A 6-month Climate Change Immersive Story Accelerator

Home Projects Lookout360°: 6-month Climate Change Immersive Story Accelerator

The Climate Change Immersive Story Accelerator is a new 6-month media support programme for journalists and producers who are eager to get started with immersive stories on climate change.

As a pilot project, the European Forest Institute and the Global Editors Network have joined forces to launch Lookout360° that focuses on 360 video storytelling on climate change.

What We've Offered


A total of 10 journalists and producers working for 10 different media houses were invited to a in-field bootcamp on 1-2 February 2018 that offers a training on climate change storytelling and a crash course on 360° video filming and post-production. To offer a unique first-hand experience, the bootcamp was organised in the north of Finland, in Lapland, where Sami people live. We've partnered with the Sami Parliament in Finland to put a spotlight on the indigenous community, and the participants were free to produce a story from this trip, if they wish to do so.


After the bootcamp, the programme offered the opportunity for the group to connect with and hear from game-changing journalists, scientists and 360-degree video experts to get inspired the participants. We also helped the participants develop, produce and publish a story within a 3-month period.


The final projects were showcased at the GEN Summit in Lisbon on 30 May – 1 June 2018, both on the conference main stage and in the GEN Dome, an immersive storytelling-focused exhibition. The GEN Summit was attended by 750+ editors and feature speakers incl. Jimmy Wales (Wikipedia), Margaret Sullivan (The Washington Post) and many more.


Jean-Yves Chainon

Director of AR, VR & 360 Video at the Global Editors Network, photographer and filmmaker, Jean-Yves Chainon has also served as a VR/360 Producer at The New York Times and his work has been featured in publications such as The Washington Post and AJ+. He is also the CEO of JYC, an augmented and virtual reality production studio. He graduated from Brown University and has previously served on a one-year contract working on Google Ads and as a social media and digital news specialist for the US State Department.

His work

Houston Family Returns to a Flooded Home
Inside One of Houston's Improvised Shelters
See more here.

Carole Chainon

Carole Chainon is a VR Producer at the Global Editors Network and also the COO of JYC, an augmented reality, virtual reality and 360 video production studio. Her work has been featured in publications such as Discovery‘s VR affiliate Seeker and AJ+, and showcased by Samsung VR and the Newseum. She’s helped with the production of the GEN Summit, VR Studio, and to manage GEN's VR Study Tours. Carole also has an MBA.

Her work

Explore Patagonia's Disappearing Glaciers
LA Community Health Project
See more here.


Alan Rusbridger

Principal, Lady Margaret Hall at the University of Oxford

Alan Rusbridger was editor-in-chief of Guardian News & Media from 1995 – 2015 and now is Principal of Lady Margaret Hall at the University of Oxford. He is member of The Scott Trust, which owns the Guardian and the Observer and will take over as Chair later this year.

Rusbridger's career began on the Cambridge Evening News, where he trained as a reporter before first joining the Guardian in 1979.

Born in Zambia, he graduated from Magdalene College Cambridge University with a degree in English in 1976. He was a visiting fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford and is a visiting professor of history at Queen Mary's College, London and Cardiff University. He has honorary doctorates from Lincoln, Oslo and Kingston Universities.

A keen amateur pianist and clarinettist, Rusbridger has been chair of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain and the Photographers' Gallery in London.

He is the author of three children's books, published by Penguin. He was the co-author, with Ronan Bennett, of the two-part BBC One drama, Fields of Gold. Additionally, he has written a full-length animation film script and a play about Beethoven.

Dr. John M. Reilly

Co-Director, MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change

Dr. Reilly is a Co-Director of the Joint Program and a Senior Lecturer at the Sloan School of Management. As an energy, environmental and agricultural economist, he is focused on understanding the contribution of human activities to global environmental change and the effects of environmental change on the economy and society. A key element of his work is the integration of models of the global economy (representing human activity) with models of the ocean, atmosphere and terrestrial vegetation. 

Centered on the integrated assessment of climate change, Dr. Reilly’s work is published in more than 150 articles, reports and volume chapters. He has served in multiple capacities on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), was the Co-Chair of the US National Agricultural Assessment on Climate Variability and Change, served on early committees in the Federal government that shaped the direction of the U.S. Global Change Research Program, and participated in a wide range of other advisory committees. 

Prior to joining MIT in 1998, Dr. Reilly spent 15 years with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service, and previously for the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the Institute for Energy Analysis, Oak Ridge Associated Universities. He holds PhD (1983) and MS (1980) degrees in economics from the University of Pennsylvania, and a BS (1978) degree from the University of Wisconsin.

Learn more about Dr. John Reilly.

Zahra Rasool 

Editorial Lead for Contrast VR at Al Jazeera

Zahra Rasool is the Editorial Lead for Contrast VR — Al Jazeera’s new immersive media studio where she focuses on the production of compelling 360-degree video, Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) content. Before joining Al Jazeera's Innovation Team, she was the Managing Editor of HuffPost RYOT where she was responsible for RYOT's editorial strategy, managing the content team and combining journalistic storytelling with VR and 360-degree technology and in 2015, she founded her own startup Gistory.

Her background is in documentary filmmaking and she is very passionate about new emerging platforms and immersive storytelling in shaping the future of the media.

Thomas Seymat

VR Editor, Euronews

Thomas Seymat is the VR editor of Euronews where he leads the implementation of an innovative immersive journalism workflow. Since June 2016 he has orchestrated the production of 130+ 360°/VR experiences. He has trained journalists and spoken at conferences throughout Europe, and is an ambassador of the Journalism360 initiative. 
Before, as a digital journalist he led euronews' live-blogs operations, produced data-visualisations, and reported on European news. 

Prior to Euronews, he wrote for French and English-speaking media. He has received a journalism award from the European Commission in 2009.

Elisabetta Tola

Science communication expert & data journalist

After completing an MSc in Agricultural sciences and PhD in Microbiology, Elisabetta turned to journalism and did a Master in Science communication @SissaSchool. She founded the Italian science communication agency @formicablu and then launched datajournalism.it, a laboratory for data driven stories and tools. As a freelance she collaborated with different national and international magazines and is currently a regular contributor for the datajournalism section of AGI @Agenzia_Italia. She developed and co-authored the international crossmedial and investigative projects Seedversity.org and SEEDcontrol on global agro-ecology and seed market, supported by @Journagrants and @ejcnet, and Hearing voices supported by Journalismfund. She is a radio presenter at the Italian national public radio, @Radio3scienza @Radio3tweet.

Elisabetta is also a media trainer on digital journalism and verification (Google News Lab 2015-17; @MCS_Sissa; @FuturaTorino; @InCronaca) and a consultant for dissemination and outreach strategies and digital products within EU funded research projects.

Alok Jha

Fellow at the Wellcome Trust

Alok Jha is a journalist and broadcaster, and currently a Wellcome fellow, developing innovative new formats for telling stories in science journalism. He has worked as science correspondent for both ITV News and the Guardian, for more than 17 years and written and presented several TV and radio documentary series for the BBC. He has covered everything from space to particle physics to stem cells to climate change, and even reported live from Antarctica. He is author of three popular science books, including The Water Book.

Alexander Held

Senior Expert, EFI Resilience Programme

Alexander Held holds MSc in Forest Science from Freiburg University, Germany. He started as a fire ecologist at the Fire Ecology working group of the Max-Planck Society, got a number of operational qualifications in the US and South Africa. He moved from fire ecology to fire management and worked with the Global Fire Monitoring Center GFMC in Europe and southern Africa. Later, Alex worked with the South African Working on Fire Program WoF, from its early beginnings till 2012, when he joined the European Forest Institute EFI.

At the EFI, Alex works on the establishment of the European Forest Risk Facility, where the exchange of expertise and knowledge, mutual assistance and cooperation in Europe is the tool to create more resilient landscapes. His expertise is in risk fire, silviculture and deer management.

Gabriela Brenes is a Costa Rican multimedia journalist obsessed with social inclusion, music and digital storytelling. A restless explorer, this award-winning pianist turned to journalism and digital narratives to push the boundaries of immersive stories and education in Latin America. Truly passionate about transdisciplinary work and human-centered design, she’s constantly experimenting with digital platforms to tell stories in a more compelling way. In a Venn diagram with digital strategy, social research and multimedia literacy, she’d be right where the circles overlap.

Gaby is also a Chicas Poderosas Ambassador, and collaborates on VR projects with #StoryHackers. She currently works as Growth Strategist and Producer at Rise Up, a social media vertical by Fusion Media Group.


Olga Dobrovidova is a senior science correspondent at TASS, a leading Russian newswire service. She is also Russia’s first Knight Science Journalism Fellow (class of 2014–15). She has spent eight years covering science and environment, with a focus on climate change and sustainable development, in Russian and English. Her freelance work has also appeared in GEO, N+1, Climate Home and Nature. Olga teaches science journalism for graduate students at ITMO University in Saint Petersburg as well as a number of science communication bootcamps. In 2017, she launched Peremennaya, a first of its kind climate change media project supported by the British Embassy in Moscow.

Lookout360° will be her organisation’s first experiment with immersive science journalism and climate change reporting. Her editorial team plans to build a multimedia feature story around Olga’s videography and continue to use 360-degree video in other projects.

Pablo Leòn Sanchez writes for El País since 2009. Since then his work has appeared in its travel magazine called El Viajero EL PAÍS, in the newspaper’s local edition for Madrid and has worked in the ‘reportage’ team. Currently, he holds his position in the Production Unit, that focuses on digital innovation in journalism and news narratives.

His editor refers to Pablo as ‘one of our best journalist’ at El País and as they are expanding their immersive storytelling capacities following a few earlier examples incl. the one from Fukushima, his takeaways from Lookout360° will be integrated into El País’ overall plans around 360 video storytelling.

Lucy Sherriff is formerly a Multimedia Editor for HuffPost UK and currently a freelance multimedia journalist based in Bogotá, Colombia. She reports on women, social justice and the environment through video, radio and writing. In her previous role as Multimedia Editor at HuffPost UK where she worked for six years, she launched the site’s environment section, as well as helping develop the company’s video strategy. She produced, presented and co-filmed HuffPost’s first documentary ‘End of the Earth’, which was filmed in Antarctica, and has had more than 1M views on Facebook.

She has very strong and compelling story ideas focusing on the indigenous communities in Columbia and island countries in other parts of the world, and will apply the techniques and takeaways from Lookout360 ° to produce human stories through 360 videos.

Ugochi Oluigbo is a News Anchor and environmental journalist for TVC News’ environmental program, Green Angle, its environmental program. Her work has won several journalism fellowships and awards including the CCMP Fellowship, UNFCCC African CDM Radio Contest, UNEP Young Environmental Journalist Africa to name a few, and has hosted the BBC World Service Climate Change radio programme, Local Warming. Ugochi comes from a community ravaged by erosion, Amucha, and believes this inspired her passion for environmental journalism. She covers under-reported development stories to amplify voices of the most vulnerable across the world. She works to mentor new environmental journalists and is a strong eco-influencer.

Immersive storytelling is important for her media organisation to better cover important reports. The outcomes from Lookout360° will be featured on Green Angle.

Rizky Gerilya works as a videographer for de Volkskrant’s crossmedia editorial staff. With a strong focus on innovative storytelling, he has worked for a variety of media outlets such as interactive (web)documentaries, videogames and apps. At the crossmedia department of de Volkskrant, Lookout360° will fit in an agile strategy to experiment with new technologies for storytelling.

De Volkskrant will use the lessons from the initiative to find a way to combine the most innovative and immersive formats with an efficient workflow, and further develop a constructive storytelling tool for the future. His 360 video will be published as a special feature, as part of their extensive coverage of climate change. Previous examples of this are here and here.

Paavan Mathema is currently a correspondent with the Kathmandu, Nepal Bureau of the Agence France-Presse (AFP). She covers a wide rage of issues including politics, economics, environment and culture for the agency, reporting on breaking news as well as producing text and video features. She has nearly a decade-long journalism experience, and holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Hong Kong. Paavan feels that immersive storytelling is emerging as a powerful journalistic tool that can amplify viewer engagement and is excited to learn the techniques and opportunities to tell the story in a new way.

Her editor states: having a team member trained in immersive storytelling will certainly be an asset to the Kathmandu bureau of AFP. In addition to publishing video on climate change aided by Lookout360°, the bureau will use the techniques to explore other stories from Nepal.

Virve Rissanen works as a tech reporter in Helsingin Sanomat, the largest daily newspaper in Finland. Her stories are published in HS.fi, and they often include a video, poll or other interactive element. Her work also involves both production and post-production of mobile videos, and has been appointed by the media’s managing editor to join Lookout360°.

Because of her specialisation and background, she finds it almost natural to explore new ways of storytelling. She has tested 360-experiences on her own last year, and see the potential in telling stories through this new format for wider audience of Helsingin Sanomat. Her experience and lessons-learned will not only be shared with her colleagues, but will be used in the media’s strategies around video to enrich journalism the way it should be done in 2018.

Borut Tavčar is a specialised journalist in environmental and energy issues in daily national newspaper Delo, most influential newspaper in Slovenia. He is also the editor of green page of Delo, which was founded by Borut himself and has become the source of information in various groups working in environment sectors and government in the country. He is currently running his own experiment to live without a car to report about his own experience through the paper. He also trains and coaches young reporters to write environmental stories for the newspaper and its online edition.

His journalistic career started in 1991, and ever since his passion and focus have been around environmental topics. One of the first reporting he has done focused on central waste water cleaning plant in Ljubljana, to showcase the importance of field reporting and narrating the difficult topics in a easy-to-understand way for the readers. Delo will be publishing his work through Lookout360° and hoping to get a top-page story around climate change and environmental topics that concern the Slovenian citizens.

Qing Wang is a Netherlands-based journalist with a background in politics, sustainability and international development. She currently works as the Europe Correspondent at Jiemian News, a leading Chinese language news organisation.

Prior to her work as a Europe correspondent, she spent 3 years in Radio Netherlands Worldwide, the former Dutch international broadcaster, where she led a project that provided media supports to Syrian refugees in Jordan.

Jiemian News plans to produce a series of 360 video contents around climate change and sustainability in China by using immersive storytelling, and the outcome from Lookout360° will be published as part of the series.

Flavia Martins y Miguel is a Brazilian journalist and editor-in-chief at Portal R7 Minas, an online national media published by RecordTV. She joined the media group in 2012 and is responsible for the branch of the Minas Gerais and the coverage of topics related to its community. Her professional experience also includes TV production and documentary editing. Flavia has won a national journalism award for an educational piece in 2012 and a local prize in 2009 for a series focusing health assistance by the government.

Portal R7 Minas is developing a new project for their news website and their main focus is to develop strategies to publish 360 videos and VR pieces. Lookout360° will help the team to get the necessary training and mastery to get started with their new initiative, and the outcome from the accelerator will be incorporated into its 2018 plans and beyond.

Sonia Narang is a California-based multimedia journalist who reports for Public Radio International (PRI) on topics ranging from climate change to issues affecting women around the world. Her journalism work focuses on how a changing environment impacts vulnerable communities, and she recently reported a series about climate change in the South Pacific.

She draws upon her documentary film background to create character-driven video portraits that reveal significant human rights and cultural issues. Sonia has a master’s degree in journalism from the University of California at Berkeley.

Sonia will apply the insights and skills she gains from Lookout360° to her video stories about the human impacts of global warming, climate resilience leaders, and adaptation solutions. Through immersive digital storytelling, PRI will have an innovative tool to use when connecting with audiences worldwide and raising greater awareness about environmental issues.

Claudio Accheri is an award-winning journalist, filmmaker and photographer focused on digital storytelling. Originally from Cagliari, Italy, he worked on different news beats in several locations around the world in the last decade. In 2016 he joined the Thomson Reuters Foundation, developing multimedia features and packages as well as long and short-form documentaries for Place, the foundation’s website focused on land rights. His work has been featured internationally on global publications such as Washington Post, AJ+, NBC, RTSI, Internazionale as well as regional publishers in Africa, Latin America and Southern Europe.

His application is backed by his editorial team at TRF who has committed to publish his 360 video stories on climate change and make them available to all Reuters clients and others for free.

Bootcamp Speakers

Tiina Sanila-Aikio, President of the Sámi Parliament
Tiina Sanila-Aikio or Paavvâl Taannâl Tiina (born 1983 in Sevettijärvi, Inari) is the President of the Sámi Parliament of Finland. Sanila-Aikio has been a member of the Sámi Parliament since 2012. She was elected the 1st Vice - President of the Sámi Parliament for the electoral term 2012-2015, and the President of the Sámi Parliament in March 2015 until the end of the electoral term 2012-2015. Sanila-Aikio was reelected as a President of the Sámi Parliament for the period 2016-2019 in February 2016. Before her presidency, Sanila-Aikio worked as a teacher of Skolt Sámi language and culture at the Sámi Education Institute in Inari. Moreover, she has been active in promoting the language and culture of the Skolt Sámi, for example providing teaching materials. Sanila-Aikio is also known as an artist who has performed in many ways, both in traditional and in modern ways of music. The other main occupation of the Sanila-Aikio family is reindeer herding. She lives in Inari with her husband and daughter.

Diana Tuomasjukka, Principle Scientist - Bioeconomy at the European Forest Institute (EFI)
Dr. Diana Tuomasjukka is Principle Scientist and Team Leader of “Sustainable Bioeconomy” at the European Forest Institute (EFI) and Coordinator of TMUG (ToSIA Management and User Group). Dr Tuomasjukka has been working in various EU projects mainly in the context of sustainability impact assessments (SIA). She is currently working on cross-sectoral forest-wood-chain modelling in Scandinavia, Balkans, Central and Southern Europe, whose assessment based on an indicator approach covering economic, environmental and social aspects, as well as CSR (corporate social responsibility), ecolabels and ES/NC. Her current project portfolio includes coordination of BenchValue project (Benchmarking the sustainability performances of value chains: making renewable and non-renewable value chains in house construction comparable), WP7 lead (environmental and socio-economic performance) of Tech4Effect project, WP4 (Instruments for operationalising Ecosystem services and Natural Capital) manager of OPERAs.

Jouko Kumpula, Senior scientist at the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke)
Jouko Kumpula has long experience on the research subjects, handling changes in the semi-domesticated reindeer management systems and the associated pasture environments. He has made several studies where reproduction, survival and productivity of reindeer as well as food accession and pasture use by reindeer have been studied. He has also leaded the permanent reindeer pasture monitoring project where the state of pastures has been evaluated and causes for the changes on pastures have been analyzed. During recent years he has involved in the bio-economic modelling research work where effects of different factors and mechanisms on the state of pastures and productivity and profitability of reindeer herding have been studied. Kumpula is now working as a project partner in NordForsk funded NCoE consortia project, ReiGN where Luke is developing the reindeer herding system model further. He holds PhD, Docent in reindeer herding ecology in Oulu University, Faculty of Natural Sciences.

Inger-Elle Suoninen, Producer and News Anchor at Yle Sapmi
Inger-Elle has the Sami background and is currently working as a producer, journalist and news anchor in Yle Sápmi. She has been working as a journalist since 2013. She studies journalism in Sámi allaskuvla / Sámi University of Applied Sciences, Norway. She also has studied media in Lakehead University, Canada. She’s currently living in Inari, Finland.

The GEN Summit 2018

The final results were presented at the GEN Summit 2018, organised by the Global Editors' Network in Lisbon, Portugal. Two project selected by the jury members have been featured during the summit session

Watch the session 'Immersive journalism meets climate change. The story of our accelerator' which took place during the GEN Summit 2018. For more about the session, check here

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The European Forest Institute (EFI) is an independent international science organisation which generates, connects and shares knowledge at the interface between science and policy. EFI has 28 member countries who have ratified the Convention, and 115 member organizations in 37 countries, working in diverse research fields.


The Global Editors Network (GEN) is committed to sustainable journalism, empowering newsrooms and media innovators through a variety of programmes designed to inspire, connect and share. The organization is a community of more than 1300 Editors-in-Chief and media professionals from all platforms. It is a non-profit, non-governmental association.


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