Future Ahoy!

An infographic novel about sustainable transport

Sometimes it doesn’t hurt to try something new. “Future Ahoy!” is the result of such a fresh different outlook in contrast to a pure scientific point of view. Everything revolves around the question: How does future-proof sustainable mobility and transport look like? Part infographic, part graphic novel, it draws on our previous insights but repackages them in a fun and accessible format. Together with our partners Agora Verkehrswende and Ellery Studio we designed “Future Ahoy!” to raise public awareness of the impacts of transport for the climate and points to real solutions that can help fight global warming.

With the help of colourful illustrations, “Future Ahoy!” offers an insight into the mindset of a three-generation German family. The family members have different views on sustainable transport and debate with each other different approaches to transport. Ultimately, they discover that sustainable transport is not just good for the climate, but also an opportunity to positively reshape how we live and work together. The story offers many facts and infographics that explain the issues: from the city as a mobility commune to heaven and hell in digitisation, from the knight Don Nimbyxote and his fight against wind turbines to the family dog Rudi and his dream of an intact planet.

Chapter 1: Why we need sustainable transport

The first chapter is dedicated to the rationale for sustainable transport. The scientific facts, which seem obvious, are once again elaborated graphically. For example, the comics show with graphic clarity the overburdening of the earth due to excessive CO2 emissions and point out the health improvements of safe and clean transport.


Chapter 2: How it can succeed

The second chapter builds the bridge to proposed solutions. Numerous recommendations for action for stakeholders are presented. For example, a change in urban mobility is promoted that puts the user in the spotlight. Furthermore, another action recommendation is the shift of (freight) transport from road to rail. In the area of sustainable energy, electric mobility is explained and the connection between electrification and sustainable energy production is shown.


Chapter 3: Ushering in the Age of Sustainable Transport

As the name “Future Ahoy!” already indicates, we would like to embrace a different sustainable future. The last chapter is dedicated to this aspiration. What does another sustainable transport world look like? Positive outlooks give rise to hopes that we can achieve a transport transformation.

Change is inevitable but offers tremendous opportunity, that is the clear message of the last chapter.

The reader learns all these insights, on the one hand, through the eyes of Rudi, the space dog who desires a sustainable future. Rudi aims to bring policy developments in transport to a wider audience through story-telling and anecdotal discussion. On the other hand, the reader learns a lot through the discussions within the family. “Future Ahoy!” visually maps sustainable transport developments in Germany through their eyes.

In this way, it combines emotion with information, entertainment with political education. The aim is to win over as broad an audience as possible for the topic of climate change mitigation in transport beyond the small circle of experts. The translation of the German book “Abgefahren!” was made possible by GIZ, for using the product in its international cooperation projects on sustainable transport.

The graphic novel was launched during the Transport and Climate Change Week 2021 and won several awards: The German edition won a gold medal at the “Malofiej Inernational Infographics Awards” in August 2020. The Malofiej Award is considered the world’s most important infographics award. In April 2021, the infographic novel won first place in the book design category at the international Indigo Award.

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