Forward Mapworks

Immigrant Nation

Filmmakers Theo Rigby and Kate McLean decided to forego the usual track of documentary filmmaking and ambitiously pursued a transmedia approach to storytelling in order to shift perspectives on immigration. Despite being an Academy Award-winner for his documentary short film Sin Pais, Rigby desired to leverage media for social impact in ways that might speak beyond the choir.

Through the development of a Theory of Change model, Forward Mapworks led the design strategy for a more effective experience design.

A series of user profiles were created via empathetic ethnographic fieldwork. These profiles were examined through the lens of the theory of change model in order to glean the effectiveness of story engagement - both passive (viewing) and active (creating and sharing). While 6 target user profiles were established, two major groups emerged for high-level consideration: 1) Genealogy buffs (those people with immigrant ancestors); and 2) recent immigrants (and their allies).

We identified the most salient leverage points within the ecosystem as defined by the guiding question: In what ways might audience members from either of our target groups be motivated to engage in stories from the other?

Collaborating with design partner Murmur, we continued to evolve the user experience in relation to the Theory of Change model, and consider all aspects of platform engagement, including: dynamic data visualization to allow users to see waves of immigration in America over historical time lines, community events and film festivals, classroom experiences, social network advocacy, and a variety of levels of user-generated story contributions. This robust hub, along with short films by the iNation team, serves to energize media convergence and elevate utility to a wide range of stakeholders for positive social impacts.


Immigrant Nation





Transmedia, New Venture, Ecosystem Mapping, Ecosystem Mapping

New York Office 126 Greene Ave Suite 4N Brooklyn, NY 11238

+1 (206) 395-MAPS (6277)