Visualise well-being and win a trip to Mexico!

BLI InitiativeWikiprogress is running an infographic and data visualisation contest, with the prize of a paid trip to Guadalajara, Mexico to attend the 5th OECD World Forum on the 13-15 October 2015 for the top 3 winning entries. The winners will be awarded with a certificate of recognition during a special session of the Forum. The competition is open to all individuals, both amateurs and professionals. We especially would like to encourage the participation of young people and one of the prizes will be reserved for entries from under 26-year olds.

The aim of the contest is to encourage participants to use well-being measurement in innovative ways to show how data on well-being give a more meaningful picture of the progress of societies than more traditional growth-oriented approaches; and to use their creativity to communicate key ideas about well-being to a broad audience.

Contestants are asked to create an infographic or data visualisation that addresses one or more of the following questions:

  • How do well-being levels vary between countries, or within countries?
  • How do well-being levels vary for different population groups (e.g. for young people, the elderly, by gender, etc.)?
  • Why is it important to look beyond purely economic indicators (such as GDP) for a better picture of people’s current or future well-being?
  • How can the multi-dimensionality of well-being be effectively communicated to the general public?

Deadline for Submissions: 24 August, 2015

For more information on the contest and how to send your entry, click here.

Useful links

OECD Better Life Index

OECD Better Life Initiative

OECD Regional Well-Being

Map of well-being initiatives


Now do you see what we mean? OECD data visualization contest results

In his modestly entitled Diary of a Genius, Salvador Dali dismisses Alexander Calder’s mobiles by remarking that the least you can expect of a sculpture is that it doesn’t move. But, never one to be bothered by contradictions, he had a lot of respect for the “New Vision” of the ex-Bauhaus artist and designer László Moholy-Nagy who pioneered kinetic sculpture with his 1930 stage prop consisting of a light that projected the shadows of its moving parts. Budapest’s University of Art and Design is named in his honour, and one of its graduates, Krisztina Szucs, is the joint winner of the data visualization contest we announced last September.

If your view of data visualization is similar to that of Dali’s concerning Calder, go here. If not, click on the image below to see how Krisztina and Maté Cziner present the financial return on education, based on data from the 568 pages and 1.5 kilos of the OECD’s amusingly entitled Education at a Glance.


The judges were Simon Rogers, editor of the Guardian’s Datablog and Datastore; Charlene Manuel from; Andreas Schleicher, Deputy Director for Education and Special Advisor on Education Policy to the OECD’s Secretary-General; and Anthony Gooch, OECD Director of Public Affairs and Communications.

They chose Krisztina and Maté’s graph from over 30 entries because it “does a great job of breaking down the complex interplay between costs and returns into a form that is easy to compare”. And also because “instead of the many-country approach used by most entries, the project takes a detailed look at public vs. private and men vs. women for three selected countries (which you can change)”.

The judges also awarded an honorable mention to That’s Edu, by Carlo Zapponi, for its friendly design and intuitive interface.

Congratulations to the winners, and check out the other contestants too, to see what a hard job our judges had.

Useful links

OECD Education Data Portal

OECD work on education

OECD statistics

OECD educationtoday blog

NOTE: The animations don’t work on Internet Explorer 7 and earlier versions.

Draw a datum and win a trip to Paris plus $2500 spending money!

Click to enter the competition

Growing up in Scotland, you learn that we invented everything from heat and light to the deep fried Mars Bar (for people who want a heart attack but don’t want to wait). I could go on, but the list is long and the transition to what I’m supposed to write about will get even harder, so you’ll forgive me if I tell you right now that I’d never heard of William Playfair until I started this article. Born in 1759 in the parish of Liff and Benvie (which I’d never heard of either), Playfair invented the line graph, circle graph, bar chart (used in his 1786 Commercial and Political Atlas) and the pie chart (in his 1801 Statistical Breviary).

Later in the century, famous nurse and less famous statistician Florence Nightingale developed a kind of pie chart, the polar area chart, to show that dirty hospitals had killed more British soldiers than enemy action in the Crimean War. Military operations are also behind what Edward Tufte of Yale University calls “probably the best statistical graphic ever drawn”, Charles Minard’s chart showing the losses of Napoleon’s army in Russia, along with temperatures, time and locations.

Tufte himself is a professor of statistics but he’s more widely known for his criticisms of how slidewares are used (here’s Peter Norvig’s suggestion on how Lincoln could have improved the Gettysburg Address using PowerPoint) and for his work on data visualisation. And that’s the subject of this post. We’re offering a trip to the OECD Forum in Paris next spring for the best visualisation of data from Education at a Glance, published this morning. The winner will also receive a $2500 prize courtesy of GE.

The theme is “Return on education”. The report says that people with higher (tertiary) education can expect to earn 55% more on average in OECD countries than a person without tertiary education. Those who have not completed secondary education earn 23% less than those who have.

We’ll supply the raw data and your design will be judged on understanding, originality and style. It “should encourage comparison across the countries, and should reveal the individual statistics that go into these indicators. Additional education or economic data from the Education at a Glance or other OECD publications may also be included.”

Deadline for entries is Friday, November 2, 2012, 11:59 pm EDT and we’ll announce the winner on Wednesday, November 14.

Good luck!

Useful links

If you’d like to have a go but don’t have much experience, take a look at Shawn Allen’s course at the School of Visual Arts. You’ll find lots of good advice and examples, including the ones I used here, as well as links to software.

 OECD work on education