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Malia Bachesta Eley: Helping Prevent, Prepare For, and Respond to Climate Disasters

Malia Bachesta Eley: Helping Prevent, Prepare For, and Respond to Climate Disasters

Ladderworks is a publishing platform of diverse picture books and an online curriculum with the mission to empower over a million kids to become social entrepreneurs. Our current series features interviews by our interplanetary journalist Spiffy with inspiring Social Entrepreneurs, Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Builders, and Changemakers who are advancing the UN SDGs. 

Spiffy here with the scoop on the entrepreneurial leaders of Planet Earth. As the only interplanetary journalist stationed on this blue planet, I’m thrilled to present this galactic exclusive with Malia Bachesta Eley, the manager of Philanthropy at Salesforce. Let’s learn about what’s happening at Salesforce and how Malia is making a positive impact in the world.

Spiffy: Hi Malia, thanks a million for talking to me today. Tell me, what challenge are you addressing through Salesforce?

Malia: Thanks for having me, Spiffy! I sit on the Climate Philanthropy team at Salesforce where we aim to reduce the future impacts of climate change and respond to the impacts already here. In my role, I oversee our disaster resilience programs to help prevent, prepare, and respond to future climate disasters with a focus on vulnerable communities.

Spiffy: What motivates you to do it?

Malia: As the severity and frequency of climate disasters increase, it’s undeniable that climate change is here, and the impacts of it aren’t equal; often impacting those least responsible for it. I’m motivated to work on this issue so that we can live in a world that’s not only more sustainable, but also equitable, for future generations. 

Spiffy: What would you say is the impact of your work?

Malia: Through our disaster resilience program we proactively partner with relief organizations to pre-position supplies and jumpstart response efforts before disaster strikes. We also work hand-in-hand with employees, empowering them to donate and request a corporate match when a disaster strikes. In just this year, employees have raised more than 1.5 million dollars in donations and corporate matching to support relief efforts in Turkey-Syria, Maui, Morocco-Libya, and more! 

Spiffy: Tell me about a recent organization milestone or initiative. What impact does it make on your community?

Malia: We recently launched our corporate climate finance playbook to help companies unlock their full power for climate action. It’s all hands on deck right now, and we need every company on Planet Earth to fight for Planet Earth. This playbook is just a starting point, but is an important tool to help companies understand how they can use all of their resources to meet global climate targets.

Spiffy: Is there anything else you would love to tell our audience?

Malia: Oftentimes, the conversation around climate can feel a bit “doom and gloom”. But I want to remind readers that there is hope. We are at once in a lifetime moment where we can still turn things around and reduce the worst future impacts of climate change. We have the solutions and we have the funding. Now, we just need to take action!

Spiffy: Thanks for speaking with me today, Malia—it’s been an honor!

Malia Bachesta Eley is a manager on the Salesforce Philanthropy team where she leads climate and disaster resilience programming. In this role, she oversees Salesforce's disaster philanthropy efforts, manages Salesforce's humanitarian grant portfolio, and drives programming to explore funding strategies beyond philanthropy. Prior to Salesforce, Malia worked at FleishmanHillard where she advised Fortune 500 Companies on their philanthropic and DEI strategies. Before that, she worked at the Global Development Incubator bringing more than a dozen social impact ventures to market. (First published on the Ladderworks website on October 31, 2023.)

The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the interviewee and do not necessarily reflect those of Ladderworks LLC.

© 2023 Ladderworks LLC. Edited by Anushree Nande. Spiffy’s illustration by Shreyas Navare. For the Ladderworks digital curriculum to help K-3 kids advance the UN SDGs, visit Spiffy's Launchpad: Creative Entrepreneurship Workshops for K-3 Kids and their caregivers here.