Category Archives: Projects

Fired Up Media closing doors, but leaves a legacy of social innovation

Fired Up Media is closing its doors, as readers of our site will have noticed, the site ended curation a while ago. After a great run, as a fiscally sponsored project of the Earth Island Institute, we are shutting down all programs and transferring all current media projects to some of our nonprofit partners.

Fired Up Media was built in the wake of Power Shift 2007, to catalyze a global communications network among young climate leaders around the world. It was highly engaged in the arc of the climate negotiations, including covering the Poznan Climate Negotiations in 2008 and reached its peak covering the 2009 climate negotiations in Copenhagen, bringing a team of youth climate media activists from around the world to cover the negotiations, as well as supporting an amazing media and photo team. We had the honor of doing the training and media delivery of the largest climate petition in history (when it was 10m, before it grew to 17m), in partnership with the TckTckTck and the late Nobel laureate, Wangari Maathai. Our blog had its best traffic day, ever, when we livestreamed the following sit-in, towards the end of the negotiations, when youth leaders read the names of the signatories and refused to leave without an agreement.

The leaders and programs we worked with have gone on to do amazing things, but the context and format of this work has changed dramatically. Our international reporting project has developed significantly and is now a fully free-standing project of the Earth Island Institute: Project Survival Media.

Our photographers have gone on to do amazing work and projects, particularly Robert van Waarden, whose work on social movements, human rights, and adaptation on a world with a changing climate has been published in leading publications and exhibits across the world.

Many of the youth global leaders we worked with are developed a new global network, mixing the multi-issue rapid response campaigning of global groups like, that we worked with and the media-savvy, social movement organizing of, our other partner, in a new national model, under the OPEN umbrella. You can check out some of this burgeoning global movement of national and international networks, such as: GetUp! Action for Australia,,, SumOfUs.org38 Degrees | people. power. change, and ActionStation. Fired Up Media worked with many of the founders and leaders of these organizations and will continue to do so, through two new vehicles, the Fired Up Fund and the OPEN fund.

Lastly, as the founder and Executive Director of Fired Up Media, I was half-time through December 2012, to get the divestment campaign, with the Responsible Endowments Coalition, Energy Action Coalition, As You Sow, and the Sustainable Endowments Institute, up and running. With the major work by, and the President himself advising communities to invest and divest on climate, that work is well and truly running. You can join at Go Fossil Free.

Personally, for the last year, I have been launching a simple, easy way for Americans to switch off of fossil fuels and support the social change work that our partners and allies have been doing, through Ethical Electric. As VP, Business Development, I have been working on an amazing partnership and certification effort within the company and after a year of hard work, Ethical Electric is now available in 9 states and counting! We are just starting, but I believe amazing things can come from this work.

Thank you for reading through this and learning a bit about the history and living legacy of Fired Up Media.

Goodnight and good luck,

Richard Graves
Executive Director, Fired Up Media

The Young Activist’s Guide to Building a Green Movement + Changing the World: Featuring Content from Fired Up Media

Check out The Young Activist’s Guide to Building a Green Movement + Changing the World, the new book that lays out how to plan and win campaigns for young environmental leaders. Chock full of resources, including real campaign plans, successful strategies for citizen lobbying, and of course, how to generate media attention and tell stories effectively.

What are people saying about this book?

“Organizers spend decades developing tools and learning systems that Sharon Smith puts at the fingertips of young activists within a weekend.”—Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins, CEO, Green for All

“If you ever thought about wanting to change the world, but didn’t know where to start, then buy this book. It’s an inspiring and practical guide for young people who want to take the first steps toward finding real solutions for the planet.”—Michael Brune, executive director, Sierra Club

Well, that is really exciting to hear, as Fired Up Media staff and supporters helped edit and contribute to the book. Richard Graves, the founder of Fired Up Media, was a significant contributor to the Making Media Headlines chapter. In fact, it took almost a decade to learn a lot of these tools and skills and we are super fascinated to see what the next generation of youth environmental activists are able to do with a clear and effective guide like this one to guide them.

Guess what, we will be covering them on It’s Getting Hot in Here, Check the Weather, and all the other amazing youth climate activists. So, if you want to make an impact, pick up the book, get reading and get out there and change the world.

Just don’t forget to drop us a line and tell us your story, because we want to hear it.

Project Survival Media Launches as Independent Earth Island Project


Over the last two years, it has been my pleasure to work with Shadia Wood and Madeline Kovacs, who started working with Fired Up Media several years ago. We had some terrific successes together, covering the Poznan Climate talks for LinkTV, training dozens of young journalists at Power Shift 07 and 09, and especially – the launch of Project Survival Media.

Now, after getting the program launched in the chaos of the lead-up to the Copenhagen Climate talks and bringing incredible youth journalists from countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America to report on the negotiations – Project Survival Media is now standing on its own (Support them!) – an independent project of the Earth Island Institute.

Shadia has had a lot of experience with Earth Island, as  a Brower Youth Award winner, one of the first staff members working with the Energy Action Coalition and at the Environmental Justice and Climate Change Initiative, and lately, with Fired Up Media. It is going to be exciting watching her take on the challenges of coordinating a network reporting from the front-lines of climate change. f you have questions about PSM’s program, media content, or being a Team Leader or Team Member, please contact Shadia.

Madeline has likewise had a lot of experience in the field, dating from our time together at MacCARES at Macalester College, to her work with Focus the Nation, Working Films, and now as the co-coordinator of Project Survival Media. If you would like to donate to the project, have questions about PSM’s website, or are an organization looking to partner with us, please contact Madeline.

It is exciting to see their success and I hope you check out their new effort, Solutions for Survival. It is going to be awesome. If you agree, support Project Survival Media today and just wait till you see the impact of a global youth journalism network dedicated to broadcasting stories of survival and ingenuity in the face of climate change.

I will be involved as a board member and I will be working to raise money, help where I can, and find opportunities to connect Fired Up Media platforms and training programs with Project Survival Media’s reporting teams.

-Richard Graves

Photography – Best of the Climate Conference in Copenhagen

Gallery of the ‘Best of’ images from COP 15 in Copenhagen.

Images ©Robert vanWaarden

New Project Survival Media Website launches at Copenhagen

Project Survival Media‘s new website launched at the Copenhagen International Climate Conference and it looks great! Check it out and get dispatches from Project Survival’s media teams around the world.

Big Summer Activities, Fall Plans

October 2009 Update On: Project Survival Media, Contributing, Photography, Consultancy, & Our New Home

Project Survival Media: After a rigorous application and selection process, Project Survival Media (PSM) has seven talented youth new media teams, one on every continent. These teams are producing six professional mini-documentaries, 70 professional photographs, and over 100 blogs in the lead up to COP 15 in Copenhagen this December.

Then, teams are distributing content through youth blogs in 15 languages, online and offline news outlets. We will be showing delegates what is happening on the front lines of the climate crisis in their region, what it is doing to the people they are sworn to serve and protect. We are taking the message to our delegates at Copenhagen: As you negotiate our planet’s climate, “Survival is not Negotiable.”

Team leaders have compiled a media pitch that we are using to approach hosts and syndication partners, as well as some outlets who want to pay for original content. It’s awesome. We also made this video, 350=Survival, with Jon Warnow of Read the conversation below the YouTube post – a prime example on how a video like this can help educate on climate change.

Continue reading

The Launch of Project Survival Media

August 11th, 2009 join us for the Project Survival Media Benefit at 111 Minna Gallery in San Francisco, CA.


What if, on all seven continents, there were young people equipped to globally broadcast pivotal stories about the climate crisis?

What if these young people were empowered to amplify disenfranchised voices and propel the principle  of “Survival” to the forefront of the political debate?

Well this is Project Survival Media. In the lead up to the UN Climate Negotiations, we are assembling a global network of youth journalists who will use video, photography, and blogs to report from the frontlines of the climate crisis. Continue reading


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.