SOAP stands for Sustainable Organization Advocacy Partners. We are a team of strategists, environmental scientists, change-makers, engineers, business consultants, biochemists, designers, architects, filmmakers, developers, researchers, artists, marketers and cultural theory nerds working exclusively in the sustainability and social justice space.
We thrive on complex projects.
The principals at SOAP, leading the functional units of the company, each bring something unique to the table: Culture, Strategy and Science. It’s a rare, new and critical combination for today’s climate - a chimera of good as it were.
John is the Founder of The SOAP Group, author of the book More Than Promote – A Monkeywrencher’s Guide to Authentic Marketing, and a frequent speaker and writer about the intersection of sustainability, language and culture. With nearly 20 years of experience in the environmental and business consulting space, John has worked for an environmental engineering firm, an environmental compliance software company, and as a partner at an ad agency. John’s also an adjunct professor of marketing and writing theory, and has consulted with Fortune 500 companies, the federal government and international NGOs on sustainability and business.
John is husband to one, father of two and nerds out on zombie movies. He is currently writing his next book - an expose on the seedy underbelly of sustainability consulting.
Brek is a seasoned business strategist and sustainability advocate. Her experience ranges from working in China researching differences in symptomatology, diagnostics and treatment of mental illnesses between Eastern and Western cultures, to providing communication strategies to Hewlett Packard and other Fortune 100 companies. She also has experience building and managing integrated teams that executed complex web deployments, and consumer behavior group testing and reporting. With a degree in psychology, Brek develops strategies for our clients that integrate the cultural and technological facets of sustainability, with the added focus of mapping it back to an ROI for business.
Brek’s also a talented multi-media artist, and lives in Portland with her entrepreneur/environmentalist/sculptor husband.
Bob is a US-registered engineer with a diverse background spanning more than 20 years of professional experience. He has a masters degree in environmental engineering from Duke University and has served as primary technical lead for multi-million dollar, multi-year environmental restoration programs for the US Navy and US Air Force, and as Program Manager for an A/E contract with the US Coast Guard. Bob oversees the technical execution of the company's work to ensure technical accuracy and defensibility.
Bob lives, plays and works in Hawaii.
Toni Morrison said “If there's a book you really want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it.” So we write a lot. And then we share it. (This is the same philosophy we use to innovate SOAP.)
This book deconstructs two oft-competing concepts: “promotion” of consumption and the act of “sustainability”. Through this deconstruction, a new concept emerges; a strategy and methodology of promotion that is, simultaneously, both sustainability and strategic marketing.
We started completing lens studies as a way to peer deep into the soul of culture. We wanted to see what specific cultural artifacts says about culture itself, specifically sustainability culture. We think we can learn more about culture by looking at the things that culture produces.
The rate at which language shifts is much quicker than Moore’s Law these days. We do socio-linguistic studies that reveal the most effective/popular/trite/toxic language in the marketplace. Language patterns reveal deeper cultural trends and present opportunities to leap frog competitors and inspire customers. Biannually, SOAP completed a research project to find, catalogue and understand language trends in sustainability.
Ed Tufte said ”…we shouldn't abbreviate the truth but rather get a new method of presentation.” Our presentations are designed to bring new challenging concepts of sustainability and culture to new audiences.
SOAP Founder John Rooks explores the relationship between Authenticity and Sustainability in this presentation from Boulder, CO in 2011. Drawing on Cultural Theory, Advertising as Pop-Culture, Punk-Rock and Science Fiction, John looks to find meaning in modern green business strategies.