Vandejong optimistic branding: Manifesto (English)

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The most successful people and the strongest organisations know their own identities through and through. They know what they stand for and can get it across to those around them with full conviction …

The most successful people and the strongest organisations know their own identities through and through. They know what they stand for and can get it across to those around them with full conviction and energy. But what truly makes them strong is that they mean something to those around them. They are part of a community, built out of a two-way relationship of trust with those to whom they seek to matter.

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  • 1. VandejongManifesto ~
  • 2. A new chanceWe are temporarily confused, and maybe you are To do that, you will have to allow others into yourtoo. Every day the news teaches us that the old domain and remain open to knowledge, learningrules no longer apply. Suddenly we’re in a crisis – and reflection from those around you. You must findtrusted banks are collapsing, holiday destinations common ground between you and the communityare going bankrupt. Politics is no longer ruled by you wish to matter to and be connected to. If youactual issues but by those who are best at manipu- succeed in doing this in a substantive, meaningfullating the media, who thrill to the ups and downs in way, others will express faith in your ideal, productThe Hague and like to encourage them. Meanwhile, or service and even allow it to influence theirthe public has been overcome by a powerlessness actions. What’s more, friendship provides room forthat won’t be changed by a trip to the polling booth. experiment, a chance to try new things and grow byAnd the Dutch public-service-message foundation falling and getting back up. By contrast, insinceritySire’s latest campaign is: “Nice people. How do you and opportunism are merciless-ly punished. Anddeal with them?” that’s a good thing, because it keeps you sharp. It keeps you standing.Our trust has suffered serious damage. We’re atbreaking point, and we’re not sure anymore what’sgood and what’s bad. Which direction should we go Culture inspires innovationin, and what approach should we take? Making connections and creating meaning are theBut fortunately, there’s an opportunity here! Our essence of culture. These ideas are embedded indoubts about the established order mean we want the foundations of every cultural institution. Theto – and must – take a fresh look at existing task of involving people in socially relevant issuespatterns and structures. So let’s spend some time by placing those issues in a meaningful context isin this no man’s land, this uncharted territory that part of this. Cultural institutions are the place forno one has yet claimed, and ask ourselves: What do creative ideas outside the existing frames, criticalI want to add to this open field? What am I going to reflections on the issues of the day, and uncommonmean for the future of this world? What drives me, views of the future. Culture inspires innovation.and what is its significance for others? We have togo back to the beginning, to think about the In these turbulent times, more than ever, culturalimmutable reason we’re here and make it manifest. institutions can make a big difference. But having become dependent on subsidies, they are forced to play it safe, targeting the usual suspects and opting Common ground for familiar programming and a recognisable image out of a fear that their loyal audiences will stopTo stay standing in a changing society, you need showing up otherwise. They follow rather thanlong-term vision. You need an undeniable will to setting an example, but now is a time for leadingachieve something and a full awareness of who you the way. So – keep your chin up and your eyes onare and who you want to be. The most successful the world, and bear witness to the new culturalpeople and the strongest organisations know their entrepreneurship.own identities through and through. They knowwhat they stand for and can get it across to thosearound them with full conviction and energy. But What’s next?what truly makes them strong is that they meansomething to those around them. They are part of a Foam, for example, has been expanding the con-community, built out of a two-way relationship of cept of the museum for a decade. Foam regularlytrust with those to whom they seek to matter. leaves its building in order to meet its public. It puts exhibitions in public space and treats posters andMeaning and the right to exist go hand in hand with invitations as extensions of the gallery. Foam usescreating value – not only financial value for yourself communication as a form of exhibition. But morebut also immaterial value for those close to you, importantly, Foam thinks in connections. Foamyour colleagues, your organisation, your clients and, invests in far-reaching, mutually meaningfulmost of all, society. What will you say if someone relationships with the people who matter to it. Thus,asks: Are you proud of what you’ve done? How have an international group of photography fans andyou inspired the world? amateurs connects through Club Foam, Foam Fan Vandejong Manifesto
  • 3. A new chanceand Foam magazine. Foam for You gives pupils a that knowledge in the form of innovations incritical awareness of contemporary visual culture, business. In other words, we must bring scholarshipand the Foam Lab allows young professionals to back to society.explore cultural careers. Foam has also built anetwork of collectors, businesses and private The universities are core players here. Along withinvestors through a cultural investment fund, the conducting groundbreaking research and spotlight-Foam Fund. ing its usefulness and necessity, they are charged with developing and encouraging talent. Universi-With this approach, Foam is succeeding in attract- ties must make pupils and students aware of theing a broad public and making photography acces- importance of scholarship and challenge andsible without compromising quality. During its brief inspire them to make meaningful contributions toexistence, Foam has grown into one of Amster- innovation in society – to work for the future.dam’s most visited museums. And Foam realisesthat its success is not guaranteed. The world of There is not always room for such existentialism.photography is changing fast. More photography Universities’ communication often emphasises themuseums are opening, and technological develop- message that, more than anything else, the studentments have made digital cameras commonplace; years are the best time of one’s life. This is ananyone can easily publish his or her snapshots and extremely casual message and represents a missedtricks on the Internet. Photography and photogra- opportunity. Behind the complexity of every piecephers have lost their old meanings – but what do of scientific research lies an exceptionally inspiringthey mean now? And what is Foam’s position in this story. Universities should return to substance anddynamic field? tell the world about it.Over the next decade, therefore, Foam seeks todevelop into an international network, making Do what you’re good atincreasing use of the potential of others. To themembers of Club Foam International, the vanguard University of Twente returned to substance in itsof the visual profession, Foam will pose the ques- recruitment campaign for secondary school pupils.tion: What’s next? That is, what are the strengths of University of Twente’s power lies in the multidisci-the world of photography? What should Foam know plinary interaction between technology and society.and share with photography lovers? Foam will be Linking practical, social issues with high-level, oftenthe finger on the pulse of the photography world. future-oriented knowledge is a hallmark of the university.With photography a universal language and Foammagazine a boundless success, this internationali- ‘We create futures!’ therefore became the drivingsation is the Foam brand’s logical next step – but it force behind the university’s bachelor’s degreeis unprecedented in the cultural sector. The mu- campaign. ‘We’ is the first key word – here, thingsseum itself, the home base on Amsterdam’s are done together. Professors, lecturers, students,Keizersgracht, will be the crucial heart of this global communication staff and science journalists onnetwork. It may become a mythical spot in time different– the place where it all started. The place where a faculties described their substantive work in termsbrand was born that dared to take on the world, a relevant to pupils. The campaign emphasises thebrand that set an example for new cultural entre- everyday relevance of scholarship and asks pupils:preneurship in perplexing times. What can you contribute to the society of the future? University of Twente shows how scholarship touches all corners of society and how young A return to substance people can make their dreams for the future come true in ways that are both relevant and fun. It showsInnovation in entrepreneurship: the Netherlands how people can turn thinking into doing, just as thisneeds to be persuaded that it is important. If our enterprising university constantly turns multidis-small country is to matter on the world stage, we ciplinary research into concrete social action.must continue to invest in the so-called knowledgeeconomy. That not only means stimulating the The faculties seized the opportunity presented bygrowth of knowledge but taking the lead in applying the campaign to bundle together all their various Vandejong Manifesto
  • 4. A new chanceeducational activities for pupils and make them Creating Trustvillevisible under one name: Twente Academy. Thispre-university programme actively involves pupils in Traditional institutional power structures areknowledge, scholarship and studying. Twente faltering; multiple scandals and signs of powerless-Academy offers workshops led by young students ness have caused citizens to revoke their trust inand experienced professors and boosts pupils’ politicians and administrators. Everyone’s role andconfidence in difficult subjects through individual significance in tomorrow’s society must be rede-homework help and on-campus final exam camps. fined and fought for. And, of course, we have to start with ourselves. It’s not enough to be critical.With Twente Academy, the university is building an Vandejong has to manifest its own significance andimportant bridge between secondary school pupils help to shape this no man’s land.and academia. In turn, the university is acquiringmore insight into the pupils’ world. Twente Academy We have therefore taken the initiative of inviting likeis a unique interpretation of the university’s social minds to help us consider the question: How can werole. Loaded with potential and ambition, it is restore confidence in society’s power and make itraising knowledge levels in the Netherlands. the starting point of our thoughts and actions again? We wish to develop new perspectives with others to highlight the sticking points in discussions Persuasive optimism about society’s future and get past them with the help of creative strategies.Change and innovation are best set in motion with asufficient dose of optimism. And a positive outlook We are shaping this process through thoughts of anis indispensable for the development of cities and imaginary society in 2020 – Welcome to Trustville.regions, too, even if the task might seem difficult. The city and urban life serve as a metaphor for aAmsterdam’s Zuidas district, for example, will be junction of meaningful potential connections.the city’s future premier international hub. In spite Where are theof negative publicity, if this ambition is to be opportunities for innovation, new relationships andrealised, Zuidas must keep believing in itself as a greater meaning? And how will they look? We arelively mixed-use district with a cosmopolitan air that investigating these questions using four archetypes:will contribute to the international positioning of the what can politics, education, culture and economicscity. Tentativeness, insecurity and doubt don’t fit mean for building meaningful connections in thewith cosmopolitanism. You’ve got to think big! future city of Trustville?Grand gestures are called for. In Zuidas, the world isat your doorstep, and everyone should know it. Everyone can help build Trustville: politicians andHere, you’re not just buying a house but metropoli- activists, pupils and professors, labourers and civiltan life. This vision demands confident, optimistic servants, creatives and strategists, doers andcommunication of outstanding quality. It’s about thinkers, optimists and waverers. We welcomeopenness to the world, to getting acquainted, ideas, reflections on ideas, and new initiatives in allmeeting others. Hello You – Hello World – Hello conceivable forms and variations. Join us atZuidas! creatingtrustville.org.Hello Zuidas is a brand that links city government,businesses and residents. It is a platform thatbrings all the actors together, involves activepartners and makes them ambassadors for thearea. Hello Zuidas brings in the best the world hasto offer, encourages new initiatives, and organises Read more about us at vandejong.nl or ring +31-20-activities of its own. It functions as a transmitter of 462-2062. For the latest news, see blog.vandejong.nl.attractive ideas and initiatives that are important tothe development of Zuidas, and an exceptional city. © Vandejong, 2010 Vandejong Manifesto
  • 5. A new chanceVandejong Manifesto