Client: University of Helsinki

Using Virtual Reality to confront politicians to climate breakdown

realistic 3d rendering of a luxuriant forest in Finland

Designed to inform & influence Finnish policy makers, the “Virtual Forest” explores how current Forestry Management strategies and policies are contributing towards climate breakdown.

a dystopian view of a Finnish forest under a red sky with arrows showing the cycle of carbon

Fighting Unsustainable Forestry Policy

The 6 minute experience, led by the voice of Timo Vesala - Professor of Meteorology at the University of Helsinki, guides users through a hyper-real forest environment, combining verified science, creativity and domestic politics in one powerful story.

Finnish forestry industry accounts for over 11.45 billion euros worth of exports each year, but the industries that these forests support are secondary only to the forests’ natural purpose: converting & storing CO2 through photosynthesis.

However, recent EU directives have promoted an increase in harvest levels, failing to account for the long-term climate impact. Under the current policy, in just 10-15 years, Finnish forestry industry will be producing carbon at a faster rate than the forests can store it.

The aim of this project is to help policy makers understand the impact of their decisions, trigger an emotional response to the fate of the forests, and effect political change.

A Journey Into Our Climate’s Future

Climate data can be abstract and difficult to relate to on an emotional level. As a result, the causes & symptoms of Climate Breakdown have failed to dominate the political agenda in Finland. This experience holds a microscope to the issue.

Incorporating 3D information visualisation and animations, the Virtual Forest experience projects policy-makers forward in time to reveal the impacts of their policies in striking immersive detail.

Click here to watch a 360 video of the full experience.

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