Meet the Editor

Brian Back

Editor Brian Back
President, Way Station
San Francisco Bay Area, CA
  • English
  • Spanish: Español

About Brian

Two decades’ experience as an entrepreneur, organizational leader, journalist and marketing expert, including 10 years as founder and leader of a pioneering magazine, digital media and events company focused on sustainable business.


Content Strategist – Innovation & Entrepreneurship • University of California Office of the President
May, 2016 — Present
Storyteller developing original content to drive the university's positioning and visibility as a leader in innovation and entrepreneurship across the campuses and high-profile research labs of the world's most prestigious and respected public university system. With the recent launch of UC President Janet Napolitano's Innovation & Entrepreneurship Initiative, which moves groundbreaking research and discovery out of the lab and into the marketplace by nurturing great ideas and investing in bold solutions to today’s biggest challenges, Brian works closely with leadership to identify key themes and communications opportunities, create and feed cross-platform campaigns, and share research breakthroughs that convey the impact of UC's impact both locally and globally.
Senior Vice President • U.S. Green Building Council - Northern California Chapter
Jan, 2014 — Jan, 2015
President • Sustainable Industries
2002 — Dec, 2013
  • Sustainable Industries is an independent, award-winning media company with a mission to create a new B2B media experience for sustainability thought leaders.
  • We produce Sustainable Industries digital magazine, custom media, e-newsletters, webinars and the highly regarded Sustainable Industries Economic Forum event series.
Reporter & Columnist • The Business Journal of Portland
1999 — 2002
  • In-depth and often exclusive coverage of sustainable business news and trends, including clean energy, technology, urban growth and development issues. 
  • Established reputation as media ethics watchdog. 
Staff Writer • The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
1996 — 1999
  • Daily writing of full-length news and feature articles under deadline setting in fast-paced newsroom.
  • Exposure included front-page articles and national wire service distribution.
President • Way Station
Jan, 2015 — Present
Spearheading acquisition, redevelopment and operation of a highly visible “Main Street” commercial site by transforming a 9,000-square-foot former gas station into a high-traffic cafe and with outdoor garden seating. Project is a model of sustainable community development that serves the booming local cyclist crowd and showcases leading green design principles.


Georgia State University
MA, Mass Communication, Communications, 1999
University of Dayton
BA, Journalism, Journalism, English, 1994


  • 3-time Utne Independent Press Award (Sustainable Industries, 2005 – 2008)
  • Aveda Award for Environmental Excellence (Sustainable Industries, 2004)
  • Regional Design Annual Certificate of Design Excellence (Bear Deluxe, 2002)
  • Society of Professional Journalists Oregon and SW Washington Awards (Business Journal, 2001)
  • 15-time winner of the “Editor’s Pick” feature article of the week (Business Journal, 2001)

Keynote Speeches

  • Speaker and Moderator at more than 15 Sustainable Industries Economic Forums (2006-2012)
  • Keynote, EcoTuesday San Francisco & Silicon Valley (2007-2012)
  • Keynote, Yellowstone Business Partnership (2010)
  • Moderator, Greenbuild International Conference & Expo, PDX Lounge (2010)
  • Presenter, Net Impact (2010)
  • Presenter, Sustainable Brands (2009)
  • Executive Roundtable Sustainability Speaker 


  • Instructor, Introductory Composition, Georgia State University (1997-1998)