Clooney: Policy Wonks and Super Nerds Get Injection of MTV Style

"Frankly, our team of policy wonks and super nerds could use an injection of MTV style,” George Clooney said today. And our Satellite Sentinel Project did just get a little hipper with the news that MTV and mtvU, the channel’s 24-hour college network, would team up to amplify the findings of the satellite imagery and analysis initiative.

The Satellite Sentinel Project kicked off on December 29, marking the start of the innovative and unprecedented collaboration between Clooney’s Not on Our Watch, the Enough Project, Google, the United Nations UNITAR Operational Satellite Applications Programme (UNOSAT), the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, and Trellon, LLC. The project plans to collect, analyze, and publicize commercial satellite imagery from the volatile North-South border in Sudan, at a time when there is widespread concern that if violence breaks out between the longtime rival regions, it will ignite in the border region.

In just a week, the project has generated quite a following, with major news outlets and bloggers commenting on pioneering effort to prevent mass atrocities by enabling the public to monitor the potential build-up to a conflict. “The goal is nothing less than to stop wars and war crimes in their bloody tracks,” wrote Fredrick Clarkson for the Progressive Media Project.

A key element of the success of the project will be the public’s attention to the findings, and MTV and mtvU’s involvement amplifies the work of the Satellite Sentinel to an influential and active audience.

"We know the Millennial generation is fearless, and that they strongly believe in their power to affect change," said Stephen Friedman, general manager of MTV.  "We're proud to act as a megaphone for the Satellite Sentinel Project's efforts, amplifying their message to young people so they can join forces with the world to help maintain peace in Sudan during this potentially volatile moment in history."

MTV and mtvU will promote Satellite Sentinel online and on-air to get young people involved during a fragile moment in Sudan by monitoring developments, informing their friends, and being ready to mobilize if evidence of violence emerges.

"No sooner had I gotten off a conference call with Google and YouTube, about exciting possible next steps for the Satellite Sentinel Project, when MTV called with an offer to collaborate in raising awareness and involving their massive audience," said Jonathan Hutson, Enough Project's Director of Communications. "With impressive organizations like MTV and mtvU coming on board, it appears that when it comes to safeguarding human rights and human security, the sky’s no longer the limit. It’s a geektastic dream come true."

Here’s the press release about the collaboration.