Inviting a High-vibrancy Data Artist–Communicating a Unifying Framework for the SDGs

Making It Obvious. How do you tell the story of the great challenges facing humanity? In a very simple and clear way that both shows the challenges and what you can do about it? As an individual, a small group, a large group, a nation, all of humanity?

OUR INVITATION. We would love to work with a high-vibrancy data artist to tell a 4-principles story, in a simple, clear graphic. Starting with the ideas described below, bringing your creativity to how to tell that story.  We are writing an article on this unifying framework, which we intend to publish in a prominent journal in 2022. Your art would be part of that article, acknowledged as your contribution.  If you are or know that high-vibrancy data artist, who would love to figure this simple, clear graphic out with us, please contact us.

What is the project?

The Challenges Humanity Faces. Many, many people around the world have taken up the work of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs were laid out by the United Nations. They provide 17 goals of a “blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all.” Many have also taken up work on the planetary boundaries, a framework providing “a set of 9 planetary boundaries within which humanity can continue to develop and thrive for generations to come.” To figure out how to meet the 17 SDGs, while respecting the 9 planetary boundaries, some groups have started to work with the donut-economics framework providing planetary and social boundaries for the performance of an economy, that must meet the needs of people while not overshooting the planetary boundaries. This provides 26 boundaries.

A Unifying Framework. My colleague Adam Hejnowicz and I suggest a simple way to understand 4 underlying principles of the 26 boundaries, making it simpler and clearer how to deal with all 26 in anything that you do, and in any way that you choose to directly contribute. The idea works with the 4 spheres of the earth system: the mineral lithosphere, the water hydrosphere, the air atmosphere, and the life biosphere. Talking about them as spheres shows how they are both separate and how they mix. We suggest that all 26 boundaries deal with (1) the mixing and depletion of the spheres, faster than they naturally balance and replenish, and (2) equitable human access to those balanced and replenished spheres. Equitable access to clean minerals, water, air, and life.

The following links show how other groups graphically show these 4 spheres and how they influence each other.