Digital narrative showing how healthy rivers are central to feeding the world.

We tend to think that our food comes from farms – vast stretches of land that yield some of the most popular crops in the world. 

But one third of the world’s food production depends on rivers, including food from freshwater fisheries, irrigation, flood recession agriculture, and deltas. Clearly, we will not be able to feed billions of people unless we deal with big problems such as excessive fertilizer and land use, and their head-on impacts on nature and the climate.

Ahead of the UN Food Systems Summit, Catalyze was asked to create a digital narrative (a microsite) to draw the links between how and where food is grown and the critical role of rivers. With the hope that decision makers understand a simple truth: no rivers, much less food to go around.

So where did we start?

WWF had several key messages and hard-hitting facts on the topic, but there was no detailed story yet. On our side, we had a flexible web platform that makes it possible to create engaging one-page stories by assembling several content “blocks” – video, animated charts, short animations, slideshows – in a Lego-like fashion. Through a series of brainstorming sessions with WWF, we gave shape to a story structure consisting of 4 key sections that builds the case for sustainably transforming how we produce food.

For this assignment, we would create rapid prototypes of the visuals, adjust them based on feedback, and then refine them while keeping a close eye on technical references to ensure that our artwork is as accurate as possible.

The completed microsite succeeds in lifting the curtain on what is at stake when it comes to rivers and food, substituting the ‘doorstopper‘ technical report that never was with an engaging and lively webstory that takes less than 15 minutes to explore.

Due to a whole range of challenges, producing the products on deadline was really impressive – achieved through excellent project management, timely & creative advice, clear focus on the end goal, and a remarkable degree of patience and flexibility.

Read more