Celebrities and educators successfully climb Mt. Kilimanjaro to draw attention to clean water crisis
Summit on the Summit announced the successful ascent of Mt. Kilimanjaro, marking the second time in three years that a team of cultural influencers and clean water advocates has climbed the mountain to raise awareness of the global clean water crisis.
The group of 17 climbers, including Grammy-nominated musician Kenna, musician Mark Foster of Foster the People, actors Justin Chatwin and Beau Garrett, RYOT.org cofounder Bryn Mooser and photographer Chase Jarvis, all safely reached the top of the 19,341-ft peak. The team was led by Eddie Bauer First Ascent guides Melissa Arnot and David Morton, and included a number of clean water educators, including Chevenee Reavis of Water.org, Dr. Greg Allgood of Procter & Gamble's Children's Safe Drinking Water program, Cynthia Koenig of Wello Water and Steve Hall of H20 For Life. Brand partners HP, Intel, Procter & Gamble, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and Eddie Bauer provided everything from state-of-the-art technology to international travel arrangements to climbing gear.
The climbing team was supported and cheered on by celebrity activists Olivia Wilde, Dianna Agron, Justin Timberlake and alumni climbers Jessica Biel and Santi "Santigold" White, who engaged fans via social media and created a real-time call to action during the expedition. Thousands of followers participated virtually in the seven-day, 50-mile trek via the Summit Seeker interactive game and shared the experience by viewing daily content, all of which was produced directly by the climbing team on the mountain using Intel Ultrabook devices. Through the game, Summit’s supporters on the ground were incentivized to take steps to learn more about the clean water crisis and help spread the message about the initiative globally. With a reach of 79 million on Twitter, thousands of Summit Seeker users and more than 10 million community action points accumulated, Summit effectively engaged a global population of supporters in a unified way to reach a single goal.
As Summit’s primary education partner, Water.org will continue to explore solutions to the clean water crisis by improving access to safe drinking water around the world. "More than ever, I'm convinced that the global clean water crisis is the most pressing challenge of our lifetime and a cause that we can absolutely build a movement of support around," Reavis said. "Amidst this incredible journey to the summit of Kilimanjaro, we all personally experienced water insecurity — many for the first time. Not having access to safe drinking water is something most never experience in the United States. But once you experience it, you realize it's the most basic element that connects us all and you can't help but want to do something about it. We all came together as strangers and stepped off the mountain a united front for universal access to safe water—and we're just getting started!"