This unique platform presents the most impactful trends, innovations and system interactions determining our collective future. The diverse issues probe themes from climate change and urbanisation to energy, food, water and beyond.
Runs offline: no
Last update: Android 26/09/2016 (v. 1.0) – iOS 22/09/2016 (v. 1.0)
Website of the developer: Arup Foresight
Drivers of Change is the expanded digital version of a series of cards in physical format published by Arup and Prestel Publishing in 2009. The application compiles the world’s major environmental issues. These ecological problems are analysed from 5 perspectives: social, technological, economic, environmental and political. The app’s main objective is to make the reader question his or her own way of life and trigger debate around these problems.
The content of the application is structured as follows (place the mouse over the topic to see the collected aspects):
Each card is headed by a question type What will you eat? or Is your garbage warming the planet? The answer to these questions is expressed in a text that also includes graphics with environmental facts. References to the bibliography consulted or sources in which to obtain further information are also included.
The topics are accessible from the home screen, as well as from a drop-down menu located on the left side of the screen.
Images: screenshots 16/10/2017. © Arup
In the coming decades, humanity will have to face numerous environmental problems such as the feeding of an ever-growing population or the need to develop strategies for proper waste management. These are problems that, however, require the involvement of all people, so the first step in the search for solutions is to have information capable of generating debate and triggering a deep personal reflection on our own actions.
This is the aim of Drivers of Change. Although it is true that the exposition of the themes is a bit grim and that even, as Rebecca Heald says in the linked article of The Ecologist, they can lead to a certain degree of depression, it is no less true that this is a necessary activity, especially in an educational context, given the sense of apathy and environmental defeat that seems to be beginning to invade the new generations.
With respect to the application itself, it stands out for the number of topics it includes and the brief analysis that it makes of each of them from different points of view. This structure helps to highlight the correlation between the different aspects, and can help the reader to weave initially unrelated links. However, the inclusion of audiovisual elements that enrich the content a little more is missing, as well as, perhaps, a search engine that makes it easier to find the problems addressed.