Research on international civil society is conducted at the UIA in order to inform debates on strategies for a better world order. However, it is our opinion that to enrich these debates in more profound ways, we do not simply need new content or factual insight, but instead new ways of presenting and conceptualizing these debates and ideas. Therefore, the UIA has pioneered research into alternative means of conceptualizing information, networks and relationships, and strategies or philosophies for action. This research has followed two main but inter-related strands: experiments with non-textual visualization or sonorification of information; and the presentation of complex dialogue and strategy through patterns and metaphor, to reframe organizations, issues and policies. The challenges of visualization and metaphor are closely related through visual metaphor appropriate to enhanced comprehension.