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Information Is Beautiful Awards – Impactful Community Leader and Nominees

For the first time in Information is Beautiful Awards, the Impactful Community Leader Award was recognized. This award is for an individual who has made a significant contribution to the dataviz industry and community at large from 2019 to 2022. 

The nominees were evaluated according to the following criteria:

  • Impact
  • Knowledge sharing
  • Leadership
  • Mentorship and coaching
  • Shaping the industry
  • Connecting communities

The winner of the inaugural Impactful Community Leader Award was Alli Torban, the host of the Data Viz Today podcast and co-founder of the Elevate Learning community. One of her nominators pointed out that Ali is a “living example of somebody who has the power to inspire other people and make them feel confident in their own possibilities in the field.” 

Alli has had a huge impact on the dataviz community “offering her deep knowledge of the subject for free or at a substantially reduced rate for people without access to significant financial resources”. She is “always enthusiastic about amplifying marginalised and underheard voices, and has done a huge amount to bring positive change and new voices into the community.”

Her podcast Data Viz Today “is an invaluable resource for people new to the field to learn how to think about dataviz, and also challenges existing practitioners by exposing them to new ideas from other adjacent disciplines.” Alli is “very open towards other people, never excluding anyone from the conversation” with an “admirable low-conflict leadership style.”


We also wish to highlight a few of our other nominees:

  • Adolfo Antón Bravo, a leader of several initiatives related to data journalism and data visualization in Spain, most of them at Medialab Prado (now Medialab Matadero), a public cultural center in Madrid.
  • Allen Hillery, the co-founder of the Du Bois Challenge (with Sekou Tyler and Anthony Starks), a challenge that celebrates the data visualization legacy of W.E.B. Du Bois and data literacy advocate with Be Data Lit and the Data Leadership Collaborative. 
  • Amanda Makulec, DVS Executive Director, recognized as a fundamental driver of the Data Visualization Society, Outlier, and the IIB Awards with “a cheerful and pragmatic drive”.
  • Ben Jones, Data Literacy founder, a “respectful and tenacious supporter” of the visualization community. 
  • Cédric Scherer, the co-creator (with Dominic Roye) of the 30-day chart challenge, is a “data wizard and an advocate for the ggplot2 community”. 
  • David Rumsey, collector of the world’s leading archive of historic maps and data visualizations that has been used by countless researchers and ensures the historic preservation of much of the dataviz discipline.
  • Duncan Geere, half of the Loud Numbers sonification studio and co-founder of the Elevate Learning Dataviz Community, is a “creator of online communities, builder of free tools, always teaching, or sharing information and resources”. 
  • Eric Balash, the creator of the Back 2 Viz Basics for the Tableau community, is “deeply committed to helping people grow their data visualization skills”. 
  • Gerard Duggan, is a “great leader with integrity, influence, and respect, always willing to help where he can.” Gerard provides free content and resources on LinkedIn intended to help both new and experienced individuals to learn more about data visualization. 
  • Meagan Longoria, an outstanding data and dataviz community member, who leads the community on best practices and advocates for more accessible data visualisation.
  • Mihály Minkó, early advocate and teacher in Hungary on the theoretical and historical aspects of information graphics, and a community builder.
  • Rossana Coro, creator of Surreal Dataviz, an example of “dedication and sparking inspiration who creates connections that otherwise wouldn’t have happened”. 
  • Sarah Bartlett, creator of Tableau user groups and the community project Iron quest provides a platform where people can submit work and get feedback. She “goes above and beyond to inspire and nurture people in the data community to grow and develop their skills”. 

Thank you to all those who submitted nominations for this year’s Impactful Community Leader. We look forward to continuing to amplify the work of these incredible creators and their projects in the coming year!

Author profile

Marília is an international relations analyst and communications specialist.

She is the founder of Global Diplomacy, a platform for those interested in understanding the world through research, data, and stories.

She is the Events Director of the Data Visualization Society.

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