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From Jan. 9 – 12, the National Geographic Society welcomed renowned photographers for its annual Photography Seminar. The theme of this year’s seminar, “Photography for Change,” reflects the vital contributions photographers have made to National Geographic for almost 130 years as well as the increasingly critical role photography is playing in driving awareness, engagement and progress. Today, there are so many challenges facing our planet, from overpopulation and abuse of our natural resources, to rising geopolitical tensions and poverty. In an age of noise, distraction and speed, photography has an unparalleled ability to command our focus and attention and deliver clarity and truth that cannot be questioned, spun or ignored. Photography cuts through geographic, cultural and political barriers and unites people by creating a universal language of beauty, wonder, sorrow, and joy.

Photography shows us the infinite scale of our planet and universe. At the same time, it is profoundly personal, capturing human emotion in all its rawness and intimacy.

Photography provokes thought, changes perceptions, and evokes compassion.

And, perhaps most importantly, photography makes people take action.

Throughout the week, acclaimed National Geographic photographers including Michael “Nick” Nichols, David Doubilet, Maggie Steber, Ed Kashi, Paul Nicklen and Cristina Mittermeier filled the halls of National Geographic, sharing the power of photography to inspire meaningful action, empower new conservation movements, and make a measurable impact on our planet. These are a few of our favorite images from this powerful week.

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Did you know that almost half the energy needed to power National Geographic Society headquarters now comes from solar energy? National Geographic is purchasing the renewable resource from Baker Point Solar, Cypress Creek Renewables’ first solar site in Maryland, a facility that also provides an important habitat for pollinators like bees and butterflies, helping to...

To celebrate the holidays, the National Geographic Society is launching the “12 Days of Photo Ark!” Each day we’ll showcase animals from the National Geographic Photo Ark, a multiyear effort to raise awareness of and find solutions to some of the most pressing issues affecting wildlife and their habitats. Led by National Geographic photographer Joel...

On Dec. 4, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the National Geographic Society hosted the annual WWF Fuller Symposium, a day-long event highlighting key challenges and opportunities in conservation science. This year’s symposium focused specifically on the emerging use of behavioral science in conservation. Throughout the day, speakers shared insights on how behavioral science could...

Almost a decade ago, National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Enric Sala launched the Pristine Seas project to explore and help protect the last wild places in the ocean. Since its founding, the project has inspired the creation of 17 marine reserves around the world, resulting in more than 5.2 million square kilometers of the ocean protected. A...

Scientists and conservationists from around the world were joined by special guests, including eminent biologist Edward O. Wilson and legendary recording artist Paul Simon, to celebrate the planet’s first-ever Half-Earth Day on Oct. 23. The all-day inaugural event, co-convened by the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation and National Geographic, highlighted efforts to halt rising extinction rates...

Yesterday, National Geographic Society President and CEO Gary E. Knell convened the Mapping the World Public Policy Dialogue on Ocean Conservation. The forum, held at the Library of Congress, featured National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Dr. Enric Sala and U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) in a robust discussion about the challenges facing the world’s oceans as well...

Hispanic Heritage Month honors and commemorates groundbreaking pioneers and innovators who identify as Spanish, Mexican, Caribbean and Central and South American. To celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month at National Geographic, we are highlighting National Geographic Society Senior Program Officer of Wildlife and Wild Places, Dr. Luisa Arnedo. Born and raised in Bogotá, Colombia, Luisa is the...

National Geographic Society President and CEO Gary E. Knell recently sat down with Denver Frederick, host of the radio show “The Business of Giving.” The program profiles contemporary changemakers who are uncovering solutions to today’s complex social problems. Gary was invited to share the incredible story of National Geographic and how the brand has remained...