Julian Morgan, Dustin Benton, Matthew Spencer, Karen Crane
Organisation and country:
Green Alliance, United Kingdom
The project supported by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, to create public debate around the opportunity for green growth, and the economic risk of unsustainable use of resources.The infographic was one output resulting from a major analysis of the economic impact of resource price shocks; it charted the rise in global resource prices over the past decade, the impact on UK consumer prices, the monetary policy of the Bank of England, real wages and the cost of living - a phenomenon we named 'The Great Resource Price Shock'.
The infographic was designed to provide quick visual access to the main messages. It received substantial coverage, including a full page piece in the economics section of The Guardian print edition (‘UK price rise exposes failure to prepare for food and fuel shocks’, 3 March 2014). It was commented on by the target audience of economists, decision makers and policy experts in government, business, environmental and academic communities, with the images retweeted widely on Twitter.
The communications strategy was to create a new frame of economic thinking, connecting cost of living rise to fluctuations in resource prices. The infographic was one output resulting from an economic analysis of what we called 'The Great Resource Price Shock'.
The infographic gave quick visual access to the main messages behind this and it was released along with an evidence based policy insight. The analysis (described above) discussed possible policy responses and argued that the evidence strongly pointed to the need for careful resource stewardship.
Impact and uptake:
It received substantial coverage, including a full page piece in the economics section of The Guardian (described above) and the infographics were retweeted widely on Twitter.
A short Prezi video, featuring the infographic, also describes the reasons for the phenomenon. This was recommended to others by economist Professor Mariana Mazzucato.
Our piece on the Huffington Post, asking why economists don’t pay more attention to rising resource prices, was also picked up on social media, which led to an exchange with Yvo de Boer (former executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) on the extent to which economists and corporations pay attention to resources.
The data visualisation created a clear focus and distillation for the messages and helped to effectively illustrate and give the sense that an economic shock had taken place. It has since been central to further discussions with the political parties, with a strong narrative around resource security particularly being developed by the Conservative party.