|Benjamin Drummond / Sara Joy Steele|
News from BDSJS and Facing Climate Change
I’m happy to report that Collaborations for Cause, Blue Earth’s first annual storytelling retreat for photographers, nonprofits and communications professionals, was a huge success! Over a hundred people from places like Seattle, British Columbia, South Carolina and New Mexico joined us on Whidbey Island for two days of “deep hanging out” (see Scott Macklin’s four Rs of storytelling below).
Benj and I shared six case studies from recent projects. Benj also moderated a fantastic panel on publishing, partnerships and environmental advocacy, featuring Hellen Cherullo from Mountaineers Books, Dan Ritzman from the Sierra Club and Gary Hawkey from ioColor. The group discussed To the Arctic, an inspiring new photography book by our friend Florian Schulz. Florian himself gave a powerful keynote later that evening.
There were too many other amazing speakers and topics to list in this post, but here are five bits of storytelling wisdom that I came home with:
“Engagement first, stories second… Don’t just tell stories, give them something to do.”
— Dan Green, Gates Foundation
“Vision is more than a collection of opinions. It’s what ought to be.”
— Milenko Matanovic, Pomegranate Center
“Don’t dumb it down, break it up.”
— Suzie Katz, PhotoWings
“Hope is not a strategy, but it’s core to our work.”
— Helen Cherullo, Mountaineers Books
And here are the four Rs of storytelling according to Scott Macklin, Associate Director of the Master of Communications in Digital Media program at the UW:
A big thanks to everyone who came out. Get ready for an even bigger and better retreat next year!
All photos © Tim Matsui.
5/15 Update: Blue Earth has posted additional photos from the retreat on their blog.
On May 10th, Climate Solutions held their annual fundraising breakfast at the Westin Hotel in downtown Seattle. This year’s speaker was Bill Gates who spoke to the 1200 attendees about the importance of investing in clean energy technologies. We were amazed by the sheer scale of the event; in an hour and a half the organization raised $488k for their invaluable work. We exhibited seven large prints from Facing Climate Change at the breakfast. The images were on display in the foyer and at the VIP reception. A big thanks to Savitha Pathi at Climate Solutions for the invitation.
Images from Facing Climate Change will be shown at the Annenberg Space for Photography as part of their Extreme Exposures slide show night. The event is March 3, 2011 and features “photography captured in and documented under extreme conditions and climates.” A number of Blue Earth photographers are included. More information is available on the Annenberg website.