When Spiderwebs Unite They Can Tie Up a Lion.

— Ethiopian Proverb

Data Visualization

Collaborative processes, such as the United Nations World Humanitarian Summit, provide evidence of humankind’s power to visualize change and its resolve to see that change materialize. Our data visualization’s theme, “when spider webs unite they can tie up a lion”, stems from the belief that there are more solutions than problems in the world, when we choose to unite.

This data visualization is an exploration of our world. We survey the landscape of both the global bad news (the lion) and the global good news (the spider webs). Then we end our journey exploring the power to unite (human empathy). Through this last section, we find out what people are thinking worldwide and listen to what humanitarians are saying through the World Humanitarian Summit.

This visualization represents a sampling of global information to provide an overall picture for discussion and dialogue purposes and it may be viewed from the lens of many different academic disciplines including psychology, sociology, geography, education and more.

This visualization is a submission to #VisualizeChange, a World Humanitarian Summit data challenge powered by UniteIdeas.

  • The Lion
    (The Global Bad News)

    Explore the global “bad news” such as poverty, disease, death and inequality. What are the causes of our suffering, where is it happening, and by how much?

  • The Spider Webs
    (The Global Good News)

    Explore the global “good news” and see the wealth of resources that we as a human species have, such as educational, financial, natural resources and more.

  • The Power To Unite
    (Human Empathy)

    Explore the World Humanitarian Summit dialogue and see what people are thinking and feeling worldwide. Is there a link between psychosocial conditions and the global good and bad news?

Concluding Thoughts

Amidst chaos and confusion, we see courage and collaboration. Amidst hardship, we see heart and hope. Amidst even the most deafening and horrendous evils - of which we can barely comprehend - the indomitable human spirit continues to emerge, starting with a single humanitarian, seemingly frail at first, but becoming fierce when joined in collaboration with other humanitarian actors. Out of the shadows, the humanitarian “net” becomes that determined, collective and resolute force, standing tall, with eyes wide open, to visualize change, to see preventable problems tamed and implement solutions to mitigate known risks.

The scope and scale of world humanitarian issues requires global citizens to broaden their view of what constitutes an effective humanitarian crisis prevention and relief strategy, while still addressing the most acute needs. We believe part of the collective “glue” for good involves human empathy. Such a topic, once relegated to the fields of faith, family, and philosophy is worthy of further exploration as it may play a pivotal role in creating a long term climate of global cooperation. When empathy is strategically cultivated, students of empathy become practitioners of empathy, impacting their families, their communities, their countries and the world for good.