Amplify Impact

Amplify Impact raises global awareness about social innovation in the Middle East by providing an online platform for nonprofits and socially minded for-profits to produce and distribute story-driven, low-cost videos. The platform guides users through a process for identifying their core values and outreach objectives, building a compelling narrative, connecting with local filmmaking professionals or volunteers, and sharing the finished product. In addition, the platform provides video viewers with a means through which to connect and share the causes they care about. The platform also identifies the types of talent needed for a given video and offers users the option to work with professional talent or select their own volunteers. The Amplify Impact team envisions a world where initiatives that are catalyzing opportunity, hope, and positive change receive the attention they deserve. Focus is on the Middle East for now; however, Amplify Impact hopes that the platform can be a model for spanning other cultural and physical divides around the world.

Responsive City Lights: Urban Streets as Public Spaces

Responsive City Lights uses interactive light installations to enhance the perception of streets as engaging public spaces. The project implements Crime Prevention through Environmental Design principles by increasing foot traffic and pedestrian interaction, bringing the internet of things into urban spaces to help fulfill a vital social need. The interactivity of the lights creates activity support for legitimate uses for previously “unclaimed” sections of the street, of curious pedestrians interacting with the lights, particularly children and their families. Through installations that engage residents and pedestrians, and provide a source of expressive and meaningful diversity in an otherwise uniform environment, the project ultimately seeks to provide a rich, additional tool to communities in order to enliven and enrich their streets and pathways as public spaces.

AfroArt East Africa: Artist Stories

AfroArt East Africa: Artist Stories (UC Berkeley)


The urban arts centers of Nairobi, Kigali, Dar-es-Salaam, and Kampala are hubs for thousands of young and established visual artists, many of whom work in collectives or group studio spaces. The work coming out of East Africa is radiant and intelligent — it reveals slices of contemporary life from incisive, humorous and optimistic perspectives. It also varies widely in form; from painting, sculpture, and assemblage, to installation, photography, and digital media. Through on-the-ground fieldwork, this project plans to launch a one-month intensive documentation project in Summer 2015 to collect stories from the East African urban arts centers of Nairobi, Kigali, Dar-es-Salaam, and Kampala. These materials will be used to produce a series of short videos. The videos, photographs, and interviews will be presented together on the AfroArt East Africa website ( An expansion of this project in the future will be used to assemble the short videos into a feature-length documentary, which will be presented in the United States, film festivals and other relevant venues.

Art to Heart: Addressing the Empathy Blind Spot of the Cal Community


Using a three-pronged approach, the project will address UC Berkeley’s empathy blind spot on homelessness by connecting the stories and voices of those who identify with homelessness and poverty and the experiences of the student community with these populations. The first prong, the visual campaign, will include posters displayed on campus about homeless and low-income individual’s stories and perceptions. The second prong, the visual project, will include a film depicting homeless and low-income individuals’ journeys as well as students’ experiences working and interacting with these underserved communities. Finally, the third prong, the education series, will include a sequence of seminars on these issues and a working partnership with varying student organizations on framing and speaking about these issues.

Documentary Movie about Adopted Kids


The project strives to establish a communication between the United States and Russia that will discuss issues through authentic and open dialogue using social media. As a first step, the team will make a movie showing how Russian adopted kids have been raised in America. It will be a way to demonstrate that a recent politically-motivated ban of adoptions in Russia by American citizens hurts thousands of innocent kids.

Heart Connection: An Interactive Multimedia Website for Adults


In the 1980s, newborns with complex congenital heart disease (CCHD) began to survive past one year for the first time due to advances in cardiothoracic surgery and cardiovascular medicine. “Heart Connection” will be a website exploring what survivors of this condition experience daily, leaving evidence of how CCHD adults have been forced to reinvent and reimagine new ways of navigating the world with their tired bodies and busy minds, while creating meaning in their lives for the generations succeeding them. The project envisions three main pages. One page is for the artwork of adults with CCHD documenting their lives through audio, video, creative writing and photography. A second page is committed to inspiring and bringing hope to parents who have children with CCHD. A third page is dedicated for resources needed by CCHD adults and children to live meaningful and productive lives.

From Farm to People: Connecting People to Their Food Source


The establishment of innovative and sustainable farms is crucial to changing our current food system into a sustainable, environmentally friendly, and healthy system. From Farm to People will illuminate innovative farmers, producers of food, and food activists across the nation, shedding light on the people making efforts to create a new paradigm for how we think about food. Providing visual context as well as written documentation for these sustainable producers will support the establishment of a closer connection between the consumers, as well as give people a notion of personal relation and responsibility. While there is a need for more future-forward thinking farmers, From Farm to People will also confront the larger problems encompassing public health and the issues within our current centralized, industrial food system. This project has three parts that use photography and writing to offer a way to see the community and larger public impact of sustainable farming, creating a strong relationship between users and the farms that produce their food.

Nossa Communidade, Nossa Historia: Our Community, Our Story


“Nossa Communidade, Nossa Historìa” (“Our Community, Our Story”) will bring a program of artistic expression to the youth of Brazil’s Rocinha favela. The program will take a group of twenty children, aged ten to fifteen, and spend four months providing them the opportunity to express their stories through different artistic modes with the goal to improve the student’s conception of the self. The programs will provide guidance for students to tell their personal narrative, focusing on writing, photography, reusable art and music, and ultimately create an exhibit that will be displayed in all socio-economic areas of Rio de Janeiro. The children will meet four times a week in this program to receive assistance with homework and cultivate the emotional benefits of an increased sense of self-worth that comes from accomplishment and much needed personal attention. The children will stay involved in the program to develop leadership skills and remain involved in art classes after the four months finish, even as the program will restart the cycle with twenty more children.

Roofing Out of Poverty

India is experiencing rapid migration from rural areas to cities. Rampant urbanization in India has caused the proliferation of slums and increased demand for adequate housing. Among many of the physically and socially deteriorated living conditions that characterize life in the slums, housing with poor structural quality is one of the major limiting factors in the advancement of socio-economic growth. A functional roof is a basic and essential component of shelter for a family, but poor house planning and a lack of resources results in inadequate and unsafe roofs for families. After surveying 15 low-income households in a slum in Ahmedabad, India, this team got direct feedback from the field that helped them identify the top current roofing problems: extremely hot indoor temperatures, high roof maintenance costs, leaks during monsoon season, and the presence of asbestos. Roofing Out of Poverty’s challenge is to design an affordable and reliable roof that not only addresses these top priorities, but is modular, fits within a financially viable business model, and improves the safety and quality of living of low-income home dwellers. Their product will fill the market gap between inexpensive, low-quality roofing options and cost-prohibitive concrete slab roofs.