a surfer, you probably know the Surfrider Foundation. But if you don’t know them, you’re in for a dose of inspiration in this episode of the podcast.

The Surfrider Foundation was formed in 1984 by a handful of surfers who gathered together to protect their home break in Malibu, California, from development and pollution. Now there are 190 Surfrider chapters and clubs and over 500,000 activists and supporters worldwide. These chapters share resources, insights, and form coalitions to push forward the same purpose: protecting the world’s ocean, waves, and beaches.

We spoke to Dr. Chad Nelsen, the CEO of Surfrider. Chad started working at Surfrider when he was 28 years-old and fresh out of grad school. At that time the foundation had just six employees and 20 chapters.

In our conversation Chad shares what they’ve done to expand the organization and its impact—an artful blend of refining their strategy, structure, and storytelling and keeping a sense of fun at the center of what they do.

🔥 Check out our book Get Together: How to Build a Community With Your People 📙

Get Together is a podcast about the nuts and bolts of community building. Hosts Bailey Richardson and Kevin Huynh of People & Company ask organizers who have built exceptional communities about just how they did it. How did they get the first people to show up? How did they grow to thousands more members?