Following the 2022 Unity for Humanity Summit, we’re looking for social impact creators who are using real-time 3D to make the world a better place. Is that you? If your answer is yes, or even maybe, Unity is awarding funding, technical support, and mentorship to help bring changemaking projects to life in 2023.
To help you make the most of this opportunity, we’ve put together a few tips to guide you through the application process. Not sure if you need the support? We also spoke with three past grantees about their experience and how the support has helped them realize their creative vision.
Are you dedicated to making the world a better place? That’s exactly what our judges will be looking for, so try to get that across in your application.
To avoid potentially losing your hard work, write your submission text in a separate document before entering it into the Typeform application.
There are no trick questions – we’re transparent about the projects that are eligible and the judging criteria we’ll be using, so make sure your application includes all the required information to improve your chance of being selected.
For more guidance, watch our session on grant application tips from the 2021 Unity for Humanity Summit.
To make sure all applicants have as much information and context as possible, we make our judging criteria clear. All projects must be impact-driven – meaning that they have measurable impact goals and/or calls to action – and encompass social, healthcare, education, humanitarian, and/or environmental issues. Projects must also align with at least one of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals.
When reviewing grant applications, we consider inclusion, impact, viability, and vision:
For more detailed information on applying, read our Unity for Humanity FAQ. If your project’s timeline doesn’t align with this year’s application period, you can pre-register for next year’s grant to receive inspiration, tips, and grant news.
We spoke with three past Unity for Humanity grantees to learn about the impact receiving the grant has had on the development of their project.
Q: What inspired you to create a social impact project?
Love Death Design, creators of Gone to Water / Ido al Agua – New media can be leveraged as a profoundly impactful mode of storytelling: we can protest in virtual spaces, we can employ new technologies to demand sustainable future architectures.
“New media can be leveraged as a profoundly impactful mode of storytelling.” – Love Death Design, creators of Gone to Water / Ido al Agua
“Gone to Water” is a term that describes the process by which an oil well becomes unproductive and therefore unprofitable, eventually filling with water. We chose to apply for UFH support to create this immersive documentary on urban oil extraction and its community health impacts on Tongva Land – in South Los Angeles because for those most affected by environmental racism, it is a matter of survival. Los Angeles is considered a microcosm of the world for its rich cultural contributions but it is also a snapshot of environmental injustices faced by BIPOC and low-income communities throughout the world.
AnythingEverything, creators of Powers of X – We are incredibly excited about using emerging technologies like XR to enable new formats for storytelling and create positive change, particularly when it comes to education about the climate crisis. With Powers Of X, we saw a powerful opportunity to harness VR and AR's unique ability to convey scale in order to reveal the impact we each have on the planet in a much more tangible way.
Presencias, creators of Origen – Having been in contact with stories, memories of this land’s origin, led us to think that collaborating with storytellers from the various territories (the Amazon, the Andes and northwestern Argentina) to jointly create an experience in first person, interwoven by meaningful interactions, could result In a significant project capable of touching many hearts.
“The project has driven an initiative to replant 20 different species in the mid-Ucayali region of the Amazon Rainforest.” – Presencias, creators of Origen
Something incredible happened from the production phase of Origen, thanks to the collaborative networks it has woven, the project has driven an initiative to replant 20 different species in the mid-Ucayali region of the Amazon Rainforest. We understood that a project with these characteristics transcends what it can generate in the public once released. It is since its construction, through its dialogue with reality, that starts to generate an impact on multiple levels.
Q: How did you come up with the idea for your project?
Presencias, creators of Origen – The story of this project began more than ten years ago thanks to the bond with an incredible Mapuche descendant woman, Celeste, a great friend I’ve known since I was 19 (she’s also a script supervisor in the VR experience). Since then, in successive trips that I’ve made in Latin America, Celeste asked me to take presents of great symbolic value to her friends, guardians of other territories. It was revolutionary for me to be in contact with these women, their stories and this powerful network. Eventually these experiences became the opportunity to collectively create Origen.
Q: What impact has the Unity for Humanity Grant had on your project?
Love Death Design, creators of Gone to Water / Ido al Agua – Support from the Unity for Humanity Grant enabled our small creative design studio to produce a large scale project, collaborating with a wide spectrum of community members, activists and artists across South Los Angeles – Tongva Land. We were able to afford hardware to create the work, time and space to produce it, and the ability to compensate all our contributors – as well as offer free community workshops. As this is a pilot project for our artist-led studio, Love Death Design, having the support to realize the work in scope with our vision has been impactful and has greatly lifted our presence as under-represented artists and voices in the XR community.
We are so grateful to have the support to co-create this work with community members, activists, and artists on the frontlines of environmental injustice and hope that this piece provokes those who experience it to consider their privilege and position, and join us in demanding the end of neighborhood drilling.
“UFH was instrumental in helping us get our project off the ground and taking our concept from abstract idea to a tangible prototype.” – AnythingEverything, creators of Powers of X
AnythingEverything, creators of Powers of X – We have used the UFH funding in order to conduct research around the subject matter, refine the conceptual experience, and most importantly to develop a functioning prototype which demonstrates the format and can be used in order to raise follow-on funding for the full production. We have successfully completed the prototype and we could not have done it if it wasn't for the help, resources, and support we received from Unity For Humanity.
Presencias, creators of Origen – For the development of the experience and to implement the first steps of the replanting initiative that emerged as a result of the process of creating the firsts chapters of Origen.
Receiving the grant was what made possible for this first chapter of Origen to come off paper and become a reality. It also gave us the freedom to create with so much autonomy, it allowed us to delve into the artisanal and interdisciplinary part of the project, which was crucial to respect its identity.
The premiere of the first chapter, “The Journey to the Heart of the Amazon Rainforest,” is approaching and we are starting the pre-production of chapter two – “The Journey to the Andes” – which keeps us working and very excited for what is to come.
The Unity for Humanity 2023 Grant is open for applications until 11:59 pm PT on December 9, 2022. Join our Social Impact creator Discord to speak to the Unity for Humanity team, ask questions, and meet other creators. Apply for the grant today.