Hotspots, unearths the stories of people from all backgrounds and challenges viewers to view the world through a different lens. Carley Rutledge, built the Hotspots project with the aim to create a safe and educational platform for the everyday American to share their thoughts, feelings, questions and stories. Rutledge states,
"After a series of polling I discovered that most climate skeptics aren’t skeptics at all – they just have questions and they don’t feel comfortable asking them or don’t trust the answers. Most of them want to hear from other people like themselves instead of politicians, comedians, and scientists. They just want to know what’s happening right now, if anything."
Although Rutledge's interest in film was rooted at an early age, she chose to pursue a degree in science in college. In her Senior year at the University of Colorado Boulder, Rutledge enrolled in EBIO 4460: Film and Climate Change and found the cumulation of the two interests by creating the Hotspots project. Rutledge attributes the main inspiration for this work to her father, who challenged her to listen to both sides of the equation and to fairly communicate through debate. Rutledge operates Hotspots as a team of one, designing graphics, filming and editing each interview. Hotspots is open to viewer submissions and will continue to curate content on a regular basis. Rutledge states that the project is expaning and will be adding a new member to the Hotspots team in December.
"We here in Colorado have the privilege to see and feel and learn about climate change on a daily basis. I grew up in Texas, where my beliefs were the minority. Climate backers tend to talk about their work and opinions in an echo chamber – they cater to people who already understand them; and the people who have questions get ostracized and left out of the loop – to the point where they stop wanting to be in the loop. I want to create a place for these intelligent people to have their questions answered, and to not have to deal with politics, but to just listen to stories from people just like them. Humans make decisions based on irrational emotions, so why do we keep throwing rational facts at them? The basis of human communication is storytelling and we need to take science back to that place if we ever want to make the world a better place."
- Carley Rutledge, Hotspots Creator
Rebecca Safran is an accomplished scientist as well a mother and mentor. Her perspective allows her to give unique opinions on the way that science is communicated, and why it is important to listen to each other. She speaks about how her children have changed the timeline in which she views the world, and have driven her to create the best future possible for them.