No More Dead Polar Bears: Art For Sustainability Engagement

Investors, Boards of Directors, and funders are recognizing the cost and risk of climate inaction, and the urgent need for mitigation and adaptation. Do your stakeholders care about sustainability, and why should you care? How can you reach them more effectively, and what does art have to do with it?

Despite increasingly dismal IPCC reports on climate change, with escalating promises of action in response, we are very far from achieving goals set out by scientists. A litany of dire statistics is everywhere, but it isn’t working. We are failing at messaging because we are relying too much on data and missing the human element. When images are used, they are typically depressing, like starving polar bears. This presentation will look at why communications fail, why they succeed, and how art is being used to engage stakeholders. See examples of art experiences that move beyond sad images to communicate data and tap into new audiences, break through apathy, build hope, and accelerate change.


Susan Israel, AIA LEED AP, founded Climate Creatives to engage people on sustainability topics through participatory public art and experiences. Susan’s work communicates data and educates people on topics such as flood preparedness, climate adaptation, diversity and equity, public health, and environmental justice. She consults to businesses on engagement, culture change, strategy, team development, and outreach. Susan works with businesses, organizations, universities, boards, NGOs, museums, and municipalities. Her STEAM methodology is used by universities and K-12 schools. Over 500,000 people and 150 partners have benefited from Climate Creatives’ work in three countries on-site, and more digitally. Past clients include Harvard Business School, Fidelity Investments, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and her work has appeared at the United Nations. Prior, Susan practiced architecture for over 20 years. She sits on advisory boards and is a lifelong Harvard alumni leader. She holds an A.B. from Harvard College, a Master of Architecture from Harvard University Graduate School of Design, and attended the Boston Museum of Fine Arts School.

Tuesday, 21 June 2022

16:00 - 16:45 BST


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  • Susan Israel
    Susan Israel
    Climate Creatives
    Founder & President