Technique 2 minute read Becks Williams, Creative Director, Given
Climate change has been a known fact for over half a century, yet it is only now that governments, businesses and the general public are waking up to the issue. One of the reasons for this is that, for a long time, climate change has had a communication problem.
We can see this in the impact of David Attenborough’s documentaries on demand for action on climate change, which have been turned from admiring the natural world to chronicling its damage. The climate emergency is full of hard truths, sombre headlines and urgent pleas but these messages are not the most effective way to encourage individuals to change.
Creative storytelling helps to draw us in, elicits a personal connection and an emotional response that spills into the decisions we make about how we live and what’s important.
Crucially, creative people are also able to translate and unpack complex ideas so they are more easily understood. Action on climate change has been hampered by its complexity, magnitude and the fact that this has not been appropriately deconstructed for a mass audience. And without pressure from the global public, governments and businesses will fail to act.
Creatives, trained to make all sorts of mundane products, brands and issues exciting, can bring the complexity of climate change to the public in an inspiring way.
When it comes to the climate emergency, wholesale culture change must take place. Science can’t influence culture but creative people can and do. They are the ones who help define movements now and in the future. We need culture-shaping creatives and brands to lead the charge when it comes to climate, and do it in a way that will inspire and work, avoiding greenwashing and embracing proven, scientific solutions.
“Science has a communication problem that art can solve,” Thale Fastvold, Norwegian artist.
Our new climate-hope-themed project, ‘The Uncook Book: How to Unbake the Planet,’ brings together creatives and scientists to help decode and communicate science’s most powerful solutions to the climate emergency. When it comes to the climate crisis, there are genuine, science-based solutions that do exist, they just don’t usually make the headlines or are hidden within impenetrable scientific theory. By asking creatives to illustrate and represent climate solutions, the book will communicate and bring to light how the doom and gloom of the climate emergency can be solved, spreading real hope and inspiration that change is possible.