Public Interest Communications” means design & strategy for sustainability, justice, and freedom.

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Many people are working hard to solve the big issues of our time: climate breakdown, extreme inequality and oppression, war…

But often, their good efforts bump up against political reality and they get stuck. What is the next step toward success? Who must take action, and how to convince them?

The eco-social transformation of our world’s economies needs political strategy, and effective communication. We can build on the psychology and methods of advertising, lobbying, and political campaigns, and do it even better than those who endanger important public goods.

That is how I help movements, NGOs and social businesses.

Recent publications

The “Scharling Theses” on doomsday rhetoric in the eco-social transformation of society appeared in the December issue of the journal “Ökologisches Wirtschaften” (ÖWi) of the Institute for Ecological Economy Research (IÖW). The co-authors are Prof. Bernd Siebenhüner of the University of Oldenburg, Maren Kropfeld, and Dr Eugen Pissarskoi.

In a guest article for the magazine Perspective Daily, I describe how to design good protests that are both fun and politically successful. There would be a lot to say about this, but to get the most important basic points – read it for free here.

Recent appearances

What do the historical Bauhaus and its teachings still have to offer today? At the discussion event “Lehre – Ästhetik – Wirtschaft: Kann das Bauhaus das?” (Teaching – Aesthetics – Economics: Is the Bauhaus capable of that?), I engaged in a discussion with art historians, philosophers, historians, architects, designers, lecturers and other students from the Faculty of Design at the Niederrhein University of Applied Sciences. The event took place in the Schütte Pavilion in Krefeld’s Kaiserpark. The short lectures and discussions were filmed and will soon be published on the Gerda Henkel Foundation’s L.I.S.A. science portal.

Foto von der Tagung "Lehre - Ästhetik - Wirtschaft: Kann das Bauhaus das?"
Bauhaus Conference in the Schütte Pavilion, Krefeld. From left to right: Kurt Reinhardt (design consultant), Leon Filter (artist), Wolfgang Melchert (architect), Vegard Beyer, Christiane Lange (art historian)

As part of Austria’s official EU Council Presidency period in 2018, Vienna hosted the conference “Europe’s Transformation: Where People Matter”. As part of the conference’s journalistic team, I reported on keynotes, plenary and parallel sessions. It was jointly organised by the Austrian Federal Ministry for Sustainability and Tourism (MoE) and the Environmental Agency Austria (EAA) and is a project of the “Growth in Transition” (“Wachstum im Wandel”) initiative. 

I gave a talk on post-growth, ethical responsibility, and the state of the communication design profession – at the 17th Conference of the German association for university lecturers on artistic teachings in design (GKG e.V.).

At the 17th Conference of the German association
for university lecturers on artistic teachings in design 

As the Society convened at designkrefeld, the design faculty I attend, I had been invited to represent local students (the five other speakers were active professionals and lecturers eg. at the Technical University of Munich, and the Bauhaus University in Weimar.) The event’s theme: “Zero Percent Worldviews”. (This was September 20th, 2018.)

Keynote on post-growth, consumerism, and designers’ responsibility

I gave a talk on better communication for sustainability activists in campaigns and conversations at Humboldt University’s student conference on sustainability in Berlin, July 27th-29th.

In August, after being selected from thousands of applications, I participated in the Global Youth Summit 2018 near and in Zürich. Changemakers between the ages of 18 and 23 from 42 countries all around the world came together – it was a great week, packed with workshops and talks.

On the roof (lecturers’ foyer) of ETH Zurich