WonkComms Breakfast Club:  Have we hit peak infographics? Where next for data visualisation

Mon 16 July 2018, 08:30 – 10:30

Soapbox Communications, 126 Back Church Lane, London, E1 1FH

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Over the last decade infographics have become a core part of the policy communications armoury. Now it seems as if every report must have an infographic summary to be reproduced online and in presentations and re-tweeted ad nauseam. Interactive data tools have become more and more prevalent.

But are we becoming jaded with a graphic style dominated by stick figures and icons? Are we guilty of oversimplifying complex ideas and underestimating our audiences? Are infographics nearing the end of their useful life or have we just seen too many bad ones? Do interactive data tools really draw big audiences and justify the money spent on them?

Can we recapture a sense of excitement, originality and, above all, usefulness in our data visualisations?

At this WonkComms Breakfast Club we will hear from:

Sonia Jalfin, the founder and director of Sociopublico, a communications studio that spreads complex ideas. Based in Buenos Aires, Sonia has partnered with the World Bank, UN agencies, IADB and many other global knowledge producers. Sonia has been Cultural Director at Telefé, an Argentine TV broadcaster and currently writes a column on innovation at La Nación newspaper. She received the Merit Award from the London School of Economics and Political Science, where she took her masters degree in Communications.

John Appleby, Director of Research and Chief Economist at the Nuffield Trust and a committed data visualisation fan. He is a Visiting Professor at the City Health Economics Centre, City University London and Visiting Professor at the Institute of Global Health Innovation at Imperial College. John has previously worked for 18 years at the King’s Fund and in the NHS in Birmingham and London, and as senior lecturer at the universities of Birmingham and East Anglia.

We will then open the discuss out to those around the table to consider the following questions

•What kind of infographics work for best for you in communicating research? Has social media encouraged the oversimplification of complex ideas?

•Who are we actually trying to reach with infographics? Are there better alternatives?

•How can we go about producing original and impactful infographics and data visualisations as part of our everyday workflows?

•How can data visualisation help us in producing research and policy ideas as well as in communicating it?

Coffee, croissants and comms. What could be a better way to start your day in #wonkcomms? WonkComms have teamed up with Soapbox to offer the UK WonkComms community a regular opportunity to get together and discuss some of the big challenges of delivering communications in think tanks and research organisations.

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