On September 13, 2016, Visualizing Impact’s (VI) Manager of Business Development Jessica Anderson and Co-Founder Joumana al Jabri participated in the eighth edition of the TechWadi/ABANA Webinar Series. VI is a social enterprise nonprofit that uses data visualization technology and design to focus on social issues.
In discussing how the organization first started, Anderson covered that VI’s creation in 2011 was a result of Visualizing Palestine and “TEDxRamallah, which Ramzi Jaber, the other co-founder of VI, and Joumana were co-organizing in the West Bank.” Both of the co-founders “came face-to-face with a lot of data and information about human rights issues and social conditions that they didn’t know about…even though they were engaged in the community and were more connected than the average person.” Jaber and al Jabri concluded that so much work was being done to collect data and high quality information in Palestine but that it was not translating into impactful policy changes or tangible results. Much of VI’s work is to create tools and content that will help community members understand what is happening at a real and digestible level.
VI uses tools like data, technology and design to achieve ideals such as freedom, justice and equality. The overarching goal of VI is “to use data visualization technology and design to channel ideas into mediums that help people understand and remember those ideas…with the ultimate goal that the work will have ability to change people’s opinion or behavior,” added Anderson.
VI is made up of a team of researchers, information architects, data scientists, and web developers throughout the Middle East and the US. VI’s work has been translated into 12 different languages, has received recognition in the arts and technology communities, and has been featured by a number of media outlets including Al Jazeera English, The Guardian Data Blog, The Huffington Post, The Daily Beast, Jadaliyya and more.
During the webinar, Anderson and al Jabri also covered:
- How VI started and the goal behind its work
- Examples of VI’s projects
- How tech fits into VI’s work
- Challenges the organization faces with a team of people who works remotely and around the globe
For an in-depth look, please view the full webinar video below.