Planet Forward Accepting Videos to Air on PBS

February 03, 2011

Energy Innovators: Final Few Days to Get Your Ideas on TV

Planet Forward users can submit online video and vote for inventive energy ideas to be included in Earth Day special airing on PBS

WASHINGTON (Feb. 3, 2011) - Planet Forward, a project of the Center for Innovative Media at The George Washington University, is now in the final stage of accepting video submissions for story ideas to be included in its upcoming PBS television special airing nationally on April 8, as part of PBS Earth Day programming.

The program explores innovative ideas for how energy can be used or generated more efficiently. Users will help to shape the show, by commenting on ideas and voting for the stories they think should be included.

"We are receiving outstanding ideas from entrepreneurs, students, innovators, and scientists," says Frank Sesno, Planet Forward's host and creator, "but we want to make sure we uncover as much creative imagination and insight as we can, to influence the energy debate in America. There's still time to get ideas into our program. It's an opportunity to give those ideas national prominence, before top decision-makers."

Among the ideas submitted so far:

  • Financial strategies for creating a sustainable business advantage with solar power
  • Exciting advances in the development of biofuels
  • New applications of green building innovations that have dramatic impact on energy and cost savings. The testing ground: the Empire State Building

During the broadcast, Planet Forward will introduce ideas and their originators through their online video submissions. Experts will analyze and debate each idea, then audience members and the online community will help select one as the most innovative. Planet Forward will follow the winning innovator for one year, with frequent updates online and through future Planet Forward specials, to see if the idea gains traction.

Users can submit ideas at The deadline to be considered for inclusion in the program is Friday, February 11. Nominated ideas will be posted on the site, allowing users to vote for the ones they think should be included in the show.

Voting concludes on February 18.

Frank Sesno, managing editor and host of Planet Forward, is director of GW's Public Affairs Project and a professor of media and public affairs at The George Washington University. He is an Emmy-award winning journalist with 30 years of experience, including more than 20 years at CNN, where he served as a special correspondent, Washington bureau chief, anchor, and White House correspondent. His recent work includes documentaries and special projects for CNN, PBS, and The History Channel ranging from global energy to national security and politics.

Planet Forward is an online social network where creative and innovative ideas addressing global challenges are featured, discussed and evaluated. Planet Forward is a project of George Washington University's School of Media and Public Affairs' Center for Innovative Media. To learn more about the Planet Forward social network, visit

The School of Media and Public Affairs (SMPA) is dedicated to the rigorous study of journalism and political communication with a focus on understanding the impact media have on how societies inform and govern, connect and communicate. As media undergo transformational change, SMPA's goal is to advance both theoretical insight and innovative practice. SMPA conducts ground-breaking research, offers inspiring teaching, encourages hands-on work in the field and in our production facilities and engages directly with thought-leaders in Washington, D.C., and around the world. To learn more about SMPA, visit