Potatoverse platform to help children counter climate ‘doomism’
June 7, 2023
Wind Sun Sky Entertainment, the Ontario Water Centre and its ClearWater Farm social enterprise have announced the Potatoverse, a new multi-platform digital universe designed to help children counter climate ‘doomism’ with hope, inspiration and empowerment to build a better future.
The Potatoverse revolves around a time-travelling, eco-superhero chicken named Potato, also known as “Future Chicken.”
Featuring a variety of entertaining and educational experiences for young change-makers, geared primarily for kids aged 6 to 10 years old, the project is set to formally launch in September 2023 under the Future Chicken global brand.
Lead character Potato, named for her love of potato peels, travels back and forth from the year 2050 and reveals how today’s ideas, including those from kids, have taken hold in a better future. She journeys with her diverse group of loveable Planet Protectors including an electric catfish fascinated by fascinators, a joke-cracking egg with rocket pants for flight, a soil connoisseur worm and an eco-detective mushroom with a passion for cyclical regeneration. Together, they help kids understand that even small actions can lead to big and lasting positive effects for the planet.
Two Canadian media pioneers are behind this revolutionary initiative: Annabel Slaight is founding chair of the Ontario Water Centre educational charity, and co-founder of the widely acclaimed OWL kids’ empire of magazines, books and television programmes that have reached more than 60 million families. Catherine Winder is CEO of Wind Sun Sky Entertainment, a multi-media production company focused on building creator-driven global franchise. The multi-platform brand-builder and entrepreneur has worked with filmmakers and visionaries to adapt iconic properties such as Star Wars: Clone Wars, Angry Birds, Ice Age, and Invincible.
Working with a team of global creators, technologists, educators and storytellers, Slaight and Winder have created the Potatoverse as a new model for the future of children’s learning-based media.
It’s built around a “flywheel” of entry points to entertaining digital content starring Potato and the Planet Protectors that helps kids learn on the platforms they choose and love. Multi-platform experiences include hundreds of animated 30 to 60-second videos that spark curiosity, and an initial series called “The Future Chicken Today Show” that uses game-engine animation technology to enable Potato to interview in fun and funny ways for kids climate experts, celebrities and kids taking positive steps to help the planet.
The initiative also includes games on the leading kids’ platform Roblox; a podcast for families to listen to together and a website hub where kids, parents and teachers can connect. These fully immersive experiences will engage children across interconnected platforms and nurture an appreciation and curiosity about the wonders of nature and outdoor exploration.
Negativity around climate change can be pervasive and overwhelming. The Potatoverse gives children a space to immerse in hope and positivity, grounded in evidence-based climate solutions in fun, engaging and interactive ways.
Winder and Slaight say the initiative was sparked by the inspiring imagination and enthusiasm of kids.
“By providing kids with an optimistic lens, the Potatoverse “Future Chicken” universe holds transformative potential to help the next generation become innovators who will make a lasting impact on our planet. By empowering kids to explore their own ideas while fostering a deep connection with nature, Potatoverse will be a forum for kids to contribute meaningfully as catalysts for positive change. We are filling the hope gap for children when it comes to the future. But as it should be for kids, play and fun is at the heart of everything we are doing.”
Leveraging cutting-edge technology combined with stories and nature, Future Chicken and the many adventures she and the Planet Protectors will take in Potatoverse will propel kids into the brilliance of nature’s wonders and human inventions when it launches in September 2023. The co-creators are actively pursuing additional support from individuals, foundations or corporations who share the same enthusiasm for the initiative’s vast potential.