For many educators, artists, and environmentally conscious individuals, passion drives our storytelling and need to create and share. We want the world and other educators to have access to our ideas and creations, through Open Educational Resources (OER), in the hopes that they will inspire positive change and do social good. Many start their OER projects purely on the currency of energy and passion. This can only be sustained for so long, as the reality of financing sets in for the need for:
– Special skills and broader teams;
– Necessary purchases to grow and develop further; and
– Greater time commitments to share, maintain, engage, and build upon.
While we would all love to be independently wealthy to build and create without concern for how our bills are getting paid, sadly that is very few people’s reality. This means that even if our intention is to make the resources and art we are creating Open Educational Resources, we still need to build financially sustainable funding / business models around our art and OERs.
In this session, we will explore the approach to funding around three different OERs that share environmental storytelling:
– Naturally Ours (Hargreave & Yearwood, 2018) – an international award winning web series about parks and the people they inspire, and the transmedia storytelling and OERs that are being built around the web series.
– River Revery (Kemp & McDonald, 2018) – an open, community-based, collaborative project, creating OERs which address local environmental concerns in an artistic and poetic way to engage with global conversations around the environment.
– Conservation Through Education (Ashton & Bowles, 2014) – a video based, open source, documentary style series exploring environmental and social crises.
Each of the creators behind these series come from three different places in the world, are at three very different stages of their projects and financing, and are from three different decades in their lives. They will share both their successes and their failures in their journeys thus far, and what they’ve learned from them.
Participants will have the opportunity to apply what they’ve learned in the session as they discuss and brainstorm funding solutions and the paths for obtaining that funding through mock OER projects or those of their own.
This session will be structured as follows:
– Opening Introduction (2 minutes)
– Sharing different funding models from 3 case studies, including an introduction to the
project; which aspects of the project are OER, which are free to access and share but not
alter, and which aspects (if any) are paid, and why; and the funding model for the project. (5
– 7 minutes for each case study)
– Introduction to other possible funding solutions. (7 – 10 minutes)
– Break out into groups to discuss mock OER projects or actual projects of group members,
exploring the following questions: (10 – 15 minutes)
1) Your goal(s) in creating this project.
2) Do you keep all aspects of the project as an OER? Are some aspects of the project
free to access and share, but not to alter? Are there pay to access / use aspects of the
– How does this impact your funding model?
3) What funding solutions might fit this project?
– Of those, which are your preferences? Why?
4) What steps need to be taken to help you in your success in obtaining your preferred
funding solution? Subsequent funding solutions?
5) Is your preferred funding solution sustainable long term? If not, what future solutions
exist for this project?
– Ask for groups that wish to present their projects, decisions, and funding solutions. Discuss
and debate as a whole. – 10 – 20 minutes.
– Session Wrap-Up and Questions – 10 minutes
*Please note, we will be sure to keep the time structure on track, depending on whether the session is scheduled for 60 minutes or up to 90 minutes.*
In approaching this session, our goal is to create a positive space for healthy idea sharing, discussion and debate. We come from all different resource backgrounds. Some of us are attached to institutions that can help fund our endeavours, others work for larger companies that invest in our ideas, while there are some among us who are independent artists and / or entrepreneurs / small business owners that need to find financing on our own in order to build and create our visions.
We wish to host a healthy space for brainstorming and sharing in this session, to find solutions and push projects forward. Remembering that the goal here is to support one another in helping to shape projects and find funding solutions that fit.
Ashton, J. D., & Bowles, D. (2014). Conservation Media. [online] JDBA Creatives. Available at: http://jdbacreatives.com/projects-2/conservation-media/ [Accessed 30 Nov. 2018].
Hargreave, E., & Yearwood, L. (2018). Naturally Ours, the Web series. [online] Roamancing. Available at: https://roamancing.com/naturally-ours/ [Accessed 30 Nov. 2018].
Kemp, P., & McDonald, M. (2018). [online] River Revery. Available at: https://riverrevery.ca/ [Accessed 30 Nov. 2018].