Despite their protected status, one-third of the world’s nature reserves are under threat from human activity. Enter Code of Conscience: an elegant software solution that aims to stop the big machines that are used to destroy the planet. Today’s guests are its creators, Hugo Veiga and Diego Machado, who share their story and the challenges that they faced. They are co-Chief Creative Officers at an advertising agency called AKQA Sao Paolo, and are master storytellers who have created a number of different impactful campaigns.

In this episode, Hugo and Diego first discuss Code of Conscience, which is a (free!) open-source software that detects when an unauthorized machine is entering a protected area. This code either shuts down the machine, sends a message to the company utilizing the machine to say it should not be there, or notifies the organization in charge of protecting the area. They talk about how they came up with the idea and the struggles they have faced in making it widely utilized.

The pair then goes on to discuss some of the other projects they’ve worked on with AKQA. They touch on issues they experience when trying to change human behaviors, the way they approach design campaigns that will resonate with people, and the value of human connection and collaboration. Check out one of the below links to listen to the episode in full:

Listen on Spotify
Listen on Google Podcasts
Listen on Apple Podcasts

Key Points From This Episode

How to tell a meaningful story

This process starts with universal ideas that are centered on human connection. If you’re trying to tell a story to reach mothers, you need to simplify it such that a mother in Egypt will feel the same from it as a mother in France.

The importance of collaboration and choosing the right path

The best path is not always the easiest. Sometimes it may be a longer or more difficult road. However, it will give you the best returns. Take Tesla for example: They didn’t just make an eco-friendly car and say, “Buy this car, you’ll save the environment.” Instead, they made a really cool car and said, 
“Buy this great car and you can save the environment while doing so.” This is what entices people to purchase it.

The key to every project: simplicity

In advertising, and in many aspects of life, you’re competing for people’s time. We are constantly bombarded with messages from different platforms, so simple messages can be refreshing and capture attention. If you have a new point of view on a topic, consider how can it be simplified to be a global message. Think: summarizing the plot of 10 seasons of a show into 1 tweet.

Why you should consider scaling down your impact

Trying to change the world can make you go crazy. There are plenty of things in your community that you can have an impact on, and often helping people you know will be more fulfilling and energizing than taking on a distant project. Focusing on smaller things can have a ripple effect that amplifies your goodwill.


“The hardest thing is to convince people, not the system or the technology itself. If you think about today, we have so many different technologies, so many possibilities to solve a really old problem. It’s really harder to stop the man toward making that than the machines.” — @digousmachado[0:07:34]

“We always try to create something that creates already an emotional connection between the clients, the people that will support this idea, because, in the end, it’s not about brands, it’s about the people that are behind the brands.” — @hugo_veiga[0:19:33]

“You need to get into people’s lives, and you need to be meaningful for them. You need to earn the time that you are requesting from them, and for that, you need a powerful idea, a powerful message, you need to have something that is interesting, or else, no one will give a shit.” — @hugo_veiga[0:28:52]

“You don’t need to the president of the country or the CEO of a company, or have a billion dollars to make the change.” — @digousmachado[0:33:20]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode

Hugo Veiga on Twitter
Hugo Veiga on LinkedIn
Hugo Veiga on Instagram
Diego Machado on Twitter
Diego Machado on LinkedIn
Code of Conscience
Code of Conscience on Instagram
Dove Real Beauty Sketches
Benjamin Von Wong
Benjamin Von Wong Email
Impact Everywhere
Cash Studios

Coming Up Next

Next week we’ll hear from Ivan Cash: Master of human connection. He’s spent his entire life fighting against the digital tidal wave of distractions, and he’ll be sharing his passion and work with our listeners. Be sure to check out Impact Everywhere’s website so you can subscribe and have access to audiograms and images to share. Also, please leave a review here so we can keep growing this community!