Planet Forward asks citizens and experts alike to share innovations to solve our common challenges. Our distinctive web-to-television initiative addresses the issues of energy, climate and sustainability. The best ideas — and the people behind them — are featured on television and may become a “Planet Forward Innovator.” The initiative is designed to create a dynamic public square to provide an opportunity for citizens from diverse backgrounds to engage directly with experts, decision-makers and each other.
PLANET FORWARD Based at the Center for Innovative Media at The George Washington University, Planet Forward is social media with a purpose but without an agenda. Leveraging the power of integrated media platforms and user-generated content, the initiative challenges the conventional topdown format of traditional media and rewards contributors by giving their ideas increasing levels of public exposure.
Since we started Planet Forward in 2009, thousands have become members and created a community dedicated to sharing new ideas that make a difference. We’ve taken this marketplace of ideas to new places by creating a unique media experience that encourages participation. • N ational Geographic’s “The Great Energy Challenge” website hosts a daily blog featuring entries from industry thought leaders as well as video pieces on energy-related topics • W eekly webisodes highlight the best ideas from the community and spotlight leaders from business, media, academia and advocacy • T hrough monthly segments for PBS’s Nightly Business Report, we highlight the innovations and solutions that come to PlanetForward.org, checking the facts and exploring the viability of each idea • P ublic television specials give exposure to the most promising ideas and lead to “Planet Forward Innovators” through audience and online voting
Planet Forward actively seeks strategic partnerships for content, expertise and community building. Our goal is not only to reach new audiences through wider distribution but also to encourage new submissions with varied expertise and unique points of view. • O ur television and Internet content partners National Geographic, PBS, Mar yland Public Television and Nebraska Educational Telecommunications allow Planet Forward content to be seen by a wide variety of influential audiences • A cornerstone of our outreach effort is collaboration with colleges and universities around the country that produce Planet Forwardfocused content for our website • Association with or funding from organizations such as the National Science Foundation and Public Agenda allow our initiatives to grow into new arenas and encourage innovation in the areas of technology, policy, media and education
Planet Forward community members are central to the endeavor. They engage in several ways: creating their own ideas, commenting and voting on other ideas or simply consuming the rich content on the site. • C reators: Thousands of people around the world have become members of Planet Forward and have uploaded videos, essays, and comments to PlanetForward.org. These submissions feature the creator’s idea, a community project, research or a policy initiative. • Engagers: Anyone can join PlanetForward.org and comment, vote on and discuss the viability of ideas with the community. Participants include students, scientists, policy-makers, elected officials, entrepreneurs, advocates and business leaders. • C onsumers: An even larger audience reads and watches the variety of content we provide on Facebook, Twitter, live webchats with experts, and the Planet Forward blog. Planet Forward content can also be seen on: The Huffington Post and Grist, Vimeo, YouTube, iTunes, VodPod, Metacafe, Ground Report, Daily Motion, iReport, Current, BlipTV, Live Earth, Veoh, motherboard.tv and Yahoo.
Image: Frank Sesno is the creator and host of Planet Forward and director of The George Washington University School of Media and Public Affairs. Previously, he was a CNN Washington Bureau Chief and News Anchor.
School of Media and Public Affairs 805 21st St NW Washington, DC 20052