Every challenge seeks a solution. That journey is a story.

The Lexicon is a US-based NGO that uses evidence-based storytelling, strategy, and mobilization to build movements that help people pay closer attention to how they eat, what they buy, and where their responsibility begins for creating a healthier, safer food system.

Can adding ecological benefits to carbon markets accelerate our response to climate change?
An EBM (Ecological Benefits Marketplace) platform can untap the potential for blockchain to reward everyone across the value chain and standardize reporting practices for voluntary carbon markets.
Can we bring greater equity and diversity to supply chains?
JUST BIPOC SOURCING has developed tools that help restaurants and food companies audit their food sourcing practices to support equity and contribute to a more just economy.
Can we build a global knowledge sharing platform for sustainable seafood?
SEAFOOD MAP supports small scale fisheries and aquaculture producers on their path of continuous improvement with tools, resources, and access to a global purchaser network.
What would a global visual language for food look like?
FOODICONS bridges cultural barriers, increases consumer literacy, and standardizes the way we explain core concepts at the heart of a more just and sustainable agrifood system.
5b - REGEN1
Can we develop new markets to support regenerative agriculture?
REGEN1 offers an evidence-backed, place-based, market-driven, and farmer-focused model to rapidly transition agriculture to more regenerative practices, starting in Northern California.
Can we create a global storytelling initiative for artisanal fisheries and aquaculture?
A GREENER BLUE will share the inspiring stories of small-scale and artisanal fishers, fish farmers, and fish workers reshaping our oceans, rivers and lakes to build a more sustainable future.
Can global policy decisions help reduce food loss and waste?
CHANGE THE GAME, CHANGE THE FUTURE helps policy makers and the public examine the tradeoffs and unexpected consequences to avoid when making difficult policy decisions.
Can changing what we eat help respond to climate change?
PROTEIN SHIFT is a new activator mobilizing and aligning academics, entrepreneurs, investors and NGOs on core principles and practices to support this emerging food sector.
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We use evidence-based storytelling to help people pay closer attention to how they eat, what they buy, and where their responsibility begins for creating a healthier, safer food system.

Stories can inspire.

Words are the building blocks for new ideas. Increasing our literacy and fluency can help us embrace and share new concepts, shift our perspectives, and change the way we think.

It’s a process, one that can help everyone pay closer attention to how they eat, what they buy, and where their responsibility begins for creating a healthier, safer food system.

Stories can mobilize.

The Lexicon treats challenges as stories. The beginning is the problem, the middle is the series of actions taken to confront the problem, and the end is the solution.

Every story has a cast of characters, each with a clearly defined purpose. The Lexicon “casts” domain experts from across the value chain as the principle characters in this story, one where innovative thinking and problem-solving are required to find a solution.

Stories can activate.

The power of stories can turn a solitary journey into a shared experience, a shared perspective, and a shared vision of the world we all want to see.

The Lexicon uses story-based design thinking to help organizations and companies see themselves as protagonists in a narrative that begins with a problem and ends with a solution they’ve helped create.

What we make.

We’re platform agnostic. Our work includes films, tv shows, photography, books, traveling exhibits, curriculum for schools, online communities, and interactive tools for policy makers.

Information Artworks

It’s often said that a picture is worth a thousand words. We beg to differ. Pictures often ask more questions than they answer. Douglas Gayeton's multi-layered approach mixes photographic collages with descriptive text to explain the core principles and practices of a more sustainable and just food system.

Short Films

Our award-winning short films are designed for people of all ages. They mix live action videography, photography, and text with hand-drawn animations.

Interactive Tools

Data on spreadsheets don’t make for the most compelling stories. We use game theory and storytelling tools that put a face and a place on data to make people care and move them to action.


We bring together the leading food experts, unite them on real solutions, then transform their ideas into freely available tools for the world to use.

Our partners include UN agencies, food companies, international NGOs, farmers, ranchers, researchers, and entrepreneurs.

Douglas Gayeton is an award-winning information architect, filmmaker, photographer and writer.

He directed the KNOW YOUR FOOD series for PBS and GROWING ORGANIC for USDA, MOLOTOV ALVA for HBO, and has authored two books, SLOW: Life in a Tuscan Town, and LOCAL: The New Face of Food & Farming in America.

He is also one of Crop Trust’s Food Forever champions and a visiting professor in the Masters Program at Slow Food’s University of Gastronomic Sciences in Pollenzo, Italy.
Laura Howard-Gayeton is a producer, farmer, entrepreneur and executive director of the Lexicon. She pioneered the art of multi-layered narrative approaches to film and video during her life as a commercials producer in Hollywood, then later moved to Northern California and founded the first goat milk ice company in the United States, LALOO’S.
Pier Giorgio Provenzano is The Lexicon’s Head of Digital. Based near Bristol, England, his projects include short films for PBS, USDA, Warner Brothers, and Napster, as well as a feature-length documentary for HBO. He also produces short films for Sustainable Food Trust and GrowEatGather, which showcases British farmers and their role in producing sustainable food.
Alberto Miti Alberto is an associate director at The Lexicon, where he leads impact campaigns (A Greener Blue, Seafood MAP) and multi-stakeholder projects in collaboration with both private and public organizations.

His work leverages evidence-based storytelling, collaborative approaches and story-based design.
Trini Pratiwi is an aquaculture specialist with over ten years of experience in sustainable aquaculture and seafood value chain development.

She is currently leading Seafood MAP at the Lexicon and is a project manager for Asian Seafood Initiative Collaborative both towards leveraging support for seafood producers to increase practices, recognition and their livelihood. She collaborates with export market stakeholders including buyers and certification bodies to build innovative tools designed to foster improvement for both aquaculture and fisheries in Asia. Trini has an MScAppScME(Hons) Aquaculture from the University of Tasmania, Australia.
Philip Ackerman-Leist is Director of Ecological Benefits and leads the Meat US activator at The Lexicon. A food systems and sustainability expert, researcher, academic, and farmer specializing in American Milking Devon cattle. His three books include A Precautionary Tale: How One Small Town Banned Pesticides, Preserved its Food Heritage, and Inspired a Movement; Rebuilding the Foodshed; and Up Tunket Road: The Education of a Modern Homesteader.

Previously, Philip spent two decades as Professor of Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems at Green Mountain College, where he built the nation’s first online graduate program in food systems, an undergraduate program in Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems, and a 23 acre organic farm. He lives on his family’s off-grid homestead in Pawlet, Vermont.
Grace Gilbakian is a project coordinator at the Lexicon. Passionate about food systems and socio-ecological resilience, Grace oversees the internship program and co-facilitates the A Greener Blue Lexicon Lab.

Grace earned her BA in environmental arts and humanities and religious studies from Sewanee: The University of the South, where she focused on particularities between religion and climate change. She resides in Atlanta, Georgia, and is an avid home baker.
Kavita Malstead is a project manager for The Lexicon's meat sector activator, as well as a storyteller-in-training. With a background in creative writing and studio art, she is committed to tackling challenges in the food system creatively, using storytelling to connect people to their food, the planet, and each other.

Kavita has spent the last year as a Master's student at the University of Gastronomic Sciences studying food from an interdisciplinary perspective. She is excited to bring the theory learned in the classroom to her position with the Lexicon, leveraging a systems-based approach to find solutions to specific food sector issues.
Chloe Cho provides support for The Lexicon's projects, including their activators and flat films. She is a former Project Manager of the Foodicons, Change the Game, and A Greener Blue activators and was a Project Coordinator for REGEN1.

She is a Ph.D. Student at Cornell University, where her research focuses on how local and landscape factors impact insects and their potential to provide ecosystem services in agricultural landscapes. She is passionate about science communication, writing, and outreach. She is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley with a B.S. in Genetics & Plant Biology, a B.A. in Data Science, and a minor in Food Systems.
Nathan Shedroff is a seasoned, professional strategist and serial entrepreneur as well as a pioneer in the fields of experience design, interaction design, and information design. Currently, he’s creating new tools and models for new ventures and “total value” (beyond just economic and functional value). He speaks and teaches internationally, and has authored many books.

Nathan is the chair of the groundbreaking Design MBA programs in design strategy at California College of the Arts in San Francisco.
Proscovia Alando provides production support on A Greener Blue and Seafood MAP. She is a social entrepreneur passionate about food and nutrition security in Africa. She is a food systems leader at African Food Fellowship, the founder of Samaky Hub - an aquaculture consultancy start-up targeting fish farmers, and the co-founder at Ressect - a start-up specialized in farming black soldier fly (BSF) insects as an alternative protein source in animal feed formulation.

Proscovia also works as the Regional East African Director at SUSTAIN Switzerland GmbH where she is responsible for coordination and management of aquaculture projects together with SUSTAIN employees and clients. She is a One Young world Ambassador and a firm believer in women and youth empowerment as a catalyst to societal growth.

We are storytellers.

The Lexicon was founded by social entrepreneurs Douglas Gayeton and Laura Howard-Gayeton in 2009. Joined by Pier Giorgio Provenzano, their work identifies and accelerates the adoption of practices that build more resilient agrifood systems and help combat climate change.

Join a bold, new online community for anyone who cares about building more resilient, inclusive food systems.

Contact us

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Eligibility, Submission Terms and Conditions


A Greener Blue Global Storytelling Initiative is sponsored by The Lexicon, a US based 501(c)(3) public charity.


Storytellers will join A Greener Blue Storytelling Collective to create stories for the International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture with the FAO and its partner organizations. Members of the Collective will take part in a private online “Total Storytelling Lab” led by The Lexicon’s Douglas Gayeton. Upon completion of this online certificate program, members of the Collective will join seafood experts from around the globe in creating A Greener Blue Storytelling initiative.


Who can enter and how selections are made.

A Greener Blue is a global call to action that is open to individuals and teams from all over the world. Below is a non-exhaustive list of subjects the initiative targets.

  • Creatives and storytellers with a passion for food and the willingness to support small-scale fisherpeople and experts worldwide. This category includes, but is not exhausted in photographers, videomakers, illustrators, podcasters, and writers.
  • Food Activists working to change open sea fishing and aquaculture; 
  • Members of fishing and indigenous communities that support their communities, share their stories and protect their way of life;
  • Local and International NGOs work every day with actors across the whole value chain to create more sustainable seafood models.

To apply, prospective participants will need to fill out the form on the website, by filling out each part of it. Applications left incomplete or containing information that is not complete enough will receive a low score and have less chance of being admitted to the storytelling lab.

Nonprofit organizations, communities of fishers and fish farmers and companies that are seeking a closer partnership or special support can also apply by contacting hello@thelexicon.org and interacting with the members of our team.

Special attention will be given to the section of the form regarding the stories that the applicants want to tell and the reasons for participating. All proposals for stories regarding small-scale or artisanal fishers or aquaculturists, communities of artisanal fishers or aquaculturists, and workers in different steps of the seafood value chain will be considered.

Stories should show the important role that these figures play in building a more sustainable seafood system. To help with this narrative, the initiative has identified 10 principles that define a more sustainable seafood system. These can be viewed on the initiative’s website and they state:
Seafood is sustainable when:

  • it helps address climate change
  • it supports global ecosystems
  • it optimizes impact on resources and nutrient cycles.
  • it promotes a safe growing environment for safe food sources.
  • it advances animal welfare.
  • it enhances flavor and nutrition.
  • it builds resilience and self-sufficiency in local communities.
  • it prioritizes inclusion, equality, and fair treatment of workers.
  • it preserves legality and the quality and the story of the product throughout the value chain.
  • it creates opportunities along the whole value chain.

Proposed stories should show one or more of these principles in practice.

Applications are open from the 28th of June to the 15th of August 2022. There will be 50 selected applicants who will be granted access to The Lexicon’s Total Storytelling Lab. These 50 applicants will be asked to accept and sign a learning agreement and acceptance of participation document with which they agree to respect The Lexicon’s code of conduct.

The first part of the lab will take place online between August the 22nd and August the 26th and focus on training participants on the foundation of storytelling, supporting them to create a production plan, and aligning all of them around a shared vision.

Based on their motivation, quality of the story, geography, and participation in the online Lab, a selected group of participants will be gifted a GoPro camera offered to the program by GoPro For A Change. Participants who are selected to receive the GoPro camera will need to sign an acceptance and usage agreement.

The second part of the Storytelling Lab will consist of a production period in which each participant will be supported in the production of their own story. This period goes from August 26th to October 13th. Each participant will have the opportunity to access special mentorship from an international network of storytellers and seafood experts who will help them build their story. The Lexicon also provides editors, animators, and graphic designers to support participants with more technical skills.

The final deadline to submit the stories is the 14th of October. Participants will be able to both submit complete edited stories, or footage accompanied by a storyboard to be assembled by The Lexicon’s team.

All applicants who will exhibit conduct and behavior that is contrary to The Lexicon’s code of conduct will be automatically disqualified. This includes applicants proposing stories that openly discriminate against a social or ethnic group, advocate for a political group, incite violence against any group, or incite to commit crimes of any kind.

All submissions must be the entrant’s original work. Submissions must not infringe upon the trademark, copyright, moral rights, intellectual rights, or rights of privacy of any entity or person.

Participants will retain the copyrights to their work while also granting access to The Lexicon and the other partners of the initiative to share their contributions as part of A Greener Blue Global Storytelling Initiative.

If a potential selected applicant cannot be reached by the team of the Initiative within three (3) working days, using the contact information provided at the time of entry, or if the communication is returned as undeliverable, that potential participant shall forfeit.


Selected applicants will be granted access to an advanced Storytelling Lab taught and facilitated by Douglas Gayeton, award-winning storyteller and information architect, co-founder of The Lexicon. In this course, participants will learn new techniques that will improve their storytelling skills and be able to better communicate their work with a global audience. This skill includes (but is not limited to) how to build a production plan for a documentary, how to find and interact with subjects, and how to shoot a short documentary.

Twenty of the participants will receive a GoPro Hero 11 Digital Video and Audio Cameras by September 15, 2022. Additional participants may receive GoPro Digital Video and Audio Cameras to be announced at a later date. The recipients will be selected by advisors to the program and will be based on selection criteria (see below) on proposals by Storytelling Lab participants. The selections will keep in accordance with Lab criteria concerning geography, active participation in the Storytelling Lab and commitment to the creation of a story for the Initiative, a GoPro Camera to use to complete the storytelling lab and document their story. These recipients will be asked to sign an acceptance letter with terms of use and condition to receive the camera. 

The Lexicon provides video editors, graphic designers, and animators to support the participants to complete their stories.

The submitted stories will be showcased during international and local events, starting from the closing event of the International Year of Fisheries and Aquaculture 2022 in Rome, in January 2023. The authors of the stories will be credited and may be invited to join.

All selection criteria

Storytelling lab participation:

Applicants that will be granted access to the storytelling Lab will be evaluated based on the entries they provided in the online form, and in particular:

  • The completeness of their form
  • The relevance of their story (coherence with the main goal of the initiative and 10 principles)
  • Written motivation explained
  • Geography (the initiative aims at showcasing stories from all over the world so the mix of locations will be a factor that the selection committee will take into account)

Applications will be evaluated by a team of 4 judges from The Lexicon, GSSI and the team of IYAFA (Selection committee).

When selecting applications, the call promoters may request additional documentation or interviews both for the purpose of verifying compliance with eligibility requirements and to facilitate proposal evaluation.

Camera recipients:

Participants to the Storytelling Lab who will be given a GoPro camera will be selected based on:

  • Quality of the story (coherence with the initiative and the 10 principles)
  • Motivation demonstrated during the interaction in the online class
  • Participation in the online class (participants that will attend less than 4 classes will be automatically excluded)

The evaluation will be carried out by a team of 4 judges from The Lexicon, GSSI and the team of IYAFA (Selection committee).

Incidental expenses and all other costs and expenses which are not specifically listed in these Official Rules but which may be associated with the acceptance, receipt and use of the Storytelling Lab and the camera are solely the responsibility of the respective participants and are not covered by The Lexicon or any of the A Greener Blue partners.

All participants who receive a Camera are required to sign an agreement allowing GoPro for a Cause, The Lexicon and GSSI to utilize the films for A Greener Blue and their promotional purposes. All participants will be required to an agreement to upload their footage into the shared drive of The Lexicon and make the stories, films and images available for The Lexicon and the promoting partners of A Greener Blue.

Additional Limitations

Selection and distribution of the camera is non-transferable. No substitution or cash equivalent of the cameras is granted. The Lexicon and its respective partners and representatives are not responsible for any typographical or other errors in the offer or administration of the Initiative, including, but not limited to, errors in any printing or posting or the Official Rules, the selection and announcement of any selected participant, or the distribution of any equipment. Any attempt to damage the content or operation of this Initiative is unlawful and subject to possible legal action by The Lexicon. The Lexicon reserves the right to terminate, suspend or amend the Initiative, without notice, and for any reason, including, without limitation, if The Lexicon determines that the Lab cannot be conducted as planned or should a virus, bug, tampering or unauthorized intervention, technical failure or other cause beyond The Lexicon’s control corrupt the administration, security, fairness, integrity or proper play of the Contest. In the event any tampering or unauthorized intervention may have occurred, The Lexicon reserves the right to void suspect entries at issue.