From Sir David Atteborough’s Life in Color to Hulu’s I Am Greta, documentaries are doing an amazing job of inspiring people and provoking thoughts about our planet. A new interactive streaming service wants to support this type of content and build on the momentum, encouraging its viewers to take action on the specific content they’re watching. The best part? Everything in their library is completely free to stream. 

What is the WaterBear Network?

WaterBear Network is a new video streaming platform that’s completely dedicated to the planet. The network is the first of its kind. It’s referred to as the “Netflix for the planet.” The service is backed by over 80 global nonprofit organizations, including the WWF, Greenpeace, and the Jane Goodall Institute. The platform is dedicated to supporting the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Even better, the service offers built-in tools to make direct donations to organizations and charities working on projects to offer solutions to the issues you learn about, and protect the amazing scenery and wildlife that you get to see. The platform empowers viewers to take action and shape a better future for ourselves and our planet.

Ellen Windemuth: CEO of WaterBear Network

The founder and CEO of WaterBear Network is experienced in inspiring through film. Before starting WaterBear, Ellen Windemuth produced Netflix’s My Octopus Teacher, a hit documentary detailing the friendship between a diver and injured octopus. The documentary made waves around the world, described as a powerful and inspiring story on the power nature can have on us.

Ellen Windemuth - The Proust Nature Questionnaire

The planet-positive story was a key driver in her transition to WaterBear. “I had always been passionate about empowering people to repair their relationship with nature and become part of the solution for environmental problems. Storytelling has a pivotal effect on getting people involved, especially the young generation.”

As previously mentioned, The backbone behind the films covered on WaterBear is the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. “These are 17 words that good storytelling can turn into real values,” Windemuth says. WaterBear plans to focus on 4 key themes in 2021: biodiversity, climate, circularity and community.

How WaterBear aims to engage Solutionists

The interactive platform is a great way to get people involved. From donating to a charity, to simply reading more about the particular topic you just watched, every action counts towards creating a better future for our planet. “Every time you watch something, you can choose to do one of six different things,” Windemuth said. Donating, volunteering, sharing on social media, are all ways the CEO describes as actions they want to inspire people to take.

Producer of 'My Octopus Teacher' Launches New Streaming Network to Help Save Our Natural World - EcoWatch

The magnitude of the issues we face can be overwhelming, and WaterBear understands that. They want to make sure people don’t feel helpless, because they aren’t. There are endless opportunities and solutions just waiting to be discovered. WaterBear hopes to cover stories that don’t just motivate viewers into a single action, but change the way they think about what they have to offer the planet. 

“It’s a community that is action-oriented, rather than just leaning back and watching content,” Windemuth says. WaterBear also hopes to encourage Solutionists to amplify their messages through films and storytelling. This new service aims to reach new audiences and transform the way we share solutions.