A Note From the Founder
The Origins of Inflection Point Agency
Though Inflection Point Agency's birth certificate officially says October 2017, its origins date back nearly two decades to the late 1990s. Since then there have been at least four definitive, well, inflection points that have led me to this exciting adventure.
As a high schooler in the mid-1990s, I confidently "knew" what my future would be: aerospace engineering. Long enthralled with space and flight, even before graduation I began working with a New York-based company called American Aerospace Controls, which designed and manufactured electronic components for aerospace applications including satellites and rockets. I enrolled in Cornell University's prestigious engineering school as a mechanical and aerospace engineer and soon became a Lockheed Martin Engineering Scholar. If aerospace engineering was in fact my end game, then I was on the right track. Except that a major change unknowingly loomed just ahead.
Inflection Point #1: "I just want you to know you're leaving the money to go hug trees."
Midway through my engineering studies at Cornell, I suddenly found myself facing something of a crisis of purpose. Aerospace engineering no longer felt like the life's calling that it once did. After much soul searching, I felt pulled resolutely in the direction of my environmental values and personal passion for outdoor recreation and natural, wild landscapes. My tentative plan became to transfer to Cornell's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, where I could pursue a degree through the University's Department of Natural Resources (which was founded in 1898 as the first forestry school in the nation under Gifford Pinchot, who went on to become the first chief of the U.S. Forest Service).
Explaining my aerospace quandary and natural resources plan to my engineering faculty advisor, he counseled me with brief, blunt words I have remembered verbatim nearly 20 years later: "I just want you to know you're leaving the money to go hugs trees."
Whether he was right about that was irrelevant. His stark perspective solidified my own resolve. I would follow my heart and passion toward a BS in Natural Resources. I did community organizing for a nonprofit focused on wilderness preservation and water conservation in the American West, began my post-collegiate career as an ecologist, and became the founding manager of Audubon International's Sustainable Communities Program.
Inflection Point #2: A storyteller is born
Natural resources aligned my education and my profession with my heart, yet there were still further surprises in store. A senior-year course at Cornell turned me on to something previously unimaginable to the structural, analytical portions of my former-engineer self: creative pursuits, and in particular, non-fiction writing for magazines.
While at Audubon International I began freelance writing for select publications, covering a variety of topics including sustainability and the environment. As my narrative storytelling improved and evolved, as my reputation as a writer grew, and as my portfolio of published clips expanded—including contributing to the magazines of numerous environmental NGOs, such as Defenders at Defenders of Wildlife and AMC Outdoors of the Appalachian Mountain Club—my career faced an early crossroads. Either commit to Audubon International's Sustainable Communities Program to grow that initiative or focus on cultivating a writing career.
I resigned from Audubon International, fully embraced all things editorial, and thus began another career phase as a full-time magazine journalist.
Inflection Point #3: Marrying purpose, passion, and profession
A seemingly circuitous career path spanning engineering, natural resources, and editorial snapped into sharp focus when I joined Rocky Mountain Institute as editorial director and, soon, a concurrent role as director of program marketing for the organization's work in electricity. The engineer in me could comfortably navigate the inherently technical content. Topics such as renewable energy, building efficiency, and electric vehicles naturally aligned with my personal passion for mission-driven work related to sustainability, climate change, and the like. And the marketing, communications, editorial, and media relations components of the job description called upon my experience and credentials as an award-winning writer and editor.
My time more recently at Panasonic further flexed and strengthened these muscles, this time from the perspective of a Fortune Global 500 private-sector technology leader.
Inflection Point #4: Now
One final inflection point remained... at least so far. It is the founding of this company. The reasons behind this move and its specific timing are many, but the crescendo leading up to this moment is clear: the career inflection points that have preceded it have uniquely prepared me and this agency to do more, to amplify our positive impact in the world in partnership with like-minded organizations.
Exciting times are just ahead.
—Peter Bronski, Founder & CEO, Inflection Point Agency (November 2017)