Facilitating change in visual communication
Case Study: Interactive, practice-oriented workshop


Ethical Storytelling? Mission Possible! 
2022 Zambia: Jason Mulikita/ChildFund Deutschland e.V./Fairpicture


The Digitalization Cluster of the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) convenes annually for a retreat where approximately 120 individuals from various offices worldwide gather to discuss their future plans, exchange ideas, and seek inputs. One of the key inputs in this year's retreat was a workshop by Fairpicture on "Facilitating Change in Visual Communication," which aligns with the core focus of the GIZ. The central question addressed in the workshop was how to promote strong, ethical storytelling that adheres to the GIZ principles. 

The workshop aimed to establish a theoretical foundation for collective reflection and allow participants to delve into practical aspects by exploring the challenges encountered in established communication and production routines.




German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) 


Interactive Workshop


April 2023



The digital transformation introduces both challenges and opportunities in visual communication, which the GIZ seeks to harness deliberately. But how can we effectively do so? In small group sessions, we assumed the roles of visual communication producers, discussing topics such as how to prepare for assignments, how to write effective briefings, what considerations apply during the entire process, and which ethical and legal requirements accompany us throughout.

The goal of the workshop was to equip participants with a comprehensive understanding of the theoretical framework underlying ethical visual communication while providing practical insights into the hurdles faced in our day-to-day communication and production practices.

In the workshop, we asked ourselves: What would the world look like if images like this came to mind when Westerners think of Somalia?

Picture: ©Mustafa Saeed


Discussing various case studies, participants explored ethical considerations in effective storytelling.

By examining real-world examples, attendees delved into the complexities of ethical storytelling and its impact. They critically analysed the choices made in visual communication, taking into account the potential consequences for individuals, communities, and society as a whole. Discussions focused on topics such as representation, inclusivity, and the avoidance of stereotypes.


The workshop on "Facilitating Change in Visual Communication" proved highly beneficial for the GIZ. Participants engaged in meaningful discussions, gaining insights into the challenges and opportunities of digital transformation in visual communication. The workshop enabled the exploration of new approaches and strategies, aligned with the GIZ's commitment to ethics, sustainability, and fair image usage. Crucial issues such as discrimination and privacy were addressed, prompting the GIZ to reflect on and improve its practices. The workshop fostered collaboration, valuable connections, and inspired the GIZ to continue advancing its fair visual communication.


The workshop with Fairpicture allowed us to explore the challenges and opportunities of visual communication in our field of work, enabling us to produce and utilize visual materials in an even fairer and more ethical manner.

Eric Heinen-Konschak
Head of Global Programme Digital Transformation | GIZ



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