UNU and YouTube Think Green

In recognition of World Environment Day 2009 which takes place on 5 June, UNU is collaborating with YouTube Japan to support a special channel called Think Green.

More than 15 million users access YouTube each month in Japan. In order to help this community find videos that encourage them to think about environmental topics, YouTube has collaborated with some of its premium partners to create this new channel that will remain active for one year.

thinkgreen1In addition to the UNU, the content partners include NHK, National Geographic, Asahi and Diginfonews. Around 100 videos are showcased in the channel, including five video briefs published in Our World 2.0 produced by the UNU Media Studio.

World Environment Day (WED) was established by the UN General Assembly in 1972 to mark the opening of the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment.

WED is one of the principal vehicles through which the United Nations stimulates worldwide awareness of the environment and enhances political attention and action. The day’s agenda is to:

- Give a human face to environmental issues;

- Empower people to become active agents of sustainable and equitable development;

- Promote an understanding that communities are pivotal to changing attitudes towards environmental issues;

    - Advocate partnership which will ensure all nations and peoples enjoy a safer and more prosperous future.

    The theme for WED 2009 is ‘Your Planet Needs You-UNite to Combat Climate Change’.

    by Brendan Barrett on June 4, 2009 - Comments (00)  

    Leading visions on Climate Change

    Over the last couple of months we have been doing quite a lot of work on Climate Change. A recent UNU symposium “Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the Time of Climate Change” brought together some of the world’s leading scientists and writers on environmental issues, including ground breaking thinkers whose work and research are at the intersection of science, policy making and communications. The symposium invited them to examine how our thinking needs to change if we are to collectively take on the myriad challenges presented by global warming.

    The Media Studio was lucky enough to interview several of the speakers throughout the day and the resulting videos offer an insightful, and at times confronting, perspective on current Climate Change dialogues.
    The below interviews embedded in the neat new vimeo gallery player include:

    Dr. James E. Hansen from the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, USA
    Prof. Gwyn Prins, Director of the Mackinder Centre at the London Schools of Economic and Political Science, UK
    Prof David Sanborn Scott, from the University of Victoria, Canada
    Dr. Alex Evans, Centre on International Cooperation, New York University, USA
    Ted Nordhaus, Chairman, Breakthrough Institute, USA
    Prof. Shuzo Nishioka, Senior Advisor, National Institute for Environmental Studies, Japan
    David Steven, Managing Director, River Path Associates, UK

    by Citt Williams on October 10, 2008 - Comments (01)  

    Delicious Simplicity with a strong message

    The Story of stuff is an easy to understand documentary about the material economy and consumerism presented in a series of cartoons full of good humor.

    It is a very creative and effective movie that really makes you think and reconsider how your daily life affects the environment. The presenter, Annie Leonard, explains that we are living in a linear system, that is rapidly using up our planet’s natural resources.

    I really like this movie because it is a powerful example of how you can use the Web as an open channel to present ideas. It is simplicity at its best, no over production here! In my view, this is one of the best documentaries that you can find on the net. Go ahead and watch the video below:


    by david on February 6, 2008 - Comments (00)  

    Open documentaries

    “Then you win” is a project from a voluntary association based in France called Loin de l’Œil. Using Creative Commons licenses, they are planning to produce three documentaries about Ekta Parishad in India, a mass organization based on Gandhian principles. This is an open content project developed with predominantly open source (libre) software.

    It is possible to participate in the project by donating, helping to promote the documentaries, translating from Hindi, Tamil to English/French, and by editing using Cinelerra (a linux based video editing tool). Or you can join in other ways, through partnership, sponsoring and collaboration.

    The promotion approach adopted by Loin de l’Œil is very interesting since they provide access to video ads in a variety formats (ogg, Flash) that you can embed in your blog from Dailymotion, Youtube and blip.tv. Here is the ad from YouTube.

    Thanks to Creative Commons for introducing this project.

    by Brendan Barrett on February 7, 2008 - Comments (00)  

    Launch of UN University Opencourseware

    UN University OpencoursewareLast year, with support from the Joint Activity Fund, three UN University research institutes and the Media Studio worked together to develop the UN University Opencourseware portal, officially launched today, 4 February 2008. The aim of this pilot project was to publish at least ten courses as required in order to remain a member of the Global Opencourseware Consortium.
    This initial collaboration brought together specialists from Macau (UNU-IIST), Canada (UNU-INWEH), the Netherlands (UNU-MERIT) and Japan (UNU-MEDIA), to publish courses on e-Governance, Innovation, Economic Development and Environmental Conservation (mangroves and watersheds).
    As the platform, we selected eduCommons developed by the Centre of Open and Sustainable Learning at the Utah State University, because it is both free and open source (well, semi open source to be more precise). We managed to customize eduCommons so that it would have the same look and feel as the main UNU website.
    We hope that our current suite of opencourseware will prove useful to students and educators all over the world. In the future, we plan to expand the portal with the inclusion of courses from the remaining UNU institutes and programmes.

    by Brendan Barrett on February 7, 2008 - Comments (00)  

    Colloborative Creativity Group

    Colloborative Creativity GroupA new group of researchers has just come together at UNU-MERIT in Maastricht under the leadership of Rishab Ghosh. The Collaborative Creativity Group looks at the socio-economics of collaboration across all domains – Free / Libre or Open Source Software (FLOSS), opencourseware, Web 2.0, wikipedia….the list goes on.
    This young and dynamic team undertakes research on mechanisms for innovation, on ways of paying for public knowledge, on how policy-makers can support creativity, and on how firms and others can collaborate to promote economic growth and welfare.
    They have some really exciting projects including the first ever Wikipedia user survey, in cooperation with the Wikimedia Foundation.
    The UNU Media Studio has been fortunate to work with this new group on the UNU Opencourseware portal and we look forward to doing more together in the future.

    by Brendan Barrett on January 30, 2008 - Comments (00)  

    3Rs – Recut, Reframe and Recycle

    No this post is not about protecting the environment. Instead, I would like to point you to a recent report from the American University Center for Social Media entitled “Recut, Reframe, Recycle: Quoting Copyrighted Material in User Generated Video.” Authored by Pat Aufderheide and Peter Jasz, the report shows that many uses of copyrighted material in today’s online videos are eligible for fair use consideration.

    Fair use is very important for the educational sector and is the part of copyright law that permits new creators, in some situations, to quote copyrighted material without asking permission or paying the owners. The report is focused on experience in the United States and recommends that a special committee be established to develop best-practices principles, similar to those found in the documentary film-makers statement of best practice in fair use.

    by Brendan Barrett on February 7, 2008 - Comments (00)  

    Kaltura – collaborative video editing

    KalturaYet again, we are indebted to Stephen Downes for this posting. I don’t know how he does it, but he is a constant source of really useful information.
    It appears that there is an interesting tool to support groups of people who want to create videos online together. Kaltura (beta) provides a group online editor that is easy to use.
    Using this tool, it is envisaged that musicians, film-makers, students, activities, NGOs, and just about everybody else can work together to create and share their video content.
    Kaltura is partnering with the Wikimedia Foundation and is creating quite buzz via Wikieducator. This is a very positive development and one we, here at the UNU Media Studio in Tokyo, will follow with great interest. Take a look at the development wiki to see the results.

    by Brendan Barrett on January 24, 2008 - Comments (00)  

    Japan one of the leading adopters of Creative Commons

    Juris-Ranking-Comparison_WebVersionA 2007 report from the Singapore based Participatory Media Lab indicates that Japan was one of the early adopters of Creative Commons licenses. Within Asia, Japan stands out as having the highest volume of works covered by CC and the most liberal approach to licensing.
    The report argues that this trend will gain even greater momentum with support from Japanese Corporations such as Sony (particularly through the new video sharing platform, eyeVio, which has adopted CC) and with the 2008 iCommons Summit planned to take place in Sapporo, Japan from 29 July to 1 August.
    The report also indicates that the total size of CC content on the Internet was 60 million by 2007. That is absolutely amazing and a clear indicator that CC is fast becoming the “de facto alternative for any author wishing to license his/her output under more liberal terms.”
    The Participatory Media Lab is hosted by the School of Information Systems at Singapore Management University. They “produce original analyses of media production, distribution and reuse practices, using well-known and new methodological frameworks, borrowing elements from information management, microeconomics, network theory, law and new media theory and practice.”

    by Brendan Barrett on February 7, 2008 - Comments (00)  

    Open Source Media

    I subscribe to the Creative Commons blog and was recently excited to see two posts on Cinema 2.0. The first post introduces the idea of reusing footage from one film to create a new work with an entirely different purpose through the use of Creative Commons licenses. It is a topic that has been playing on our minds here in the UNU Media Studio as we struggle to produce documentaries under the existing scheme of things (i.e., respecting the copyrights of others) and try to do so in a open way.

    The second post presents a collaborative film project in development called A Swarm of Angels. Team producing this film have developed 7 rules for open source media which I think are really useful. I have summarized them here and you can see how by adopting these rules it may be possible to collaboratively build and share digital media. They cover both the development process and the form in which you make your content available. So what are the rules?

    1. Freely accessible
    Available to stream, or download without a fee.
    2. Freely available
    Permanently available without DRM. The end user able to share the work without restriction.
    3. Freely viewable
    Available in multiple formats, and to be converted freely.
    4. Giving source files
    Source media, such as rushes and raw graphics files should be archived and available for other creators to work with.
    5. Allowing remixing
    Materials should be licensed explicitly to allow derivative work for at least non-commercial/artistic purposes.
    6. Reveal the process
    Allowing access to not only the final source media, but work-in-progress material and software files, adding another layer of transparency and documentation.
    7. Open contribution
    Adding ways to influence and participate in the creation of the original work through various types of community/audience involvement.

    This approach is called Open Plus and is discussed more fully at the Swarm website.

    by Brendan Barrett on February 7, 2008 - Comments (00)  

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