Dialogue Earth Announces Winners of Crowd-Sourced Energy Video Contest

Institute on the Environment affiliate sets the stage for yearlong Media Challenge focused on energy topics

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Tom Masterman, Dialogue Earth, maste078@umn.edu, (612) 624-2778
Mary Hoff, Institute on the Environment, maryhoff@umn.edu, (612) 626-2670
Jeff Falk, University News Service, jfalk@umn.edu, (612) 626-1720

MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL (04/21/2011) —Dialogue Earth, an Institute on the Environment–affiliated media enterprise focused on increasing public understanding of societal issues, today announced the winners of a crowd-sourced video contest to explain the sources and uses of energy. The contest sets the stage for Dialogue Earth's yearlong Media Challenge, focused on explaining a variety of energy-related topics.

The energy video contest was Dialogue Earth's second successful test of the crowd's ability to accurately convey key science points in an engaging, non-advocacy manner.  

Participants were provided a background document with information about how the U.S. sources, distributes and uses energy, and were instructed to produce an engaging 60- to 90-second video. The only guidance they received was to keep the video free of additional content, opinions or calls to action.

“Dialogue Earth doesn’t advocate for any particular position, issue or organization, and the winning videos reflect that,” said Kent Cavender-Bares, Dialogue's Earth founder and an experienced science communicator. “Our vision is to become a trusted information provider and to avoid the political pitfalls associated with simultaneously providing information and taking sides on societal issues.”

Dialogue Earth provided $15,000 in total prize money, spread throughout multiple rounds of competition.

Yearlong Media Challenge

This energy video contest sets the stage for the Dialogue Earth Media Challenge, a yearlong series of video competitions focused on a variety energy topics, scheduled to kick off July 1, 2011.

“We chose energy as an umbrella topic because it is a key component of so many important societal issues,” said Cavender-Bares.

The Media Challenge will consist of 10 crowd-sourced video contests, each focused on conveying a few key science points about a specific energy topic. The dozens of topics being considered include renewable energy sources like solar, wind and biomass; fossil fuels like coal and oil; nuclear energy; transportation and hybrid vehicles; energy storage; and energy efficiency in business and at home.

Throughout the Media Challenge, Dialogue Earth plans to leverage its Pulse social media analytics tool to monitor the volume and sentiment of online conversations about energy, helping to determine areas of confusion and contention in the dialogue.

Guided by a steering committee of energy thought leaders, the Media Challenge will result in multimedia content available for use by groups including media outlets, schools and educators, and various energy organizations.

The Winning Videos

1st place: Marvin and Sprinkles,” by Robert Deutsch

2nd place:Uncle Sam’s Dinner,” by Henry Reich

3rd place:Energy Is Fun,” by Andre Ferreira

4th place: Energy Is All Around Us,” by Cuyler Bryant

5th place: Turbo Charged Earth,” by Jeffrey King

About Dialogue Earth

Dialogue Earth™ is a nonprofit media enterprise whose mission is to increase public understanding on societal topics. It believes that widespread distribution of trustworthy, relevant content will lead to a more productive dialogue and, ultimately, more informed action on society's most critical issues. To that end, it has built a team of experts in science communication, social media, content creation and Web application development. Dialogue Earth began in September 2009 as a collaboration between the Institute on the Environment (IonE) at the University of Minnesota and Foundation for Environmental Research. Both organizations contributed seed funding, with IonE also housing Dialogue Earth.

Learn more and join the conversation at www.dialogueearth.org and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/dialogueearth.