Creative Communications Work for NGOs
We have worked for environmental NGOs to provide new inspiration, generate bold new strategic ideas, and embed creatives in the processes of change. Combining campaign and policy expertise with artists and creative processes, and re-purposing the role of the artist within society. Artists are people with different sensitivities, different ways of thinking, and are often our sentinels when society is veering wildly off course. They are also naturally comfortable with the creative process. People are just starting to wake up to this: change makers and non-profits are in great need of creative renewal and could thrive by collaborating with artists in unexpected ways. Our key added value here as Swarm Dynamics is by acting as interdisciplinary bridge – being able to cross the disciplines of campaigning, environmental policy, communication, alternative economics, arts and facilitation. Experience shows that such a bridge is often needed for NGOs and artists to know how to work together beyond simply following a graphic design brief. Here are some successful examples of how we have worked:
- Artist placements. In 2017 we successfully engaged some of our some of our graphic designers and branding experts to help environmental and social NGOs escape their exhausted ‘greenie’ visual identity, and pursue a more artful approach, informed by the research into how to communicate to the unconverted. As our core staff combine expertise in climate change policy and campaigning with creative arts direction, we often devise the creative brief in collaboration with the campaign or NGO. Recent examples include website and artwork creation for the European wide PeoplesBudget campaign by designer, Tibor Miklos, and referring the visionary system change artist Luc Schuiten for events by THE SHIFT in Belgium.
- Creative and innovation retreats and staff trainings. We have also devised and facilitated creative factories and workshops in creative thinking to help campaigners think differently about their work and generate ideas for action led campaigning by applying the creative process. Many participants have described these as inspiring or even ‘transformational’ for their work. After delivering creative thinking training for their campaigners, Friends of the Earth Europe (including UK) brought us back to run our STORY LAB for communications manages from their national offices, facilitated by Swarm’s David Holyoake with 2 artists in residence working up live story board and animation. Bringing effective story telling techniques to their communications and helping create new narrative around system change. With 22 FOE national participants and 3 Swarm artists in residence for live creation, we came of the 2 days with a catchy story board and mocked up animation to put theory into creative practice.
If you are an NGO, change maker or an artist – get in touch if you would like to explore the possibilities for artist placement, creative communication workshop about communicating system change, or to work with one of our designers.