Planet Forward Summer Seminar in Multimedia Storytelling:

The Planet Forward Multimedia Summer Seminar is an immersive experience at George Washington University offers a selective environmental storytelling program that aims to connect classroom and experiential learning. Our expert faculty led program combines lectures, hands-on learning with award winning filmmakers, designers, photographers, and journalists. Participants will film, photograph, record sound, work in the podcasting studio, and learn design skills. This master class will also bring together media skills to create an environmental storytelling to publish on Planet Forward.

Enrollment for the 2024 Summer Seminar is now closed.


Planet Forward Summer Seminar in Multimedia Storytelling:

Location:  George Washington University, Washington, D.C.

Residential:  Residential, on-campus, single-room housing includes housing, lunch, and 3 dinners. Commuter program discount available for D.C.-area students.

Program length: Planet Forward’s Multimedia Summer Seminar is a 1-week intensive.

Cost: $2,500 (residential); $2,000 (commuter)

Eligibility:  This program is ideally suited for rising junior and seniors, graduate students, and recent graduates.

Application deadline:  May 15, 2024

This summer join us for an exciting learning program at GW’s Planet Forward. Our Multimedia Summer Seminar Intensive offers the opportunity to explore all facets of media work with filmmakers, journalists, photographers, designers. You’ll meet influential environmental leaders and develop a story for publication on Planet Forward—all while experiencing the excitement of Washington, D.C., and our talented professional staff.

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.

Join us at the Summer Seminar and discover the power of storytelling to move the planet forward.


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 | Crafting Your Sustainability Story

We’ll consider effective framing, audience analysis, and addressing the challenges of complexity in environmental storytelling. Multimedia production techniques and formats will be introduced.

Tuesday, June 4 – DAY 3

The Documentary Eye | Technical Skills & Interviewing

After learning the basic technical approaches to video and audio recording, students will master the art of the interview. From sequencing questions to diving deep into complicated issues, students will discover and begin practicing their approach to sit-down documentary interviews.

Wednesday, June 5 – DAY 4

Constructing Visual Stories | Combining Interviews and Observational Footage 

Students will sit face-to-face with various subject matter experts in water, public health, and climate change. After conducting video interviews with the experts, we will hear from documentary professionals from Silverback Studios about how to pair testimony with amazing footage.

In the afternoon, we will hear from podcasting professionals about techniques for constructing compelling audio-only stories.

Thursday, June 6 – DAY 5

Putting it all Together | Post Production and the Future of Storytelling

We will hear from Adobe professionals about editing together a short video as well as other software tools available through Adobe Express. Using Adobe Rush, students will combine various media elements into a compelling and informative video.

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.

Summer Seminar Objectives

Learning Outcomes:

  • Discovering the story within environmental issues
  • Crafting compelling narratives across multimedia platforms
  • Leveraging cutting-edge storytelling tools and techniques

Seminar Objectives:

  • Critically analyzing media portrayals of sustainability and science
  • Practicing effective communication and storytelling techniques through multimedia
  • Exploring media platforms that support sustainability content
  • Engaging with expert communicators and valuing diverse perspectives
  • Initiating meaningful conversations through story pitches
  • Equip participants with new skills in multimedia storytelling

Program fee, on-campus lodging & meals: $2,500

Throughout the seminar, you’ll have the opportunity to:

  • Meet and collaborate with influential environmental leaders and communicators
  • Learn hands-on about camera equipment, Adobe Creative tools, and a video editing workshop with a filmmakerDive into the creating compelling narratives through text, visual, and audio storytelling
  • Engage with state-of-the-art media tools and a digital library of resources

Under the guidance of accomplished experts and instructors, you’ll explore storytelling techniques and tools, tackling topical themes with direct engagement and practical application.