What to do when important Covid-19 information gets drowned in other information? United Nations teamed up with “the other side”; the world’s artists.
We have all seen them: rigid, classic messages from governments and organizations about how to avoid the virus to spread. It might have caught our eyes in the start, as these messages were a bit unusal next to consumer ads. Yet, after getting used to seeing them, their effect started to wear out.
United Nations invited artists across the world to an open brief. By donating their artwork, these skilled individuals could help “educate, uplift, and inspire people all across the world through the global COVID pandemic crisis”, as it says on Unsplash. This is a photo sharing platform with more than 1 million free photos for anyone to use.
This was a genious move by a normally slow and bereaucratic, intergovernmental organization. They were able to turn around quite fast and to step out of their comfort zone. This collaboration is also a symbol of the importance of working together during a crisis like this. The open brief did not provide a payment to the artists, but it might have offered something close to as important: Helping a good cause at the same time as reaching larger audiences.
Joining forces with someone you normally don’t collaborate with is proven to be fruitful in a variety of studies. In these times of information sharing and “open innovation”, a global pandemic works in the same way as a common problem two businesses face. When deciding to tackle something together, you are open to input and trusting that someone “on the other side” might come up with a better solution than yourself. This is not only healthy from a business perspective, it can also (in this case) save lives.
Let’s hope that spreading the creative community’s artwork hinders the spread of the virus – and that this form of collaboration is something we can see more of in the future.
You can find United Nations’ collection of art contributions here.