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The Global Lives Project: A Platform for Building Empathy & Connection (RSVP Berkman Klein Luncheon Series)

Pictured Above: Founder & Executive Producer David Evan Harris and Video Production Lead Naomi Ture 


David Evan Harris, Global Lives Project Founder, will speak about the evolution of the project, and its ambitious goal of connecting the diverse experiences of humanity around the globe, and building empathy. RSVP required to attend in person.

Event Details: 

Harvard Law School campus
Wasserstein Hall, Milstein West A
(Room 2019, Second Floor)
Event will be live webcast on this page at 12:00 pm

About the Project 

The Global Lives Project presents 24-hour-long videos of daily lives of individuals from around the world both online and through in-person exhibits. This 15-year project is an online and real-world collaboration between thousands of filmmakers, photographers, translators and everyday people from around the world.

The project’s latest exhibit, Lives in Transit, showcases unedited footage of the daily lives of transportation workers from around the world, including Vietnam, Nepal, Turkey, China, India, South Korea, Colombia, Spain and Canada. The exhibit premiered at Lincoln Center for the New York Film Festival, and previously showed at the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology, the CITRIS Tech Museum, and will show later this year at the Smithsonian.

About David

David Evan Harris is Founder and Executive Director of the Global Lives Project, Chancellor’s Public Scholar at UC Berkeley, and Research Director at the Institute for the Future. David is a cross-disciplinary mediamaker, working at the intersection of art, activism and academic inquiry on the politically charged questions surrounding globalization and social justice.

David wrote and directed newscasts for CurrentTV; and penned articles and shot photos for the BBC, the Guardian, Adbusters, Focus on the Global South, AlterNet, and Grist. He has spoken publicly about his work to audiences at the Smithsonian, UC Berkeley, Harvard, Stanford, United Nations University, Apple, Google, Adobe, and numerous other venues around the world. He speaks English, Portuguese, Spanish, and French. David founded the Global Lives Project in 2004 and holds a BA in the political economy of development and environment, with a minor in forest science, from UC Berkeley and an MS in sociology from the University of São Paulo.


The exhibit is on display at the Harvard Science Center through March 2018.

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IFTF Gallery for the Future hosts Global Lives popup exhibit

Via Institute for the Future

RTEmagicC_galleryforthefuture_feature_sml.jpg The IFTF Gallery for the Future at 201 Hamilton Avenue in Palo Alto presents the work of multi-disciplinary artists who engage with temporality through new media tools and creative approaches to design and aesthetic production. Our rotating exhibits will relate to the same futures themes that we approach through our research and labs. IFTF is thrilled to present our inaugural exhibit, a collection of video works by the Global Lives Project, produced from 2004 to 2014.

Artist’s Statement

Framed by the arc of the day and conveyed through the intimacy of video, we have slowly and faithfully captured 24 continuous hours in the lives of twenty people from around the world. They are screened here in their own right, but also in relation to one another.

There is no narrative other than that which is found in the composition of everyday life, no overt interpretations other than that which you may bring to it.

By extending the long take to a certain extreme and infusing it with the spirit of cinema verité, we invite audiences to confer close attention onto other worlds, and simultaneously reflect upon their own. The force and depth of human difference and similarity are revealed in this process. Gaps which mark cultural divides feel, at once, both wider and narrower. This sense—that we, as humans, are both knowable and unknowable, fundamentally different as well as the same—opens a space for dialogue.

Sometimes projects with the simplest premises are the most complicated to execute, and this can be said for Global Lives.

Hundreds of volunteers from around the world make up our collective. Some are filmmakers and photographers, others are programmers and engineers, some are architects and designers, others are students and scholars—all are everyday people in their own contexts; each has participated according to his or her own motivations. They have donated, quite literally, thousands of hours towards bringing this project into being. This installation offers us an opportunity to thank them, along with the generous communities that collaborated with us in each of these shoots.

This project is designed to remain a work-in-progress. Volunteers are subtitling all 480 hours of footage in their original languages and translating them into English and beyond. These videos for the basis of our online, participatory library of human life experience—the other major venue for our work. We continue to accept new footage for our expanding archive—fresh additions to an evolving visual conversation.

The Global Lives Collective, 2014


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Global Wednesdays – Maker Cities Edition

What would your city look like if everyone had a do-it-yourself maker mindset?

Find out at Global Wednesday – Maker Cities edition!

The Institute for the Future and the Global Lives Project invite you to a celebration of Maker Cities and urban innovation at San Francisco’s Folsom Street Foundry surrounded by videos of Global Lives’ newest exhibition, Lives in Transit and demos of the Maker Cities game.

A maker city is a place where citizens come up with solutions to urban challenges—and do something about it. In a maker city, residents create energy while exercising at the local gym or help make decisions with micro-voting platforms. Grab a drink and share your ideas for urban creativity and civic engagement!




Institute for the Future is a nonprofit research group based in Palo Alto, California, whose mission is to encourage and equip individuals, organizations, and communities with tools to think systematically about the future. As an early prototype of an online multimedia conversation platform for global makers, IFTF’s Technology Horizons program developed a lightweight crowdsourcing site, Maker Cities, that asks the public, “How will your city be a Maker City in 2025?” Built with repurposed open-source software originally designed for post-disaster mapping, Maker Cities is the first such platform to quickly capture makers’ on-the-ground signals and future visions for more participatory Maker Cities. Play the game at!

Join us April 16th at The Folsom Street Foundry, 1425 Folsom St.


5pm – 6:30pm: Happy Hour & Maker Cities game demos.

6:30 – 7:15pm: Panel Discussion – Speaker TBC

7:15 – 9:00pm: More drinking & game demos!

The event will be part of Global Wednesdays, a Global Lives Project initiative intended to spark discussions about global citizenship, new media, and film education. Global Wednesdays take place at the historic Folsom Street Foundry, set against the backdrop of an immersive, multi-screen video installation that showcases footage from the daily lives of individuals around the world.


Please note that this is a 21+ event. Drinks will be available for purchase at a cash bar.

About co-sponsorships:

If you are interested in becoming a co-sponsor or community partner for this event, please contact

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Work Locally, Act Globally

Interested in pursuing an international career in SF?

The Bay Area International Link (BAIL) joins Global Lives to co-host a happy-hour and panel discussion focused on how you can live in the Bay Area and build a career working on global issues that matter, like human rights, international development, governance, fair trade, social justice, peacebuilding, the environment and more.
Our panelists will dispel the myth that one must move to DC, New York, or even Geneva to get jobs in these fields and discuss what it takes to get a globally-mind job without leaving our favorite town.  GET TICKETS HERE.
What: Happy-hour and panel discussion about building an international career in the bay area.
When: Wednesday, March 26, 5-9pm, panel starts 6:00pm..
Who: Anyone interested in learn more about international careers in the Bay Area.
Where: Folsom Street Foundry, 1425 Folsom Street, San Francisco (Park: Royal Parking12th & Kissling)
Drinks will be available for purchase at a cash bar and we’ll have savory and sweet crepes from Crêpe Le Vie available for purchase as well.
Michelle Vernick, HR Director – Room to Read
Michael Looft, Regional Director, Europe & Asia – Kiva
Lynn Fine, International Programs Manager – Code for America
Joe Speicher – founding team of Living Goods, now on a creative sabbatical and pursuing international development and coffee related projects
Prairie Summer, Co-founder – BAIL (moderator)
This is a FREE event, donations to support BAIL and the Global Lives Project are accepted at the door.
Our Happy Hour and Panel Discussion will be accompanied by delicious sweet and savory crepes. Thank you Emilie for bringing Crêpe Le Vie for our event!
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We’ll have great music from Limbo to kick off tonight’s event, starting at 5pm and running until the last drink. The bar stays open until midnight, so feel free to invite late-working friends to join post-panel if they can’t make it before.
.limbo1    Screen Shot 2014-03-26 at 12.12.02 PM    Screen Shot 2014-03-26 at 12.16.48 PM


About the Bay Area International Link (BAIL)

BAIL is fostering a lively community of people and organizations who are based in the Bay Area and work internationally. We aggregate job opportunities, organize events, and support our network of members who are active in the fields of international development, governance, peacebuilding, human rights, trade, and environmental issues, as well as those working on international business development.
If you are interested in becoming a co-sponsoring or community partner for this event, please contact
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Free Field Trip at Global Lives Exhibit in San Francisco

Good news! Global Lives is now hosting field trips to see our video library of life experience and a professional development opportunity as well!

  • Tuesday, Feb 18, noon-3pm: Student field trips to the exhibit (limited space, RSVP now!)

Panel at Global Lives Exhibit
Image: A panel discussion at our exhibit at the Folsom Street Foundry, where we’ll be hosting our field trips and professional development opportunity. Watch five short preview videos from the Lives in Transit series.

Field Trip Details: On Tuesday, February 18, from noon-3pm, we’re offering schools in the San Francisco Bay Area an opportunity to view Lives in Transit, our recent video series of 10 transit workers around the world, on a 17-screen immersive video installation.

We can offer this experience for free, from noon to 3pm. Simply send an email to with the number of students you’d like to bring; what grade they are in; and whether you could arrive at either noon or 1:30pm (visits last 80 minutes).

Global Wednesdays: If you can’t make these events, please join us for our Global Wednesday weekly salon gatherings for broader audiences interested in global citizenship, new media, and film education, the fourth wednesdays of the month.

*All events are at the Folsom Street Foundry, 1425 Folsom Street, San Francisco (Park: Royal Parking12th & Kissling)

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Global Lives Immersive Video Exhibit

You’re invited to a party & sneak preview for Lives in Transit

Experience an immersive video exhibit preview of our Lives in Transit series (view 5 samples)
Meet passionate people involved in arts, education, new media, film, and travel
Enjoy appetizers by CollectiveGreenSF and tea service by RonJon Terlane
Later on, enjoy dancing and music by DJs Hey Man!, Sonicker, & Duserock – and Jiten Daiko drummers!

Join us on January 9th, 6pm at 1425 Folsom St in San Francisco.

6:00pm – doors open for VIP and GVIP members
7:00pm – doors open for all guests with appetizers for all & drinks at a cash bar
8:00pm – learn about collaborative filmmaking for building empathy
Andrew Mahlstedt, teacher & volunteer with the Lives in Transit Nepal shoot
Naomi Ture – filmmaker & producer of the Vietnam shoot
Nicki Pfaff – teacher using Global Lives video to build empathy in her classroom
9:30pm – party on with music, dancing, and more.

Tickets available by donation

With your support, we will send curriculum kits we created for over 400 teachers around the world who want to use our videos as a resource to build empathy in their classroom. This event is 48 hours before our deadline – learn more at!

Gratitude to our supporters

The Global Lives Project is building a video library of life experience. We are a volunteer-driven, donor-funded nonprofit dedicated to global citizenship through empathy and cross-cultural understanding. We are grateful to the National Endowment for the Arts and to many individual donors whose support made Lives in Transit possible.

We are also grateful to have support for this event

Presenting Sponsor:

Community Partner:


Jane McGonigal, SuperBetter Labs & author of Reality is Broken
Darian Rodriguez, Social Media for Nonprofits
Lawrence Wilkinson, Heminge & Condell
Laura Welcher, Long Now Foundation
David Evan Harris, Global Lives Project
Pete Forsythe, Wiki Strategies
Sara Crouse, Creative Commons
Melissa Martin, Method
Rosa Wu, Google
Afonso Salcedo, Sutro Studios
Nicole Pfaff, Global Lives Project
Jessamine Chen, VMware Foundation
Vijay Karunamurthy, AVOS Systems
Duleesha Kulasooriya, Deloitte Center for the Edge
Daniel Dennis Jones, Harvard University, Berkman Center for Internet and Society
Barak Kassar, Rassak Experience
Sarah Davis, Global Lives Project
Naomi Ture, Ture Productions
Steve Grove, Google
Learie Hercules, Octavia Technologies

 Above: our event set-up underway at the historic Folsom Street Foundry!

 Parking is available at Royal Parking, 12th St at Kissling (see address in Google Maps)

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On June 1 & 2, the Bay Area Youth Media Network (BAYMN) will present BAYMN FEST, a free two-day interactive showcase of media produced by young folks ages 12-24, hosted at the San Francisco Public Library. Global Lives will also be hosting an interactive workshop Sat, June 1st. Through screenings, workshops, a transmedia gallery, a makerspace, parties and networking opportunities, BAYMN FEST will be a place for young artists to share their work, meet their peers, acquire new tools, make their voices heard—and win cool prizes and media-making tools!It is a unique opportunity for youth, educators and the general public to celebrate the work of talented young media makers. We hope you will join us and be inspired.

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Global Lives World Premiere: Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

We are proud to announce the world premiere of the Global Lives Project, an innovative video installation featuring documentaries that capture 24 hours in the lives of ten people from around the world who represent the diversity of the global population. Working with acclaimed filmmakers, artists and designers, Global Livesassembles the realities of everyday life from Lebanon, Serbia, China, India, Japan, Malawi, Indonesia, Brazil, Kazakhstan and San Francisco.

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