Adapting to a Changing World Series – Part 1: Communicating Change

Communicating a message to the public should be easy these days. Tools like Twitter, Facebook, blogs, and videos allow diverse communicators to easily reach large audiences with important messages. The difficulty lies in how to best use these tools to get your particular message across and to convince others to actively join your cause.

ImageCommunicating Change was the first part of Adapting to a Changing World Series, a set of three Waterlution Toronto Hub events dealing with water-related issues in a changing world. Each gathering deals with a different aspect of change in an open, fun and creative activity extravaganza.

David Manly, Science Journalist (@davidmanly), kicked off the evening with a few communication tips. He put this advice into practice by challenging us to convey our jobs/work/research in a single sentence using plain language. Although difficult, this task showed how helpful it is to keep things short and simple to avoid information overload and to avoid highly professionalized jargon.

Our attendees were further challenged with identifying tools that work and tools that do not work when attempting to communicate a message that is meant to spark a major change in behaviour.


Groups were tasked with choosing a water issue and applying effective communication tools to convey their issues and convince their audiences to join their important causes. This included anything from gaining the support of soccer moms to advertising local food delivery services to senior citizens!

The evening ended with our surprise provocateurs, Kristy Neville and Greg Francis, producers and directors of TAR, a documentary weighing economic and ecological costs and benefits of Enbridge’s Northern Gateway Project. Their screening of the TAR trailer initiated an interesting conversation about the difficulties associated with producing documentary films advocating for environmental awareness.


Communicating Change was a perfect start for the Hub season that has just re-launched! If you missed it, we hope that you can join us for the next two parts in the Adapting to a Changing World Series, which will include:

  • Part 2: Mitigating and Adapting to Change (May)
  • Part 3: Benefiting from Change (June)


Hosts: Vanessa Ho, Lesley Herstein, Isabelle Netto

Join the convo! #Waterlutionchange


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