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Announcing the new Catalyst Fund awardees tackling climate justice and digital rights

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Authors: Green Screen Coalition

We are overjoyed to share the long-awaited cohort of awardees from the recent Catalyst Fund open call. The Green Screen Catalyst Fund is one of the first explicit attempts to invest in and support practitioners at the intersection of climate justice and digital rights. The goal of the Fund is to bring a diversity of voices, especially from the Global Majority, into the local and global debates and enact change in terms of policy, research and community building.

The cohort reflects just 17 applicants from a pool of over 350 applications, and there are so many other projects tackling these issues that we have yet to meet. The process to narrow them down was extremely challenging and we are grateful for our external community reviewers. We are pleased to see so many different approaches, geographies and topics covered attempting to explore and intervene on the intersection.

As Michael Brennan and Hanan Elmasu wrote in Branch Magazine: We are at a critical moment where collective investment in the work of this burgeoning community of grassroots and Indigenous organizers, researchers, writers, artists, campaigners, and technologists can have real and lasting impact. Our approach as funders is to catalyze groups and individuals who have previously worked alone, or struggled to fit into siloed thematic philanthropic portfolios that saw neither the interdependence of technology and environment, nor the direct implications of technology on the planet and people.

This funding round attempts to do just that.

Awardees at a glance

The awardees include organizations, collectives, and individuals from different regions across the globe working at the intersection of climate justice and digital rights with various approaches: some are project-based focusing on specific themes and regional issues, such as community-based infrastructure, mega projects and extractivism, and indigenous data governance; others are geared towards organizational capacity building and developing collective approaches to intervening on harms and sharing tactics.

The output of the projects are diverse: research, gatherings, technical products, as well as art projects, like web documentaries and photography. In the beginning of our learning journey, most of the outputs were text-based reports, so we’re excited to see formats in this round that will travel in new spaces and be more accessible to non-English speaking audiences.

The pool of candidates reflects both the strength of existing relationships and the development of new connections: Some of the awardees are individuals/organizations we’ve already worked with or who have attended previous gatherings or awardees from the prototype round. Some projects crystallized as a result of the Costa Rica event hosted by the Coalition, which resulted in the Decolonial Feminist Coalition of Latin American activists on Digital and Environmental Justice. Some are first and foremost environmental justice organizations, a departure from our original pool of funders and practitioners who came from digital rights spaces. We’re happy to broaden the coalition and connect with other funders and learn from each other. Are you a foundation interested in supporting this work? Email to learn more and get involved.

The awardees

Tech for Forests [Meeting people where they are: Tech camp for climate justice]

Tech for Forests will build out their collective strategy and programming to expand their investigations on open-source digital infrastructures used by communities that are under the threat of violation of civil and environmental rights in Brasil. They will continue to strengthen the connection of open source (FLOSS) developers with the communities fighting for environmental protection.

Marie-Therese Png [AI Supply Chain Impacts: Transnational Solidarity Building]

Marie-Therese will continue to build a transnational community of practitioners, activists and artists in technology and environmental justice and share stories of those impacted by Big Tech supply chains in activist and policy spaces.

Esther Mwema [Afro-Grids: The Cost of Bridging the Digital Divide]

Esther will build off her previous project, Afro Grids, an African folklore art project supported by Mozilla to analyze three possible tech-enabled climate futures that spotlight the dilemma between increased Internet infrastructure to bridge the digital divide and the extraction of resources in the African context.

Rub(én) Solís Mecalco [Indigenous audiovisual narratives in defense of their territories against megaprojects]

Rub will produce two short films, one in Spanish and the other in Yucatecan Maya, in coordination with and developed by local women and non-binary Mayan activists that document the impact of megaprojects on rainforests in the south of Mexico.

Environmental Coalition on Standards [Ensuring sustainability and transparency of Europe’s data centres]

Working with Open Future, ECOS will produce research that reflects the environmental costs of Europe’s data centers, and highlight the need for reducing energy consumption alongside efficiency in the digital economy.

Madhuri Karak [Beyond Carbon: Using Multisensory Datasets for Climate Action]

Madhuri, along with Cindy Julianty and Michelle Cheripka, will create a visual prototype that unites multisensory community-owned information with geospatial and Lidar data on rainforests of Mekar Raya, a village in Indonesia’s West Kalimantan province, as a counter to carbon-centered forest data infrastructures.

Camila Nobrega Rabello Alves [Beyond the Green - Risk Factors]

Transmedia journalist Camila Nobrega will complete and prepare a plan of dissemination of her web documentary Beyond the Green - Risk Factors. Camila will work together with the project’s team, highlighting the interruptions that women researchers and students face at universities, while working on social-environmental conflicts in Brazil.

Latin American Decolonial Feminist Coalition [Advancing Digital & Environmental Justice]

This initiative will publicly launch the Latin American Decolonial Feminist Coalition, a collaborative effort among Latin American organizations, activists, and researchers committed to advancing digital and environmental justice. The coalition brings together five regional organizations who will produce a web repository spotlighting regional insights at the nexus of digital and climate justice, bolstering awareness and action in these critical areas.

European Digital Rights (EDRi) [Building capacity and momentum for strategic and collaborative EU advocacy interventions on climate justice, technology and digital rights]

EDRi will build its internal capacity to articulate strategic and collaborative advocacy interventions on the climate justice and digital rights nexus at EU level, bringing in more network organizations and developing positions on key intersecting issues.

Gesellschaft für Freiheitsrechte e.V. (GFF) [Holding Zalando accountable: Access to retail platform data]

GFF will use the new legal framework for researcher data access in the EU’s Digital Services Act to enable research on the environmental impact and the influence on consumer decisions of online retail giant Zalando, and provide a blueprint for future data requests for platform accountability.

Jasy Renyhê [Mapping Amazonian Indigenous Futurities: Self-determined data in Bolivia’s Climate Changing Landscapes]

Jasy Renyhê will develop experience in geographical digital data governance and territorial forest management from an intersectional and community-led perspective alongside Indigenous communities in the Bolivian Amazon.

Xiaowei Wang and Ann Chen [Pacific Futures, Oceanic Transitions]

Xiaowei and Ann will hold gatherings with activists and technologists in Taiwan, the Philippines and Aotearoa over the course of the year to build interlinkages between health, digital rights and the unique challenges islands face under climate change, such as food sovereignty challenges and land loss.

Media Awareness and Justice Initiative (MAJI) [The Environmental Sensing Project]

MAJI will deploy 60 low-cost single-board air and water quality sensors to collect real-time data on air and water pollution in crude oil-impacted locations in the Niger Delta region.

Green Coding Solutions [Energy Models for the Linux Kernel]

Green Coding Solutions will develop a tool that evaluates energy consumption in the Linux Kernel and enables developers and end-users to see and quantify the energy cost of their running software on a process level.

Sursiendo, Comunicación y Cultura Digital [Actions for environmental justice from autonomous and community-based technological infrastructures]

Sursiendo, along with May First Movement Technology, will research approaches to embed environmental sustainability into autonomous internet communications infrastructure projects. The project will produce a report with actions and recommendations for small and medium-sized providers of tech infrastructure to address their socio-environmental impacts.

Organisation Féministe MARIJÀN [Forum for Climate Justice and Digital Rights: A Feminist and Intersectional Perspective]

MARIJAN will host a forum that focuses on climate justice and digital rights, alongside young people, experts and academics to discuss and co-construct a real feminist agenda on the issue of climate change in Haiti, followed by the drafting of a white paper with recommendations.

Friends of the Earth (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) [Greening AI policy – an influencing agenda]

This project will translate high-level recommendations on the environmental harms of generative AI from the climate and technical community to inform fellow allied organizations and provide practical policy guidance for civil society and government.

What’s next?

The work is just getting started. Here are 4 ways you can get involved:

  1. Join our Coalition! We are always open to bringing new partners to the coalition to build bridges together. Email to learn more.
  2. Join the listserv and stay updated on happenings, events and resources related to the intersection and the Catalyst Fund awardees.
  3. Explore our website and learn more about the coalition history and resources from the wider community.
  4. Read Branch Magazine: Issue 6 to learn about the work and thoughts of the wider network.
  5. Read the blog post by Lisa Gutermuth from Mozilla Foundation to learn more about Green Screen Coalition’s work and how our members build climate justice into their work.


Immense thank you to community reviewers:

Laura Aristizábal (Numun Fund), Andreea Belu (EDRi), Cheekay Cinco (independent), Lou Grimal (Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences), Lisa Gutermuth (Mozilla Foundation), Alejandra Helbein Viveros (Thousand Currents), Fiona Krakenbürger (Sovereign Tech Fund), Fátima Mello (Ford Foundation), Sheila Mulli (Numun Fund), Catherine Muya (2023 Green Web Fellow), Kathy Nativi (Appropedia Foundation), Jedrzej Niklas (University of Cambridge), Bogdana Rakova (Mozilla Foundation), Miriam Ruhenstroth (Instiut für Technik und Journalismus), Hannah Smith (Green Web Foundation), Laura Vergara (Sukuamis, Global Resilience Fund, FRIDA | Young Feminist Fund), Ximena Warnaars, PhD (Ford Foundation), Jenny Wong (Mozilla), Anaiz Zamora (Urgent Action Fund Latin America and the Caribbean) and Julia Zanolli (Climate and Land Use Alliance) in the concept note selection phase.

Thank you to Michael Brennan (Ford Foundation) and Hanan Elmasu (Mozilla Foundation) for their guidance in the finalist selection phase.