Interaction Design | Creative Direction
Creativity is generous.

Leaving La Floresta Tour + Lobby Day


Leaving La Floresta Tour + Lobby Day

My Role:

Experience Designer, Project Manager

Problem: For over a decade, Colombian farmers growing legitimate crops were being displaced from their farms. They were collateral damage - accidental victims of US policy aimed at fighting drugs.

Solution: Build a tour of the east coast introducing potential advocates to the issue through showing them a film, giving them a chance to write to their representatives in congress, and inviting them to DC to meet with their representative.

After two years of researching and working on a film called Leaving La Floresta, we wanted to bring the story out into the world and give people the chance to take actions that would restore home to Colombians who had been displaced.

Step 1 - Create and MVP

We had a hunch that the best way to build a support base would be to take our film on the road. Before we booked a full tour, we wanted to create an MVP (minimum viable product). So we called up friends in five cities (St. Petersburg, FL; Auburn, AL; Athens, GA; Nashville, TN; and Washington, D.C.) and asked them if we could show our film in their living room.

Hundreds of people came out, shared their thoughts on the film, and told us they were surprised to learn what was happening in Colombia. We knew we were onto something.

Step 2 - Iterate

As soon as we got back to HQ in Atlanta we began booking an 8-week tour. We decided to create a way for people to make recurring donations to our organization, and to bring some handsome t-shirts to sell (you can one on the good looking model to the right). At each screening we asked the audience to write a letter to their representative that they could leave for us to deliver. We also asked them to come to a lobby event in DC the following April.

We ended up showing the film to thousands of people, selling thousands of dollars in merchandise, and collecting hundreds of letters to bring to Washington.

I’ve been working on Colombia for 14 years. Its conflict is a complicated story to tell... Dan and his colleagues at Give Us Names found a way to explain this phenomenon – and to make it relevant to the experience of U.S. citizens and would-be activists – in a way that thousands of policy memos and research papers could not.
— Adam Isacson, Washington Office on Latin America

Step 3 - Invite the committed ones deeper

We conducted one more of these tours in the Spring, and then launched a two day event in DC. Thirty people showed up, I helped design the program for a one day training, and advocates had great meetings with their representatives.

In the end - for the first time ever, the 2013 House Appropriations bill included language critical of the decades old policy we were trying to see changed.