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Worldwatch Institute Reviews

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Ed Groark
4 Ratings

12 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (1)

    "Highly credible think tank with a great staff"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Intern in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Intern in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Because the institute has a smaller staff, there's a very tight knit community where everyone can brainstorm collectively on marketing or fundraising strategies. As an intern, I was able to bounce ideas off everyone in the office which was very nice to be able to do.

    Cons

    At Worldwatch Institute, since everyone for the most part has their own research project, you do feel isolated from projects that you're not directly contributing to. Since I was interning for the communications director, I got to see bits and pieces of ongoing projects but for those that are just working on their own projects --they may not have as much of a grasp on all the projects going on.

    Advice to Management

    I think the institute would really benefit from more group meetings just so that everyone can have an idea of what everyone else is working on. Since the staff is small, it shouldn't be hard and wouldn't hurt for everyone to get together and share what they are working on.

    Worldwatch Institute Response

    Jun 1, 2016 – Communications and Marketing Director

    You'll be happy to know that we've implemented monthly all-hands meetings. We've also started monthly "salons," where the staff gathers to discuss topics of sustainability in a semi-structured... More


  2. Helpful (1)

    "An overall positive experience"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Climate and Energy Intern in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Climate and Energy Intern in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    - Engaging team who work in a hard-working and positive environment
    - Their was flexibility in choosing what projects I wanted to work on
    - Work was very relevant to what my background was, plus I learned a lot about non-profit think tank through practical experience

    Cons

    - There could be a little more communication between teams responsible for each program

    Advice to Management

    Go to conferences/talks and lunches together more because they are the are team-building and generate a knowledge sharing environment

    Worldwatch Institute Response

    Jun 1, 2016 – Communications and Marketing Director

    We've noted the need to communicate across various programs and work sites, and we've started implementing monthly gatherings to promote more discussion between teams. We'll be hosting brown bag... More

  3. "Heading in the right direction"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Worldwatch Institute (More than a year)

    Pros

    --Highly motivated junior staff
    --Nimble research teams focus on high impact opportunities
    --Small size gives great opportunities for stepping into management roles

    Cons

    --Funding
    --Limited communication between research & admin departments

    Advice to Management

    --Promote engagement of senior/remote staff in office
    --Strengthen pipeline from junior to mid-range professional staff to promote retention

    Worldwatch Institute Response

    Jun 1, 2016 – Communications and Marketing Director

    Our staff really is our biggest strength! In order to connect with our senior/remote staff, we have started organizing "all-hands" meetings-- including remote staff. Thank you for your review!... More


  4. "Smart researchers, poor management"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Worldwatch Institute full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Organization with smart, talented and dedicated people who actually want to do good for the world, but the organization unfortunately just doesn't have enough resources to support the staff.

    Cons

    Poor management, limited funding and resources, unwillingness of the upper management to evolve and try new ideas and projects and step away from the the old school type of think tank.

    Advice to Management

    Reconsider institute's overall strategy and maybe even consider hiring a business development or strategy consulting firm to help with that - an expensive endeavor, but maybe a much needed one.


  5. Helpful (1)

    "research assistant"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Highly organized and efficient working environment

    Cons

    Not too much communication between different departments

    Advice to Management

    more team building event


  6. "Good People, Little Personal/Professional Growth"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend

    I worked at Worldwatch Institute part-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    The people a really great. Working in the office, there are more interns than staff because they work remotely. Even though, everyone is kept to themselves, if you need any help or advice, they will guide you

    Cons

    1. Similar to the post below. VERY VERY VERY Unorganized and horrible management. You will sit at your desk for 5 days with no assignments, then on a Friday at 4pm, you will receive an email saying they want a product over the weekend. (Let me remind you this is unpaid if your an intern). I do not understand why this organization waits to the very last minute on everything.

    2. About 90% of directors and working staff work remotely. By remotely, I mean live in different countries. This would not be a bad thing if they were organized. If you need to talk to someone, expect to wait 3-4 days on a email reply.

    Advice to Management

    Change everything.


  7. "Dedicated/passionate staff but poorly managed"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Worldwatch Institute full-time

    Pros

    This is a small non-profit where staff members - both in research and administration - can get a lot of experience. Office culture is generally positive with a good mix of senior and junior staff members, (strictly speaking overqualified) interns, and passionate researchers.
    Great healthcare plan!

    Cons

    Staffing shortage means you are often overworked with very little pay.
    Salary and budget pales in comparison to other environmental nonprofits in the field of sustainable development
    Very little interest or investment in human resources, professional development, or office culture.
    Plagued by financial problems and mismanagement

    Worldwatch Institute Response

    Jun 1, 2016 – Communications and Marketing Director

    Worldwatch is making a renewed commitment to professional development and office culture! We're organizing monthly brown bag sessions, outings, and "salons"--informal discussions where senior and... More

  8. "Head stuck in the sand"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Communications
    Current Employee - Communications
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Worldwatch Institute full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    It's outsized reputation looks good on the resume if you're interested in a nonprofit career.

    Cons

    I agree wholeheartedly with this reviewer:

    "Seems to have trouble getting projects funded, probably because other similar environmental NGO's are doing bigger better things. Unfortunately management and long-time employees still think WW's voice is more important in the environmental dialogue than it actually is. They actually fail to see any need for change despite the hand-to-mouth situation WW has apparently been in for years."

    This is a surprisingly inert bureaucratic organization with a baked in resistance to change - which is astonishing considering it's a pretty tiny organization. It is indeed an intern-factory, as many other reviewers have noted. They do most of the heavy lifting, trading their free labor, research, and intelligence in exchange for getting published on WW's blog.

    Meanwhile, the nonprofit world has changed dramatically and Worldwatch has failed to keep up. The organization as a whole has had its head in the sand for quite some time. The prestige of its legacy publications, which used to hold a central role in the environmental community, has blinded upper management to necessary change in the way organizations can be successful in their missions. They live grant-to-grant and have at many times been unable to pay their employees, or nearly unable.

    I also agree with several other reviewers that a few select middle managers are on a little bit of a personal power trip. This is allowed in part because upper management mistakes confidence for actual effectiveness, which is true in many nonprofits.

    Advice to Management

    Corporate culture is difficult to change, but it starts at the top. In Worldwatch's case, a wholesale shift is necessary.


  9. "Talented Young Staff Stifled By Senior Managers"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Research Staff
    Former Employee - Research Staff
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Worldwatch Institute full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Generous time off and paid benefits for full-time employees
    Intelligent young staff who are just breaking into the environmental policy arena, and you can definitely get your feet wet
    Very social group of people who often get together outside the work day
    Casual dress and flexible work schedules

    Cons

    Management and organizational culture are the biggest disadvantages to working at this organization.
    Senior managers lack necessary management and interpersonal skills
    Certain administrative staff can be catty and severely bottleneck projects
    Organizational livelihood is sacrificed due to the large egos of the Board
    Unspoken belief that young professionals add no value, meaning there is no upward mobility
    Long inefficient meetings driven by people who like the sound of their own voice
    Complete lack of communication to even relevant staff
    Pay is low, even for those paid out of restricted money
    Lack of financial stability
    Relatively high turnover rate amongst the younger staff


  10. "Good short-term place with impressive young professionals... Long past its prime and poor management"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Worldwatch Institute part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    This is a great place to work if you are just breaking into the professional world, and need a place to cut your teeth.

    Particularly good for interns (if you're not looking to be paid).

    Atmosphere is filled with intelligent young professionals - many with impressive backgrounds. The Climate and Energy staff and the Agriculture staff really know their stuff.

    More of a big family feel here than an office and the staff would often go out for drinks after work.

    Everyone seems to come in whenever they want - from 9am to 11am (not strict time schedule)

    Good location - Right next to Dupont Circle

    Cons

    Poor management here - some are catty and have bad attitudes, some are impossible to work with, some love to hear themselves talk, and many share the belief that younger staffers are inferior. Not an ideal place to blossom but you'll find respite in the younger people there.

    This place is a bit of an intern factory. 10+ interns working simultaneously (and that's just in office). And while they are generally intelligent, it speaks volumes about an organization when they have more unpaid than paid workers.

    Major resistance to change and little value placed on non-research positions. Researchers end up being promoting to management roles, despite lack of experience.

    Seems to have trouble getting projects funded, probably because other similar environmental NGO's are doing bigger better things. Unfortunately management and long-time employees still think WW's voice is more important in the environmental dialogue than it actually is. They actually fail to see any need for change despite the hand-to-mouth situation WW has apparently been in for years.

    No room for professional growth = lower morale

    Pay is only once a month (just bad practice) and salaries are low

    Staff/program/etc. meetings are too long considering they produce nothing

    Poor interoffice communication - no dept seems to know what the other depts are doing (despite multiple weekly meetings)

    No marketing department - desperately needed

    No money and poor future outlook.

    Advice to Management

    Stop micromanaging and pay attention to the ideas and complaints of your younger staffers.

    Put some money into your marketing/comm department to bring it up to date.

    Get rid of the employees who are difficult to work with and bringing little to the table. These employees, combined with the poor future financial outlook, and little room for professional growth lower morale and cause talented staff to leave for bigger better opportunities. Hire people you actually trust to do the job.


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