Planet Forward Summer Seminar

This June, spend a week in Washington, D.C., to learn from influential and creative environmental leaders and communicators.

Planet Forward Summer Seminar

How can you craft compelling environmental narratives that weave the urgency of the moment, breakthroughs that may be on the horizon, and the justice and diversity to tell a compelling story? How can you use narratives to inform, have impact, and influence action?

I have had a difficult time trying to figure out where to go with my degree and interest in storytelling. Attending this seminar gave me more insight on how climate and environmentalism can be covered and produced.

The Planet Forward Summer Seminar will tackle these vital questions and Washington, D.C., will be your classroom:

  • Be where policy gets made, global leaders convene, and decision-makers grapple with science and research findings
  • Meet and work with influential and creative environmental leaders and communicators
  • Craft compelling narratives through text, visual and audio storytelling, and learn state-of-the-art media tools

You will learn through hands-on work and direct engagement with our accomplished experts and instructors. Your week will be organized around storytelling techniques and tools, and topical themes.

Whatever your field of study or your career interests, having the ability to communicate effectively and memorably will make you more successful — because stories have power. The Planet Forward Summer Seminar will show you how to be an effective, compelling environmental storyteller.

Capture the crisis, engage, and catalyze a more socially and environmentally hopeful future. 

Join us at the Summer Seminar. To move the planet forward. 

Learning Outcomes:

  • Finding the story
  • Crafting the narrative
  • Leveraging storytelling tools

Seminar Objectives:

  • Examine and critically reflect on how the media portrays sustainability and science
  • Evaluate and practice effective communication and storytelling techniques
  • Discover media platforms that support sustainability-related content
  • Engage expert communicators in sustainability and value their diverse perspectives
  • Initiate conversations around key issues by producing a pitch for a story

Program fee, on-campus lodging & meals: $2,500 (limited scholarships available)


Please note: Day-by-day activities in this program are subject to change.

Sunday, June 2 – DAY 1

Arrivals and Welcome to Planet Forward

Planet Forward will host a meet-and-greet reception with participants and review the week’s curriculum. 

Monday, June 3 – DAY 2

Engaging Your Audience | Environment & Health 

We’ll consider effective framing, audience analysis, and addressing the challenges of complexity in this type of storytelling. Meet and work with scientists, media and leaders at the intersection of the environment and health. 

Tuesday, June 4 – DAY 3

Stories through Sound | Indigenous Voices and Cross Cultural Perspectives

After a half day building an audio artifact, where participants will examine and practice how to communicate science and sustainability compellingly and effectively, we’ll visit media organizations to see this work in action. Today’s emphasis is Indigenous and cultural storytelling.

Wednesday, June 5 – DAY 4

Visualizing Storytelling | Water and Environmental Security 

Our instructors will help students produce a video in Adobe Rush, and we’ll examine methods of data visualization that connect with audiences. Visits with global experts will share new digital tools for storytelling on water and environmental change.

Thursday, June 6 – DAY 5

Digital Storytelling | Conservation Technology and Biodiversity 

Through experiential learning in digital storytelling, seminar participants will create a longform digital story and outline an infographic using Adobe tools. We will meet with subject matter experts who communicate directly with their audiences.

Friday, June 7 – DAY 6

Story Pitch Review and Send-Off | Nature Stories

On our last day, students will share their refined story pitches developed over the course of the week, and we’ll send them off to move the planet forward.