Connected Action Commons

A visual interactive report on ECF activities.

in collaboration with:

Connected Action for the Commons is a network and action research programme developed by the European Cultural Foundation and it’s aimed to become an opportunity for Europeans to apply for research and develop grants in the field os Culture and Social Innovation.

In 2007 ECF contacted Inviable, a creative scientific agency devoted to technology and design, asking them for a new way to communicate the annual report of the “Connected Action for the Commons” initiative.

The main results of these kind of programs is mainly intangible and the mere economic balance results inappropriate to communicate the programs achievements.

A growing Community

Together with Sergio Galán, we explored sever ways for showing the network activity. The main visualization is aimed to illustrate a growing community of connected people and institutions. The community circular diagram shows an inner circle of six partner institutions surrounded by two profiles of participants: “Grantees” – people who obtained a grant and have developed a project – and “Idea Makers” – participants in one of the annual “idea maker camps” who have collaborated in one or more Grantee’s project.

A third external circle shows the connections with other people and institutions who have collaborate with the network even without been formally involved.

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A collaborative and sustainable data architecture

The overall communication strategy relies on detailed information on every actor's activities. One of the main challenge of our visualization effort was to find an efficient solution for the back end. We soon realised that a centralised model would have been unsustainable in terms of resources required to keep the information on display updated.

The solution we suggested for this project is Airtable, an easy flexible and collaborative ways to work with database through a spreadsheet-like interface.

ECF agrees to adopt Airtable not only as Content Management solution for the web, but as the main tool of internal reporting. Every Grantee was asked to keep updated it’s own record by tracking meeting, encounters, trips and everything related with the development of the funded project.

This information is showed on personal timelines, aggregated in the connection’s cicle and referenced on a “geographies” map.

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A personal timeline.
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The making of

The project evolved from our preliminary sketches in a co-design process that involved several iterations with different stakeholders.

Sergio Galán coded the d3.js visualisations; graphic design guidelines and motion graphics elements where outsourced by Inviable to externals providers.

European Cultural Foundation

European Cultural Foundation Founded in Geneva in 1954, the ECF, actually based in Amsterdam, is a Foundation devoted to promote a European sentiment through culture, by developing and supporting initiatives that let us share, experience and imagine Europe.