Can you build us an interactive website to showcase our ‘Two Energy Futures’ infographic?

About the UK Tar Sands Network

The UK Tar Sands Network came into being in response to a clear strategic need for public awareness and opposition to the Canadian tar sands in the UK. It was set up by volunteers and is now a small operation based in Oxford, currently with four staff. The tar sands are a major driver of climate change and a huge barrier to indigenous rights and climate justice, and we exist to build a peaceful popular campaign in the UK and beyond to curb the industry’s operations.

About the Two Energy Futures project

There are alternatives to developing filthy fuel sources, but they’re currently buried in a series of detailed and often dry policy reports and research papers. We want to bring these alternatives to life, and make them easily and instantly accessible to campaigners and the general public.

Over the past year we have created a set of striking graphics and an accompanying report, which present a clear vision of two alternative futures of how we produce and use energy. We now want to bring the images, numbers and stats to life, making them interactive, accessible and engaging to users.

Vision A) Where we’re headed, where energy is produced by various risky and polluting sources such as tar sands, deepwater drilling, large-scale agrofuels and coal-to-liquid technologies, and is used to power a growing aviation industry, mass car ownership and industrial agriculture. We’d almost certainly be locked into disastrous runaway climate change, and by 2035 we’d already be experiencing far more serious floods, storms, heatwaves, droughts, extinctions, collapsing food supplies and the loss of millions’ of people’s homes, lives and livelihoods.

Vision B) An alternative vision, where we don’t burn any fossil fuels, and thus massively reduce our CO2 emissions. This gives us a good chance of avoiding runaway climate change. It is based on greatly improved public transport networks, reductions in car and aeroplane use amongst the wealthiest populations, a shift away from chemical agriculture towards traditional/organic methods, and the use of renewable electricity, waste biogas, and limited small-scale sustainable fuel crops for transport fuel. It allows for Southern nations to increase their energy use in line with their development, and also takes into account population growth.

The contrasting visions are intended to provide an immediate, compelling and easy-to-use answer to the question “what’s the alternative?”, and help many different campaign groups – including the UK Tar Sands Network and our immediate partners and allies – to build public support against the most destructive fuel sources. More fundamentally, it will help the various campaign groups who are working to challenge all these different dubious fuels to see how their struggles fit together.

What you will do

Combining the static visuals with the numbers and stats in the accompanying report, you will create an interactive mini-website which will present the information in a quick, easy-to-digest, memorable and engaging way. You will guide the user through the complex scenarios, allowing them to zoom into aspects they find interesting or to zoom out for the big picture view.

Clarity and ease of navigation are a must. We want to make the information simpler to understand, but without omitting chunks of information. Ideally, there would be various levels of engagement, so that those that want to delve into the details can, while those just looking quickly can get the rough idea within a few seconds.

The most important information we want to get across is:

  • that we should be full of hope: with currently existing technology, another energy future is possible!
  • without political action now, the future we face is grim indeed
  • the two futures differ not only in how energy is produced but in how we consume that energy
  • that the tar sands struggle is a key part of the wider fight to stop climate change

The designer of the static image is willing and able to provide the full set of high-resolution images for you to manipulate as you see fit.

How you will make it happen

Be it CSS, JavaScript or Flash, code or animation, from scratch or with the help of a tool like, we want an innovative idea that showcases the wealth of information contained within our images and report. We invite you to explain how you will make this happen! You may choose to create additional materials such as a short narrated video which introduces the infographic to the user before letting them explore, or supplementary graphics such as stand-alone downloadable images which explain various aspects of the issue.

About our ‘look’, audience and tone

UK Tar Sands Network has produced a variety of resources with original artwork. See e.g.

We are open to different styles, so long as they combine a slick design with an edge of fun.

This interactive infographic will be seen by all sorts of people, many who have a good understanding of the climate crisis but many who do not. Ensuring that there is an option to define terms that people may not understand, such as tar sands, fracking, etc., will be essential.

We want the overall tone to be positive, not gloomy, but without making light of the issues. The first page of the report provides a good taste of the tone required.


Our budget for this project is £3000-£5000, the vast majority of which will go to design.

Selection process

Please take a look at the static image, read the report, and, by 12th April 2013, submit to us at [email protected]:

  • an explanation of how you would bring this image and information to life, what web technologies it will require and what we should expect to see at the end, including wireframes or rough illustrations
  • a detailed quote
  • examples of your previous work

We will select the two or three that inspire us the most and invite you in for a chat to explain your idea in more detail before making our final selection. Our choice will be based on the potential for your idea to succeed, the clarity it brings to the topic, and the style of your previous work.

Project timeframe

  • Deadline to submit your idea 12th April
  • We will make our selection by the end of April
  • We will require you to submit a finished draft by mid-June
  • Comments and adjustments throughout June
  • Final version ready by July

If you have any queries about the brief, please contact [email protected]