On the Crow

THE HEADWATERS OF THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER are located in rural Minnesota, a sparsely populated landscape dotted with forests and small lakes. As you might imagine, the water quality on the river here is fairly pristine. One hundred miles later—when it intersects with the Crow River—everything falls apart.

What happens on Minnesota’s Crow River is a story that mixes good intentions, unsound practices, and benign neglect in equal measure, yet it isn’t that unique. In fact, the story repeats itself on every tributary feeding into the Mississippi River, from its headwaters down to Louisiana and the Gulf of Mexico.

By starting at the place where the Mississippi River’s troubles begin, learning how the Crow became polluted, and what people are now doing about it, we can inspire others to recognize that we all live in a watershed, and that our actions not only impact water quality, the lives of people, and ecosystem health where we live, but places miles away, and in the case of the Crow, as far off as the Gulf of Mexico.

To tell the Crow’s story, we’ve embarked on a two-year journey set on the river. Our team is creating short films, podcasts, illustrations, and information artworks that focus on seven key themes. Each depicts a key aspect of life on the river, creates awareness of problems faced by the watershed and shows potential solutions that might transform specific destructive activities into regenerative practices that benefit both people and the environment.

When taken together, these stories present an integrative approach to addressing future water challenges in a single dramatic arc, one that depicts the vital role waterways play and our responsibility in stewarding these valuable resources.

Our process begins by identifying agents of change, then capturing their practices and principles with information artworks that use their own words to show who and what change looks like.

Growing Organic

GROWING ORGANIC IS A SHORT FILM SERIES produced by the Lexicon of Sustainability, with guidance and support from the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).

By illuminating the core principles that define sustainable agriculture, the series helps farmers adapt more sustainable practices and shows consumers how they can support a food system in line with their own values. Along the way, they learn to pay closer attention to how they eat, what they buy, and where their responsibility begins for creating a healthier, safer food system in America. Additional films in the Growing organic series include:

Know Your Food

KNOW YOUR FOOD is an award’winning short film series which introduces viewers to the terms and principles that enable them to be more responsible, sustainably-minded consumers. For this series, we’ve worked closely with hundreds of thought leaders from every aspect of our food system to explain the real cost of cheap food, we’ve explored concepts like GMO and Organic, and we have discovered solutions to such challenges as food waste and seafood fraud. By learning these key principles, consumers can do their part to fix our food system.

Filmmakers Douglas Gayeton and Laura Howard-Gayeton have turned their pioneering method of mixing hand-written text with photo collage into a stunning collection of short films that mix animation by Pier Giorgio Provenzano with live action interviews with food producers from across the country. Watch them below.

Everything is Water

AN ANIMATED SERIES WITH INDUSTRY EXPERTS on subjects ranging from water footprints to clean  drinking water, with funding provided by a variety of foundations and public institutions.

Our films

THE LEXICON’S TEAM OF FILMMAKERS blend hand-drawn animation, photographic stills, video interviews, and drone videography to help explain sustainable solutions to the world’s most complex (and hard to explain) challenges. They bring their work to a larger audience through frequent collaborations with television networks, university researchers, foundations, NGOs, like-minded companies and other storytellers. Propose new projects to The Lexicon, go here.

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


The 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 Masterclass” led by The Lexicon’s Douglas Gayeton and Alberto Miti. 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.

Selection Process

All eligible entries received during the Submission Period will be gathered into a database at the end of the Submission Period. All participants will be allowed to participate to the masterclass and the global storytellin initiative. Receivers of the cameras will be selected based on the strength of their answers to the application form, their ability to work with others, their curriculum/portfolio and the commitment shown during the masterclass to champion the stories of seafood producers across the global value chain. If a potential selected applicant cannot be reached by the team of the Initiative within a week (5 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. Upon the request of the Lexicon, the potential select participant may be required to return an Affidavit of Eligibility, Release and Prize Acceptance Form. If a potential winner fails to comply with these official rules, that potential winner will be disqualified.

Submission Requirements/Copyright

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 to share their contributions as part of A Greener Blue Global Storytelling Initiative.

Acceptance and GoPro Cameras

A selected group of applicants will be chosen based on their CV, portfolio and basing on the commitment shown during the masterclass to receive a GoPro Camera to film their stories. The attribution of this additional award will be determined by the Lexicon’s team. Terms and conditions may apply. Incidental expenses and all other costs and expenses which are not specifically listed as part of a prize in these Official Rules and which may be associated with the award, acceptance, receipt and use of the masterclass and the camera are solely the responsibility of the respective participants.

Receivers of the GoPro cameras agree to participate in all phases of the storytelling initiative and to follow the production and output delivery guidelines defined by The Lexicon team, under penalty of forfeiture from the initiative.

All receivers of the Camera are required to upload their footage in the shared drive and make them available for The Lexicon and the promoting partners of the initiative.

Additional Limitations

Selection and prize is non-transferable. No substitution or cash equivalent of the cameras is permitted. 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 these Official Rules, the selection and announcement of any selected participant, or the distribution of any prize. 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 Contest 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.