blog entry highlighting recent analysis on the psychological barriers to combatting climate change. While climate change is perhaps the most prominent environmental challenge, most other environ mental issues – for example, water resource adequacy, deforestation, ocean acidification, etc.– face analogous barriers to public attention, action, or funding.Earlier this week, Andrew Revkin posted a wonderful
For starters, environmental challenges are inherently difficult to communicate: the natural world is full of complex interactions between dynamic human, ecological and geological systems of which our understanding is often incomplete and clouded by uncertainty. This means that scientists, journalists, businesses, activists, policymakers, and anyone seeking to build momentum for environmental awareness must think creatively about how these complex systems can be articulated to a broad audience. That requires careful strategy and the use of new technologies that distill fact-based information down to easy-to-communicate messaging.
The importance of this issue and the opportunity that exists to enhance environmental advocacy through creative media is the inspiration behind our Distinguished Speaker Session, "Positive Propaganda: Creative Media to Nudge Social Change". In this session, Stanford researcher Geoff McGhee and SHFT co-founders Peter Glatzer and Adrian Grenier will discuss their work to tackle the communication challenge facing environmental issues.
SHFT is a digital media platform that brings a filmmaker's perspective to sustainability. Rather than treating it as a separate movement, Adrian and Peter's vision for effective communication treats sustainability as a connected issue that is (or at least should be) ingrained in our culture and daily lives. The result is a mission to really break the mold on how art, music, and design are used to craft a story about our relationship to the natural world that shift people's perceptions of the issues in a positive direction. Geoff's work at Stanford University's Bill Lane Center for the American West sits at the forefront of creative digital media. With projects like Ecowest.org, Geoff and his team are using the power of data visualizations and interactive media to explain some of the most pressing challenges facing our natural environment.
Together, these two organizations offer a lot of insight into how the field of digital communication has evolved and what techniques are getting results when it comes to making a difference. We're excited to feature two organizations that are really at the cutting edge of the field!