Putting the right to clear vision on the UN's agenda


The Clearly campaign was launched by James Chen in April 2016, with the vision of providing a pair of glasses to anyone who needs them as quickly as possible. There are many excellent charities who do brilliant work on avoidable blindness, but Clearly are one of the few who focus on the much more widespread problem of refractive error; something which can be remedied cheaply with just a simple pair of glasses.

Poor vision is the largest unmet disability in the world today. One third of the world’s population, particularly in developing countries, don’t have access to glasses or basic eye care. Whilst Clearly are very active in addressing this problem, awareness of the issue and its wider impact is very low, which makes convincing people to take action very difficult. needed to raise the profile of poor vision among the public, and Global leaders who have the powers to affect widespread change with their policies. More important than simple awareness, they need to care enough to take action. The solution to this crisis isn’t monetary donations, it’s the Global community listening, caring, and standing together for change.

What does seeing clearly mean?

By combining empathetic storytelling with the visual metaphor of impaired vision,’s homepage interactively communicates the macro challenges we face, but does so through a playful and compelling mechanic.

In taking an aspirational approach to storytelling, we reframed these key challenges to convey what those affected could achieve with the introduction of a simple pair of glasses; things that people in developed countries take for granted every day. Our interactive journey allows people to discover the message for themselves, encouraging a deeper connection and greater chance of pledging their support.

Galvanising Mass Support Through Social

Personal donations are not the end goal for Clearly. The vision is bigger and the solution is at a societal infrastructure level. Global policies towards improving vision simply needs to change, and with, visitors are empowered to take that first step.

Visitors are asked to sign a simple petition, and to amplify the message with a Tweet to one of several influential people who represent the issue on the global stage (namely, UN council members). By fully integrating this functionality into the platform, we made pledging support for the cause as easy as possible, without giving up a dime, and delivered directly to the notification inboxes of those that can help.

Results’s storytelling and social pledge mechanic was a bold and direct approach that empowered citizens to lobby their UN & Commonwealth leaders on a grand scale (15.2M reach, 37.9M impressions during the launch month alone), and with the site targeting noise towards key Global leader events, each single pledge contributed to an amplified message that couldn’t be ignored.

At the Commonwealth summit in April 2018 (the first world leader event to be targeted by the site), heads of all 53 countries acknowledged the global vision crisis for the first time in history, and all nations committed to action in order to achieve ‘quality eye care for all’ – a landmark decision that can change hundreds of millions of lives in the years ahead.