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He’s Fighting for Climate Justice by Tapping the Power of TV and Film

Innovation Fellow Samuel Rubin co-created the Hollywood Climate Summit to encourage industry professionals of all ages to drive culture change and climate action

Intergenerational movement building taking place during HCS programming in 2022. Photo by @kavipictures.

Intergenerational movement building taking place during HCS programming in 2022. Photo by @kavipictures.

What is the Hollywood Climate Summit and what inspired you to start it? 

Samuel RubinSeveral members of Young Entertainment Activists (YEA!), myself included, created the Hollywood Climate Summit (HCS) in 2019 because we envisioned a community space where creators and culture-shapers of all ages would build collective power and leverage their creative skills to drive climate action. 

Today, HCS is a hybrid, international, annual event showcasing multigenerational, story-driven efforts bringing together environmental changemakers and entertainment or media professionals. 

What problem are you trying to solve? 

The entertainment industry still has a lot of work to do when it comes to reducing emissions during productions and making sure that climate stories are both accurately represented (it’s not all doom and gloom!) and more frequently integrated into scripts. 

This can have an enormous, global impact. That’s why HCS is an innovation hub designed to advance climate justice through cultural change. 

How does the Hollywood Climate Summit work?

Established as an annual event in 2020, thousands of entertainment industry professionals come together for both virtual and in-person programming. Offerings include workshops and training, plus live-streamed panels with topics including intersectional storytelling, sustainable production and social impact. There’s also a climate content marketplace where writers can pitch their scripts to production companies, industry think tanks where problems and solutions are explored and, of course, networking parties. 

Every year, different organizations and brands sponsor or host a wide range of highly interactive events. Previous partners include Netflix, Paramount, NBC Universal, Participant, Meta, NRDC, Sierra Club, EarthJustice, Center for Cultural Power, and many more. 

Why choose a cogenerational approach? 

Cogeneration makes climate storytelling better because various perspectives are taken into consideration. Our theory of change emphasizes mobilizing intergenerational audiences as a top impact outcome.

In order to fully revamp sustainability practices in the entertainment sector, we are going to have to involve an age-diverse variety of industry stakeholders. And multigenerational distribution strategies from the ground up are essential to transform the magic of storytelling into tangible action. 

What’s your big audacious vision? If you succeed, what change will we see? 

In three years, HCS has built a coalition of over 190 organizations from more than 50 countries worldwide. Tens of thousands have already viewed or attended our events and we want to keep providing them with a platform to build bridges, amplify innovative work, and create fun, impact-driven spaces for people to recommit, learn and connect. 

Our goal is to build a long-term, sustainable, nonprofit organization that can serve as a hub for climate efforts in the entertainment industry, build a mutual-aid network based in the Los Angeles area, and promote interdisciplinary collaboration with other sectors such as education, technology, fashion, arts, science, etc. 

How can people get involved with your work?

Everyone is invited to participate and attend HCS. Our events are free and open to all. Stay tuned and check our website for updates if you’d like to attend our fourth summit this June! 

The Hollywood Climate Summit wouldn’t be possible without the hundreds of volunteers who have contributed over the years and support from the Young Entertainment Activists coalition. Every year, we offer new paid volunteer and job opportunities. 

What’s one of your superpowers as a leader/innovator?  

I put my heart and soul into things and am committed to the long-term result. I also love connecting like-minded people and organizations. There is so much potential impact when you can build bridges and create synergies among mission-aligned stakeholders. Wish I could also do this with dating! 

Learn more about Samuel Rubin here