Visualizing the Future of Food, Well-Being, and Work with Three Incredible RSA Videos

rsa food

Powerful lectures chock full of information sometimes can be challenging to process and the need for visualization is so great that ultimately it takes an organization like the RSA to find a highly creative way to illustrate this valuable content.

The London-based RSA, or Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures & Commerce, is a 258-year-old charity devoted to creating social progress and spreading world-changing ideas. In videos using whiteboard-like sketching that have gone viral over the years, they pull audio from their free events and animate sequences as an innovative way to share complex information.

In case you missed some of the best they’ve offered over the last year or so, we’ve collected a few of these shorts here as your Saturday food for thought.

Food Rules for Healthy People and Planet
From his speech at the RSA, award-winning food writer Michael Pollan talks about how we need to become more mindful of what we eat, and how we can make food choices that are better for ourselves and our planet.

Pollan begins with an eye-opening statistic: In 2008, we grew enough food to feed 11 billion people. Half of it was not eaten by humans, but fed to animals to sustain our meat habit.

A common question about food is: ‘Can we produce enough food to feed everyone on the planet?” Michael Pollan shows us the question we should be asking is, “How can we properly use the abundance of food we’re growing to feed everyone?”

Growth is Not Enough
Even as global economic growth has quadrupled since 1970, mainstream projections indicate it will quadruple again by 2050. In this short, Kate Raworth, a renegade economist teaching at Oxford University, makes a powerful argument that while our politicians are hung up on keeping the growth curve rising, GDP does not tell us all we need to know about a country’s wealth and well-being.

As economist Simon Kuznets wrote in 1934, “The wealth of a nation can scarcely be inferred from a measure of its national income.” Raworth argues we need to look beyond economic growth alone for a true measure of prosperity and progress.

She asks, “What if instead of starting with economic growth, we start with the fundamentals of what we care about. Everybody meets their human rights, living within the means of this planet. Then we ask, what kind of economic system would take us there?”

Re-Imagining Work
“71% of the American workforce is not happy at work”, begins Dave Coplin, Chief Envisioning Officer at Microsoft in this short on Re-imagining Work.

How can we get people more engaged, more productive, and happier at work? Is technology part of the problem, and could it also be part of the solution?

Coplin imagines what might be possible if more organisations embraced the full, empowering potential of technology and encouraged a truly open, collaborative and flexible working culture.

Know of other videos which explain big problems in a unique, visual way? Share them in the comments.

[Media credit: RSA]

Sveta McShane
Sveta McShane
Sveta writes about the intersection of biology and technology (and occasionally other things). She also enjoys long walks on the beach, being underwater and climbing rocks. You can follow her @svm118.
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