Finalists in the Call for Pitches will receive advice and support from a production company and a minimum budget of $15,000 toward content creation
CONTACT: Clarke Williams
Clarke.Williams@aspeninstitute.org | 1-703-554-7378
Washington, DC, January 5 – Today, This Is Planet Ed, an initiative of the Aspen Institute, announced the launch of the Planet Media Task Force to create a roadmap to harness the influence of media to support children and their families in building scientifically grounded awareness and understanding of climate science and solutions.
With 2023 setting records as the hottest year ever recorded, children and youth across the country are experiencing the impacts of climate change from heat to flooding to wildfire smoke. Yet, they receive insufficient opportunity to process these impacts. 74% of parents indicate they want children’s media to include narratives about climate solutions, but currently, only 1% of children’s shows include climate-related content.
The Planet Media Task Force, co-chaired by Gary Knell, formerly of National Geographic and Sesame Workshop, and Katharine Hayhoe, Chief Scientist, The Nature Conservancy, consists of leaders across children’s media, climate, and education. The Nature Conservancy is serving as a scientific partner for the initiative, and the Task Force will create a guide to support children’s media in integrating essential climate principles in engaging ways.
“Too often what kids hear about climate change is focused on doom and gloom which can increase worry and anxiety. There’s an unprecedented opportunity to use the reach of media to empower children, ” said Knell. “By creating clear, science-based principles and elevating great content ideas, we hope to create momentum in the industry for more children’s climate storytelling focused on hope and solutions.”
“One of the biggest ways to make a difference on climate change is by talking about it, including conversations with kids,” said Hayhoe. “Media content focused on hope, humor, and solutions can start conversations, minimize misconceptions, and help children understand how their voices and their ideas can help us build a brighter future together.”
To coincide with the launch of the Task Force and to encourage creative development of innovative, climate media for children, the Planet Media Call for Pitches, seeks to generate ideas for short-form content to support children ages 8-12 in understanding four essential climate principles. Ideas pitched should incorporate these key climate principles through a variety of creative approaches, including animation, live action, music and more.
Selected finalists will pitch before a panel of reviewers in March at the annual Aspen Ideas: Climate in Miami Beach. There, a final round of pitches will be identified to receive a minimum budget of $15,000 and advice and support from production company to make the content.
This Is Planet Ed is an initiative of the Aspen Institute Energy & Environment Program that intends to unlock the power of education as a force for climate action, climate solutions, and environmental justice to empower the rising generation to lead a sustainable, resilient, and equitable future. This Is Planet Ed works across Early Years, K-12, Higher Education, and Children’s Media to build our societal capacity to advance climate solutions. www.thisisplaneted.org.
The Aspen Institute is a global nonprofit organization whose purpose is to ignite human potential to build understanding and create new possibilities for a better world. Founded in 1949, the Institute drives change through dialogue, leadership, and action to help solve society’s greatest challenges. It is headquartered in Washington, DC and has a campus in Aspen, Colorado, as well as an international network of partners. For more information, visit www.aspeninstitute.org.