Woodwell team awarded commendation in Climate Creatives Challenge

text: Climate Creatives Challenge

A team of Woodwell researchers and Communications staff received a commendation in the inaugural Climate Creatives Challenge (CCC). The CCC is a series of design challenges created to encourage new ways of communicating the impacts of climate change and the benefits of adaptation. The first challenge engaged creators working across different media—from film to photography, sculpture, and graphic design— on the topic of extreme flooding.

The challenge asked: “How can we communicate the impacts of flooding (past, present or future) and the benefits of adaptation and resilience?”

The Woodwell team used the Center’s flood risk analyses to create an animated infographic demonstrating how extreme flooding could disrupt essential daily tasks for residents of Lawrence, MA. It compares two different neighborhoods to highlight that risk exposure can vary significantly within the same city, and that poorer residents often suffer the first and worst impacts.

Final submission from Woodwell team.

Finding out-of-the-box ways to communicate the impacts of climate change is important, as solving the climate crisis will require us to engage audiences from diverse backgrounds and spur them to action. 

“The beauty of climate communication is finding ways to overcome the challenge of informing people in a way that elicits empathy and inspires action, rather than overwhelming them into passivity,” says challenge participant and Woodwell Arctic communications specialist, Jessica Howard. “The Climate Creatives Challenge seemed like the perfect opportunity to not only take a more imaginative approach to communicating the impact of the climate crisis but to also further reveal how race and financial privilege make a difference in who bears the brunt of it.”

Contest judges awarded the graphic a commendation, stating that it was, “visually engaging” and “a clever depiction of disruption and inequality.” The final piece was featured in the compendium for Challenge One alongside other winners. Winners will also be displayed at Flood Expo in Birmingham, UK, September 14 and 15.