[10/02/06 - 12:00 AM]
Sci Fi Channel's 'Visions for Tomorrow' Launches at 'Wired' Nextfest

[via press release from Sci Fi]


New Public Affairs Initiative Brings Together Industry Thought Leaders and Educators To Meet the Challenges of the Future

Public Service Announcements; Web Site and Educational Outreach; Nonprofit Advocacy and Public Policy Efforts Comprise Multi-Platform Campaign

New York, NY - September 28, 2006 - SCI FI Channel will today unveil 'Visions for Tomorrow,' a multi-faceted public affairs initiative to galvanize individuals, organizations and policymakers toward exploring creative solutions to today's most challenging problems. Recognizing that individuals can make a difference, 'Visions for Tomorrow' champions a bold, optimistic view of the future. The Channel will launch the new campaign at its 'WIRED' NextFest symposium, Using Technology to Inspire Leadership and Action, moderated by 'WIRED' magazine editor-in-chief and 'Visions for Tomorrow' advisory board member Chris Anderson. The initiative begins with a focus on the critical issue of energy and the environment.

"Thinking about the future can be both exhilarating and distressing," said Bonnie Hammer, President, USA Network & SCI FI Channel. "With 'Visions for Tomorrow,' we've assembled an impressive roster of organizations and individuals to explore what steps we can take to move forward with optimism and hope."

"Science fiction has an incredible power to inform, influence and inspire people about the future. Our campaign champions a hopeful look at the future, and advances the idea that individuals can drive significant and positive change," added Dave Howe, Executive Vice President & General Manager, SCI FI Channel.

'Visions for Tomorrow' features a broad array of coordinated outreach efforts designed to engage viewers, educators, students, grassroots nonprofit organizations, public policy and other thought leaders in determining ways to address issues ranging from energy to famine, education to poverty.

Public Service Announcements (PSAs)

Postcards from the Future are messages sent to us by the children of the future. They are hopeful messages of gratitude, their world having been vastly improved because of actions taken today. The campaign features three spots: one generic, one highlighting the successful implementation of alternative energy sources, and one which reveals the positive impact of a futuristic language communicator in eradicating global misunderstanding and conflict. The PSAs were created by SCI FI's in-house creative team in collaboration with Santa Monica-based Stardust Studios, which developed the futuristically evocative graphics package. The PSAs debut on SCI FI Channel and its digital properties today.

Advisory Board

'Visions for Tomorrow' will tap into the insights of a diverse and visionary advisory board of scientists and futurists, writers and artists, business leaders and political influentials and other thought leaders. Dr. J. Craig Venter, father of Genome research; Dean Kamen, inventor of the Segway� Human Transporter; Peter Schwartz, futurist, cofounder and chairman of Global Business Network; Dr. Mae Jemison, the first woman of color to go into space, and Mary McDonnell, Emmy Award-winning actress and star of SCI FI's 'Battlestar Galactica,' are members of this illustrious 18-person working "think tank" who set the stage for fostering tomorrow's innovative thinkers�today.

Educational Outreach

SCI FI's public affairs Web site, www.VisionsForTomorrow.net, serves as a portal for information and opinions on a range of issues, with an eye towards helping individuals identify ways to constructively meet today's challenges. The Web site inspires visitors to consider creative solutions, and to initiate positive change that address a broad range of concerns facing communities all across the country. The site refers visitors to nonprofit and advocacy organizations that offer information, action steps and helpful ways to further engage educators, children, thought leaders and policymakers.

SCI FI has partnered with Topics Education, a leader in educational outreach campaigns, to develop curriculum around story-telling and scientific inquiry that builds creative reflection and critical thinking skills. Educational materials will be made available to educators and nonprofit organizations that service young adults. The "Change Academy," a syndicate of youth summits and virtual activism, will challenge and empower students to propose solutions to contemporary problems that act as barriers to a better tomorrow.

Nonprofit Partners

'Visions for Tomorrow' harnesses the resources of progressive organizations dedicated to pro-social change. The campaign Web site promotes and amplifies the groups' environmental-friendly efforts, shares best practices and extends their reach to engage ever-greater numbers of people, organizations and communities across the country.

In keeping with the campaign focus on energy efficiency, the launch event will be "carbon-neutral," due to the participation of Native Energy. The privately held Native American energy company estimates the carbon dioxide (CO 2) emissions from the energy used during the event, and assigns it a value or "energy credits," which result in contributions toward renewable energy projects. In this case, SCI FI will contribute towards the construction of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe St. Francis Wind Farm in South Dakota. Energy from this project will displace energy that otherwise would come from burning fossil fuels.

As part of today's launch event, SCI FI Channel will also announce a partnership with ThinkQuest New York City, a nonprofit organization that teaches and empowers children to apply technology, creativity and critical thinking skills to solve problems and innovate solutions to a range of societal issues. A charitable contribution from NBC Digital Media, a division of NBC Universal, will support ThinkQuest's High School fall program, whereby students create and submit short films or public service messages communicating their own "Vision for Tomorrow" in competition for a host of educational prizes.

Public Policy Advocacy

A vital component of 'Visions for Tomorrow' will focus on encouraging local, state and national policymakers to support programs that stimulate social entrepreneurship and progressive thinking, particularly among youth. SCI FI Channel has commissioned a special Global Business Network Report slated for publication in 2007. This white paper will serve as a 'Visions for Tomorrow' manifesto, comprised of insights and commentary from interviews conducted with Visions for Tomorrow advisory board members. It will be shared with policymakers, nonprofit organizations, community and business leaders.

SCI FI Channel is a television network where "what if" is what's on. SCI FI fuels the imagination of viewers with original series and events, blockbuster movies and classic science fiction and fantasy programming, as well as a dynamic Web site (www.scifi.com) and magazine. Launched in 1992, and currently in 86 million homes, SCI FI Channel is a network of NBC Universal, one of the world's leading media and entertainment companies.

  [october 2006]  


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