Effectively communicating sustainability across sectors What do European climate scientists, Midwest U.S. organic farmers, and small arts organizations have in common? They all have a huge amount of data (or potential for it) and battle with balancing science and more personal, emotional messages in their communications. In the past few months, I’ve presented to scientists […]
Arlene designs for the communication of backgrounds: bringing cultural, environmental, political and historical stories into focus.
With roots in the Midwest U.S. and a background in journalism, advertising, sustainable development, graphic design and project management, Arlene has recently graduated with a Masters degree in Humanitarian Design at Design Academy Eindhoven (the Netherlands). She is an occasional freelance design writer and was a 2004-05 Fulbright grant recipient to the Netherlands, where she focused on the visual explanation of product life-cycles. She's currently fascinated by food and telling visual stories with Public Relations agency Haberman & Associates.
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Visual storytelling reveals context and appeals to our individual beliefs Riding the tails of Brexit and the U.S. presidential election, Oxford Dictionaries has selected “post-truth” as 2016’s international word of the year. It’s not hard to believe, given the events of the past year, to see how people do not make decisions based purely on […]
When to use a photo vs. an icon There are many style options available when it comes to communicating information visually. Photos excel at evoking emotion in individual scenarios, when the photograph literally represents what is being communicated. Icon-focused infographics tend to group information on a more broad level: reflecting general patterns and information rather than specific, individual – and quite […]
How can we help people act more sustainably? According to a series of studies from the Harvard Business Review, ‘seeing’ ourselves in the future helps us make decisions that prioritize long-term benefits to our future selves (over short-term gains). One study had half of participants interview digitally-aged avatars of themselves. Then participants did a seemingly-unrelated exercise to […]
The way the world works as a complex science. Most of what I do is related to communicating complexity: helping audiences understand systems to locate themselves within sustainability solutions. Complexity science is a field that was recently brought to my attention. In sustainability, we’re familiar with systems thinking and the complexity of the human interactions between society, the environment […]
is now available.
I’m honored to be presenting my TEDxFulbright talk ‘Sustainability: Visualized’ in Washington D.C. April 5th. The event carries the theme ‘Dare to Think’.
My keynote is titled ‘Info Design: Making Science Digestible for Consumers’ – I’ll present May 15-16 during ‘Cooking for Solutions’ at the Monterey Bay Aquarium (the esteemed home of Seafood Watch). The Sustainable Foods Institute is by invite only, but ‘Cooking for Solutions‘ is open to the public.
I’ll be presenting Saturday, Feb.8 in Amsterdam at Interaction14.
I’m enjoying meeting with students at University Nebraska-Lincoln, and will give a public presentation of my work Tuesday April 9 at 5:30pm.