• 03.26.10

Animators Team Up to Fight Climate Change

Almost two-dozen designers are donating their time, to create an animated film about global warming.

Coalition of the Willing

Over at GOOD, Jesse Ashlock points us to a remarkable experiment in crowd-souring for social good: For two years, British Animator Simon Robson has been working an animated manifesto, which aims to get people fired up about fighting climate change.


Robson, who works under the name Knife party, has a specialty in creating “issue animation,” with themes borrowed from figures such as lefty stalwart Naomi Klein and global-warming expert George Monbiot. His newest project, Coalition of the Willing, began as a script written with Tim Rayner, an Australian philosopher. The theme: how corporate marketers co-opted 1960’s individualism and turned it into wanton consumerism. (For example, Mastercard’s “Priceless” campaign, which suggests that no matter how much something costs, the fulfillment from it is immeasurable.) And moreover, how that same activist spirit might be marshaled to fight global warming.

Robson then gathered a team of 20 animators to lend their creative talents, illustrating the script.

You can quibble with some of the politics of the project—but the film is a testament to the power of visual communication. Without all those pictures to drive home the points, how many people would read a 1,400-word essay on fighting climate change?

The film isn’t complete yet, but the sections you can already see are–surprise!–entertaining. And maybe even inspiring. Stay tuned for the full film, which is supposed to be completed in a few months. For more background, check out GOOD‘s profile of the project.

About the author

Cliff is director of product innovation at Fast Company, founding editor of Co.Design, and former design editor at both Fast Company and Wired.