Five Questions with WE

Quick conversations, perspectives and ideas from the world of WE

We call it the WE network: the dynamic mix of remarkable, funny, creative, wicked-smart people we get to work with every day. From client partners to journalists, visionary thought leaders to influencers on the rise, these are the movers and shakers that inspire us to keep pushing, learning and innovating. With Five Questions with WE, we’re taking a curiosity break to chat with some of these individuals about topics near and dear to our hearts.

Colleen Purdy, Experience Designer Airbnb

"Our purpose is creating a world where anybody can belong anywhere.”

- Colleen Purdy

COLLEEN PURDY 

Experience Designer
Airbnb

Colleen is part of a movement that is revolutionizing travel. At Airbnb, her team designs and builds customer service applications with the end goal of helping anyone belong anywhere. This past spring, Colleen shared her thoughts on design and collaboration with WE at our Design Week Portland panel event.

Prior to her time at Airbnb, Colleen created digital experiences at Instrument, servicing clients like Google, YouTube, Alternative Apparel,  Let's Move Active Schools and Nike.

WE: What keeps you inspired?
CP: Twitter. Netflix. I love watching stand-up comedians—they are incredibly inspiring storytellers.

WE: What values are unique to the community at Airbnb?
CP: We care a lot about our customers and about each other. At the heart of that is a desire to connect with one another, and to be empathetic and understanding towards each other.

WE: When is purpose more important than business? 
CP: Ultimately, purpose is what drives our business and the things we invest in. The essence of the company is built around our purpose, which is creating a world where anybody can belong anywhere.

WE: What role does design play in society?
CP: Design serves this role of connecting people—solving bigger problems and being able to understand the root cause of an issue. Design brings everybody along on the journey of solving problems.

WE: Who would your dream collaboration be with?
CP: Beyoncé.

Jason Hunke

“… Purpose lies in the emotional connection you build with your audiences. It helps create the enabling environment in which you can do your best work”

- Jason Hunke

JASON HUNKE 

Director, Executive & Employee Communications
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Our client, Jason Hunke, joined the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in 2016. A strategic communications ninja, Jason has a knack for impactful storytelling and compelling brand initiatives. He’s done it all, working across founder and family-led, philanthropic, global, CPG and entertainment organizations. Jason leads a team that comes to work every day energized by the opportunity to contribute to an organization whose purpose is laser focused on equalizing opportunity.

 

WE: In three words, describe your leadership philosophy.
JH: Let others shine.

WE: How do you define brand purpose?
JH: My favorite definition of "brand" is that it is how people feel about and engage with an organization – it’s not about the organization itself. Further, purpose lies in the emotional connection you build with your audiences. It helps create the enabling environment in which you can do your best work - or even struggle to. The brand is the connection, not the thing itself.

WE: What inspires you when you go work and why?
JH: Anyone who is selfless, kind, and funny gets my vote. We need more of all three in the world.

WE: What book or podcast are you enjoying right now?
JH: One of my favorite recent fun reads was The Wolves of Winter. And for podcasts, I’m enjoying Sincerely X and Pod Save America.

WE: If you could be any fictional superhero, who would you be and why?
JH: I have always loved the Wonder Twins. They take on various shapes and forms to solve problems. A very useful and purpose-built superpower! Plus, who doesn't love siblings working together for the greater good?

More coming from across our network soon!