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Comics of Good: Comic book stories of world benefit

By packaging stories of businesses innovating for world benefit in one-page comic book form, they become shareable elements through social networks and other channels tuned to quick consumption. Comics of Good creates a shared storytelling medium.

Photo of Nathalie Collins
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We live in a world where information is quickly consumed in small bites - Twitter feeds, social media updates, elevator pitches. This concept makes stories of doing good for the society and environment easily consumable and easily shareable by using the visual form of a comic book.

Using software such as ComicLife, storytellers create one-page comic book renditions of their stories of social good. They showcase the impact the business has had on the community by uploading pictures and generating a narrative. The resulting page becomes an easily shareable (one image) artifact that taps into our human need to share stories (visual narrative).

Refinement Update:
Inspired by Merwyn, the comics can also appear in a series of one-page episodes to deliver bite-sized information to an audience over time. This increases engagement while enabling a more complete story to be told.

Clarification & attribution:
Original images accompanying this post were authored by Roberto De Vido and used as examples to illustrate the concept. Many thanks to Roberto for bringing this original work into the world.

Creation & Distribution:
Though an automated tool is made available, Comics may also be drawn by designers & illustrators as a way to support the work of the social business. The illustrator's work is recognized as part of the award, so getting the word out is encouraged for everyone involved.

The content for the comics can be pulled from a repository such as the wiki described in Vincent's concept. This enables the visuals to be crowdsourced among supporters of the business's work. It also provides a way for interested readers to drill down into deeper information about the effort.

Online & Offline Media:
Inspired by Roger's comment as well as Meeta's suggestion that the comics target children, a one page publication can be circulated in more rural or less connected areas. These artifacts often end up becoming wall hangings in family homes thereby serving as a reminder of the benefit the given social business is working toward. Children are influenced in this way and grow up inspired to create such businesses of their own.

Jessica's comment adds an excellent collaboration with the BusinessWeek concept to offer annual print distribution.

How does your concept celebrate, identify or inspire for-profit businesses that act as agents of world benefit?

Comics of Good gives businesses an easily accessible medium to share their stories with social networks, the media, and on their blogs. An organization such as PepsiCo Hope, which promotes healthy eating worldwide by developing nutrient-rich products, can describe their case studies in visual form to be shared more broadly. For example, their food trucks enter underprivileged neighborhoods where children do not have access to traditional summer programs. They deliver nutritious breakfasts to the school-children based on their line of products. Using Comics for Good, PepsiCo Hope can document the experience children had with their food truck. Comics for Good (or a hosting organization) showcases daily stories on their site. The comics get picked up by popular news sources like FastCompany, GOOD magazine, or other online publications. They are shared and re-shared through social media channels. Annually or quarterly, the stories are aggregated and published as an easily browsable coffee table book. Each page tells its own story of social good.

How will your concept help us create or leverage stories of world benefit that are sticky and shareable?

Comics of Good is based on several concepts to encourage stickiness and sharing: - easily consumable form: one-page visual story - extracts the most meaningful aspects of the story like Pecha Kucha presentations - known comic book genre: like XKCD (http://xkcd.com/) or Word of the Day, it becomes a a daily read - easily shared: like infographics, the time to consume a one-page comic is short and its visual nature makes it easily shareable through Twitter or Facebook In addition, a history of these stories is built up over time. Mechanisms can be added to enable the community to vote on their favorite Comics of Good. They become an accessible resource for awards ceremonies, case studies to inspire other businesses working toward world benefit, and a learning tool in schools.

What will it take to scale your concept so that its reach is global and widespread?

An initial organization needs to set up the framework for creating these comics using existing software tools such as ComicLife. This organization partners with a handful of businesses to create early content. They then author how-to guides making it very easy for additional businesses to author their stories and submit them to the site. The organization then does outreach to media channels and popular bloggers to start to get the content out into the world. Once a tipping point is reached, the stories will begin to be shared by other bloggers and community members through their social networks. Comics for Good then becomes a known resource and site that can be checked daily for stories. Through grants, crowdfunding, or paid subscription from the organizations featured in the comics, Comics for Good hosts award ceremonies, community voting, and publishes coffee table books showcasing the aggregated narratives.

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Excellent idea! Will have a look now;)

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