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Unity for Humanity Summit highlights: Imagining a better world with RT3D

October 13, 2021 in News | 8 min. read
Purple background with the Unity logo and the words, "Unity for Humanity Summit 2021, October 12, 2021" overlaid in white.
Purple background with the Unity logo and the words, "Unity for Humanity Summit 2021, October 12, 2021" overlaid in white.

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Today, we hosted the second annual Unity for Humanity Summit, bringing together innovative changemakers using their creativity to imagine a brighter future. This year’s event was jam-packed, featuring more than 80 creators and 100 projects across speaking sessions, networking events, and a changemakers showcase, and our core focus areas of environment and sustainability, education and inclusive economic opportunity, and digital health and wellbeing.

If you registered for the Summit, you can sign in with your credentials to watch the session recordings through November 7. If you didn’t register, you can view recordings on Unity’s YouTube channel beginning November 1. Read on to learn about event highlights and gain some insight into what’s next for Unity Social Impact.

The Unity for Humanity Grant – apply by December 3

The Unity for Humanity program is designed to uplift and empower social impact creators. During today’s Keynote, we announced the Unity for Humanity 2022 Grant and introduced the Imagine Grant, created in partnership with award-winning artist, actor, and activist Common. The grant theme is inspired by Common’s latest single, “Imagine.” The grant will be awarded to the project that best ‘imagines a better world.’

The Unity for Humanity Grant and the Imagine Grant are open for applications through December 3, 2021. We’re awarding $500K USD in total across the grants. While a single project cannot receive both the Imagine Grant and a Unity for Humanity 2022 Grant, you can apply for both via the same application.

All grant applications will be evaluated using the following criteria:

  1. Vision: Does the project reflect a strong sense of compassion for humanity? Does the project demonstrate clarity of vision and express a unique point of view? 
  2. Inclusion: Are the project and team demographically diverse?* Does the project have a natural connection to the community and audience it represents and/or serves?
  3. Impact: Does the project have clear social impact goals or a call to action in alignment with the 17 UN Sustainable development goals? Does the application include an impact plan? 
  4. Viability: Are the production, financial, and impact milestones achievable? Is the project realistic in scope?

In addition to the general Unity for Humanity Grant evaluation criteria, the Imagine Grant recipient will be selected using the following additional criteria:

  1. Positive future of humanity: Does the project provide a strong picture of humanity’s future that is inclusive, transformative, and/or positive?
  2. Based on real-world issues: While imagining a better future, is the project based on real-world issues? Examples include climate change, human rights infringements, economic disparity and lack of opportunity, etc.
  3. Inspiration for change: Does the project have the potential to inspire audiences to make positive changes and take action?
  4. Imagination: Does the project demonstrate uniqueness, depth, and/or imagination in terms of its story and approach to depicting a better world?
  5. Motivation: Does the team articulate a strong motivation for creating the future world represented in their application?

Learn more about the Unity for Humanity program and both grant opportunities.

Image of artist, actor, and activist, Common, sitting in an orange shirt, with the words, "Unity for Humanity Imagine Grant" overlaid, along with images of people using VR technology.

The Imagine Grant is just one component of our partnership with Common. We have also granted funding to the Art in Motion (AIM) school in Chicago, of which Common is a partner. AIM provides personalized learning and immersive arts education to middle and high school-aged students. This grant will enable more students to use real-time 3D technology to tell their stories and create change, which is a central and long-standing pillar of Unity’s social impact work.

If you’re interested in learning or teaching Unity, check out Unity Learn for free courses, guided certifications, and more. Educators and nonprofit organizations can apply for an Education Grant license to access tools and resources for teaching students how to create in 2D, 3D, AR, and VR. And, students can get started creating with the Student plan, which provides access to specialized curricula, assets, and product licenses.

Net zero starts now

Bird's-eye view of a forest with the Unity logo and words, "Net Zero Starts Now" overlaid in white.

Beyond our commitment to supporting changemakers, enhancing education, and encouraging inclusive economic opportunity, we also recognize our role as global citizens and the need for decisive action on sustainability.

With this in mind, we announced today that Unity is net zero. This means that we’re immediately neutralizing our greenhouse gas emissions by purchasing high-quality offsets. We set our science-based target after conducting our 2020 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions baseline inventory and learning that we emit 38,400 metric tonnes of carbon annually – as much as 8,400 passenger vehicles driven for a year. We are employing a 3-step approach to reach our net zero goal:

  • Offsetting: We‘re achieving net zero carbon emissions today through carbon offsets. Starting with our 2020 emissions calculation amount, approximately $500K USD will be invested in high-quality offsets that provide co-benefits to local communities.  
  • Redesigning: Second, we’re reducing our carbon footprint by sourcing renewable energy for our facilities and redesigning our procurement policy to ensure that everything purchased is as sustainable as possible. We will continue to implement energy efficiency projects in our facilities and procure certified IT equipment where feasible.  
  • Aligning: Lastly, we’re committed to funding, aligning, and partnering with groups who are demanding better from the world and setting new industry standards.

We recognize this is just the beginning of our long-term obligation to take concrete steps to preserve our planet. Learn more in our latest press release.

Unity for Humanity Environment and Sustainability Grant winners

Image of the Unity for Humanity 2021 Grant winners, District 64, Origen, and Powers of X

In addition to the efforts to reduce our carbon emissions, we recognize the transformative potential of real-time 3D to drive real-world carbon reduction at scale. We see creators innovating to develop new efficiencies, reduce negative environmental impacts, and proactively prepare the world for a climate-resilient future every day. In April of this year, we collaborated with the United Nations Environment Programme and Project Drawdown to launch the Unity for Humanity Environment and Sustainability Grant in support of creators who are using RT3D to realize a more sustainable future. The winners of this grant are:

  • Powers of X: A VR experience designed to raise awareness around humanity’s impact on global climate change and empower high school students to act.
  • District 64: A VR storytelling experience that challenges systemic injustice and illustrates the grave impacts of urban oil drilling on health in marginalized communities.
  • Origen: An interactive, immersive experience that spotlights the destruction of sacred territory endured by Indigenous communities, highlighting the ancient way of understanding human life through our relationship to the land.

Learn more about the grantees in this Unity for Humanity Summit session recording and stay tuned for more updates.

Thank you to everyone who participated in this year’s Unity for Humanity Summit – we can’t wait to see what you create next. Get future updates and event information by joining the social impact mailing list


*Demographically diverse: Diversity of theme, geography, creator background and experience, medium, etc.

October 13, 2021 in News | 8 min. read

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