Epson's Projecting Voices project
Professor Katey Walter Anthony researching the effect of climate change in the Arctic

Epson’s Projecting Voices project has enabled digital artists to reveal the words that most describe how young people feel about climate change.

In advance of COP28, Epson initiated a project entitled ‘Projecting Voices’ to explore how the younger generations feel about the impact of climate change. Epson invited the COP generation, those born since around the first COP in 1995, to choose words that best express their feelings towards climate change. The company says the results revealed a contrasting and startling mix of fear, hope, and anxiety in similar measure.

Yasunori Ogawa, global president of Epson, says, “Global leaders gathered at COP28 to determine how to achieve a more sustainable planet. So, we wanted to focus on the future generation who will be most impacted by the decisions we make now. Our survey revealed a troubling combination of hope, fear and anxiety.”

To bring the young voices to life, Epson partnered with digital artists Katy Wang and Gabriel Greenough. They produced a piece of original, digital art that aims to project Gen COP voices in a visually impactful way.

The artists used Epson’s EcoTank inkjet printer to test their vision. They drew inspiration from Epson’s Climate Reality Barometer research to create a moving social animation. This involved deploying a variety of techniques to express humanity’s complex relationship with nature and the environment in the 21st century.

Hope and fear – 50/50 split

Katy Wang says, “What has been interesting about the research Epson conducted with Gen COP is that they are almost 50:50 split on feeling hopeful and fearful. It got us thinking about the moments we have all experienced over the last couple of years since the pandemic, and on a personal level, how we have become more connected to the environment.”

She adds that the contrast between hopeful and pessimistic descriptions from the climate barometer resonated with them. She sought to create an animation that celebrates the variety and beauty of the natural world, as well as reflect some of the tension and inherent power that exists within it. She explains, “We have focused our animation on the beauty and interconnectedness of the natural world. This reminds audiences that climate action can stem not just from fear but also a genuine gratitude for nature.

“The simple act of noticing your environment more, and being present with the sounds, colours, and changing seasons, all propel us to recognise that nature has everything we need and gives to us endlessly. Preserving this, and looking after our home, has never been more important or urgent. We have really enjoyed developing this concept and we’re excited to share the animation.”

Climate change commitment

Epson devised the Projecting Voices project as part of its commitment to taking action toward climate change. The company’s Environmental Vision pledges to go carbon negative and eliminate the use of underground resources by 2050. Epson has long aspired to achieve sustainability and enrich communities in many ways, as can be seen in the company’s latest Sustainability Report.

Ogawa adds, “We hope by projecting the voices of the generation that will play a key part in transforming the future of our planet for the better, we can bring home just how complicated our current feelings are toward the climate crisis.

“Despite the anxiety and fear that people are feeling, the fact Gen COP remains hopeful is a sign that optimism endures. Our planet is a closed and finite environment, so now we must take all the action we can to transition toward a more sustainable society.”

Picture credit

Professor Katey Walter Anthony researching the effect of warming in the Arctic

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