Ecologos takes a unique approach to motivation. Rather than resorting to doom and gloom and guilt to move people, we appeal to their fundamental connection to nature. We all have powerful memories of encounters with the natural world. Our programs reconnect people with these deeply felt experiences, and nourish a commitment to action for a sustainable future.

Best known today for our annual Water Docs Film Festival, Ecologos has been delivering environmental education and action programs since 1999. These include Water Docs @ School Action Projects, Water Docs Where-You-Live, Water Journey, and our newest, The Wild Water Residency for young artists in northern Ontario. Underlying all our learning experiences is the image shifting learning model and a conviction of the importance of the arts in making the connection to water.

As we remember water’s  power to touch us deeply, the spirit rises to commit ourselves to its protection.


To engage people in water issues, shape attitudes and motivate action, Ecologos weaves together three ingredients: documentary storytelling and the arts, experiential learning, and channelling the resulting inspiration into specific water projects. These strands together help change attitudes and connect people to ways to protect water in everyday life.

Our experiential learning model is called Image Shifting – based on 40 years of research by educational pioneers. In particular we draw on Kenneth Boulding’s insights in The Image. He states that each of us holds deep-seated operational beliefs and assumptions as meaning constructs or images. These images govern behaviour and can be created or changed by specially designed messages.

Image Shifting reaches beyond simply supplying information into the deeply felt emotional experiences and powerful beliefs that lie at the very heart of resolve and action.

Our working values

Ecologos is a diverse group of volunteers and staff who are passionate about the wellbeing of water everywhere. We come from many backgrounds ourselves and we foster respect for each other as we work to develop an ever deeper respect for water and an ever more practical approach to our work. We foster a culture of appreciation for everyone’s contributions, experiences, insights and energy, and we oppose disrespectful or exclusionary behaviour in any form. We strive to create a safe and nonthreatening workspace for staff and volunteers.

We dedicate ourselves to protecting water, using documentary storytelling and experiential learning to revive a sense of reverence, address threats and stir action.
— Founder Stan Gibson