National Geographic

Chasing Genius, Nat Geo

21st Century Fox’s National Geographic and Sprint have announced neurological physical therapist Asha Gummadi as the winner of the “CHASING GENIUS: Unlimited Innovation” challenge. Asha, who is based in Philadelphia, will receive $25,000 to pursue her vision of helping doctors to provide virtual physical therapy in developing countries. This is National Geographic’s second CHASING GENIUS digital initiative, which aims to bring together a community of active, aspirational, socially conscious consumers who want to make a positive difference in the world.

The winning project is based on the development of a tele-rehabilitation platform called Therex Portal, which Asha hopes will help doctors prescribe virtual physical therapy to patients in developing countries where rehab centers and treatment aren’t readily available. The app demonstrates each exercise movement through detailed animations and delivers instructions in multiple languages.

Asha was inspired to create the smartphone app after she couldn’t effectively recommend exercises to her mother because of a language barrier, and after her grandfather’s experience living in a village where he couldn’t access rehab services after an amputation. "It is a great honor to be selected as the winner," she said. "I would like to thank every person who voted for me." Asha plans to use the prize money to further develop the app by adding multiple languages and voiceover instructions for exercises.

Since launching last spring, CHASING GENIUS has brought together a community of 35,000 members. This year’s challenge resonated across social, digital and broadcast media, generating more than 100 million impressions, 7 million content views and 229,000 social conversations.

Last year, four winners were selected for the inaugural CHASING GENIUS challenge.

To learn more about the CHASING GENIUS: Unlimited Innovation challenge, including the submission process and the council members who determined the 10 finalists, read National Geographic’s press release announcing Asha as this year’s winnerWatch Asha’s video submission on the CHASING GENIUS website.

CHASING GENIUS is inspired by National Geographic’s Emmy-nominated series “Genius.” The second season, focusing on the life of Pablo Picasso, premieres April 24.


One Strange Rock Science Education

On the eve of the premiere of One Strange Rock, the thrilling 10-part documentary series exploring the conditions that create life on Earth, 21st Century Fox’s National Geographic has launched a suite of educational tools designed to bring to life some of the series’ key scientific lessons. The resources are available completely free for educators and include activities for students of all ages, including interactive online games and maps, photography, videos, slideshows, worksheets, articles, and a curriculum guide developed in collaboration with the nonprofit Journeys in Film. One Strange Rock premieres on Monday, March 26, at 10/9c on National Geographic.

One Strange Rock was filmed in 45 countries on six continents and from space, and features insights from some of the world’s most accomplished astronauts. The series is hosted by Will Smith and presented by visionary director Darren Aronofsky, who spoke about the series’ potential as an educational tool at a Television Critics Association panel in January: “What was exciting about this was taking astronomy, anthropology, biology, chemistry, and physics, and trying to sort of blend them together to talk about this home that we’re all living on.”

The educational materials reflect this broad engagement with many different scientific fields, including articles on climate change, videos on plate tectonics, and an elementary school guide to extreme weather. The curriculum guide for middle and high school students works hand-in-hand with the series to spark discussions about the solar system, microscopic organisms, the history of the space program, and more. Journeys in Film previously partnered with 21CF for curriculum guides tied to Hidden Figures, Mars, and He Named Me Malala.

Explore more educational activities for One Strange Rock, and watch the trailer for the series below:


National Geographic "The Race Issue"

National Geographic magazine’s special April 2018 issue will be dedicated to the topic of race and how it defines, separates and unites us. “The Race Issue,” announced today and available in its entirety online now, hits newsstands March 27. It will kick off National Geographic’s “Diversity in America” series for the rest of 2018, which will feature multimedia coverage of racial, ethnic and religious groups in the U.S. and their changing roles in the 21st century.

“This special issue, which we are calling The Race Issue, marks the beginning of a series of stories exploring race and diversity in America – what it is and, perhaps more important, what it isn’t – informed by the latest research, individual experiences and unparalleled visual storytelling that is the hallmark of National Geographic,” said Susan Goldberg, National Geographic magazine Editor-in-Chief and National Geographic Partners Editorial Director, in an internal memo.

The special issue includes an Editor’s Letter from Susan on the history of National Geographic’s coverage of race and the importance of shining a light on the complexities of the human journey. It features “Streets in His Name,” a photographic essay with text by Wendi C. Thomas about streets around the world bearing Martin Luther King Jr.’s name and their representation of his legacy. April 4, 2018, marks the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination.

The Race Issue also includes:

  • “Skin Deep”: a story by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Elizabeth Kolbert on the roots of scientific racism
  • “What Divides Us”: a story by author David Berreby on our evolutionary roots and psychological tendencies, as well as efforts to overcome bias and avoid societal conflict
  • “The Rising Anxiety of White America”: a story by journalist Michele Norris about the tension in certain U.S. towns and a look at the future of a more diverse population

“It’s my hope that this magazine issue fosters a constructive discussion about race, dispelling myths and helping to move us forward in a positive way,” Susan said.

Read the compelling stories in National Geographic’s special issue on race today. Join the conversation online using the hashtag #IDefineMe. There’s also a discussion guide tied to this issue available for parents and educators.

In April, National Geographic was named a 2017 Pulitzer Prize finalist in Explanatory Reporting for its groundbreaking January 2017 single-topic “Gender” issue.

“America Inside Out with Katie Couric,” a six-part weekly documentary series, premieres April 11 on National Geographic.


National Geographic Emma Watson International Women's Day

PHOTO CREDIT: NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC/NEWSHA TAVAKOLIAN*

To celebrate International Women’s Day (Thursday, March 8), National Geographic is welcoming its first guest editor for the @NatGeo Instagram account: actor, activist and UN Women Global Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson. Working alongside National Geographic’s editorial team, Emma will curate the account and highlight the work of eight female Nat Geo photographers from Saudi Arabia, Iran, Azerbaijan, Australia, the U.S. and the Philippines throughout the day starting at 8 a.m. EST. Their photos cover a wide range of important topics relevant to women around the world today.

“Women photographers are often under-represented and under-celebrated,” Emma said. “I’m thrilled to mark this day by profiling the talented female storytellers and image-makers that are working hard to build empathy across borders.”

The eight photographers Emma will feature on @NatGeo on Instagram cover topics like male guardianship and the ban on women driving in Saudi Arabia; the effects of displacement on women and girls running from Boko Haram in Nigeria; unequal pay for women day laborers in India’s brick industry; the hope for a better tomorrow for young girls; and more.

“We are honored to be partnering with Emma to recognize the contributions of these eight incredible women photographers, who are shedding light on important stories that make a difference in people’s lives,” said Susan Goldberg, Editorial Director of National Geographic Partners and Editor-in-Chief of National Geographic magazine. “We are eager to use our storytelling platforms and our power as a global media brand to highlight women by calling attention to their work, their stories and their causes.”

The @NatGeo Instagram account is the most followed brand on the platform and one of the top 15 most followed accounts overall. Emma (@EmmaWatson) and @NatGeo have a combined total of 129 million followers. Their collaboration to mark International Women’s Day will be amplified via Facebook Stories on the National Geographic magazine Facebook page, which reaches an additional 22 million followers.

National Geographic will publish articles related to International Women’s Day across NationalGeographic.com and other Nat Geo Instagram accounts, featuring photos of and taken by inspiring women, including 2018 National Geographic Adventurer of the Year Hilaree Nelson O'Neil on @NatGeoAdventure and Dr. Jane Goodall on @NatGeoWILD.

National Geographic will also begin the global broadcast premiere for the acclaimed BAFTA-nominated documentary “JANE” in the U.S. starting Monday, March 12, at 8/7c. The film about Dr. Jane Goodall, directed by Brett Morgen and featuring an original score from legendary composer Philip Glass, has won Best Documentary Awards from the National Board of Review of Motion Pictures, Producers Guild of America, Writer’s Guild of America, The American Cinema Editors Guild and the Motion Pictures Sound Editors Guild, as well as The Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards.

Learn more about how National Geographic is celebrating International Women’s Day this year.

*Photo and words by @newshatavakolian (Newsha Tavakolian):  In 2017, I met Fatima at the Muna camp in north-eastern Nigeria. She was this fragile girl, who did not even have the chance to talk, as her brother was quick to jump in and answer my questions. I could see a certain heaviness in her eyes. Displaced by the Boko Haram, 9-year-old Fatima and her family had been living in makeshift huts in Maiduguri for 18 months. They struggled for their most basic needs, crawling into windowless huts to sleep at night. It was so hot outside that I could not breathe well as I walked through the camp area. Men, women, and children sat outside with blank gazes in their eyes, staring into the horizon, waiting for a miracle.


National Geographic 'Evening of Exploration' Gala

National Geographic recently hosted an “Evening of Exploration” at the Natural History Museum in London, the biggest event the organization has ever held in Europe. The gala was an opportunity to celebrate National Geographic’s 130 years of groundbreaking storytelling with National Geographic Explorers, National Geographic leaders, and luminaries from across Europe and Africa.

“Understanding and informing our world has been at the heart of National Geographic since our founding in 1888 when 33 of Washington, D.C.’s, top scientific and intellectual leaders — many the millennials of their time — joined forces to increase and diffuse geographic knowledge,” said Gary Knell, President and CEO of the National Geographic Society, in his opening remarks. He recounted National Geographic’s history of focusing on exploring, educating and inspiring, in addition to funding many explorers and advocates.

“Today we continue to support scientists, explorers and storytellers all over the globe, and we work each and every day to shine a spotlight on the challenges facing our planet using the global presence of our media megaphone to tell the stories of the courageous men and women trying to protect our natural world,” Gary added. National Geographic has funded hundreds of explorers across Europe and Africa and continues to look for opportunities to invest in new explorers and grantees in the region.

Dr. Enric Sala, National Geographic Explorer in Residence; Adjany Costa, National Geographic Emerging Explorer; and Charlie Hamilton James, one of National Geographic’s most prominent photographers, spoke about the importance of pushing toward a healthier and more sustainable future. Dr. Jane Goodall, founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and U.N. Messenger of Peace, was the keynote speaker for the evening.

The gala dinner was co-hosted by physicist and National Geographic Magazine Guest Editor Dr. Brian Cox, and actress and campaigner Joanna Lumley. Guests from National Geographic included Gary Knell, CEO of the National Geographic Society; Declan Moore, CEO of National Geographic Partners; Jan Koeppen, President of Fox Networks Group, Europe & Africa; and Jonathan Baillie, Chief Scientist and SVP of Global Grants, along with senior platform, brand and institutional partners from across Europe & Africa.

Other guests included actress, environmentalist and fellow National Geographic Magazine Guest Editor for 2018 Lily Cole; actress, producer and National Geographic Magazine Guest Editor for 2018 Archie Panjabi; director of the Tate and National Geographic Guest Editor for 2018 Dr. Maria Balshaw; Brett Morgen, director of “Jane”; and Bryan Burk, producer of “Jane”; Sarah Sands, Editor of “The Today Programme” on BBC Radio 4; Tina Daheley, journalist and presenter for the BBC; Jo Coburn, senior broadcast journalist and host of BBC News Channel’s “The Daily Politics” show; Siobhan Kennedy, Business Editor for Channel 4 News; Christiane Amanpour, Chief International Correspondent for CNN; John Ryley, Head of Sky News; Ian King, Business Correspondent for Sky News; and theater producer Sally Greene.

National Geographic Partners returns 27 percent of its proceeds to the nonprofit National Geographic Society to fund work in science, exploration, conservation and education. The Society now has an endowment of $1.2 billion, and in 2017 it funded more than 600 grants to cover the fields of education, technology, journalism, photography and mapping.

“We have the people, the tenacity, and the organization to push forward, to advance the world’s science and research, to tell stories that build awareness and spur action, to educate and to inspire change,” Gary told the evening’s guests. If we work together we can and we will achieve our ultimate goal: a planet in balance.”