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Stories are a powerful tool for promoting social change and film and television are among the most popular vehicles we use for telling stories. But until recently, there has been no reliable way to track whether a film moves people from inspiration to action.

We are developing actionlab.org, a software platform designed to encourage audiences to move from cinematic inspiration to action. After you are moved by a story, actionlab is a personal action kit that gives you concrete steps to improve your community, building the bridge from awareness of a social issue (such as hunger in the film "Little Boy") to taking meaningful action. Unlike other sites, our project helps you start and sustain action in the world. Hosted in the cloud and accessible from mobile devices, actionlab empowers people to become change agents. Think of it as a social network for social good.

This software development proposal for actionlab is part of a two-part proposal tied to the release of “Little Boy.” The actionlab proposal is for $396,750 (including 15 percent indirect UCLA costs) funded through UCLA; the action step content relevant to the film which will be used on the actionlab platform as well as marketing around “Little Boy” is for $185,000 funded through the Wedgwood Culture Fund. The reason one proposal has been separated into two is to ensure that the IP for actionlab remains with UCLA and that the software remains an open source platform.

Not only will this proposal be developing an invaluable tool for enhancing and measuring the social impact of narrative film, it will also be tested in early 2015 with “Little Boy.” This proposal will provide a new measurement tool and then test it on an exemplary film aligned with the Foundation’s interests. The hypothesis this proposal explores is whether audiences, after viewing a film with a social message, can be activated to engage in long-term socially impactful behavior using targeted software delivered via a mobile device.