Every single person in the world... has the power to further climate action.
In 2020 TED announced Countdown, a global initiative to activate ideas into climate crisis solutions. The initiative calls upon independent event producers to create TEDx events on the 10th of October each year to signal the world's commitment to a carbon zero future within 10 years.
Sustainability is a priority for Happily, and plus our Founder and CEO, Sarah Shewey, is a former TEDTalks Producer. In 2020, the first year of the initiative, we produced TEDxHappily Countdown Vol. 1, which was a fulfilling experience and a sustainability summit that we were proud to create. With this initial 2020 event we also launched our commitment to 100% carbon neutral events with our partnership with Forest Nation and the development of the Happily Forest.
We knew that in 2021 we wanted to answer the Countdown call to action once again with TEDxHappily Countdown Vol. 2. This time the program would be focused around the ideas of Ancient, Present, and Future.
TEDxHappily Countdown Vol. 2 was a completely remote production with all the talent and staff based throughout the US and the world. The program was also entirely curated with pre-recorded content and then broadcast live via a custom microsite, tedx.happily.events, to premiere the event. The Broadcast Team included an Executive Producer, Associate Producer, and a Streaming Engineer.
Sarah Shewey, Happily Founder and CEO, hosted the event and for her scenes we wanted to craft engaging immersive landscapes to showcase the accessibility and possibilities of emerging gaming technology for virtual events. To do this we used an XR Studio and Unreal Engine, a software that was originally developed to build and design the virtual worlds of video games.
The Happily Creative Team designed three immersive environments using this Unreal Engine technology. Each scene represented Ancient, Present and Future landscapes to match the themes of the program. Using a basic green screen setup in a nearby studio, Sarah filmed her scenes and sent them to the Creative Team who placed her within those virtual environments. The Happily Creative team also included a Video Editor, Content Creator and a Sound Designer.
From the Happily Web Team, a developer built the tedx.happily.events microsite to host the event premiere, with a showcase of each presenter and talent. The microsite includes a basic registration process, and serves as an ongoing on-demand platform for the event.
TEDxHappily Countdown Vol. 2 was another successful in-house Countdown production.
For every RSVP and registration to the on-demand playback we plant a tree in our Happily Forest, with already 300 trees planted from the RSVPs prior to the live broadcast.
Some highlights from the program:
The Founder of Google’s Empathy Lab, Danielle Krettek Cobb, talking about what we can learn from nature to inform the development of technology, and how technology can deepen our understanding of nature.
A special musical performance by folk band Gone Gone Beyond with their song ‘Another Earth’.
Founder and Executive Director, Climate Cardinals, Sophia Kianni, sharing her organization working on translating climate change information and research into as many languages as possible.
A hilarious comedy ensemble hosted by Rainn Wilson that asks the question ‘Is there anything funny about climate change?” It includes comedians and actors such as Conan O’Brian, Randall Park, Mayim Bialik and Ed Helms.