Around the Institute

Simple Words…Priceless

May 4, 2012

The World as Classroom
The idea gurus at TED have just released an online portal for educators—and for the student in all of us: TED-Ed. Teachers from around the world are invited to submit short lessons, and those selected are paired up with animators to produce pithy, eye-catching videos for the TED-Ed website. Even cooler is the “flip” function that allows educators to design a lesson around any one video to use in the classroom. Our favorite so far? “The Power of Simple Words.” ‘Cause as any advocate will tell you, simplicity matters.

What’s in a Name?
A lot, actually. Especially if you’re a superhero. As The Economist‘s Prospero blog points out, several classic superhero names are by now passé; and film producers are coming up with multiple ways to avoid calling characters by, well, their names. Advocates encounter a similar challenge with messaging. The name of an advocacy campaign can sometimes be as important as the campaign itself: it should be brief, catchy and sticky. Superpowers help, of course.

Let’s Tawk Diarrhea
Speaking of catchy titles, our friends at PATH recently published a report on national approaches to diarrhea control in three African countries titled Diarrhoea Dialogues: From Policies to Progress. Noting that diarrhea is the single biggest killer of children in sub-Saharan Africa (and entirely preventable), PATH and co-author Tearfund urge policymakers globally to address the problem. PATH aims to make “poo” the new go-to topic of conversation…but maybe not at the dinner table.