We are delighted to add Mike Baab to the LGMi board of advisors. Mike is a consultant with vast experience working on business and human rights. He has worked at the Danish Institute for Human Rights and Transparency International, and is a strategic advisor to the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights. more
Spring officially starts tomorrow, but the snow continues to fall on Berlin. It has been a long winter, but we have made the most of it by doing some good work in the office. Here some highlights of the past three months. To start the year, we launched two online platforms for the Danish Institute for Human Rights. They both form part of an ambitious anti-discrimination campaign for schools in ten European countries. We created portals for both teachers and students. more
Games and gamification offer a new strategy to engage with existing and potential customers or with employees by giving them a satisfying interactive experience around relevant sustainability content. This innovative and rewarding experience can create a powerful bond between stakeholder and company. The benefits to companies range from brand awareness and brand loyalty to employee satisfaction and retention. more
Last Thursday we asked a simple question on Facebook. Five days later, over 62,000 people had participated and our Facebook page had over 12K Likes.
How in the world did that happen?
Let's start at the beginning. A few weeks ago, we launched Election Guru - a free iPhone app that challenges players to predict the winners of upcoming elections around the world.more
The international climate conference kicks off today in Doha. We produced this short cartoon "trailer" for BUND - Friends of the Earth Germany, comparing these annual negotiations to those awkward meetings you might have experienced living in a flatshare. more
In partnership with Friendship Berlin, LGMi has created a new website for the Energie Kompetenz Zentrum in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. The center offers school tours, events, workshops, lectures and interactive exhibits on subjects such as energy efficiency, green construction and e-mobility. more
LGMi is proud to announce the launch of the Open Innovation Slam, a crowdsourcing platform for innovative ideas to fight climate change. The competition encourages the submission and community voting of concepts to reduce waste of energy in households, with the winning idea receiving up to 95,000 euros in the form of a grant. The project was realized on behalf of Climate-KIC and Technische Universität Berlin. more
LGMi was delighted to be chosen to provide the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) with a new website, which officially went live earlier this week. Our brief was to design and develop an unusual design – one that would demarcate BCI's web presence from the usual NGO website. The solution is a clean and professional design with a high visual focus. The site mixes of intuitive navigation and impactful photography. The site runs on an open-source content management system (CMS). more
Forget Toshiro Mifune's samurai swagger; Japan should embrace girliness and geekiness as pillars for innovation, according to Morinosuke Kawaguchi, whose Geeky-Girly Innovation: A Japanese Subculturalist's Guide to Technology and Design was recently published in English.
Kawaguchi's lively survey of Japanese gal (girly) and otaku (geeky) culture is mostly about Japanese product development, but it's also useful as a cultural bridge, and is brimming with refreshingly unusual and amusing examples for those of us seeking new ways to think about sustainability. more
Don't kids just say the cutest things sometimes? You know, that all the methane unleashed by melting permafrost is potentially dangerous, or that rising sea levels could threaten the Netherlands, Venice, and New York City.
The recent "Aufgeheizt" project from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Change Research brought together local school kids from Berlin with climate scientists and animators to create short, stop-motion films that illustrate various topics related to climate change. more
The Canadian NFB is breaking new ground yet again - this time with an interactive web documentary about homelessness called Here At Home launched last week.
The evolving documentary will track an ongoing government study about whether providing shelter and one-on-one care to over 1,200 homeless people with mental illnesses will change their situation. In other words, does the "Housing First" strategy work as a social policy? more
What's one thing that most successful social entrepreneurs have in common? They're good at telling their stories. If you want to grow your project, you're going to have to tell your story well. This is how people will identify with and ultimately support your cause.
This was the gist of a "Story Telling for Impact" panel at last week's Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship in Oxford. Four participants underlined why it's so critical to tell your story effectively, and share some tips and recent examples from the print, radio, film/video, and online worlds. more
Yesterday's Ernst & Young and GreenBiz report highlighted six trends in corporate sustainability. One of these trends is the "emergence" of employees as a key audience.
Employees are now seen as the second-most important "drivers" of company sustainability initiatives, trailing only customers. That means that employees rank higher than other stakeholder groups, like shareholders, policymakers, NGOs, analysts, and suppliers.
Companies have finally begun to understand the true importance of stakeholder engagement when it comes to CSR, and are now implementing various techniques to connect with these groups and learn from them.
A recent book - 'Leveraging Corporate Responsibility: The Stakeholder Route to Maximizing Business and Social Value' - goes deeper than any other we have seen in discussing this increasingly central CSR topic.
The main premise is that without a proper understanding of various stakeholders and how differently they may react to brands and CSR initiatives, many such efforts are bound to fail.
There are many valuable lessons in this book, but one particularly resonated with me. more
The SMI – Wizness Social Media Sustainability Index was recently published. The report emphasizes the efforts that many companies have undertaken over the past year in terms of using social media for sustainability communications.
This report's findings are interesting to us for several reasons.
First, they show what we have known for some time: that social media has a strong role to play in the CSR field. Companies involved in CSR have lagged behind other corporations in their adoption of social media, but as executives and managers develop a better understanding of the medium, it has become clear that proper use of social media can lead to meaningful stakeholder engagement. more
Now there's another way to see (and hear) what's trending in the German-speaking Twitter universe. It's called #tweetscapes, and it's a preview of yet another coming trend – real-time infographics.
Here, the audiovisual representation of tweets on a map of Germany is based on a number of factors: the content of tweets, hashtags, sender location, number of followers, and whether it is a retweet, reply, or otherwise.
#tweetscapes is not the first artistic Twitter mashup, but it's the most immersive I've seen so far – and the darkest. more
For some light holiday reading, I picked up the UN Global Compact International Yearbook 2011. While it's not exactly a le Carré novel, it also wasn't all the stale drivel these kinds of publications usually are.
Particularly interesting was one article, "The Accountability Web: Weaving Corporate Accountability with Interactive Technology," by Bill Baue and Marcy Murningham. And no, I'm not just singling out this article because it mentions CEO2: The Climate Business Game that we developed for WWF and Allianz in 2010. more
Two recent studies have given us a clearer picture about what sustainability actually means to executives and investors.
The first one comes from Harvard Business School, and it says that investors are showing more interest in non-financial information about companies. The authors know this by looking at what environmental, social, and governance (ESG) terms investors are searching for on the Bloomberg database.
For example, there were 2,395,230 hits for "ESG Disclosure Score" versus 606,998 hits for "UN Global Compact Signatory." Or 109,883 hits for "Total CO2 Emissions" versus 78,499 hits for "Fair Remuneration Policy." more
There are some encouraging signs that NGOs are getting better at telling their stories.
Last week, Medicins Sans Frontieres/Doctors Without Borders released a new Flash feature called "Urban Survivors" (big shout out to Mike for the tip). It takes us into the slums of five cities - Dhaka, Johannesburg, Port-au-Prince, Karachi, and Nairobi - where MSF volunteers have their hands full assisting poor and vulnerable communities. more
Apparently, green marketing is dead. In the past months, several media outlets have reported about the so-called death of green marketing, relying on studies that show that consumers are (still) not changing their purchasing behavior based on green claims.
Price remains the number-one criteria for purchasing decisions, so now we are being told that if your marketing message is to succeed, the green angle must be mixed in adroitly with price and quality attributes. more
I was recently browsing a California newsstand when I noticed that Good magazine just published a "data issue." I grabbed it, and boarded a 747 back to Europe, anticipating a few hours of geeking out on their consistently great infographics.
But this time Good spun it all around; the issue is all about qualifying data. Instead of the colorful maps and charts I expected, the pages were mostly full of stories that explore and second-guess our culture of statistics, tracking, and ranking – "our collective obsession with data." more
Is spending the time and money to produce a beautiful infographic really worth it?
This isn't a philosophical question; it is a very practical one for companies and NGOs: "Should I just pay a graphic designer to layout a PDF document, or should I invest in something more than that?"
Clearly, there are great infographics being made out there in print and online - highly artistic and innovative ways of presenting data.
Obviously, we think it's worth investing more. That's our business, so we would be silly not to think that, right? Luckily, we're not the only ones.
Who is on the cutting edge of interactive storytelling?
For my money, it's the National Film Board (NFB) of Canada. If you haven't yet checked out their groundbreaking interactive features like Highrise / Out My Window, Welcome to Pine Point, or The Test Tube, you're missing a glimpse at the future of storytelling on the web.
At least, I hope this is the future.
Although it's already free to anyone, the NFB has licensed some of its interactive content to media outlets abroad. Media channels without their own productions are using this to see if quality interactive content resonates with users, or as one Highrise producer suggested, to "distinguish themselves in a cluttered digital space."
What could this mean for communicating sustainability?
In 2003, Alex Steffen, of the now defunct WorldChanging, coined the term “Bright Green Environmentalism” to refer to the type of environmentalism that believes that innovation and clean energies are the catalysts needed to bring about social and environmental transformation. “Technogaianism“ is another term that has been used to describe the belief that technology can help restore Earth’s environment. Aside from a desire to live on a clean planet, what most of the people within the Bright Green and Technogaianist movement share is a fascination for the future... more
Most studies on consumer purchasing preferences continue to show that shoppers will prioritize price and quality over green credentials. Very recent findings even seem to indicate that green purchases… more
There are countless examples today of companies that are making a serious effort to improve their carbon footprint, to stop cooperating with suppliers that do not fit stringent environmental and social criteria… more