Bill Clinton stared into my eyes as he spoke. “This spring, I travelled to Africa to see firsthand how thousands of people are lifting up their families and their communities through cooperation.”
It was a perfectly nice day in New York City. Clinton sat across from me at his expansive desk in the Clinton Global Initiative’s offices as we chatted.
And then, just like that, we were transported to an African market, checking out those initiative in person.
After spending just 10 minutes in virtual reality with Clinton, touring social good projects across East Africa with a little help from the Samsung Gear VR headset, I was convinced: VR is going to be a hugely important tool for nonprofits in the future.
It allows people to tell immersive stories about world-changing projects without blatantly tugging at your heartstrings. And it can get across ideas about nonprofit work that might normally make your eyes glaze over.
The video, created by
Matter Unlimited, m ss ng p eces, and Felix & Paul Studios, took me to three places that Bill and Chelsea Clinton recently visited in real life: the home of an entrepreneur in Karatu, Tanzania, who sells solar-powered goods through the nonprofit Solar Sister, a classroom in Nairobi, Kenya, where kids learn malaria prevention through Discovery Learning Alliance, and a tent in Nairobi where people are fitted with Starkey hearing aids.
Here’s the 360-degree Facebook version of the film. Click and drag inside the video to see it from different perspectives.
Inside Impact: East Africa
We invite you to take the first look at a forthcoming virtual reality film, “Inside Impact: East Africa.” Join President Bill Clinton and Chelsea Clinton on their trip to East Africa in spring 2015, and see first-hand how Commitments to Action made by CGI members are changing lives and empowering communities. The “Inside Impact: East Africa” virtual reality film was produced and directed by Félix & Paul Studios in association with M ss ng P eces, for Matter Unlimited’s “Inside Impact” social impact project and virtual reality film series. The full virtual reality film will debut on Sunday, September 27 at the CGI 2015 Annual Meeting and be available exclusively on the Oculus Store for Gear VR Innovator Edition, powered by Oculus.
Posted by Clinton Global Initiative on Friday, September 25, 2015
“For people who are apathetic or negative about whether these organisations have impact — when you see a kid hearing for the first time, or see kids using Discovery Learning Alliance technology in school, you can’t help but understand it,” says Rob Holzer, Matter Unlimited’s CEO. “We want to
create that connection to your heart, that empathetic feeling that energizes you.”
I was familiar with these organisations before watching the VR film. But after watching it, I felt like I understood them on a deeper level. And I felt compelled to donate.
According to Holzer, Clinton was so immersed in the film the first time he watched that he tried to pick up a book off his virtual desk.
Once you’ve tried the recent batch of virtual reality platforms, it’s hard not to imagine how VR will change the way we live our daily lives. But for nonprofits relying on a steady stream of donations, it could literally be a lifesaver.
The Clinton film was the first in a new series, called InsideImpactVR, that Matter — a creative agency focused on social impact projects — is launching.
“VR isn’t just for games. Our work at Matter is to help our partners communicate on a larger level the kind of work they’re doing,” says Holzer.
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