The creative talent and professional expertise of Forum for the Future is truly inspirational. My work experience in their metrics team not only fostered my utmost appreciation for Forum’s role as sustainability leader, but also challenged me and inspired me to reinvent my visual thinking and to seek out new tools and methods.

One of my humble ideas was a proposal to experiment in developing InForumGraphics – a platform for integrating visual methods and tools that can help Forum’s work. I was interested in what we can learn from using and adapting them, and what practical skills we can develop. The goal was to evaluate implementation options for information analysis, design and visualisation. Such integration of visual methods and tools in company’s work and projects would provide a creative and analytical space for team collaboration and project delivery.

Visually organizing, mapping and collecting research, data, and notes facilitates learning. The creation of a virtual whiteboard that displays the development of a project would help identify areas for further research and understanding (it could range from a simple photo gallery to an interactive and dynamic resource and knowledge management system). Also, looking at the big picture helps analysing, diagnosing, brainstorming and problem solving. Seeing and imagining are parts of our innate visual thinking that allow us to make connections, draw conclusions and understand patterns. It stimulates what-if and how-might-we questions as springboard for innovation.

Visualisations of data, information and knowledge are extremely powerful in communication. By effectively delivering simplified yet complex content they educate, engage and inspire. Smart use of ICT for visualisations interacts with the audience, engages their senses and grabs their attention.

The integration of visual methods and tools would enable organisations to build on their innovative and creative culture and would add business value to their work:

  • connecting creative extroverts with creative introverts by providing more tools to the creatively-shy
  • helping teams work more effectively together by sharing and learning from each other: visualising and keeping all the work on a project together at one display allows teams to communicate more efficiently
  • allowing to pause, step back and reflect: being able to see everything at a glance and think about it
  • improving the progress of projects: often words and phrases block progress between disagreeing parties; visualisation can overcome a verbal gridlock
  • adding tangible feeling to project delivery: information visualisations can be a strong centre-piece in projects with softer deliveries
  • enabling simple and insightful executive summary: infographics continue the trend of replacing lengthly reports with shorter publications and insightful presentations
  • staying abreast in a world of more and more information graphics, open data and interactive analytical tools

I had the privilege to work with several teams and developed over a dozen pilot inforgraphics and visualisations.  Nevertheless, I hope my ideas had kindled interest visual methods in other projects.






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