One of the first things you learn in college mathematics is how to reframe a problem in order to solve it. Well, I think the same can be true with real-world social or political problems. With a bit of creativity and ingenuity, seemingly intractable problems can be reframed in a way that allows them to be tackled and solved. Often the solutions come from the most unlikely corners.
One example could be war. How do you convey the horror and human cost of war in a way that motivates people to act? Well, Charles Joseph Minard, a French civil engineer in the 1800’s, used one of the tools at his disposal: data visualization. He is known for creating perhaps the best info graphic of all time (pictured above). This graphic shows the loss of life of Napoleon’s army as they attacked Moscow and then retreated. Minard created this graphic to speak out against hegemonic leaders who let their egos lead to catastrophic loss of life. Where is the Minard for our current generation? Maybe it is you.