RWU Joins Planet Forward University Consortium

Students gain multimedia journalism skills and produce original video content focused on sustainability challenges

Public Affairs Staff
Man introducing conference
Planet Forward founder Frank Sesno speaking at the Annual Planet Forward Summit held in Washington, D.C.

BRISTOL, R.I. – Roger Williams University is one of 10 universities internationally to join the Planet Forward University Consortium, a newly launched multimedia, digital storytelling collaborative aimed at providing an added voice for those working on sustainability challenges such as food security, water, energy and climate change.

Based at the Center for Innovative Media at George Washington University School of Media and Public Affairs, Planet Forward engages young people, opinion leaders, and innovators in finding solutions for the biggest challenges facing the planet. It provides a forum for experts and engaged citizens to come together to find solutions to shared challenges, specifically in the areas of energy, climate and sustainability.

RWU’s participation in the consortium builds on a five-year relationship with Frank Sesno, the creator and host of Planet Forward, in which RWU students have produced 44 video vignettes exploring sustainability and solutions. Last year, five journalism students led by faculty member Michael Scully were invited to Planet Forward’s inaugural Feeding the Planet Summit in Washington D.C. to debut their video on the University’s entrepreneurial aquaculture efforts. As part of the consortium, RWU will send students to the April 2015 Planet Forward Summit in Washington, D.C., and will provide content for The partnering schools will also collaborate on internships and student engagement projects and programs for sustainability.

“This is an exciting time for colleges and universities around the country and around the world,” said Planet Forward founder Frank Sesno, director of the School of Media and Public Affairs at George Washington. “We are delighted to partner with Roger Williams University to combine multimedia storytelling with active engagement of policymakers by students around sustainability, climate change, food insecurity, and the host of issues facing our planet.”

Planet Forward launched the University Consortium in May to engage colleges and universities to support programming, student engagement, internships and other projects around sustainability issues. Since its launch, Planet Forward has added 10 schools to the consortium: Roger Williams University, Clark Atlanta University, University of Calgary, Furman University and University College of Cork in Ireland, Drake University, Middlebury College, Sewanee University of the South, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, and the University of Arizona.