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Member Spotlight: Dean Slocum


Dean Slocum

Dean Slocum joined Groundwork in the fall of 2018. Although he travels frequently, he manages to set up here a few days a month. Dean is a smiling and friendly presence in the community, and although he is often hard at work and focused on the task at hand, it has been great getting to know him over the past few months.

Dean’s work brings him all over the world, and I was fascinated to learn more about it in this interview.

What’s your profession?

I’m a consultant. My company, Acorn International, is a niche consultancy of social & environmental scientists delivering human rights, indigenous peoples consultation, community development and risk assessment/management solutions to investors and industries working in emerging markets worldwide. Our main clients include ExxonMobil, BHP Billiton, and the World Bank. I’m the President & Founder – we have offices in Houston, Boston, and Bogota (Colombia).

Describe a typical work day for you.

No typical day! Lots of travel, calls from clients that change our priorities on a moments notice, etc. It is never boring, but sometimes a bit too fast and fluid.

What’s the biggest challenge you face at your job?

Attracting and motivating our exceptionally talented team of consultants.

Image from a slave labor assessment of remote charcoal producers supplying a steel industry in Brasil.

Do you have a morning routine?

I’m up at 5 for contacts with our partners in Africa and Asia, then I go for a run and I’m back to the laptop and phone for team coordination, interviews, analysis, and report writing.

What do you listen to during the day?

Nothing – I’m a no distraction kind of guy.

How do you benefit from using a coworking space?

Being a member here gives me access to a comfortable and communal work environment, colleagues who have different businesses but similar interests, and easy access to a work space, conference rooms, office equipment (and goodies!!)  I’ve really enjoyed the events organized here – whether workshops, outside speakers, community happenings or drinks after work.

What’s in your digital toolbox?

MSOffice, WhatsApp, – nothing particularly exciting. We work in Spanish frequently so need software set-ups that accommodate this.

What is the most surprising or unusual aspect of your life?

I have some incredible stories about living and working in some of the world’s most remote spots.

What inspires you?

Motivating our team to pursue a good blend of kindness and relentlessness in all our work, and even more so, seeing them do this without my direction.

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