CMG Oceans & Plastic Workshop Highlights Change-making Collaborations & Connections

Last week we hosted a 4-day Catalyst Workshop focused on Oceans & Plastic with an international group of change-makers at Alnoba in Kensington, New Hampshire. We brought together more than a dozen filmmakers, strategists, and organizations from around the world - including participants from Mexico, the Bahamas, Estonia, Australia, and across the United States. We welcomed a handful of expert speakers to lead presentations and conversations around ocean plastic, measureble impact, campaign strategy, video production, and building successful collaborations between creatives and non-profits.

The Catalyst Workshop ran from May 1-5 and participants spent their time working in groups on four Capstone Projects aimed at creativing measurable impact on the plastic pollution problem. Workshop participants included the Founder & Director of the Mexican Caribbean Manta Ray Project, the Social Marketing Director for Let's Do It World, the Development Coordinator for Algalita Marine Research and Conservation, the Mexico Coordinator for Healthy Reefs for Healthy People Initiative, the Managing Director & Founder of Manatus México, the Filmmaker & Impact Strategist for Free Roaming Studios, the Artistic Director for Megamot Media, several independent filmmakers (Rory Moon, Alex Levin, and Travis Hucek), video intern from NOAA, and two graduate students studying in Film & Media Arts, and Wildlife Conservation.

Our workshop partners included several international organizations who are working to curb and clean up plastic ocean pollution, including Algalita Marine Research and Conservation, Let's Do It World, Bahamas Plastic Movement, and a newly-formed anti-plastic coalition group consisting of leaders from multiple ocean health and eco-tourism organizations in Quintana Roo.

At the workshop each of the organizations was paired with 2-3 strategists and filmmakers, who offered insight into the organization's mission and goals and helped the organizations construct a brief concept video visually expressing their goals.  Each of the groups presented their concept video on the last evening of the workshop, and each one was thoughtfully executed and well done. The level of support and passion that each group had was felt strongly on the final night of the workshop, as each group encouraged and supported each other. The group of participants, leaders and speakers left the workshop motivated to continue good work and maintain the strong professional and personal connections made in only a few short days.

Our CMG Director & COO Liz Smith was joined by workshop coordinator Lauren Reid, and Danny DeBonis, an Online Video Strategist, to lead the 4-day workshop and support for the participants as they completed their Capstone Projects. 

We also had a variety of knowledgable speakers who joined us for portions of the workshop including CMG Founder David Conover; our Keynote speaker, Jamie Rhodes, Program Director for UPSTREAM; Angelica Das, the Managing Director for the Points North Institute; and previous workshop attendees and recipients of a CMG Fellowship award: Hilary Kotoun, Social Impact Director for Sailors for the Sea; and Ayla Fox, an independent filmmaker from Rhode Island. 

Watch our Facebook feed for more info about how these organizations and amazing individuals are moving their own professional work and the Catalyst Capstone projects forward. We can't wait to see what they do next!