Charles Annenberg Weingarten: Bear cams, Dog Bless You, and – The Nature of Social Media

Iris Nights Lecture Series

Lecture Date: Nov 29, 2018

As the founder of, Charles Annenberg Weingarten has made wildlife and environmental conservation a central focus of his philanthropic work. His “Pearls of the Planet” live cams pioneered the field of nature cameras, building worldwide interest in seeing life in the wild—as it happens—from the safe-distance provided by our desktop and handheld screens. Recently, The New Yorker described watching’s animal cam footage as “captivating, unedited Zen.”

With a digital presence that has exceeded 9 million followers on Facebook, garnered millions of page views on his website, and gathered a whopping 10 million followers for his companion animal initiative Dog Bless You, Charlie has set a very high bar for how Social Media can spread the word about the natural world.

For his Iris Nights lecture, Charlie shares his favorite images—culled from’s more than 150 live cams around the world—and speaks about the impact of technology and social media on the causes of conservancy and citizen science. He also shares some of his remarkable stories about connecting with nonprofit conservancy pioneers and venturing into the wild—with all of its perils, risks, and excitement—to bring the wild back into the civilized world where people can experience it up close and personal at the click of a mouse.


Charles Annenberg Weingarten
Charles Annenberg Weingarten

Charles Annenberg Weingarten is a Vice President and Director of the Annenberg Foundation and founder of, a philanthropic media organization. A filmmaker and philanthropist, he has directed and produced more than 300 short films, covering an inspiring range of people, places and nonprofits around the globe. Annenberg Weingarten created Dog Bless You, a platform for…

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The National Geographic Photo Ark, led by photographer Joel Sartore, reflects an effort to document every species living in zoos and wildlife sanctuaries in order to motivate action through education.


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