Collaboration with World Resources Institute (WRI) and California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) to combat climate change and protect the ocean

Cover Art: Recipe for Action (still). PSA animation: Yoo Jung Hong. Graphic design: Makena Janssen. Courtesy of the artists.


The ocean is the life source of our planet and vital for healthy human societies and a thriving world economy. Over-fishing, marine pollution, and climate change threaten to undermine the environmental health and economic vitality of the ocean unless we take urgent action. To address these issues, students at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) collaborated with World Resources Institute (WRI) to create a series of innovative informational projects.

During the 2019–20 academic year, the class CalArts Collaborates: Design for Non-Profit Partners teamed students and faculty from CalArts’ Graphic Design Program and School of Film/Video.

With the goal of engaging a young global audience, students developed materials informed by Blue Papers commissioned by the High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy, for which WRI serves as the Secretariat. Results ranged from upcycled apparel and a habit-changing app to a multimedia campaign exposing illegal fishing practices and an Instagram-based approach to promote sustainable seafood.

On June 29, the webinar Arts and Activism for a Sustainable Ocean Economy showcased the students’ projects and featured artists, activists, educators, and ocean experts discussing collaborative strategies to save the ocean.

Please click here to view the project video, webinar, and students’ presentations.

To learn more about CalArts Collaborates, read “Turn the Tide” in The Pool, CalArts’ alumni magazine.

World Resources Institute is a global research organization with more than 1,000 experts and staff around the world working to turn big ideas into action at the nexus of environment, economic opportunity, and human well-being.

California Institute of the Arts has set the pace for educating professional artists since 1970. Offering rigorous undergraduate and graduate degree programs through six schools—Art, Critical Studies, Dance, Film/Video, Music, and Theater—CalArts has championed creative excellence, critical reflection, and the development of new forms and expressions.

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