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August 1, 2014

Post World Cup, Moving Forward…!

by pdranoff

The World Cup, Winter Break and a few other challenges have created some detours in the innova+ project, but nothing impeding us from moving forward slow and steady. We are currently past the first phase of the initiative, in which we have made contact with our partners, developed graphics and visual tools to communicate our objectives and laid down some strategic plans for how to keep moving forward.

In early July, a Spanish telecommunications company with a large branch here in Brazil released their “Top 100” project, which was a list of the best innovations in STEM education from the past year. Sound familiar? We thought so too. Check it out on this link: top100_educational_innovations

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On the same week this project was released, we had already scheduled a meeting with them about another collaboration we have going. I’ve quickly learnt that in the NGO world, partnerships are key and working together is the best (and only) way to move forward. There cannot be competition among non-profits, for the very principle of their goals: to help others. If one organization competes with another for an audience, technology or even a grant, then the effort will lose focus and goals will be pushed even further away. As with a lot of what we learn at RISD, teamwork is essential, especially for the ambitious.

So, instead of being let down by the project that seemed so similar to our initiative, we took it as an opportunity to create a new link. We also saw all of the differences between our goals and what they were proposing, and explained to them that in fact, we were not at all trying to compete with anyone but create something to supplement the existing publication. All of this meant one thing for us, though. We had to go back to the drawing board with the name of the project, which up to this point had been “100+.”

This potential challenge was actually taken as an opportunity to revisit some of our goals and actually jumpstart our initiative. Sticking to our strong belief in teamwork, I called for a brainstorming session with the journalists, administration and anyone else who was interested in racking our brains for ideas. At lunch, we shared our thoughts on the “Top 100” publication and how the information had been presented. After all, these projects are about communication and how to make information the most accessible to a large and diverse audience, which is where design plays a very important role.

Our greatest challenge with the name of the project was to create something catchy, that would be understood and recognized in many different countries. Using our best “Design Thinking” brainstorming and a mix of Portuguese, English and Latin keywords, we decided to eliminate the number “100” from the title. We felt that it was too limiting and the focus was not so much on the quantity but the quality of the content. The name we decided upon was innova+, which has Latin roots and can be interpreted in many ways. The rest of the visual language for the project was developed based on the idea that many things can come together to create a larger whole. You can find some of the graphics and communication material right here: innova+ convite para especialistas english.

Below are a few logo iterations we went over, before dedicing on the final innova+ logo in the presentation above.

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The next phase of the project will be to start collecting the content from our partners and specialists and, meanwhile think of a format to communicate all this information in the best way possible!

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