New Film Challenges Social Entrepreneurs To Reinvent Humanity
This post was originally produced for Forbes.
Michael Shaun Conaway, director, and Kate Maloney, executive producer, screened their film WeRiseUp in Park City today, challenging everyone to become a social entrepreneur to reinvent humanity. The film centers around a metaphor of caterpillars becoming butterflies as a model for humanity.
Caterpillars, you know, are consumption engines. They seem to exist solely to consume resources. In fact, if caterpillars didn’t become butterflies they ultimately couldn’t exist. They would wipe out all the resources. The model wouldn’t be sustainable.
Humanity, the film argues, is presently in a caterpillar phase, using more resources than is sustainable. The film challenges everyone to be a part of a global metamorphosis into the butterfly phase of humanity, making civilization truly sustainable.
Caterpillars would not be a part of a successful ecosystem if they did not become butterflies. CREDIT: DEPOSITPHOTOS
The film features interviews with leaders across a wide spectrum from Silicon Valley leaders like Peter Diamandis and Tom Chi to the 14th Dalai Lama. The film also includes interviews with a number of accomplished social entrepreneurs, including John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods; Blake Mycoskie, founder of TOMS Shoes and Gunnar Lovelace, founder of Thrive Market.
Tony Robbins and Jack Canfield, both New York Times bestselling authors, also shared their ideas in the film. Other though leaders and social entrepreneurs participated as well.
Their messages all build around the idea that we both can and must shift the way we live and work to be more conscious of others and the environment.
Daniel Schmachtenberger, founder of The Emergence Project, argued in the film that the world mostly operates following a rivalry gamesmanship model where everyone competes for finite resources and there are winners and losers. He argues, instead, for employing socio-economic models that are built to create benefits for everyone.
As with all such projects, the film has been in the works for several years. I wrote about the project nearly three years ago. Then, Maloney expected to release the film late in 2016. Much of that piece focused on the challenges of producing a documentary film. In hindsight, that seems apropos.
Butterflies make caterpillars sustainable. CREDIT: DEPOSITPHOTOS
In a one-on-one interview, Maloney explained that the challenges that presented themselves in 2016 turned into opportunities. Her mother took ill and ultimately passed away, creating a pause in production. Later, she connected with the United Nations and World Economic Forum and was able to incorporate more people and ideas from those communities, enhancing the film.
When I first connected with Maloney in 2016, the film was called RiseUp. Today, Maloney explained that the addition of the word “we” to the title was intended to suggest a collective movement.
Hurdles remain, however. Conaway highlighted two challenges to the film in 2016: funding and distribution. Production has been funded but the film still needs a distribution partner. Today, Maloney said she is in discussions with potential distribution partners and is focused on doing what is best for the film.
She expressed gratitude for those who helped fund the film so that she can focus on impact rather than revenue at this stage.
One might say that the long production phase of a film in some ways is like the caterpillar phase, constantly consuming resources. Now the metamorphosis is complete, and the film like a butterfly is ready to launch a challenge the world to rise up.
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