The measuring gap in arts and science… The imagination gap in society… How to overcome gaps for a valuable, fair and green societal change? What role can visualization have?
The impact gap and the killing effects of measurements
“We need to make more space for complicated narratives, and understand that how we measure impact is just as important as the impact we are measuring”
Today I read the blog ‘The Impact Gap’ on the Scottish situation of a scarcity on public funding versus the need to measure the impact of art projects to get funding. Problematic because not all of the impact is measurable.
A big part of the intangible impact gets unseen, a low appreciation and will not be possible because of the lack of measuring for funding. “The process of applying for funding ends up taking the energy and capacity that might be going to work – especially work like this, that is experimental, representative and daring.”
“The work itself takes the shape of the measurements required by funders.”
So, “there is a gap between the ripples of impact created by communities, and the type of evidence funders require.” Not good for society, both in the quality of life and economical.
The SciCommer (the global science communication newsletter) thought this article on the Impact Gap in the Scottish arts was very relevant to science communication.
The imagination gap and the killing of possibilities
A few years ago a read the book: ‘The Imagination Gap’ of Brian Reich.
“Brian Reich shows us that imagination is the greatest natural resource available to humans and one of the most powerful forces in shaping behavior to make real change.”
Imagination is important to overcome fear and break through (old) habits, and think of more possibilities than before. And to see more solutions to problems, allow ourselves to experiment and grow. Brian Reich says:
“Imagination is not the same as creativity or innovation, which are applied in more practical and measurable ways. It is about invention and fostering new thinking and novel ideas. It is important to recognize the different ways that imagination takes shape for every individual. We cannot pass judgment or dismiss anyone’s capacity for imagination under any circumstance.
Visualization and illustration, the ultimate solution?
No. But when catching layered and nuanced impact in numbers and diagrams is difficult or even impossible, maybe visualizing the impact of experimental, representative and daring initiatives, will help appreciate and value important projects.
Kristina Fransbach and me made an overview on the youth work in the German county Göppingen. In the drawing there are examples of leisure, sport, art, social and medial activities for the youth. The purpose is to show how the county money is being invested.
To show the impact on the youth, the future of Göppingen.
We made more illustrations together, see: