The News: A collaboration between the National Geographic Society and The Climate Pledge will support climate storytelling through the Society’s Global Storytelling Fund. Fifteen National Geographic Explorers will receive funding to document and raise awareness of the global climate crisis and potential solutions. Read the Press Release from the National Geographic Society here.
National Geographic Society and The Climate Pledge Collaborate on Climate Storytelling to Raise Awareness of the Global Climate Crisis and Potential Solutions
Analyst Take: It’s exciting to see climate storytelling taking center stage as the National Geographic Society partners with The Climate Pledge to fund 15 National Geographic Explorers through its Global Storytelling Fund. The collaboration, announced recently at Aspen Ideas: Climate in Miami Beach, Florida, focuses on documenting and illuminating the effects of global climate change through the creation of climate storytelling content that will educate and inspire viewers to take action. Five explorers from around the world have already been chosen, with 10 additional storytellers to receive grants over the next two years.
Storytelling has always been an effective way to educate and motivate people, and at this moment in time, educating and motivating is exactly what we need as it relates to the dangers posed by climate change, and the very real need to inspire people to get involved and do more — and quickly.
Much like influencers who partner with brands to tell stories with a goal of spurring product awareness (and sales), the NGS’s Global Storytelling Fund is likewise focused on influencers. In this case, the NGS Global Storytelling Fund is dedicated to finding artists and creators across visual mediums who can help advance climate storytelling and hasten change. The Climate Pledge, a collaboration between Amazon and Global Optimism which we’ve written about here before, has established a commitment to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2040. This is yet another example of The Climate Pledge organization putting its money where its mouth is, and finding and funding creative ways to spread awareness and spur action. The partnership with the National Geographic Society should elevate climate storytelling’s ability to reach a broad audience, highlight the global challenges presented by climate change, and present actionable solutions.
Climate Storytelling Makes Climate Change Personal
Why Climate storytelling? We live in visual times and the content that we create and rely on to tell stories is evolving. Climate storytelling is an emerging artistic field that harnesses the power of personal stories to create universal impact through documentary filmmaking, photography, visual art, the spoken word, and many other forms. Here’s an example from The Climate Pledge’s “Challenge Accepted” campaign, to show you the power of seeing young voices talk about climate change —
What I love about the collaboration between the National Geographic Society and The Climate Pledge founders Amazon and Global Optimism is that National Geographic is no stranger to leveraging the power of storytelling to raise awareness for a social cause. In fact, I think it’s safe to say they are masterful at just that. Tapping into a network of artists and creators to help raise awareness about the global climate crisis and share thoughts on potential solutions will be powerful. Even better, this initiative aims to advance the careers of early-stage and established artists whose work addresses climate change through funding, training, and exposure. And it just keeps getting better: the initiative also includes funding for 45 mentees through its Second Assistant Program, which will focus on empowering early-career women and people of color to contribute to the climate storytelling effort.
Good marketers know how important impactful storytelling is to the ability to achieve targeted outcomes. I’m beyond excited to see the National Geographic Society and The Climate Pledge investing in climate storytelling to raise awareness and create change surrounding global climate concerns. I have no doubt that the climate storytelling content created by National Geographic Explorers will be powerful, illuminating, and galvanizing for audiences across the world. And at the same time, it will be working to advance careers of artists and creators, many of whom are women and people of color. I am all in for that, in every aspect.
Disclosure: Futurum Research is a research and advisory firm that engages or has engaged in research, analysis, and advisory services with many technology companies, including those mentioned in this article. The author does not hold any equity positions with any company mentioned in this article.
Analysis and opinions expressed herein are specific to the analyst individually and data and other information that might have been provided for validation, not those of Futurum Research as a whole.
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Image Credit: National Geographic
The original version of this article was first published on Futurum Research.
Shelly Kramer is a Principal Analyst and Founding Partner at Futurum Research. A serial entrepreneur with a technology centric focus, she has worked alongside some of the world’s largest brands to embrace disruption and spur innovation, understand and address the realities of the connected customer, and help navigate the process of digital transformation. She brings 20 years' experience as a brand strategist to her work at Futurum, and has deep experience helping global companies with marketing challenges, GTM strategies, messaging development, and driving strategy and digital transformation for B2B brands across multiple verticals. Shelly's coverage areas include Collaboration/CX/SaaS, platforms, ESG, and Cybersecurity, as well as topics and trends related to the Future of Work, the transformation of the workplace and how people and technology are driving that transformation. A transplanted New Yorker, she has learned to love life in the Midwest, and has firsthand experience that some of the most innovative minds and most successful companies in the world also happen to live in “flyover country.”