2016 Catalyst Workshops

CMG welcomed two sets of incredibly talented, passionate, and experienced change-makers to our Catalyst Workshops in 2016. Over the course of the workshops, CMG helped incubate video projects for 8 organizations’ campaigns with 26 workshop participants and a wide range of speakers and staff. The first ran from September 29 - October 2 with a focus on Healthy Oceans, and the second ran from November 10-13 with a focus on Islands and Climate. The workshops took place at Alnoba in Kensington, New Hampshire, an hour’s drive north of Boston. Participants stayed in on-site cabins & shared meals while focusing on conservation, video and impact.

Participants included:

Speakers included:

The Catalyst Capstone Project

The Capstone Project is a practical, project-based learning assignment that challenges organizations and filmmakers to push their projects further. Each Capstone begins with ocean health or renewable energy objectives set by each organization and ends with a 30-90 second concept video with a call-to-action. Capstone groups also develop strategic plans for campaigns, with a focus on distribution, outreach and engagement. Every project includes key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure the impact of the video and campaign. Through this process organizations and filmmakers develop deeper working relationships that extend beyond the workshop week.


                                                                                                                           2016 Healthy Oceans Catalyst Workshop Participants

2016 Capstone Projects: Healthy Oceans

Large Marine Vertebrate Project Philippines (LAMAVE)

Executive Director Alessandro Ponzo and Media Director Sally Snow joined us from the Philippines. As an existing Action Grantee, LAMAVE arrived with the intention of building upon their Their Future Our Future campaign, which aims to mitigate the tourism impact on marine wildlife in the Philippines. Paired with filmmaker Laura Fravel, the group storyboarded ideas geared toward tourists for their campaign. The first film shows the emotional connection between the Philippine people and the ocean, and would be displayed in airports and on busses and ferries. The second film shows key wildlife interaction guidelines for tourists and would be played at wildlife tourism destinations.  After the workshops LAMAVE continued their strong relationship with CMG, with the hope to receive a second action grant to continue the ideas generated at the workshop.

Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance (NAMA)

Community Organizer Shira Tiffany joined on behalf of the Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance, a fishermen-led organization aiming to build a broad movement toward healthy fisheries and fishing communities. We paired Shira with independent filmmaker Sarah Curry and environmental consultant Darcy Metzler. Together the team developed a short concept film encouraging viewers to “Join the RevolOcean” by signing up for NAMA’s newsletter.  

The Ocean Project

Kara DiCamillo, Communications and Social Media Strategist for The Ocean Project, arrived with the goal to bring more action to World Oceans Day. They had three campaign objectives for their capstone project: to increase the total number of events and activities registered on their site, to increase international outreach, and to create more youth engagement. We paired Kara with Elizabeth Herzfeldt-Kamprath, an American University graduate student, and Kimberley Gervereau, Founder of the Big Blue Network. They produced a short concept video of “How You Can Celebrate” World Oceans Day highlighting ideas for events and activities to stimulate the audience in creating their own events.  After the workshop the video launched on social media and lives on the World Oceans Day's website.  In less than two months the video received over 4,000 views.


SEVENSEAS Marine Conservation & Travel Magazine’s Executive Director Giacomo Abrusci and Project Coordinator Marcus Reamer joined us with the objective to increase the number of subscriptions to their online publication. We paired them with Ashley Holmes, a graduate student in Film and Video at American University, and together the trio produced a short film that was released to the public the final morning of the workshop. The video used stunning images pulled from previous editions of the magazine and showed how SEVENSEAS can play a part in saving our ocean, appealing to marine enthusiasts and marine conservation professionals. SEVENSEAS launched the video they made at the workshop the week after the workshop ended.  The video was released in the organization's newsletter and on social media.  In less than two months the video received over 4,600 views.


                                                                                                                           2015 Energy Catalyst Workshop Participants

2016 Capstone Projects: Islands & Climate

350 Pacific

Fenton Lutunatabua, campaigner for 350 Pacific, joined us from Fiji and was paired with Meena Hussain, an independent digital communications strategist; Jarrod Curry, Marketing Manager for the Ocean Foundation; and Adams Wood, an independent filmmaker. The team created a short training video to build capacity for the Pacific Island Warriors Network. To provide more individualized and dispersed access to storytelling tools, the film showed activists how to capture footage on a smartphone and make higher quality videos on their own. After viewing the video, members of 350 Pacific’s activist network will be encouraged to come up with their own short films to be viewed at their Faith Leaders Forum in September 2017.   After the workshop  Fenton used the video at the 350.org Pacific Climate Warriors Coordinators Strategy Retreat in Fiji, in one of the workshops on storytelling and story collecting.  Each of the participants were able to use the video guide in the training to create content for one of their assignments. They will then take the video created at the workshops and use it with the different grassroots communities they work in across the 15 Pacific Island Countries, that the 350.org Pacific network deals with.  Fenton notes that "the video we created in [at the workshop] has also been shared widely with other organizers in the movement and with in 350.org" and that he has been in contact with team members discussing strategy, and even has discussed bringing Adams to Samoa for the Faith Leaderes Forum to do some shooting, editing and training.

Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana (CRCL)

CRCL’s Communications Director, Jimmy Frederick, joined us from Baton Rouge with the objective of increasing local action in response to rapid loss of land along Louisiana’s coast. Jimmy worked with New Orleans Video Access Center producer Katie Mathews and communications strategist Lauren Reid to produce a film that would convey the urgency of defending the coast. Using a relatable metaphor of land loss in terms of football fields per second, the proposed video urges viewers to join the CRCL membership community, with a goal for a 25% increase in memberships for 2017.

GLISPA Island Resilience Initiative

Stewart Sarkozy-Banoczy from the Global Island Partnership’s new Island Resilience Initiative joined us with the goal of promoting action towards building resilient and sustainable island communities. We paired Stewart with DC Visionaries filmmaker and COO Celene DiStasio and Pooja Gupta, founder of the EARTH CoLab, who uses animation to tell stories of conservation. The team produced a short concept film aimed at increasing membership levels for GLISPA by inspiring leadership, catalyzing commitments and facilitating collaboration for all islands.

Ocean View Foundation (OVF)

Ocean View Foundation Director Kim Gaffett joined us from Block Island off the coast of Rhode Island. We paired her with independent filmmaker and CMG Fellow Ayla Fox and communications strategist Katherine Anderson to assist the foundation in its efforts to create action in regards to sea level rise due to climate change. They developed a video directed at year-round and seasonal Block Island residents with the objective of building on the island’s no-nonsense ingenuity. The strategy for the film and campaign revolves around a reframing of the sea level rise threat as yet another opportunity to rise up and solve a problem as a resilient island community.  After the workshops Kim's naturalist program became endowed with The Nature Conservancy and she is working with them to develop a new film about conservation on Block Island, which she hopes for Ayla to work on.

The CMG Workshops are made possible with generous support from the Lewis Family Foundation, providing us with direct program funding and use of Alnoba.