A Thousand Drones Bring Climate Change Sky Story to the New York City Skyline
United Nations | New York City | September 2023
This coincided with the 78th United Nations General Assembly and the UN – Secretary-General’s Climate Ambition Summit and SDG Summit, sending a strong message to world leaders – and served as a beautiful kick-off to Climate Week.
The Projecting Change NYC drone Sky Story developed the aerial art show with the support of Avaaz, Eat Differently, The Ford Foundation, TMRW, and The Oceanic Preservation Society, to draw attention to the global climate crisis and inspire action at scale. Production partners include Nova Sky Stories, Minds over Matter, Soren West, and HELO.
The three dynamic drone Sky Stories that flew on September 15th over the East River highlighted the following organizations and initiatives:
- The Eat Differently initiative, which inspires people to eat plants, not animals
- Avaaz, an independent global organization campaigning for Brazil to commit to protect 80% of the Amazon by 2025
- The support of the advancement of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) and the UN Act Now Campaign
“Our creative teams programmed a thousand drones to dance over the New York City skyline to form magical creatures that delivered messages on how to save the planet—it was a moment of lifetime.”
Academy Award-winning director, Louie Psihoyos
The show is co-created and Executive Produced by Projecting Change CEO Christopher Lejeune, who states, “Art has the power to shift cultures. We urgently need to drive change at scale – to redesign our human systems to be in alignment with nature, and respect all life. Our children’s survival and all future generations of life on Earth – depend on it.”
Beginning at sunset, the synchronized series of drone shows were viewable throughout the night by New Yorkers along the East River on both sides. At the start of each show, viewers were prompted to scan a QR code in the sky which allowed them to learn more about each of the relevant campaigns. The QR code also featured a call-to-action to take part in a unique contest hosted by TMRW, an initiative that aims to empower humanity towards an inclusive and sustainable future through the use of AI to imagine what that future could look like. Participants were encouraged to enter their creative ideas for objects, inventions, places and environments that could contribute to a sustainable future. The AI system developed by TMRW started generating visuals to bring those ideas to life.
The drones were powered by Nova Sky Stories, the global leader in drone show experiences founded by renowned entrepreneur Kimbal Musk. Special thanks to The United Nations, The City of New York, NYPD, NYS Office of Parks Recreation and Historic Preservation, FAA, Coast Guard