for Countdown

Visual communication can change climate change — by filling our imaginations with visions for a better future, making complex information understandable, and inspiring us to act today.

Join creatives around the world and contribute to the climate conversation by sharing your illustrations and photography that tell the story of how climate change is affecting you and your community.

Open call for photography

Visualizing Climate Change: An Open Call for Photography is an initiative created by Countdown and Climate Visuals, a program from Climate Outreach. Beginning June 1, 2021, the open call will source, license and elevate 100 powerful images of climate change taken by both professional and amateur photographers from around the world.

These top 100 images will help to tell the story of climate change by showing its impact on communities around the globe in order to drive new conversations and inspire action. We are looking for photographs that also show where progress and solutions are being made within the core TED Countdown themes (energy, nature, transportation, food and materials) and the powerful ways in which global communities are taking action to care for our environment, health and security.

‘Visualizing Climate Change: An Open Call for Photography’ ultimately aims to support climate change photographers, educators, communicators and campaigners by the creation of a new, equitable and accessible collection of the world’s most impactful photography. The 100 images will be selected by an independent jury, and photographers will receive a licensing fee. Selected images will also have the opportunity to be displayed at the TED Countdown Summit 2021 in October, and exhibited at COP26.

Photographers are encouraged to submit work that embodies the Climate Visuals’ evidence-based principles, which detail how photography can most effectively maximize storytelling, increase engagement and encourage positive behavior change.

Open call for illustrations

TED Countdown will also host an open call for digital illustrations, graphic design, lettering art and typography in collaboration with Fine Acts, a global nonprofit creative studio for social impact. We are looking for 45-50 awe-inspiring designs that depict a hopeful future around climate change, or have a clear message around the urgency for actionable change.

The purpose of this open call — which will launch July 1, 2021— is to build a unique collection of open-license art about climate change. All of the selected works will be published online under a Creative Commons license and will be available for anyone to use and adapt non-commercially.

Powered by the global creative community, this collection of open-license art will serve as an invaluable resource and tool for activists, grassroots organizations and nonprofits to use in their campaigns about climate change awareness. The creator of each selected illustration will receive a licensing fee for inclusion in library and the chance to be featured across TED and Countdown platforms and at the Countdown Summit in October 2021.

Artists, illustrators, designers and typographers of the world – get ready! Check back on July 1, 2021 to learn more about the initiative and submission process.

Public art activations

Countdown, in collaboration with the nonprofit organization Fine Acts, launched a global art activation on climate change. We selected a group of artists — all TED Fellows — who created 10 public art pieces to appear in 10 cities around the world, which kicked off on 10.10.2020.

The goal was to translate key climate issues into artwork that excites people’s imaginations and raises awareness of Countdown. Taken as a whole, the works convey a message of hope and action — that we can change climate change and the work needed to do so is urgent but possible. These projects have the potential to make viewers step up and participate in building a better future.