Tag: Social Change

02
Jul

Chief Civic Innovation Officer Skills

Chief Innovation Officers_ Do They Deliver_-2

Civic innovation is a subject that is near and dear to us at Humantific and we digest a lot of material being generated in the media on a regular basis. There is no question that interest in the subject of civic innovation continues to rise. As practitioners working in the real world with client organizations we don’t always get a chance to comment on everything we see in the media.

We do see momentum building towards a better understanding of the many challenges surrounding civic innovation and thats good news. As various interest groups weigh in to contribute perspectives the landscape of what is known and what is in progress, ie not yet resolved becomes more clear.

Often being presented under different themes, one common thread across many civic innovation initiatives are the stated goals of achieving/building adaptability, agility, flexibility, resilience, fluency, fluxability, adaptive capacity. As an objective this is not so different from many large business organizations today operating in a continously changing world.Continue Reading..

09
Jan

ISOTYPE: The Inclusion Factor

TheresWorkForAll_02

From the Humantific Collection here are more early Isotype Institute visualizations. Today in some circles, these might be referred to as “data visualizations” or “infographics”, previously referred to as “statistical graphics”, “picture statistics”, “pictorial statistics”, “information design” and or “information visualizations”.  :-) No shortage of terms now in play. If we want to use such terms these might be thought of as societal context infographics made with a specific, very practical purpose in mind.

Close to our own Humantific work, in terms on social change-making intention, we have deep respect for the work of Isotype [International System of Typographic Picture Education] Institute. Led by Otto Neurath [1882-1945], Isotype was a pioneer in the realm of what we know today to be Social SenseMaking. In the tsunami of data visualizations being generated today it is important to note some fundamental differences.Continue Reading..

05
Jan

HAPPY NEW YEAR FRIENDS!

Happy2015_shadow

We are looking forward to working with our many existing clients as well as new ones in 2015!

Subscribe to Humantific quarterly.

Follow us on Facebook [we often post unique content there].

Follow us on Twitter.

For project and or collaboration inquiries send us an email: programs (at) humantific (dot) com

31
Mar

Inequality for All

As Humantific begins a new MEASURE OF AMERICA report, working with authors Sarah Burd-Sharps and Kristen Lewis, we are reminded that the original series has spawned many subsequent social sense-making / change-making initiatives focused on inequality in American (USA) society. Many forms and flavors of change advocacy now exist around this issue.

We were delighted to see this hard-charging series by Robert Reich entitled INEQUALITY FOR ALL contributing to this important movement. Inequality remains an important theme not well covered in mainstream media. Robert strongly points out it is also not well represented politically…:-)

Being framed as “the INCONVENIENT TRUTH for the economy” it is an important contribution to the ReThinking Inequality cause.

INEQUALITY FOR ALL features Robert Reich—professor, best-selling author, and Clinton cabinet member—as he demonstrates how the widening income gap has a devastating impact on the American economy….Through his singular perspective, Reich explains how the massive consolidation of wealth by a precious few threatens the viability of the American workforce and the foundation of democracy itself. In this INCONVENIENT TRUTH for the economy, Reich uses humor and a wide array of facts to explain how the issue of economic inequality affects each and every one of us.”

Related ReThinking Inequality Resources:

Robert Reich’s INEQUALITY FOR ALL Official Trailer.

Robert Reich’s UNDERSTANDING INEQUALITY 

The Original THE MEASURE OF AMERICA / AMERICAN HUMAN DEVELOPMENT REPORT 2008- 2009

THE MEASURE OF AMERICA 2010- 2011 / MAPPING RESILIENCE

POTRAIT OF CALIFORNIA

A CENTURY APART

 

09
Sep

Elizabeth Pastor at LEAP

LEAP_Conversation

Humantific CoFounder Elizabeth Pastor will be in Pasadena, CA September 19-21st participating in LEAP, a featured project hosted by DesignMatters at Art Center College of Design.

LEAP, New Terrain + New Paths, brings together 100 national thought leaders, educators, designers and practitioners from business, international development and social enterprise at Art Center College of Design to address one central issue: the emerging career pathways for designers in the social innovation space.

Follow the LEAP Conversation on Twitter!

Related:

SenseMaking for ChangeMaking

Markets For Good Heavy Lift

Markets For Giving Workshop

Mapping Markets for Good

Measure of America

21
May

Innovation Key to Philanthropy

We were happy to see Rex Sinquefield pointing out in Forbes Magazine the rising realization in the philanthropic community that “Innovation is Key to the Success of 21st Century Philanthropy”. It’s already the focus for many leading philanthropic organizations right now including the Rockefeller Foundation, Heron Foundation, Markets For Good, and others.

Related:

Markets For Good Heavy Lift

Markets For Giving Workshop

Mapping Markets for Good

08
Aug

Out of Balance Competition Launches

Humantific is delighted to announce our international competition collaboration with Magazine ARCH+ and Bauhaus Dessau Foundation.

OUT OF BALANCE  – CRITIQUE OF THE PRESENT
Information Design after Otto Neurath

Prize Money: 20,000 Euros

Sponsors: Autodesk, Humantific, M:AI Museum für Architektur und Ingenieurkunst

The Topic
“1. Societal processes are presently emerging that make a balancing of social inequalities ever more unlikely and that pose a serious danger that society will drift apart, both on the global and national level and on the regional and local level. People are born into socio-spatial circumstances. Their chances in life vary in the extreme because of this “randomness”. In the interest of social integration and in accordance with democracy’s postulate of equality, modern societies embody the promise of an equalization of living circumstances. This is a guarantee for the political stability of a community. So it is not only permitted, but clearly necessary to ask about the fulfillment of this political desideratum. That means to ask what social reality actually looks like; to ask about the balance of a 30-year phase of ne liberal economy on a global level; to ask what effects deregulation and the privatization of state tasks and the restructuring of the social systems in Europe have had; and to ask how the unleashing of the global financial industry affects above all the economically weak.

Cities have always been the sites of migrants’ hopes for survival and the improvement of their situations, but they are also sites of organized defensiveness, inequality, and exclusion. The urbanization of world society is an accelerating process.

In the 21st century, for the first time in the history of humankind, more people live in cities than in rural environments, with unpredictable and initially catastrophic consequences for both rural and urban areas. In the megalopolises of the Third World and emerging countries, the social conditions of 19th-century Europe are resurfacing in potentiated form. At the same time, these processes affect the “old” world by means of streams of capital, goods, and migrants, creating new imbalances and disadvantages there. Starting with the financial markets, a system of organized irresponsibility has spread that not only exacerbates social differences, but also consciously exploits them for private advantages.

We live in a time that must be newly surveyed – in social terms and as the basis for a new societal consensus. Coming back to “real things” is the precondition for this.”

“2. Today, the difficulty of empirically describing reality no longer lies in a lack of information, but, quite the contrary, in the constantly growing amount of data that make it difficult to draw an overall picture of society and to distinguish between what is important and what is unimportant. Today we have access to an unencompassable wealth of data, much of it automatically generated: statistics, personal data, photos, documents, etc. Hardly anything seems able to elude this universal visibility in the digital age. At the same time, the present is increasingly more opaque. There are precise data for more and more questions of detail, but it is getting harder to find orientation and gain an overview of the present; the quantitative description of phenomena is getting denser, but understanding of the underlying relations and processes seems to be vanishing. Considering that all societal activity depends on information, the wealth of data poses a real dilemma; we can indeed speak of a “digital opacity”. Automated processing with the aid of programs that autonomously view, order, and evaluate data in no way automatically creates transparency.

A situation arises in which political activity is not empirically verifiable and is dissolved in politically exploitable contradictions.

Information design is more than a collection of data: information design uses data to create statements that provide insights into societal circumstances. Information design reveals connections behind the surface of the phenomena. Information design provides orientation. It creates a hierarchy of information based on relevance and content. It reduces complexity, thereby creating an overview.

Information design is not neutral. The shaping of information is influenced by the interest in knowledge. An enlightening, emancipatory information design reveals facts that are repressed, not spoken of, or forgotten, but that are nonetheless essential for understanding the present. And it thereby influences the perspective of societal activity. The image of the world we make for ourselves determines how we act.”

Possible Thematic Fields Include:
“Urban processes/spatial transformations like urbanization, segregation, deterioration into slums, gentrification, pollution, etc.

Global streams of financial capital, goods and raw materials, the outsourcing of production, human migratory movements, etc.

The task of the competition takes up the thread of the picture-pedagogical work of Otto Neurath. With his method of pictorial statistics, he developed effective forms of visually preparing data and implementing them in informational graphics that make it easier to grasp societal conditions and processes.”

Participants:
“The competition is directed towards:

Members of the design disciplines: information design, architecture, urban and regional planning, environmental planning, graphic design, product design, media design, photography, film, visual arts.

Scientists in the disciplines art and cultural studies, art education, information sciences and communication studies, social sciences, economics, environmental and geoscience, ethnography, statistics, cartography.

Students in both areas. Collaboration in interdisciplinary teams with both designers and scientists is recommended.”

Exhibition and Publication
“The competition submissions will be published by the competition’s organizers and exhibited in the Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin in Autumn 2013.”

Jury:
Heinz Bude, Social Scientist/Economist
Joost Grootens, Graphic Artist
Sabine Kraft, Editor ARCH+
Joachim Krausse, Cultural Scientist
Philipp Oswalt, Bauhaus Dessau Foundation
Philippe Rekacewicz, Geographer/Cartographer
Simon Rogers, The Guardian
Christian Weiss, Autodesk
GK VanPatter, Humantific
Ursula Kleefisch-Jobs, M:AI

Procedure
“Inscription from August 15, till November 12, 2012
Submission of the works by January 31, 2013 (postmark).”

Find Project Partners Online
“Starting August 15, 2012 for initiating cooperation between designers and scientists in interdisciplinary teams.”

Learning from Otto Neurath
“The task of the competition takes up the thread of the picture-pedagogical work of Otto Neurath. With his method of pictorial statistics, he developed effective forms of visually preparing data and implementing them in informational graphics that make it easier to grasp societal conditions and processes. For Otto Neurath – the co-founder of the Vienna Circle and central proponent of logical empiricism – statistics were a central source for the scientific description of society and the economy. But description was in no way his sole interest. The content gained from the data also conveyed the demand to participate in shaping the present and in securing an imaginable future. Neurath trusted the latent political message of numbers and made it his task to make them “speak” and to make them accessible to those they most concern.

In the twenty years in which it was elaborated – 1925 to 1945 – the Vienna Method of pictorial statistics went through numerous transformations and expansions, without abandoning its principles. This mutability manifested itself, first, in applicability to disparate thematic areas; second, in the expansion of its effective scope from the local to the global; third, in the internationalization of language and pictorial language (from the Vienna Method to ISOTYPE); and fourth, in the adaptation of the graphic signs to changing media, including the moving image of film. The clarity of the concept’s principles and its openness suggest that we concern ourselves again with Neurath’s approach to information design.

Today, more data are at our disposal than ever before; but precisely the growing plethora of data raises questions. How can meaningful information be extracted from the sea of data? How can one meet the desire for legibility, coherence, and orientation? What actual situations remain unobserved or under-illuminated, despite the wealth of data? Something else has developed: the spectrum of the digital processing of information permits animated depictions and interactive forms of communication. Viewers are involved in generating data and become potential co-designers of the information design. In the face of the demands placed today on interface design, the significance of Otto Neurath’s contribution to information design is clear. Material and technical means have meanwhile developed enormously.”

With this competition, we are seeking ways in which Neurath’s concepts of data visualization can be adapted for the capabilities and needs of today’s world.

Official Announcement
“See announcement in detail in German and English at
ARCH+  or Bauhaus Dessau Foundation

Note: Complete competition descriptions, dates and directions are available in German and English on the ARCH+ site.

Related Inspiration:
Before, During & After Isotype
Isotype Building Bridges
Making Sense of Industries

05
Jun

Humantific & FutureBankingLab

[slideshow id=50]

All organizational leaders, perhaps especially those in the financial services industry, are facing enormous continous change today. For more than a year, Humantific has been working with the The Inter-American Development Bank’s FutureBankingLab designing and delivering a traveling proactive Beyond Banking Program.

The FutureBankingLab is essentially a multi-disciplinary, global think tank formed by institutions and experts in different areas of banking. It travels around the globe involving many stakeholders in structured dialogue.

Its purpose is to explore challenges and opportunties accross the global banking system at this time of great change. One of its functions is to promote sustainable governance principles that will empower the industry to thrive in a challenging future.

Having kicked off the program last year in Cologne, Germany, Humantific was recently invited back to lead the facilitation of another round of sessions in Madrid, this time focused on developing strategies to fund “The Missing Middle” in Latin America and the Caribbean’s financial sector, in  collaboration with IDB, BBVA (Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria) and the MIF (Multilateral Investment Fund).

 

27
Oct

Measure of America wins IIID Award

Humantific is honored to receive the International Institute of Information Design Award 2011! The Measure of America Series was selected as the overall category winner in the area of Social Affairs. This project has helped policymakers shape crucial policy and fiscal decisions, and we are extremely proud of the positive, tangible impact this project has had on communities across the nation. We thank our brilliant Measure of America authors Sarah Burd-Sharps and Kristen Lewis and their team, and congratulations to the Humantific team!

See our work on the IIID Award Website

26
Oct

Thoughts on THINK

Last week, the Humantific team took a field trip to Lincoln Center to see the THINK Exhibit. Sponsored by IBM in honor of their centennial, it showcases the tech giant’s many achievements in science, business, and everyday life, as well as current efforts to solve global challenges.

A tremendous amount of sensemaking and synthesis appears to have gone into the interactive experience. The entrance to the exhibit features a 123-foot-long data wall that pulses with glowing visualizations of data collected by sensors around New York City. Inside, a short film about “making the world work better” is displayed on seven-foot-tall, interactive touch screens. The film outlines a clear process of innovation: seeing, mapping, understanding, believing, and acting. By following this model, IBM proposes we can untangle complex systems and engage in meaningful interventions that make the world work better for us.

Overall, we found the exhibit inspiring, beautiful and engaging. Although the exhibit recently closed, we hope that IBM will extend the experience beyond this one-time event and allow more people to enjoy it.

Read Edward Rothstein’s review of the exhibit here:
Data as Art, as Science, as a Reason for Being | New York Times