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Community Rating


GreenHeroes shares great environmental stories on TV and on the web by celebrating people who heroically “ventured forth” and acted on an idea to help protect the planet. These “out-of-the-box” thinkers have created movements inside the mainstream that have led to emission reductions and more.

The GreenHeroes’ “Take action” Campaign is designed to help transform audiences from mere “viewers” to involved “do-ers” by connecting them to real world events and offering ways to share their own experiences on-line. 

Contestant organization: 
CineFocus Canada
Venture partners: 

TVO (charitable organization responsible for GreenHeroes delivery), Conservation Ontario, Organics Council of Ontario, Green Living Enterprise, CAPE (Cdn Association of Physicians for the Environment), bitHeads/Bedlam games, and Thing Tank (University of Toronto).

From the onset, TVO has been an enthusiastic contributor to the GreenHeroes overall campaign. They understood that our campaign was designed for the new social networks as well as for the traditional medium of television.  This means TVO supports our building dynamic connections to real world events and developing PR strategies and partnerships. TVO followed through on all commitments during Phase I and is now on board providing a broadcast license for 7 additional TV episodes, website funding for a portion of the cost of  21 additional webisodes and related campaigns, and are helping to fund the gamification of our web site to enhance the user experience.

The other non-profit venture partners listed above are committed to increasing the impact, relevance and innovation of the GreenHeroes campaign by supplying in-kind media, PR and consultation support, access to their communities, events and social media channels, and are participating in the survey and focus group testing of our social media challenge.

Describe your venture: 

GreenHeroes shares great environmental stories on TV and on the web by celebrating people who heroically “ventured forth” and acted on an idea to help protect the planet. These “out-of-the-box” thinkers have created movements inside the mainstream that have led to emission reductions and more.

The GreenHeroes’ “Take action” Campaign is designed to help transform audiences from mere “viewers” to involved “do-ers” by connecting them to real world events and offering ways to share their own experiences on-line. 

GreenHeroes launched last year as a series of 24 x 3 minute webisodes, a series of 6 x 30 minute TV episodes on TVO, and an integrated multi-platform campaign. GreenHeroes' second phase adds 21 additional heroes stories and related campaigns and seven more themed television episodes. New to this phase is a "call to action" social media game that takes advantage of our broadcaster and web channel’s ability to promote and reward activities that reduce energy consumption on a given day across the province of Ontario.

At the heart of the GreenHeroes Campaign are well-produced stories told by great storytellers. These stories are delivered as short portable, webisodes distributed on multiple distribution channels. The GreenHeroes Campaign encourages the audience to “become” the story by nominating people they know through a contest and taking part in real world activities inspired by the webisodes, “take action” campaigns, a blog and now, a GreenHeroes game. We have successfully run our inaugural USG “nominate” a GreenHero contest and announced the winners at the GreenLiving show, Canada’s largest consumer event focused on the environment.

The strategy that has worked best for our GreenHeroes Campaign is to maintain a strong connection between the content of the TV show, the bi-weekly campaigns on the website, and the efforts of volunteers and street teams. These combined elements resulted in increased views of the webisodes and gave us very high “dwell times” on the website and peaks that coincided with real world events. Since going live on August 24, 2010 the site has generated over 600,000 page views.

Currently, TVO has licensed an additional 21 additional webisodes and 7 more television half hour shows. We have also held discussions with them to create a contest-based "call to action" to generate excitement about the campaign and take advantage of TVO’s ability to promote it.  As a result, TVO is now committing development funds to gamifying our existing site, hosting the video content on their servers, and licensing the website for another second season.

With this broadcast support, we successfully applied for development funding from the Bell Fund and are now working with bitHeads/Bedlam to gamify our web presence and to create a province-wide “call to action” challenge- a social media game to garner similar citizen involvement.

To test the feasibility of this next phase, and to gain province-wide awareness for it, we have secured relationships with several green-minded organizations and media partners for outreach, consultation and focus group testing. These groups include Conservation Ontario, Organics Council of Ontario, the Canadian Physicians for the Environment. GreenLiving Enterprises, Our GreenHome and the on-line radio channel Mediazoic. These partnerships have kept us informed and given us access to key events and stakeholders within the green community.

Emissions reduction potential: 

We are applying to Climate Spark specifically to help fund our "call to action" social media game that uses our broadcaster and web channel’s ability to promote and reward activities that reduce carbon emissions. Currently GreenHeroes reduces carbon emissions by creating inspiring stories and connecting users to “take action” campaigns on-line and to real world events.

As an example, Boston Bruins defence man and GreenHero, Andrew Ference convinced the NHL Players Association to sign onto carbon offsets. This commitment by the players resulted in spin-off green activity at hockey arenas too. For example, concession stand owners sought out recyclable containers and arenas switched to CFL lightbulbs.

This information is conveyed in the short on-line webisode. After watching Andrew tells this story on-line, viewers can then click on the “Pedal Power” campaign icon (inspired by Andrew’s further commitment to reducing his carbon footprint by cycling to hockey practice) to get involved in a number of carbon reducing activities like joining a bike co-op or getting information to share with friends about how biking contributes to reducing their carbon footprint. See:

While difficult to measure the exact impact of this online activity, we do know the social media campaign helped to increase awareness and hopefully reduce emissions because:

 1.    The webisode netted 1,000 views within a half hour of it being posted to the Boston Bruin’s blog reaching an audience who would not have seen this webisode elsewhere

2.    The on-line "take action" campaign linked users to 14 activities and/or organizations like the David Suzuki Foundation and Bixi Bikes where they could connect directly to ways to become more involved.

Phase II-Gamification and Social Media Challenge

We are working with accomplished game developers bitHeads and our Green and Media partners to develop an activity around a quantifiable and achievable reduction in emissions. This crowd-sourced challenge will be promoted by TVO and our other partners to recognize and reward individual and team based activities that reduce energy use.

To do this we will gamify our existing site and create new partnerships with pre-existing software developers and suitable producers of sustainable products and services. bitHeads will be integrating into the existing GreenHeroes website a metagame.  The game will be set up to work seamlessly with the current GreenHeroes site ( as well as on our other web presences including our blog and social media accounts.

Gamification Feature Breakdown:

The GreenHeroes "metagame" will have the following backend features that will interact with the website and drive long-lasting user engagement and a call to action. 

Challenges - Challenges will form the core of directed player activity.  For example, a challenge might be called “Hydro Conservation” and require players to form groups and track reductions in their historical hydro use over a four month period.  Because the monthly savings are aggregated for an entire group, this play mechanic encourages people to form larger groups and effectively spread the message of conservation.    

Point System - The GreenHeroes metagame will use GHP (GreenHero Points – an “experience point” analog) to ascribe value to in-game activities ranging from simple, low GHP actions such as viewing a webisode or posting a blog to the more complex (and rewarding) social interactions and organization required to complete challenges.

Player Reward/Badge System - Rewards in the GreenHeroes metagame will focus on public recognition of status (through badges, communication, etc.) and access to exclusive content (e.g. behind the scenes tours, access to GreenHeroes, participation in events, etc.)  Certain rewards will be made available as a function of earning GreenHero Points (GHP) and “leveling up” (e.g. when a player becomes a level 10 GreenHero by amassing 10,000 GHP they could be allowed to blog on the site, etc.) and others will be directly tied to a call to action (e.g. by winning the energy conservation challenge, the group that won gets to create their own challenge, etc.)

To illustrate how this conservation “call to action” could work, we will use the example of Vev, a forty-year old mechanical engineer living in downtown Toronto. He sees a promotional spot on TVO challenging viewers to submit ideas to reduce energy consumption by applying “out of the box” thinking to an everyday activity. Vev is on the board of his downtown condo and has hooked his television set into an antennae on top of the building to save energy. He has just convinced his fellow board members that the entire building could have the same cost and energy savings by tapping into this simple technology. Pumped by his recent success, he now wants to encourage others to do the same. He goes online and inputs his energy saving idea, concentrating on urban areas with condo dwellers. His “call to action” is to get others to convince their boards to adopt the same policy and to measure their energy and cost savings.

The team: 

The GreenHeroes team is a dynamic group of people whose combined experience span numerous networks including environmental groups like Greenpeace, TEA and Planet in Focus, broadcast entities CityTV, Discovery, TVO, CTV, CBC, Global, Corus, APTN, MTV and Vision, industry organizations Interactive Ontario and DOC Toronto, and academic institutions University of Toronto, OCAD, Centennial College, the Canadian Film Centre and the Banff New Media Institute.

In addition, GreenHeroes has formed partnerships with green-minded organizations that include Conservation Ontario, Organics Council of Ontario, Canadian Physicians for the Environment, Green Living Enterprises, and Our Green Home. These partnerships provide priority access to key events and stakeholders within the green community.

CineFocus Canada-John Bessai and Joan Prowse, Producers

CineFocus Canada ( is a content creation company with 20 years experience producing television documentaries, educational videos and interactive properties. The Toronto-based company specializes in arts, biography and social issue documentaries and commissioned videos for the non-profit and government sector. CineFocus’ body of work includes over 50+ educational videos on the environment, community health and labour initiatives and 25 hours of prime-time programming that has been pre-licensed to Canadian broadcasters and sold around the world.

CineFocus began during the 1988 federal election when John Bessai and Joan Prowse created a national discussion piece that brought Canadians’ attention to the problems with the proposed Canada-US Free Trade Agreement. They followed this video with documentaries that explored issues of national sovereignty and identity. In 1993, they produced and edited an investigative documentary on the North American Free Trade Agreement. Their 1999 film, Women of Change, looked at the result of NAFTA through the lives of women in Canada and Mexico who were connecting across borders to bring social change to their local communities.

Always active in environmental storytelling, they co-wrote and produced magazine pieces for Discovery’s and Animal Planet including Greenpeace: A Canadian Discovery, a profile that charts the environmental organization’s rise to global prominence and In Search of the Spirit Bear about Canada’s endangered rainforest habitat.

John and Joan are both alumni of the Interactive Project Lab at the Canadian Film Centre and the National Screen Institute's Global Marketing Program.  In 2004 they turned their TV documentary Visions from the Wilderness: The Art of Paul Kane into an interactive DVD and museum exhibit that is on permanent display at the Royal Ontario Museum's Daphne Cockwell Gallery of Canada: First Peoples. In 2009 their music biography, Buffy Sainte-Marie: A Multimedia Life, was nominated for a JUNO award and in 2010 GreenHeroes was recognized with a Rockie award nomination at the Banff World Television Festival. 

TVO - Christine McGlade, TVO Executive in Charge of Production

Christine McGlade has been working in the broadcast and digital media industry in one form or another for over 25 years.  She combines strong experience in content creation with a technical background in computer graphics and web development, and holds a certification in Internet Business and Technology from the University of Toronto as well as a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Integrated Media from OCAD University.  In her role as Manager, Interactive and Digital Media at TVO, a position she has held since 2005, she is responsible for 2 large, database-driven websites: and  Plus, she knits.

 BitHeads/Bedlam Games - Trevor Fencott, Creative Lead

Trevor Fencott brings 11 years of interactive industry experience to his role as President and COO of bitHeads (and Bedlam Games), a multi-platform game and technology company.  Prior to bitHeads, he co-founded Groove Games, an international publisher of console and PC gamesHe has been credited on the creation and publication of more than 30 video game titles.  He is also a consulting producer to the Lost Girl series on Showcase and a frequent speaker on integrated and transmedia implementation including at NXNE and the Toronto International Film Festival.

Trevor serves as a Director of Interactive Ontario and on both the Screen-Based and Interactive Advisory Committees of the Ontario Media Development Corporation.   He holds an Honours degree from Queen's University and a law degree from the University of Western Ontario.

Bart Dabek - Technical Lead

Bart was recruited directly out of Sheridan College to pioneer online video with VFM Interactive where he helped to bring rich media to major travel website (Travelocity, Orbitz, TripAdvisor) and put online video on the map at JumpTV where he helped to deliver live video to millions of people worldwide.

In 2006, Bart presented his first publicly launched project called QuestionVille at DemoCamp. That same year he initiated a project called which focused on the environment and spreading of green news. AboutMyPlanet is now part of AMP Blogs Network (launched 2008) which is a network of blogs and websites focusing on everything green, serving over 1.6 million page views annually. Bart’s next endeavor was co-founding and creating the matching tool for the volunteer social media site

Filemobile - Steve Hulford - Chief Creative Officer/Mediafactory, Software Provider

Steve has founded, developed and launched numerous Internet products and companies of which Filemobile is his third venture. As Filemobile’s Chief Creative Officer, Steve is responsible for product development and delivery, blending creative and technical solutions that drive media value. Previously, he was a co-owner of, which was purchased by Rogers Communications in 2008. Steve has served as the vice-president of sports products for TSN and RDS where he managed product development and P&L for these popular Canadian sports websites. Steve was also on the Canadian National Swim Team and has traveled to over forty countries.

ThingTank (formally Designing Digital Media for the Internet of Things) - Matt Ratto, Director of ThingTank’s Ideas Jams

Matt Ratto is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Information at the University of Toronto. He is also the director of ThingTank (, a non-profit lab space and research project examining and designing the Internet of Things. Ratto’s current research focuses on how hands-on productive work – making – can supplement and extend critical reflection on the relations between digital technologies and society. This work builds upon the new possibilities offered by open source software and hardware, as well as the developing technologies of 3D printing and rapid prototyping. These technologies and the social collectives that create, use, and share them provide the context for exploring the relationship between ‘critical making’ and ‘critical thinking.

Seeking collaborators: 
Potential collaborators should contact : 
John Bessai or Joan Prowse: Telephone (416) 504-9940/e-mail:,
How will you ensure your project is self supporting within five years?: 

Project Background

The GreenHeroes campaign was launched in the fall of 2010, developed and produced with financial support from the Banff New Media Institute, IPL at the Canadian Film Centre, the Bell Fund, Canada Media Fund, CIFVF and Ontario broadcasters SUN TV and TVO. 

This spring, we developed partnerships with appropriate provincially based organizations with a mandate to educate and inform. To date we have the in-kind support from Conservation Ontario, Organics Council of Ontario, the University of Toronto’s ThingTank, and the Canadian Physicians for the Environment. We have also confirmed outreach and online partnerships with media partners GreenLiving, Our GreenHome and the on-line radio channel Mediazoic.

For the past three years CineFocus has received funding from the Ontario Media Development Corporation to attend international content markets outside of Canada. These conferences include: AdTech in London and NYC, SXSW in Austin, Texas, MIPTV and MIPCOM in Cannes, RealScreen in Washington, the World Science and Factual Producers Congress in Dresden and Paris, and NATPE in Miami.

Here important connections with broadcasters, distributors and co-producer partners are being made and followed upon to drive future sales and licensing of the GreenHeroes model internationally. We also finalized a distribution deal with industry leader, Jan Rofekamp of Films Transit International who has a track record of selling CineFocus Canada’s programs to broadcasters in twelve countries on all four continents.

GreenHeroes was selected to be showcased at the Digital Launch Pad at NextMedia in Banff in June 2010 and again at NATPE in Miami in January, 2011. It was also nominated in the pilots category at the Banff World Television Festival in 2010 and featured at the Planet in Focus International Environmental Film Festival in 2010 and 2011. These events brought the project to the attention of the jury of advertising on-line specialists and a larger audience of attendees at these key markets.

Description of Target Market

GreenHeroes’ demographic and desired audience is multi-tiered. We like to think of our fans as the “deep greens” and the larger “green attentives” - those who care about the planet and who are looking for new ways to engage in its protection. It is our goal to connect these audiences with GreenHeroes.

In order to reach the mainstream "green-attentive" audience, GreenHeroes chose to deliver content on multiple platforms and uses distinct levels of engagement aimed at the “viewers” and “doers”. Our marketing campaign uses techniques and hooks that put GreenHeroes at the centre of people’s daily lives by choosing everyday heroes that reflect the mainstream and celebrated heroes with a wide fan base. 

To date GreenHeroes has been available and accessible to virtually all homes in the province of Ontario on TVO and reaches, on average, 3.8 million homes each week. Women viewers 35+ comprise more than 1.3 million of these TVO viewers. These women 35+ who watch TVO programming are actively involved in their communities and in issues of concern. 39% are identified among the most ecologically committed. (Print Measurement Bureau).

GreenHeroes' demographic data provided by Facebook confirms our audience spans the age spectrum with the highest concentration of users, who registered via their Facebook, being women 25-45 years of age.

Revenue Model

CineFocus is investing in a cross-platform campaign and product to compliment and support the broadcast program. Depending upon the GreenHeroes customer (e.g. broadcaster, specialty channel, sponsor, etc.), various product packages are available. Each separate customer deployment of the GreenHeroes platform is described as a ‘spoke. A ‘spoke’ is defined as the packaging of the content (which can include media, user profiles and a range of features) for distribution. The ‘hub’ is the central GreenHeroes campaign- managed by Filemobile's Media Factory software.

With cross platform content distribution and syndication being in its early phases, the potential revenue models are still emerging. Current and potential revenue models include:

  • Licensing of content for a set fee
  • Revenue share of potential content licensing fees
  • Advertising
  • Sponsored spokes or channels of content
  • Sponsored webisodes, full episodes
  • Sponsored ‘sharalizer’ video widget
  • Sponsored ‘curated content’ (e.g. speeches, performances, behind the scenes material)
  • Event tie-in / interstitials opportunities (e.g. Earth Day or other specialized programming)
  • UGC Contests
  • Product Options
  • Licensing "spokes" from the GreenHeroes Hub:

 ‘Spokes’ can be made up of a combination of products and features. These have been organized into three tiered packages:

Full – Full License

Intermediate – Limited license / fee or revenue share

Basic – No license or revenue share

Our “Go to Market” approach will be used to sell GreenHeroes content and multi-platform strategy to domestic and international broadcasters, advertisers, and sponsors.

Revenue in terms of Multi-platform Monetization

Green Heroes will roll out this new model and generate revenue through a range of traditional and non-traditional partnerships with broadcasters and as well as radio stations, newspapers and brands themselves.

The revenue model that has eluded so many in the content production destined for the web may soon be at hand. The new partnerships created through specialization in content creation for multiple platforms means that new pools of creativity and business networks combine for significant revenue generating potential. Whereas in the past revenue was built into the marketing plans of brands and administered through their clients, the new model is different. The client is the consumer and the producer is the link. CineFocus has positioned itself to be at the centre of this new mix.

International Broadcasters

As outlined in our Project Background, CineFocus is beginning to receive positive international response to the licensing of GreenHeroes.  Already there are discussions around the adaptation of content to suit international markets. As mentioned, we have a distribution agreement with a leading international broadcaster, Films Transit International, and CineFocus Canada producers attended several key content markets.

Beginning in December, 2011, CineFocus has been approved to attend six international broadcast markets: Jackson Hole Wildlife Festival (U.S.), IDFA (Amsterdam), WCSFP (Paris), Real Screen (Washington.) and wrapping up with SXSW in Austin in March 2012. Producers Joan Prowse and John Bessai will work with Film Transit’s Jan Rofekamp to engage key buyers and make international licensing deals.

Educational Opportunities

Steve and Ann Connolly of McNabb and Connolly, two seasoned representatives in the non-theatrical realm, handle educational distribution for CineFocus Canada's products, including GreenHeroes. They both have experience in the distribution of interactive content and regularly attend all of the key educational markets.


Advertising will continue to be the dominant commercial model in the future of television as the multiplatform universe evolves. Indeed social networking represents a huge opportunity for brands to reach their target audience and increase impressions. New finance models are emerging with broadcasters giving producers minutes of broadcast time to sell themselves to help fund their productions.  This is an avenue planned for the GreenHeroes finance strategy.

For example, CineFocus can offer GreenHeroes' sponsors a top and tail branded "donut" around each webisode as well as the TV show. This was done in season 1 with Bullfrog Power President introducing each GreenHeroes TV episode. Adding this feature to the webisodes has the potential to immediately generate $25-50K in sponsorship revenue depending on the frequency each of the 24 webisodes air. Webisodes also generate revenue through a range of partnerships including radio stations, newspapers and on the brands own on-line and "third-screen" channels.

CineFocus has already been approached by one Canadian advertising agency, a format licensing company, as well as one German agency to develop a plan to monetize the online content by sponsorship and advertisers. 

The Green Heroes Campaign revenue projections can be summarized as follows:

Phase I (2009– 2011)

The net outflow of resources through the maintenance of the CineFocus Canada production companies, operations and expenditures will cease by September, 2011.  The construction of the GreenHeroes web channel, the fulfillment of the campaign, and the creation of 6 TV episodes and 24 webisodes are completed. Economies of scale have been created, a production team established, and costs per episode, webisode and campaign maintenance (social networking, blogging and ongoing campaign operations) identified.

Revenue targets from inventory sales achieved as the content financing model based on inputs from Canadian TV infrastructure begins.

Phase II (2011 – 2012)

The Gamification of the Green Heroes Campaign, a call to action to continue to build the Green Heroes brand and a second season of TV episodes coupled with 21 new webisodes with sponsors and advertisers attached through a preliminary stage of inventory management and sales starting at revenue projections begins October, 2011 with the launch of the interstitials on TVO.  

Value per spot on TVO, with integration of the web channel and webisodes on a weekly basis begin at $1,500 dollars a day (3 x $500.00 spots on TVO with placement on GreenHeroes web channel.) Through a cycle of 7 day per week cycle, the potential gross is $10,000 a week or $40,000 a month (less operational expenses) making a monthly projection of $15-20,000 per month which can be invested into content creation and operations. Revenues begin to climb in October with the projection that by January 2012 the goal of $10,000 a week is achievable

Phase III (2013 -2015)

The GreenHeroes Campaign success in Ontario will be modelled and replicated across several countries with royalties accrued over time based on license fees.  These receipts would be minimal in this phase _ amounting to $100,000.  The positive position of the campaign by 2015 would be full integration with a community-based campaign connected with the marketing budgets of our sponsors and advertisers globally. 

The Campaign itself will continue to resonate through conventional broadcasting and the approach to integrated marketing undertaken in Phase 1.  The new webisodes and TV series will continue to be broadcast on TVO (and possibly other broadcasters) with stable revenues through direct mail, advertising and sponsorship.










How did you hear about ClimateSpark?: 
Centre for Social Innovation


marn's picture

Proposal is too wordy with too much emphasis on the people involved. I had to read the information several times to finally get what the proposal was all about. I like the idea about everyday "GreenHeros"

GreenHeroes's picture

Thanks for your comments - the proposal has been modified taking into consideration what you have said above. Would it be possible to have another look and see if it reads better? 

oilnomore's picture

ClimateSpark gives some suggestion on how to prepare your entry clearly and simplely.

How could this proposal be improved?: 

If the way of idea can be specific and objective toward a quantifiable emission reduction target, it would be a big improvement. Be more specific rather than subjective and general. Great organization does not necessarily produce good result.


GreenHeroes's picture

We have a take action section - linked to each Hero's campaign where we give tangible ways via links for people to get involved in real world events. For example:

GreenHeroes's picture

The GreenHeroes Campaign is on the look out for the best way to create an event and data stream that could engage Torontonians on emissions reductions but is proposing a gamification structure for this call to action to become popular and engaging for the pubic. The interesting thing is that some of the other proposals already look like they have found ways to measure people's actions specificially. I am looking forward to how this competition can potentially find connections across the proposals to potnetially srtenghten the chances that the results of the ClimateSpark initiative is a popular and effective and measurable impact on emissions. 

Chris Caners's picture

Hello - I like that you have an experienced team and a number of partners in this work.  I'd like to know more about how you intend to engage people you reach, and how you intend to understand the impacts that this program could have.

How could this proposal be improved?: 

Could you describe in greater detail how you would get people you reach involved?  For instance, would you have participants sign a pledge, or submit actions that they are doing (like your example) and then ask others to indicate that they've done that thing?  Why will your effort be successful in attracting and engaging people like Vev and others who could apply Vev's ideas?

Thanks, Chris

GreenHeroes's picture

Take Action campaigns link related to each Hero's profile have tangible ways via links to real world events where people can also make donations, volunteer, write letters and get involved in  reducing their carbon footprint. Check this out for example.

GreenHeroes's picture

Hi Chris:

Thanks for your feedback.  We have made some key adjustments to our pitch. 

The GreenHeroes gamification approach (with the support of our broadcaster) could mean that the call to action we are proposing around some measurable effect on reductions could be open to an alliance with some of the other teams to include elements of their planned  actions. Can you please comment ? 

mpickering's picture

I like the fact that this project is underway and is supported by an experienced team. We have a lot of practical - and sometimes boring - work to do to reduce climate emissions, and having skilled media able to spin these stories and needs out in an engaging way is very necessary capture the public imagination and stir up some action. Also important that the heroes include some "regular" folks that all of us can relate to.

How could this proposal be improved?: 

I think that the potential for quantifiable emissions reduction that endures over time is a challenge on this one, as Chris Caners points out, but that some of the online tools and options that are being described could hold some excellent potential on this front - like Chris, I'd like to see these explored a bit more in the proposal.

The About Face Collective's picture

I think this idea is great, and necessary. I think it would be helpful to have a running list of organizations that people can get involved with, or a message board of some kind, like an eco-craigslist, to help people get motivated and then get directly involved.

How could this proposal be improved?: 

I think it will be important not only to have celebrities and very established folks featured here, but also regular average citizens doing small but important things around their home or community. 

jprowse's picture

Thanks you for the feedback. For each of our heroes we have a take action campaign that gives ways people can get involved. This is found in the take action section of our site. We also profile everyday people like Sutart Hickox, Willa Black and Laura Reinsborough who are showcasing siimple ways people can do. See:

Take action

Willa Black

Stuart Hickox

Laura Reinsborough


Deepak Ramachandran's picture

Please read below.

How could this proposal be improved?: 

I’m excited to see so many entrepreneurial proposals on ClimateSpark.  I especially like the model of social ventures that can sustain themselves by creating their own revenue and be less dependent on grants or gifts.  

In my own experience starting and building several companies, I’ve often employed “bootstrapping” techniques so I’m not dependent on external capital (VCs, etc.).  One technique I’ve used successfully is to recruit one or more “lead customers” who pay me up-front for a service (e.g., consulting or something they need right away), which gives me the capital to build my product or capability for them.  The big advantages:  cash up-front (or early); a real customer to help make sure my design is something they’ll want to buy; and a great partner to test ideas with as I’m getting off the ground. 

What’s your bootstrapping strategy?  Have you tried to develop “lead customers” for your product or service?  Have you talked to potential customers ? What are you doing to get cashflow from them  early, so your idea can gain traction?

oilnomore's picture

I got a better idea of what you are doing. Educating public is always challenging, and you are doing a great job. Ability to carry those Heroes stories through the the mass media is always challenging, because they hold key what to do with your story telling.


How could this proposal be improved?: 

I think you are doing a great job for the public and the environment. You are deserved to be heavily subsidized, free from funding worries. You need to mobilize your resources to get that.

interested's picture

Each proposal in ClimateSpark is bringing a valuable community based idea forward to help with energy conservation and the reduction of carbon emissions

How could this proposal be improved?: 

Centennial College, School of Communications Media & Design, Corporate Communications and Public Relations Class of 2012 will be working on a set of mock press releases, in anticipation of this proposal being one of the 20 to be selected on October 31 to continue to ClimateSpark Ignite Phase 2.

If you would like to be interviewed as part of the mock press release development process, please send a note to Professor Barry Waite, by Friday October 21, 2011.

If you choose not to be interviewed, the mock press release will be developed based on Information currently posted in the description of your idea, as well as information gleaned from the various comment interactions.

GreenHeroes's picture

We are very keen to work with the team at Centennial College on propogating the call to action of the GreenHeroes proposal. Please let us know how we can make ourselves available -

GreenHeroes's picture

Hey everyone!  We are open to ideas for how to specify the call to action in our proposal. We have confirmed that TVO will be our non-profit partner which means they can be very helpful in getting the word out on the action contimplated. Please comment on what would make the most sense for the community when it comes to an action, event or even game that gets people involved.  

How could this proposal be improved?: 

More people need to be able to comment and provide input into what would work as a unified call to action that could ignite interest and support in the larger community.  Maybe the best solution is around people signing up to a contest where they pledge to not use their car for a week and they report each day on how this challenge was overcome and what barriers and obstacles there were in doing this. Is there a standard way to measure the climate impact of a commuter who switches to train or subway rather than driving a car based on kilometres needed to travel? 

Rockapuppy's picture

I think the strength of the proposal is in it's interaction with the community, there are so  many opportunities for everyone to become involved either by supporting, commenting, sharing, the inspiration of the stories, blogs, webisodes, of existing Green Heroes or becoming ones themselves!  

The webisodes themselves are inspiring and the "Take Action" portion of the site after each webisode and blog invites people to become activisits!  There has never been anything quite like in my experience.  I hope this proposal at the very least, gets the exposure that will benefit us all!

HendonGreen's picture

This sounds like an excellent way of inspiring individuals to take action within their homes/businesses/communities. 

HOOFandCYCLE's picture

I've watched the show and have learned from it. ( :-)

How could this proposal be improved?: 

Keep up the great work!!!

HOOFandCYCLE's picture

Track record.

GreenHeroes's picture

The production company behing GreenHeroes has created many kinds of stories for Non-profits, particularly the Asssociation of Ontario Health Centres, and has also created compelling documentaries on GreenPeace. Please see

Glen Alan's picture

It think the strength of the proposal is the value of what Greenheros does. Greenheros profiles well-known and everyday people who have made a difference with inspiring videos and it encourages you to get out there and do something. For every video Greenheros has online they also provide great background information on the people profiled and links to organizations and constructive ways people can get involved and make a difference.

One of the criticisms of their proposal I read was there wasn't enough measurable outcomes but how to do measure hope and inspiration? When people watch these videos they are empowered and although you can't guarantee they will actually go out and do something we desperately need this sort of positive reinforcement to encourage people to take action on the environment.

How could this proposal be improved?: 

Greenheros is a great product but the impact of Greenheros could be significantly increased through some creative partnerships with some non-profit organizations. I will suggest some of the non-profits I have very direct experience in but I'm sure there would be many more that could be explored.

The MINT Film Festival: A monthly film festival that brings community members together to watch documentaries and musical performances by Toronto filmmakers and musicians. The films often center around important environmental and social themes and the festival works closely with various organizations like Greenpeace, Council Of Canadians, The Ontario Clean Air Alliance and Polaris Institute to name a few.

We have found there is a higher rate of people taking action on issues at our screenings because audience members after seeing the film are encouraged to take part in the post-film discussion to find solutions to the environmental or social problems presented in the movie. For example when we ran a Toronto-made film short in May on local food we introduced some audience members for the first time to what a CSA (Community Shared Agriculture) was. Later we found out later quite accidentally that few people that had attended our screening had gone out and joined a CSA and it was a direct result of the screening.

For the purposes of this proposal a series of all environmental feature docs could be selected and each paired with a Greenhero's short followed by a discussion. The proposal could be strengthened further by a well organized screening program that would touch on key subjects like energy conservation, supporting local farmers markets and growing your own food, reducing dependance on fossil fuels, reducing air pollution by biking or taking transit and so on. Our festival would be more than happy to explore this idea further with Greenheros

The Toronto Dollar: The Toronto Dollar is a local currency accepted at nearly 150 businesses. Greenheros could partner with the Toronto Dollar to encourage people to shop at participating local independent businesses with Toronto Dollars. Local currency encourages those that receive it to re-spend it at other participating local businesses thus keeping financial wealth in Toronto and creating a more sustainable locally-based economy. Greenheros could support a promotional campaign in which businesses would give out Toronto Dollars in change to their customers. The Toronto Dollar and its member businesses would then benefit from the increased promotion and business.

By entering a partnership with the Toronto Dollar Greenheros could further expand its ability to foster positive social and environmental change. Greenheros could allow website visitors to buy Toronto Dollars online and accept Toronto Dollars in payment and also give Toronto Dollars out as bonuses and partial payment to their employees.

GreenHeroes's picture

Thanks for these great suggestions. For sure the Mint festival idea would be perfect for GreenHeroes.  The live event feature coupled with the screening and community interaction is an excellent initiative. Also the Toronto Dollar suggestion is a very good one. 

Gloryous's picture

Strengths - very worthy idea with interesting concepts. I like the games as well - thoughtful and if you can engage audience, it would help make change. Weaknesses - wordy and it feels a bit academic. 

How could this proposal be improved?: 

If you write more for an average reader, try to make it a bit more entertaining, that'd be good. 

Mary Gorman's picture

I have recently been named a hero by Green Heroes web team. This acknowledgement by Green Heroes has made a huge difference on a grassroots level in raising the profile of our historic struggle to protect Gulf of St. Lawrence from offshore oil and gas development.  Green Heroes proposal is excellent!  Their work and the exposure they enable grassroots activists like me is vital to raising awareness and growing our citizens movement to protect Canada's global marine food supply in our Gulf of St. Lawrence, where over 2,200 marine species spawn, nurse and migrate year around.  I cannot begin to express my gratitude to the Green Heroes web team.  Their work MUST continue to be funded and supported!!!   

How could this proposal be improved?: 

Green Heroes proposal is excellent!!  Their work is excellent.  Please everyone, support Green 

slyder's picture

The spoke revenue model is an interesting one.

How could this proposal be improved?: 

Do you have any rough numbers or projections for cashflow?

GreenHeroes's picture

We certainly do. We are updating our proposal and will include our revenue projections over and above our financing structure.

For Phase II of the project we have already confirmed financing of $50,000 for the development of the game from TVO, Bell Fund and our partners, and $150,000 towards production of the video content and website campaigns from TVO.

WellwithZell's picture

It is a great show!

Look forward to seeing you broadcast on the network of TVO during Prime time :)

WellwithZell's picture

The accomplishments of the Green Heroes team should be comended for their great work with the Green Heroes show.

The need to engage and transform communities today is so important for those visionaries and public leaders to come together and work more efficiently with Non-profits.

We all must help more and actively participate in building our communities into stronger and more compassionate places to live.

Seems that the Heroes in our lives can be anyone that really does care and puts the time and effort into being and making a change.


I really like how you are thinking of Gamification of your show. 

Can you perhaps create a carbon calculator into it so that you can track points and give points on saving CO2?

All the best Green Heroes Team for doing a great job at bringing a great show to life.




Tony Reddin's picture

the strength of positive stories told by the people [heroes] taking action

jprowse's picture

The proof of concept can be seen at The team are now seeking funding to gamify their existing site and create a social media challenge for mobile and tablet platforms aimed at energy conservation.

The content team are proven storytellers that have already taken environmental issues to a wide-audience via TV, social networks and real-world events. What is great too is how the "take-action campaigns" link users directly from the GreenHeroes site to the campaigns and social media platforms of organizations and groups already working to reduce carbon emissions.

How could this proposal be improved?: 

The group would benefit from the strategic thinking and insight the Climate Spark advisors offer to articulate their vision to the investment community. 

guru12's picture

Fun idea, but this is very expensive to do

How could this proposal be improved?: 

Who is finding this?

GreenHeroes's picture

Phase 1 funding came from our broadcasters TVO, SUN TV and SCN, the Bell Broadcast and New Fund, and the Canada Media Fund. The project was developed with the support of the Banff Centre and the Canadian Independent Media Fund as well as our production partners.

chris winter's picture

Green Heroes is an amazing part of the effort to build a movement.  It recognizes and promotes people who are making a difference (yeah, okay, I'm in there too), but it also sends a strong message that we all need to be thinking  and acting this way.

I am intrigued by the game aspect.  The challenge, as with all online community-building activities, is to move from online interaction to real world action.

How could this proposal be improved?: 

I am already onboard in principle with Green Heroes, and happy to collaborate further in practice.  Through the Conservation Council, we look at 1) ways to organize a complex movement,  2) ways to promote a conserver lifestyle, and 3) ways to connect people to solutions that make conservation easy and affordable.

We have a conservation challenge on our website that is based on the ten top conserver priorities and which helps people identify where they want to improve their conserver rating.  We also have the Great Green Directory, which lists products, services, programs, incentives and resources under those same ten categories.  Ideally, we need an online game that probes peoples values and priorities, identifies the range of solutions that best meets the individual, and connects people wit h solutions.   Kind of like Vote Compass for green living.

If there are ways we can incorporate our understanding of the movement into your online tools, I'd be very excited to help.

Caveat's picture

The strength is the teamand community involvement. 

How could this proposal be improved?: 

I think they have made some significant changes that have improved the proposal.

Mark Butler's picture

I know about Green Heroes because my friend and colleague Mary Gorman became a green hero. It was wonderful to see Mary, a green (and blue) hero receive recognition for her efforts to protect the life and livelihoods of the Gulf of St. Lawrence from seismic blasting and oil drilling. The recognition has meant a lot of Mary who lives in Merrigomish, NS overlooking the Gulf and to our campaign.

How could this proposal be improved?: 

That's like asking how Michelangelo's David could be improved. Seriously, since I am not gamer I can't say much but kudos if they can swing it.

shannon b's picture

I am already a big fan of and find their proposal to be exciting and well worth supporting!

shooter1's picture

I feel there are many strenghts with this proposal. The community always feels what hey are doing doesn't make a difference. If they were to become part of the change, they were given attention, or graditude for what they do they will respond with continuing the parttern of behaviour that got them the positive reinfocement. It is a simple solution to a world wide problem.

jroddy's picture

Should be good for young children

How could this proposal be improved?: 

How does this really appeal to everyone?

hart's picture

The series would make a great educational tool in elementary schools if you could provide teachers with a teaching kit to engage kids and put them on the path to activism.

mtim1's picture

I love the fact that this project is already underway. It definitely shows a true passion from the group as opposed to a group who might have just formed for the $500,000 prize.

I think you've hit the nail on the head. There's no better way to spread a message than to partner up with multiple celebrities and have them tell their stories. It's especially impressive that you were able to have a NASCAR driver join your team, as cars are deemed to be especially destructive to the environment.

In expecting 21 new 'Greenheroes' stories, what celebrities can we expect as spokespeople? Will your series still air on TVO? When do you expect this phase to launch?

Good luck!

aislam25's picture

I think it is a great proposal. We need to respect and recognized the persons and the companies, who are using renuable energy. By that way, people will be more conscious about the use or renuable energy and we can increase the use of renuable energy. The use of renuable energy will help to save our beloved environment.

How could this proposal be improved?: 

The media can play a key role in thie respect

ssilliker's picture

Green Heroes is the best platform to engage and motivate young people to get involved!

I have used Green Heroes in the classroom to engage my students through its interactive platform and videos! This is an excellent tool to use in the classroom.

I am excited to have Green Hero Emily Hunter visit my school to motivate our Environmental Council to participate in the DeforestACTION campaign. is appealing to and inspiring a generation of young people to make a difference!

marn's picture

The proposal reads much better now. Still like the idea and find all the comments quite interesting. Great to get community involvement in any green idea.

KevenM's picture

Great proposal - only thing is the revenue model feels a tiny bit like an afterthought.  Still remains quite feasible though.

jpardal's picture

It is an excellent way of teaching people the importance of saving environment. An interactive platform for engaging the audience and making them a part towards a better cause. Green Heroes and amazing effort in building a movement!

How could this proposal be improved?: 

This TV show should be broadcasted Globally so that it reaches out to everyone in the world and it causes a greater world. Engaging the whole world together would have positive and quicker results in the betterment world as a whole.

interactivist's picture

Strengths are definitely in the partners and organizations already backing this project. As well as having connections to celebrities to get the message out there.


How could this proposal be improved?: 

I think there is a LOT that can be done to motivate people through "gameification" models. I use the word gamification lightly because I don't mean badges and "gift" rewards as the word implies, but perhaps addressing lifestyle habbits around the issues the program is attempting to address. Individuals will be actively participating in activities that interest them and unknowingly be changing their behaviors at the same time.

beezer's picture

An exciting and reasonable proposal!

How could this proposal be improved?: 

I have only an organizational/structural critique for the proposal.

I would relocate the sections for a more streamlined approach. The answer to the question "How will you ensure your project is self supporting within five years?" should be placed above "The Team". Like an essay, the "Team" section appears as and is read as a bibliography of sorts.  Also, the headings below the "How will you..." section aren't well defined, and therefore, appear hidden almost or glossed-over, although they are rather important.

adamlisk's picture


mjanes's picture

Highlighting positive change is a great idea.  Incorporating gaming for interaction shows a lot of potential for social enterprises.

How could this proposal be improved?: 

The project proposal felt a bit too crowded, there is a lot going on and I'm not expert enough to readily comprehend the revenue model presented.

adamlisk's picture

Tried to comment previously, but here it is again...

Great engagement and outreach strategy; especially like the gamification ideas you've thought through. Bang on.

khirani's picture

This is an excellent proposal and it helps to improve the green environment by promoting the heroes.It helps in motivating the green going companies and help to get the attention of general public towards the company.It helps the company to improve their reputation in market and also helps environment to improve !!

How could this proposal be improved?: 

This proposal can work if companies are rewarded and appreciated for their deeds !!

ayadav10's picture

When audiences see the real life examples of common men taking substantial initiatives for environment, it becomes easier for audiences to connect immediately with the issue and be aware. The probable weakness is that not all the sections are aware of such shows.

How could this proposal be improved?: 

This proposal can be improved by broadcasting this show on a broader scale so that the crux of the matter is reachable to and all.

psharm44's picture

It is a very good idea for rewarding the green heroes which helps in improvement of the environment. It is also a good way for promoting those companies who are doing work which is good for the environment. In this way, they get society attention so they would continue the same in future.

How could this proposal be improved?: 

People and companies should rewarded for their contribution to the environment so that they will feel motivated and also do other work for the environmental benefits.

akaviraj's picture

For any idea to be a great it is suppose to be accepted by the audience or in this case the citizens.

And when the isssue is about the enviornment, the problems faced by the globe is that of Ozone layer, Greenhouse effect, air pollution, deforestration,and so many more.

so it becomes very severe that we should let the masses about the problems, we are going to face if we dont come togather commonly to fight against this.

How could this proposal be improved?: 

This proposal can be improved, by making appeal to people, letting them know about the problems, the issues that we could face.

So educating them through any medium let it be thru newspaper, radios, concerts, and television.

But in my opinion the best thing is by educating the masses through social networks and digital media, where people can see both audio and video and can learn about the solutions and preventions measures that they could take to improve the situation.

htolani's picture

This is an excellent example to promote the companies who are keeping the enviorment clean by their work and dedication towards the enviorment the more they would be appriciated the more they would take measures to keep the enviormment clean..

How could this proposal be improved?: 

The green heroes should be rewarded for their work.. this would motivate them to do more good work for the green envior ment..

kzhang19's picture

The name of your project is so attractive.

How could this proposal be improved?: 

Letting people know through boarder ways will lead more outcome!

EcoHuntress's picture

As a young Torontonian and a fan of Green Heroes, I believe this project is a climate spark for our city. The show and web-series opens a world that are many are curious but unexposed to, that of the Green Hero world, the story of some of the greatest change-makers of our time. But what I like about this project the most is it doesn't just stop with an educational show, but it also inspires us to become Green Heroes ourselves and provides us tools to help make a difference. Such as with the social media connecting us to environmental event, campaigns and projects we can get involved in. Gaming with challenges for mobile and tablet platforms aimed at energy conservation. As well as, opportunities for the great work of ordinary citizens to be recognized by being included in the show. In the age of climate change, we need inspiring stories, but we also need tools for us to make positive social change. Green Heroes is that platform for social change. 

How could this proposal be improved?: 

It could be condenses into a shorter version. 

hsing219's picture

i believe that rather than brining people to media attention for their role in enviorment one should also make active community level changes and bring some kind of involvement from community people too...

amaheshk's picture

Green heros will bring out the courage in all us to do something for the environment and our planet. Through this we want just have great ideas but we will implement these great ideas into reality and try conserving energy and keeping the environemnt clean and green. This show will create awarness among people around the world.

cimino's picture

Just common sense.

How could this proposal be improved?: 

Common sense cant be improved.

Matt Wood's picture

This is a needed service because lord knows green initiatives could use a little help getting the word out, and doing it through a 'heroes' take might just work. The production value of your clips are excellent too.

How could this proposal be improved?: 

A lot of excellent initiatives don't consider themselves heroes, but they need the support in getting their word out. I for one am cynical about the word 'hero', and I don't believe the hype. I think this is more about entertainment than real change. On the other hand, hype actually works. Associating causes with celebrities works. So cynics like me and the initiatives they undertake might get a lot out of working with a service like yours. I;m suggesting a pro-active outreach strategy where you uncover the initiatives that should be called heroic, but who don't already bill themselves that way.

apadam's picture

Strength: Strength of this proposal is the efficient team coordination towards the attainment of eco friendly global issues.

Weaknesses: Conflicts can arrise due to clashes among the team members because of diffrences among view points  by diffrent members.

How could this proposal be improved?: 

This proposal can be improved by only giving auhority to the higher level managers among the team so as to remove clashes.

skapu's picture

Impressed. Thumbs Up.

apate331's picture

this is a perfact way to spread awareness of saving environment

How could this proposal be improved?: 

i think this is a vry motivating idea to save our environment. this can be improved by taking quize of the privious episode and the winners should be given some gifts (not money) which will invite more people's intrest to participate in this idea and it will be more motivating for people to save our environment.

sreen's picture

I like the fact that the project is being supported by experienced people

How could this proposal be improved?: 

Project is good need no improvement.

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