Can we design our way to sustainability?

May 24, 2019

Photo credit: Oleksandr Ratushniak / UNDP Ukraine

Swedish designer calls for shift in thinking to prevent climate change

“Communication is at the center how you create change. When visualizing UN’s sustainable development goals my objective was to make this concept understandable for everybody,” Jakob Trollback, the designer of the UN’s Agenda 2030 communications platform, explained during a talk in Kyiv on May 22 Can we design our way to sustainability?

But how do we align our lives with the Global Goals?

“We have to think different about everything – about what we value. It’s a mind shift that is needed. We must define what makes our lives worth living,” Trollback said.

A perfect example of such mind shift are the school strikes for climate action happening globally, inspired by 16-year-old Greta Thunberg, a Swedish eco-activist. 

“These striking kids are doing it the right way – from the bottom up,” Trollback said. 

To boost eco-friendly behaviours and responsible consumption, climate education at schools is essential, Trollback believes. That’s the way the kids get their information.

When he was starting to develop a visual concept for Global Goals, one of the challenges was that the goals are so wide ranging. But how can we translate these goals into action?

“Actually, targets are great for figuring out solutions,” said Trollback.  “You can see which targets help achieve others. You suddenly realize how the pieces start to fit in in this periodic table of change.” 

Trollback also gave his audience a sneak peek of the Save Our Climate campaign, which is going to be launched this month to raise awareness about the climate crisis.

“Goal 13 is so important. The climate is everything, it impacts so many aspects of our lives. Poverty reduction and many other Goals depend on effective Climate Action,” Trollback said.

Learn more about the Global Goals

Jakob Trollbäck: Can we design our way to sustainability? May 22, 2019