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Using Data Visualization Tell Your Story and Grow Your Business


Arlene Birt
Background Stories, Founder & Chief Visual Storyteller

Arlene Birt is founder and chief visual storyteller of Background Stories (www.backgroundstories.com). Background Stories translates complex ideas, systems, and metrics into clear visuals and helps people (especially non-experts) understand sustainability. Arlene creates infographics, data visualization, and visual storytelling with change-making organizations in the US, EU, and UK. An expert in information visualization and visual storytelling sustainability, Arlene integrates behavior change principles into her work. She is also a professor at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, where she teaches courses on infodesign, data visualization, and sustainability since 2008. She was trained by Al Gore on Climate Reality presentations and is always on the lookout for opportunities to create participatory, data-focused public artwork.

Ted Carling
Ecotone Analytics, Co-Founder & COO

Ted has 10+ years of experience creating strategy for, operationalizing, and growing social enterprises. He brings his expertise in data analytics, systems thinking, and strategy design to take Ecotone’s findings out of the report and into the organization.


65% of people are visual learners, and only 17% are data literate. Because graphics are an important method of showing complex systems - visuals (including data visualization, infographics, and visual storytelling) can be a useful tool to help audiences relate to and connect with ever-growing mountains of data. 

This presentation will walk participants through a case study showing how better data visualization of complex value chains can help an organization connect with customers, partners, and funders. When everyone can see the benefits of your product, service, or partnership, selling it is as easy as a pie chart.