November 23rd, 2011

Press Release: Ahead of 17th UN World Climate Summit 2011 CNN International launches ECOSPHERE Project

    • Website visualises Twitter discussions about the 17th UN World Climate Summit
    • ECOSPHERE Project installation from 28 November to 9 December on-site in Durban, South Africa

In the run-up to the 17th UN World Climate Summit, CNN International is launching the CNN #COP17 ECOSPHERE Project. The ECOSPHERE Project is a digital garden that grows in real time by filtering and aggregating tweets with the hashtag #COP17.  

At a unique visualisation is being generated that shows a comprehensive picture of Twitter discussions currently taking place on climate change. From 28 November to 9 December 2011 the animation will be seen in the form of a hologram at the United Nations World Climate Summit in Durban.

Starting 28th November the United Nations will host the 17th World Climate Summit in the South African port city ofDurban and the world will once again get a close-up view of how the international community intends to fight climate change. With the CNN ECOSPHERE Project CNN International is collecting the opinions, ideas and thoughts of the global Twitter community on the themes of the World Climate Summit and combining them into a unique animation.

The ECOSPHERE filters and aggregates tweets on the themes of the World Climate Summit using the hashtag #COP17. The tweets generate digital trees in real time. The more often a topic appears on Twitter with the hashtag #COP17, the faster the visualisation grows – from a small shoot to a large a tree. When topics are no longer discussed, the plant, or tree will die, creating room for new discussions. Zooming in on the various twigs and branches will illustrate what topics are of particular interest to participants worldwide.

During the 17th World Climate Summit CNN International will take the ECOSPHERE Project to Durban directly: an on site hologram that will show the delegates in real time what the global Twitter community think about the themes being discussed at the summit.

CNN International will also use the ECOSPHERE Project in its live reporting about the summit. CNN correspondents Robyn Curnow and Diana Magnay will report and comment on events in and around the meeting, exploring what effect the decisions taken inDurbanwill have on the world, on business and on every individual person on the planet. 

Video content:


  • Promo video of the Ecosphere: available on Youtube via the following link
  • Making of Video: available in the about section of the ecosphere website or via the following link:
  • The Technology Behind video: available in the about section of the ecosphere website or via the following link:
In addition, the ECOSPHERE Project will also be part of the December edition of “Road to Durban: A Green City Journey”. In the months approaching the summit, CNN made the journey to Durban starting in the UK and travelling across Germany and Turkey reporting on local climate protection projects. In December “Road to Durban: A Green City Journey” will be dedicated to the themes of the 17th World Climate Summit. For more information please go to   
Broadcast times of Road to Durban: A Green City Journey Wednesday 14 December at 1030 GMT and 1730 GMT Saturday 17 December at 0530 GMT and 1930 GMT Sunday 18 December at 1230 GMT Saturday 31 December at 1230 GMT Sunday 1 January 2012 at 0530 GMT and 1930 GMT
Duration: 30 minutes
The CNN #COP17 ECOSPHERE Project is an initiative by CNN International. It was conceived by Heimat-Berlin and developed and produced by Minivegas (Amsterdam, Los Angeles) in partnership with Stinkdigital (London, New York). You can find more information about the CNN #COP17 Ecosphere Project at:
About CNN International 
CNN is the world’s leading global 24-hour news network and one of the world’s most respected and trusted sources for news and information. The CNN brand is available to two billion people via 18 CNN branded TV, internet and mobile services produced by CNN Worldwide, a division of Turner Broadcasting System Inc and a Time Warner company. CNN International is the international directorate of CNN Worldwide and distributes news via 14 services in seven different languages. CNN International can be seen in 280 million households and hotel rooms in over 200 countries and territories worldwide, including more than 38 million across the Asia Pacific region and online at A worldwide team of more than 4000 news professionals in 48 correspondence bureaus works constantly on the development of news, documentation and magazine broadcasts across all traditional and digital platforms. CNN’s news offerings are constantly developing: CNN is active on the social web and viewers can participate with their own content via the Community iReport. CNN is also distributed online, via mobile devices, news agencies and airport TV, TV in hotels and on cruise ships.
For more information please contact:
Joel Brown
Senior Press Officer
CNN Europe, Middle East & Africa
Tel: + 44 (0) 20 7693 0967
Mobile + 44 (0) 7967 293452
Twitter: CNNprUK