I’m a writer and editor who explores “clean” technology and sustainable business, with a particular interest in renewable energy in the United States and in India. My passion is to find a fascinating story, research the heck out of it, and present it in an engaging, exciting way.
I write and co-design “Innovate,” a column in Sierra magazine about renewable-energy technology and the people who make it, and pen the “Man vs. Nature” blog at Forbes. I’ve served as lifestyle editor of Sierra and managing editor of Matter Network and have contributed stories to Men’s Journal, Wired News, Macworld, Streaming Media, American Way, Popular Mechanics, and the New York Times.
The story I’m most interested is the intertwined challenge of energy and climate change in the 21st Century. How do we see to it that the world’s people have the energy they need to prosper, even as population grows and our climate gets weird? Can our environment continue to support 7 billion people without crashing?
As a former newspaper reporter and as a new-media editor, I bring a range of skills to the inquiry. My schooling and a lifetime of good editors have drummed into me a ferocious commitment to accuracy, finding the right data, asking hard questions and conducting insightful interviews. As an online editor, I know how to use SEO, analytics and curation to extend a publication’s impact.
I love storytelling in all its multimedia forms. On a 2007 climb up Mt. Aconcagua, the tallest mountain in South America, I did an audio blog by satellite and later turned it into a podcast. When fate sent me to Manhattan for a year, I wrote a daily journal of the experience in the blog A Year in New York. I sometimes accompany my written work with videos, and I appear on stage at SpeakeasyDC, Washington D.C.’s premier forum for true stories told live.
Outdoor adventure sports are a continuing obsession and have helped shape my writing and career. In the year 2000, I raced in the Eco-Challenge, a 300-mile, 12-day team multisport adventure race on the jungle island of Borneo. That led to a six-year stint as a personal trainer, fitness boot-camp instructor, and teacher of ChiRunning in Marin County, California. As a mountaineer, I have summited peaks around the world, from Rainier in Washington State to Whitney in California, and Orizaba in Mexico to Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. Other outdoor pursuits include triathlons, trail running, surfing, and most recently, whitewater kayaking.
To recap 14 years in journalism, I hold a bachelor’s in communication from University of California, San Diego and a master’s in journalism from Northwestern University. I’ve been a staff writer for three California newspapers, covering education for The Reporter in Vacaville, crime and courts for The Argus in Fremont, and the city halls of Berkeley and Richmond for the Contra Costa Times. I’ve worked as a freelance correspondent for Reuters News Service in East Africa, and am a proud member of the Society of Environmental Journalists. See my favorite stories here.
I live in Washington D.C. and am partnered to my lovely wife Anjali.
If you have a good story, or are interested in having me consult with or write for your publication, email me at davidferris <at> mac <dot> com.