What happens when you combine the editorial sensibility of Upworthy with the world's most powerful corporations and filter it all through Vice's ad agency? Collectively.org, a new site that will save the earth. Cynical? Stop being part of the problem.
Collectively, which rolls out today, looks at first glance like just another splashy, photo-heavy, relentlessly positive do-gooder web publication full of DIY-style environmentalist stories like "BYO Packaging Supermarket In Berlin Creates Absolutely No Waste" and "This Chef Is Turning Rotting Animal Carcasses Into Gourmet, Gut-Warming Soup." In an introductory post, Collectively's editor writes, "Today's media is obsessed with fear-mongering tactics, and a pervasive pessimism that would have us all believing that 'everything is f*cked, and it's all our fault,'... Collectively will break through that negativity and cynicism to help people learn how they can help."
Collectively was created based on the belief that together we can do more, be better and make a bigger difference. That's why the founding partners – Unilever, The Coca-Cola Company, Marks and Spencer, BT Group and Carlsberg – wanted to help build a non-profit platform open to the voices and opinions of as many different organizations and individuals as possible. We're ridiculously excited by the list of highly energized participants who are already on board, and this is just the beginning.
VICE Media's creative services division, VIRTUE, was selected by the founding group to create and curate Collectively with complete editorial independence. From time to time you'll see stories of sustainable innovation from our partner organizations, but they are selected entirely on the merits of their newsworthiness and potential to create positive change. On Collectively, we're as excited to talk about the work of a social entrepreneur in Kigali as we are to break the news about a global environmental initiative from Nike.
This site is run with "complete editorial independence"—by an ad agency. Sure. In addition to the companies cited above, Collectively's "partners" include Vice, Diageo, Dow, Facebook, General Mills, Google, Havas, Johnson & Johnson, McDonald's, Microsoft, Nestle, Nike, Omnicom, PepsiCo, Philips, SAB Miller, Twitter, and WPP, among others.
Just like Collectively, we are all about breaking through negativity and cynicism. So, going forward, we encourage you to embrace their stories as genuine journalistic attempts at solutions. Unless they in some way involve consumer products, food, beverages, clothing, luxury goods, retailing, telecommunications, alcohol, publishing, chemicals, agriculture, technology, the internet, health care, computers, electronics, media, or any clients of the largest international advertising conglomerates in the world.
Other than that: we stand "Collectively" together.