The Green Screen Catalyst Fund is one of the first explicit attempts to invest and support practitioners at the intersection of climate justice and digital rights. The goal of the Fund is to bring a diversity of voices into the local and global debates and enact change in terms of policy, research and community building.
Based on the common understanding that the climate crisis increasingly threatens life on this planet, the Green Screen Coalition is integrating climate justice action into digital rights philanthropic funding strategies. The initial research on the intersection of climate justice and digital rights recommended that funders and civil society:
- foster the development of cross-cutting projects and programmes;
- support collaborative research and information sharing;
- support common spaces for digital rights organizations and environmental justice actors to build trust, exchange strategies and create common agendas;
- support capacity of both grassroot organizers, Indigenous communities, and the digital rights and climate justice movements to engage with each other; and
- foster funding strategies that meet movements and communities where they are.
Submit your Concept Note here Deadline to submit: November 15, 11:59 PM PST
Scope of the Call for Proposals
The Green Screen Catalyst Fund catalyzes ideas of individuals, organizations, and networks on the specific issues around climate justice and digital rights. By catalyze, we mean support important conversations, projects, and action at the intersection with the hope that it will transform the way technology is built, how communities organize, and how we understand the interdependency between climate justice and technology.
See how we define these two concepts in the section below. This includes, but is not limited to:
- topics on the environmental impacts of internet infrastructures and digital technologies,
- platform accountability, and the environmental impact of tracking and the AdTech industry,
- climate mis- and dis-information,
- research projects that apply a social justice lens to internet infrastructure research,
- false and misleading climate solutions,
- research and prototyping ideas for internet infrastructures and new technologies that are less environmentally damaging, such as slow internet, non-extractivist digital technologies, feminist and decolonial technologies,
- digital and border surveillance economies and technologies for digital control,
- and extractivism and mega-projects.
You can apply with:
- Research at the nexus of climate justice and digital rights and technology.
- Translation of existing research and reports into other formats and languages.
- Advocacy, narrative change strategies, and other emerging work at the nexus of climate justice and digital rights and technology.
- Prototyping of policy demands that push forward actionable and positive climate action about internet infrastructure and new technologies into the policy and industry arena.
- Community and round table events that bring together different actors to work towards an actionable agenda on a specific topic.
- Community-led initiatives that engage with climate and environmental actors interested in the intersection and build bridges across fields.
- Requests for travel support for digital rights and human rights practitioners to attend climate-related events, and vise-versa.
- Follow up research to expand existing body of research, i.e landscape analysis, issue briefs, and other existing research at the intersection of climate justice and digital rights.
- Meetings and collaborative research projects aimed at building trust and exchange strategies.
- Developing organizational capacity on intersectional digital rights and climate justice issues
Any previous grant recipients from the Green Screen Coalition are welcome and eligible to apply.
Definition of climate justice and digital rights
We use the terms climate justice and digital rights in a broad and holistic sense. By climate justice we mean actors and activities that center communities most impacted by the climate crisis, pollution, environmental mismanagement, and harmful industry practices in their work to create an equitable and sustainable world. A focus is on advocating for environmental and climate change solutions that benefit and result in better outcomes for those most impacted.
By digital rights we mean actors and activities that center ‘digital technologies’ in their work to create an equitable and sustainable world. This ranges from, but are not limited to, advocacy and campaigning on data protection and AI policy, influencing debates and institutions that govern the internet to include human rights principles in their operations, research and raising awareness on data harms, those developing public interest technology, and supporting activists and human rights defenders with their digital security challenges.
Size of grants
The Catalyst Fund seeks to support proposals addressing a range of issues and a range of different scopes. The grant period will be no longer than one year and with a total grant amount between $10k and $40k with three tiers:
- 10.000 USD
- Individuals, collectives, networks and organizations
- Smaller and earlier-stage ideas
- 20.000 USD
- Organizations, collectives, networks and collaborations
- Earlier-stage and more experimental projects
- 40.000 USD
- Organizations and collaborations between groups and organizations
- Projects that already have some momentum and an engaged community
We are looking to fund roughly 12 grantees with a mix of the three tiers. The funding timeline will start in January 2024 and end January 2025. There is some flexibility on this timeline that could be discussed with each grantee on an individual basis. For more information on the timeline, see the Detailed Timeline section.
All grants will take the form of project grants. We realize that for larger organizations the size of these grants are not large enough to provide sustainable investment in the organization, and that large multi-year core grants are essential for sustaining long-term work. This is a small initiative with the hope that some of these smaller grants could be the stepping stones to larger investment in the future, and provide a proof of concept for other foundations looking to do grantmaking at this intersection.
Who can apply
Organizations, individuals, and collectives from the majority territory, global north and Indigenous nations that are working at the intersection of climate justice and digital rights and technology. We’d also like to give special priority to key stakeholders working at the core of climate action, including Indigenous Peoples, women, youth, and Afro-descendant communities. We welcome well-established organizations, loosely-defined collectives, and individuals who are legally able to receive funds from the Catalyst Fund host Mozilla Foundation, which is a U.S. 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, to apply. If you operate as a collective but are not a legal entity, please choose one person to formally apply on behalf of the collective. For more information, see the FAQ section.
Given that the scope is quite large, we want to give you a sense of the types of projects we have supported in the past and ideas of projects that could fit the current fund. Note that our support is not limited to these examples. Projects can range from policy to research to convenings, and reflect a variety of organization types: individuals, networks, collectives and organizations.
Here are the seven projects we awarded during the prototype phase of the Green Screen Catalyst Fund.
Ideas of projects that could fit this iteration of the fund can include:
- identifying and combating false and misleading climate solutions proposed by industry or policy makers in your location;
- community action research from groups historically underrepresented in academia and technical infrastructure governance bodies;
- researching region specific issues (for example, how the European Commission Critical Raw Material Act and its desire to shorten the supply will impact the lives and livelihoods of Indigenous, underpopulated, racialized, or impoverished communities);
- building agendas on platform accountability or internet infrastructures that are progressive, practical, and constructive;
- advocacy and campaigning on an issue at the intersection of climate justice and digital rights;
- evidence-based policy or industry recommendations tackling, for example, climate mis and disinformation, sustainable and equitable infrastructures, open environmental data;
- building open source tools and toolkits on harnessing open data, low tech hosting, and net zero computing;
- experimental technical projects that test slow internet, community networks, and build non-extractivist digital technologies;
- hosting an event that brings together climate justice and digital rights actors to strategize and build an actionable agenda towards a local, regional, or international governance forum like COP30, the Internet Governance Forum, or Internet Architecture Board environmental track;
- localizing existing research to allow for scientists, technologists and researchers to share the work across region and language;
- translating high level recommendation from the climate and technical community to practical recommendations for policy makers;
- creating, localizing, and providing digital security trainings for grassroots climate activists;
- other practice-based examples: creating learning resources, building open tools, policy recommendations, and civil society coordination.
- establishing or piloting positions within an organization to build capacity to work on intersectional climate justice and digital rights issues
Projects do not need to be written-only or rely on traditional academic research methods. We also welcome creative interventions and cultural products if they are relevant for communicating the work to your intended audience. We are open to a variety of formats and approaches to sharing the work and creating impact.
We are also open to applications that are a continuation of existing projects and collaborations that meet the scope of the call, recognising that this work across fields and disciplines often takes time.
What is not being considered for this round of funding
- For-profit endeavors
- Projects by technology companies or other industries to improve the sustainability of their products
- Projects that are not in the public interest or whose outcomes do not benefit anyone beyond the applicant
- Projects on behalf of communities of which the applicant is not a part, without partners or collaborators from said communities
- Projects with funding ties to fossil fuel companies
- Work that falls under lobbying or electioneering
- Projects that require funding from the Catalyst Fund that lasts longer than a year
If you have questions about eligibility, please join one of our Q&A sessions.
How to apply
Tell us about yourself and your idea by submitting a concept note before November 15th through Mozilla’s fluxx system. You will be asked to submit basic information about yourself and the project idea, as well as define the core problem your project seeks to address and your approach.
Concept Note Phase:
- Basic information about you, your collective or organization
- Information about your proposed project, roughly 1 to 2 pages
- Desired amount based on the three tiers
Full Proposal Phase:
- More detailed financial documentation about the applicant for due diligence
- Additional information about your proposed project, totalling between 1 and 2 pages
- Project budget
- When the call for proposals closes, all concept notes will go through an initial eligibility check to ensure the application is in scope.
- The advisory group, consisting of Green Screen coalition members, the fund host, and community members, will review the concept notes and create a short list of applications that will be invited to submit a full proposal.
- A final selection will be made by the decision-making body of the Fund based on the quality of the full proposal and funding available. The grants will be awarded and paperwork signed in January 2024.
Join a Question and Answer Session
Want to know more about the call for proposals and the concept note, check if you are eligible to submit a proposal, or want to run an idea past us? Join one of our Question and Answer (Q&A) sessions which will be held on:
- Tuesday October 17th, 10 - 11AM CET
- Tuesday October 17th, 3 - 4PM CET
- Tuesday October 17th, 7 - 8PM CET
- Thursday November 2nd, 10 - 11AM CET
- Thursday November 2nd, 3 - 4PM CET
- Thursday November 2nd, 7 - 8PM CET
Languages to apply in and shortcoming
Due to internal constraints the application process is in English only. Please indicate in your application whether you are using a translation tool so we can take this into account in the review process. Note that projects and outputs can be in local languages and do not have to be in English.
- Oct 10 - Call for Proposals launches
- Nov 15 - Concept Notes phase closes
- Mid December - Invitations for Full Proposals
- Jan 10 - Full Proposals due
- January - Final decision
About the Green Screen Coalition
The Green Screen Climate Justice and Digital Rights Coalition is a group of funders and practitioners looking to build bridges across the digital rights and climate justice movements. The aim of the coalition is to be a catalyst in making visible the climate implications of technology by supporting emerging on-the-ground work, building networks, and embedding the issue as an area within philanthropy. Beginning earnestly in spring 2021, the coalition consists of Ariadne, Ford Foundation, Internet Society Foundation, Mozilla Foundation, Green Web Foundation, critical infrastructure lab, and Stiftung Mercator. The coalition is part of a broader network of organizations and individuals around the world working on these issues.
Thank you to those who have provided feedback on the call for proposals: Michelle Thorne, Hanan Elmasu, Michael Brennan, Lisa Gutermuth, Brenda Salas Neves, Mehan Jayasuriya, Claire Fernandez, Carolina Zambrano-Barragan (Climate and Land Use Alliance), Jedrzej Niklas, Alex Haché (Digital Defenders Partnership), Persephone Hooper, Urvashi Aneja, Kathy Nativi, Paola Mosso (The Engine Room), Alejandra Helbein Viveros (Urgent Action Fund for Latin America and the Caribbean), Anaiz Zamora (Urgent Action Fund for Latin America and the Caribbean) and more.
Table of Contents
Catalyst Fund: Frequently Asked Questions
Get all your questions answered before you apply for the Catalyst Fund. (Last updated: October 26, 2023)
Can individuals apply for these grants?
Yes. Choose “Individual” in the question of applicant type.
We are not registered as a (not-for-profit) organisation. Can we still apply?
Yes. Please see which scenario applies to you.
- If you do not have a legal entity, you can apply as an individual for the Spark grant totalling 10.000 USD.
- If you or your group has a tax status that is not an NGO, you can apply for the Spark grant totalling 10.000 USD OR the Seed grant totalling 20.000 USD.
- If you or your group wants to use a Fiscal Host, you can apply for the Spark grant totalling 10.000 USD, the Seed grant totalling 20.000 USD, and the Build grant totalling 40.000 USD.
Our organization type is not specifically mentioned in the eligibility criteria. Can we still apply?
Only individuals and not-for-profit organizations are eligible for funding via this grant opportunity. If you are unsure whether you qualify or if your case is context-specific, please reach out to us at email@example.com.
We have multiple projects that fit your criteria well. Would you consider multiple applications from the same organization?
Yes, we will consider separate applications from the same individual/ organization/ network/ collaborative. You would, however, need to submit each project as a separate application in Fluxx. Kindly also be aware that it is highly unlikely that we will give more than one grant to any one applicant, including larger institutions.
What do we mean by majority territory, global north and Indigenous nations?
We use the term majority territory to refer to those communities, locations, countries and regions that are disproportionately impacted by environmental and climate harms that result from extractive industries, colonial practices, and oppressive policies that originate from and profit a few located in the Global North. The Global North refers to those nations and actors that benefit from these harms and oppressive policies, as there is no state-based wealth accumulation in the Global North that comes without these extractive industries described above. Global North doesn’t refer to a strictly geographic north.
We use the term ‘Indigenous nations’ and ‘Indigenous Peoples’ to acknowledge the political rights asserted in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the rights they hold via internationally recognised agreements with nation-states.
Is there any geographical restriction? For example, is it OK to apply from the EU - or are the global north countries discouraged from applying?
The only restriction we have is that we are prohibited from funding entities subject to sanctions by the United States Office of Foreign Assets Control. We welcome proposals globally as long as they address the context-specific needs of the region.
People and governance
Meet the people who have been working behind the scenes to organise and build the coalition.
Green Screen Coalition Co-Lead
Fieke is a co-principle investigator of the critical infrastructure lab and a postdoc researcher at the University of Amsterdam. Her research interests are to understand power and conflict around the environmental impact of expanding infrastructures. She is also the co-lead of the Green Screen Climate Justice and Digital Rights coalition.
Green Screen Coalition Co-Lead
Maya is a jack-of-all trades who has spent the last ten years listening and learning about the plurality of struggles for technological justice across the world, and supporting activists and organizations to untangle technologies’ hold on our lives and reclaim its power to bring about social and political transformation. She has previously worked with The Engine Room and as a Mozilla Fellow (2018 - 2019) with Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice.
Junior Program Manager
Yan is a junior program manager of the Green Screen Coalition. A Research Master’s graduate of Media Studies at the University of Amsterdam, she researches everyday resistance and algorithmic visibility on social media platforms with an interest to decentering western epistemology.
Michelle is the Director of Strategy and Partnerships at the Green Web Foundation and a co-initiator of the Green Screen Coalition. Previously, she worked for 13 years at the Mozilla Foundation most recently in the role of Sustainable Internet Lead. She also publishes Branch Magazine and co-organizes Open Climate.
Michael Brennan is a senior program officer on the Technology and Society team. He oversees a portfolio of grantees that globally address open internet issues through a technical lens, and also helps to develop and manage a technology fellows program at the foundation. Michael has over 10 years of experience researching and advising both the private and the public sector on technology policy and holds a PhD in Computer Science from Drexel University.
Julie has been Director of Ariadne, a network of European social change and human rights funders, since 2016. She has over 20 years of experience in the non-profit and philanthropic sectors, with a particular focus on human rights and transitional justice and holds a PhD in Politics and International Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London. She is currently the chair of the advisory board of the Human Rights Data Analysis Group and an independent board member of the Civil Liberties Union for Europe.
Lea Wulf is a project manager in the Center for Digital Society at Stiftung Mercator, where she explores the intersection of digital transformation and climate action as a field of action for the foundation. Previously, she coordinated an AI network at a regional industry association in northern Germany. Lea studied Political Science, Communication and Media Studies at the Universities of Bremen and Helsinki and holds a master's degree in Political Management and Public Policy from the NRW School of Governance.
Hanan Elmasu is the Director of Fellowships and Awards at the Mozilla Foundation. She manages a global program that finds, supports and connects individuals and organizations building a more open, inclusive internet and more trustworthy AI. She has been working at the intersection of human rights, law and technology for over two decades, focused on building the strength of communities and exploring the potential of data and technology to empower movements.
Lisa is a program officer at Mozilla's Data Futures Lab, where her work focuses on creating a more equitable data economy. She has a master's degree in Agricultural Economics from Humboldt University in Berlin. She was also a visiting researcher at the Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society, in Berlin, and served on the jury of the German Prototype Fund from 2019-2021. Prior to working with Mozilla, Lisa was a senior program manager at Ranking Digital Rights, and a project coordinator with Tactical Technology Collective, where she focused on digital security, women's rights, and sustainability projects.