ENVIRONMENTAL ACTIVISM AND PHOTOGRAPHY CHALLENGE
Make real, lasting environmental impact that matters to you.
Document an environmental issue in your own community through photography.
Attend exclusive virtual sessions with environmental experts and professionals.
Compete for a grant of up to $300 to kickstart your changemaking project.
Must be 13-18 years of age to enter.
The Road to Making a Difference
This summer, MarbleWatch will be hosting a 7-week, low-stress environmental activism and photography challenge to support and guide youth around the world through our process of identifying a critical environmental issue in their own community, creating a photo portfolio to document it and raise awareness, and designing achievable, impactful, real-world solutions to address the issue beyond this challenge with our support.
At the end of this process in August, participants will ‘compete’ for monetary project grants ($500 total pool of grants) to kickstart their proposed real-world solutions — along with our dedicated assistance and support in bringing their plan to life. By this time, every participant will have a plan to address their selected local issue as well as a complete photo portfolio to use for raising awareness. We at MarbleWatch will support every project through publicization of each photo portfolio, and by providing support and resources during and beyond the challenge.
With the guidance of multiple guest speakers covering various environmental topics, as well as guidance and support from the MarbleWatch team throughout the process, all participants will leave this challenge in August with the resources and knowledge to independently identify, document, and address environmental issues affecting their communities for this challenge and future endeavors.
Below is an overview of the challenge, and the process from start to finish. More details will be provided at the opening meeting on July 3rd! Specific timings will be provided closer to the start of the challenge, and will be adjusted to best accommodate all participants.
Feel free to contact us with any further questions, though keep in mind we will provide more details closer to the event!
STEP 1: Identify an Issue
Following the virtual opening event, participants will identify a specific environmental issue affecting their community. Selected issues must be photographable, tangible, and ideally measurable, for the purposes of this challenge. Of course, the goal of this step is for participants to identify specific local issues that they personally are passionate about solving. Our role is solely to guide them in this process.
STEP 2: Create a Photo Portfolio
Through this challenge, participants will discover the importance of photography in environmental advocacy and activism, attend a virtual presentation by a professional photographer to learn the principles of environmental and conservation photography, and have the chance to experiment with this process through compiling a portfolio of original photos that document their chosen issue in a way that makes the viewer care.
MarbleWatch will support each project by helping participants’ portfolios gain critical visibility, to bring awareness to each and every focus issue.
STEP 3: Propose a Solution
Once familiar with their chosen issue and the fundamentals of environmental activism and project design, participants will develop a feasible real-world solution they will carry out to address their issue. At the end of this process, participants will submit their environmental photography portfolio and their project plan, to be judged and reviewed for feedback by the MarbleWatch team over the coming weeks, and for portfolio publicization.
STEP 4: Execute Project!
Unfortunately, our time together is limited. However, by the end, all participants will have the knowledge, resources, planning, and motivation they need to make a difference and carry out their intended project. We highly encourage each and every participant/team to continue their work independently beyond this challenge!
In addition, the two teams with the most feasible, thoughtful, and impactful project plans will receive seed funding and dedicated assistance from MarbleWatch to kickstart their work and accelerate their community impact!
In order to participate in this event, all participants must:
It is recommended, but not required, that all participants:
- Have access to a computer for attending Zoom meetings, compiling/editing photos, and documenting a plan to address their chosen issue
- Have a fully formed team by the opening webinar, if a team is desired.
- Have all team members live in the same general area for easy collaboration during and beyond this challenge
- Have a relatively flexible schedule for attending optional support webinars and workshops as detailed under schedule
Judging & Rewards
Proposed solutions and photo portfolios will be judged by the following criteria:
The team that scores the highest overall will receive the USD$300 project grant and the support and assistance of the MarbleWatch team. The runner-up team in will receive this same support, and a USD$200 grant.
Additionally, all teams will gain permanent access to support for future environmental initiatives, feedback on their project from the MarbleWatch team, and assistance with publicizing photo portfolios and projects.
In between official meetings and webinars, participants will be expected to continue working on their projects. Please note that additional time must be spent outside of the listed dates for participants to independently identify an issue, create a photography portfolio, and design a solution.
11:59pm, July 9th: Deadline for Registration
July 10th: Opening Webinar (Required)
July 17th: Portfolio Project Introduction, and Envt’l Photography Fundamentals (Required)
July 24th: Photo Portfolio Support Webinar (Optional)
July 31st: Environmental Project Design Intro and Fundamentals (Required)
August 7th: Project Design Support Webinar (Optional)
August 14th: Project Launch Fundamentals, Closing Ceremony, and Wrap-Up (Required)
August 27th: Champions Announced!
Katie Bryden – International Award-Winning Conservation Filmmaker
Maanit Goel – MarbleWatch Founder & Executive Director
Peter Colantes – MarbleWatch Secondary Director
Zoeya A. – MarbleWatch Core Team Member
Frequently asked questions
Absolutely! We purposely designed this to be as low-stress, flexible, and enjoyable as possible. The majority of the 7 weeks is time to work on and develop your project, and you’ll most likely have plenty of time to do so.
With that said, we do have Zoom meetings/webinars throughout the event that at least one participant from each team is required to attend. We’ve done our best to schedule these strategically, and meeting timings will be established with participant input as registration opens up. Please ensure that at least one person from your team is able to attend each required meeting listed under our schedule.
The entirety of this event is designed to be executed remotely. All meetings and presentations will be held over Zoom, and further communication/organization through email and/or other online platforms (Details provided at opening webinar!).
If team members wish to collaborate with each other in-person, that is their choice, but they are by no means required to.
Nope! This challenge is designed for all experience and skill-levels, and support and guidance will be provided throughout every step of the process. If you’re new to environmental activism/advocacy, we especially encourage you to try out this challenge! Lessons learned will be valuable for every type of advocacy and real-world changemaking now and in the future.
We’re giving away a total sum of $500 to our top teams to fund their projects and bring them to life. Depending on the number of teams registered by the the time the event begins, the division of this total pool may be adjusted, but so far it looks like the team with the overall best project proposal and photo portfolio will receive $300, with the runner-up receiving $200.
Whichever you prefer. It is encouraged that you work with a team, as collaboration is an important part of real-world problem solving. This also ensures that a team with multiple people does not have an advantage over you as a single person. However, we realize that this is not a possibility for everyone — especially during the current pandemic. So if you want to work individually, you can do so!