Presenting Shocking Statistics

In 2002, a small group of Long Island’s civic, academic, labor and business leaders gathered to discuss challenges facing the region and its potential for new directions. As a result of those meetings, The Rauch Foundation funded the Long Island Index to gather and publish data on the Long Island region. Their operating principle was, “Good information presented in a neutral manner can move policy.” The goal was to be a catalyst for action by engaging the community in thinking about its future from a regional perspective.

Even though the Long Island Index has served up good data about the past and present, the hope to drive action to make the future better hadn’t seen much traction.

The local Long Island newspaper, NewsDay, reported that “Last year, Index founder Nancy Rauch Douzinas challenged people to adopt a let’s-do-something-about- this attitude. But the attitude, like action, hasn’t materialized. So the Index is adopting an attitude of its own. It still will present data neutrally, and it won’t take sides, but it will be much more active in trying to make sure that its ideas and its sense of urgency don’t end when the lights come on after the annual presentation.”

For seven years, the Long Island Index produced many reports filled with facts and figures that told people how poorly our region was faring. When we shifted to telling the story visually, the reaction was electric. The information was the same, but the new format communicated the issues with an emotional urgency. The visual story moved citizens and elected officials to address the problems with an understanding that there was no more time to lose.

– Nancy Douzinas, President, Rauch Foundation

The clock is ticking on Long Island

So, at the 2010 press launch of the Index, The Rauch Foundation pulled out key statistics and incorporated that information into a presentation. Dramatizing the key statistics with images helped convey the inventiveness and sense of urgency that would be required to manage growth with better environmental outcomes. Titled The Clock is Ticking, this four-and-a-half minute presentation showed one image after another to drive home the idea that Long Island is in steady decline and must do something, right now!

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