Storytelling for Climate Action: Leveraging virtual reality, film and cultural strategy for impact –– with the Climate Story Lab

The Climate Advocacy Lab & The Climate Story Lab

"Do not limit how you do your advocacy or political organizing ... Artists are the labor force of the cultural organizing we need in the world, so if you do not have artists or creative collaborators like filmmakers or storymakers on your team, that is an injustice for the future that we need to build rapidly." –Layel Camargo, Climate Woke

Hosted in collaboration with the Climate Story Lab team (a project of Exposure Labs and Doc Society), this conversation highlights three creative projects leveraging virtual reality, community-based film and cultural strategy to engage audiences on climate more deeply, for more impact. We were joined by:

  • Juan Carlos Zaldivar & Elizabeth Miller, co-directors of Swampscapesa virtual reality (VR) and multi-platform exploration of Florida’s most endangered ecosystem, the Everglades;
  • Katie Basile, filmmaker behind Newtok, the story of the remote Alaska Native (Yup'ik) village of Newtok, a community that is struggling to relocate in response to climate change-fueled erosion and in the absence of federal funding; and
  • Layel Camargo of #ClimateWoke, a social media campaign uniting racial and social justice communities to re-center the people first and worst impacted by climate crisis in the climate discourse and solution-making.

These cultural activists led us in a conversation that spanned:

  • the questions they are testing and challenges they are grappling with
  • the way they are experimenting with different media for richer, more engaging and complex storytelling
  • a variety of creative and different audience engagement strategies, social impact strategies, and the impact goals of each project
  • ...and we had a rich discussion about equitable storytelling and responsible representation, as storytellers engaged important questions on issues like engaging rural audiences without easy access to internet; language justice; leadership development; and more!

Panelists and contributors also shared countless valuable additional resources for folks interested in doing this work, mentioned throughout the discussion. The last 25 minutes of the recording are dedicated to answering questions from webinar participants and those submitted in advance. 

You can access a copy of the slide deck by clicking the "Download File" button on this page.

Case Studies

What does research from the field tell us about what does and doesn't work?

Case Studies
Climate Solutions

How do we promote clean energy, energy efficiency, and other supportive policies?

Climate Solutions

What do we know about how climate change resonates with the public, and who are the best messengers?


Presentations and materials from Lab-sponsored events.

Access: Public