Future Rising: Girls' Education and Climate Change

by Girl Rising
Future Rising: Girls' Education and Climate Change
Future Rising: Girls' Education and Climate Change
Future Rising: Girls' Education and Climate Change
Future Rising: Girls' Education and Climate Change
Future Rising: Girls' Education and Climate Change
Future Rising: Girls' Education and Climate Change
Future Rising: Girls' Education and Climate Change
Future Rising: Girls' Education and Climate Change
Future Rising: Girls' Education and Climate Change
Future Rising: Girls' Education and Climate Change
Future Rising: Girls' Education and Climate Change
Future Rising: Girls' Education and Climate Change
Future Rising Fellows
Future Rising Fellows

Girl Rising welcomed our second cohort of Future Rising Fellows in May, 2022 - 11 changemakers from countries around the world including Uganda, Costa Rica, Kenya, and Nepal.  These leaders were selected from over 800 applicants from 75 countries.  Girl Rising launched the new Fellowship program with a two-week storytelling bootcamp during which we led workshops on research, the art of the interview, developing a strategic plan for storytelling projects, and case studies of stories that have led to social change.  We have also led the Fellows in learning events around climate change action, climate change and gender, and effective climate change communciations.The Fellows are now embarking on the first phases of their Fellowship projects, which all have a focus on either water security, food security, or local solutions.

Additionally our Future Rising program is in the process of integrating the films, videos and narratives from the 2021 Fellows into new educational resources.  We have already created a Climate Booster Pack available for middle schoolers and high schoolers, providing vital information on climate change impacts as well as activities designed to develop leadership skills.  Girl Rising is also piloting new climate-informed educational materials for our programs in India, which will reach more than 50,000 learners this year.

Our Future Rising program is also preparing for a series of events in the autumn during which Fellows will share their stories on stages related to the United Nations General Assembly and COP27.

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Future Rising Fellows
Future Rising Fellows

Our inaugural cohort of Future Rising Fellows are now in the final phase of completing their Fellowship projects which include documentary films, photo essays, graphic novels and other media telling the story of 1) the climate change activism and leadership projects they have been undertaking in their communities, or 2) stories of the hidden connections between climate change and gender justice.  Our regular workshops on storytelling have continued and we have also been supporting them with production expertise and resources.

 We continue to create opportunities for the Fellows to speak on influential stages.  In the last six months our Fellows have spoken at TEDx talks, written guest blogs for Girl Rising, will be featured in a CBS morning show, and at a special virtual event at the Boulder JCC which will be live streamed across the world. Applications for the 2nd cohort of Future Rising Fellows opened in February and we are now reviewing over 800 applications from 70 countries.  The Future Rising team is planning a Handover Symposium that brings together the 2021 cohort and the 2022 cohort; and also planning a Storytelling Bootcamp for early summer for our new Fellows.  The 2022 cohort of Fellows will have a special focus on water and food security.

 We are thrilled to have released our first Future Rising educational resources. Future Rising is developing climate change-related educational resources and curricula for our 110+ local partners around the world integrating locally relevant climate-informed educational tools that reach 10 million adolescents. We have also created new pilot climate ‘booster’ educational tools for our US Program along with a pilot ‘Activist in Residence’ program for US middle and high school - a collaboration with Fellows.

 Lastly, the Future Rising team is continuing to build the Digital Storytelling Hub – our interactive digital storytelling platform. The content on the Hub will amplify the stories shared through the Fellows’ projects and also provide qualitative data that Girl Rising will use to  advocate for the inclusion of girls’ education in climate action plans at both community and government levels.

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Future Rising Fellows attending workshops
Future Rising Fellows attending workshops

Since the launch of our Future Rising Fellowship in August 2021, we have been holding regular storytelling workshops for the Fellows during which they can explore ideas with seasoned professionals and sharpen their skills. The first few workshops were focused on the basics of story structure development and pre-production. In September, the Fellows met with our contact at PBS Foreign to discuss the art of interviewing; and in October, an Emmy award-winning filmmaker joined the Fellows to share her process of developing a story structure. Three additional workshops are scheduled for the rest of the year, including a discussion with a Lecturer from Berkeley School of Journalism on reporting and journalism ethics, along with a Framing and Filming 101 session with the Director of Queen Sugar. 

The Fellowship has also provided the Fellows with various opportunities to speak on global panels about the intersection of gender equity and climate change. One of the Future Rising Fellows joined the Chief Architect of the Paris Agreement and First Minister of Scotland at COP26 for the 43rd Macaulay Lecture, the oldest annual televised public lecture in Scotland. The Macaulay lecture was just one of our Fellows' stops on a tour of speaking engagements as part of the COP26 that also included a meeting with Chile’s Environment Minister. The full lecture is available here.  

We were honored to join Goals House as part of UN General Assembly Week in October for a lively discussion on how educating girls is one of the most powerful tools in addressing global climate change and its unprecedented effects. The panel featured Girl Rising CEO, our Future Rising Fellow, and Nonresident Fellow at the Center for Universal Education, Brookings Institution as well as UNICEF's Deputy Executive Director, and focused on the transformative environmental impact of educating women and girls. Later that week, two of our Future Rising Fellows joined Jane Goodall and other youth climate activists to discuss the vital importance of planting trees.

All 12 Fellows are now working on their narrative projects, focused on the intersection of gender equity and climate change. These projects are multimedia – ranging from films, graphic novels, photo essays, long-form articles, digital illustrations, and podcasts. The distribution channels for these projects will be determined on a case-by-case basis. 

The Future Rising team also worked on producing Girl Rising’sSecond Annual International Day of the Girl Summit in October. The three-day globe-spanning virtual event celebrated the power and potential of girls to transform communities, nations, and our world. The Summit featured young activists, speakers, celebrity guests, performers, and live interactive workshops. You can watch highlights of the Summit on our YouTube channel. 

Lastly, the Future Rising team is currently laying the groundwork on the Hub – our interactive digital storytelling platform. The content on the Hub will amplify the stories shared through the Fellows’ projects and also provide qualitative data that Girl Rising will use to  advocate for the inclusion of girls’ education in climate action plans at both community and government levels. 

Julieta Martinez, Future Rising Fellow at COP26
Julieta Martinez, Future Rising Fellow at COP26
Highlights from 2021 IDG Summit
Highlights from 2021 IDG Summit
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In April 2021, we launched Future Rising, our new storytelling and educational program focused on the links between girls’ education and climate change. Our goal is to tell stories that illuminate the experiences of girls and women — stories about the disproportionate impact, and critically the stories of girls who are exercising their power to tackle the effects of climate change. 

We had originally considered making a feature film, but two things altered our thinking. First, we understand the urgency of this conversation — it is happening now. The two years it would take to create the film would put a significant delay in the imperative to make known the links between girls’ education and climate change. Secondly, we have been researching and considering the ways people consume content today. The cultural landscape has evolved greatly especially over the last few years, which is why we are working on a strategy that ‘atomizes’ our storytelling - editing films and stories into smaller components and optimizing them for various digital platforms. We want to surface a flow of powerful narratives and present them to the cultural slipstream. 

One of our initiatives under the Future Rising program is our Future Rising Fellows. The Future Rising Fellowship is a six-month fellowship for individuals aged 17-24 who are working on environmental justice storytelling and/or activism with a focus on girls and women. Our goal is to support this cohort with resources, mentoring, and network development. Each Fellow will be paired up with a mentor and realize their project in the span of the fellowship. 

The Fellowship received over 200 applicants from 37 countries, showing depth and range of talent from individuals who are executing such creative leadership in addressing climate change. After careful consideration, we are so excited to announce that we have finalized our inaugural cohort of Future Rising Fellows — 11 incredible individuals who have vastly different experiences and share many things in common, including a profound commitment to girls' education and to forging pathways to a more sustainable and equitable future. The fellowship will begin mid-August and we look forward to sharing more updates with you in the coming months. 

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Girl Rising

Location: New York, NY - USA
Website:
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Twitter: @girlrising
Project Leader:
Virginia Terry
New York, NY United States
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