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Voting on the final logo!

After an in depth analysis of the narrative and core values, the visual branding team created a logo concept using a rigorous development process. Now, we’d love your help to finalize the process and obtain a final logo and color scheme. Please check the pdf and vote with the link below!

Brand narrative:

Thousand Network is a mobile society of remarkable young people. We cook up molecular gastronomy, perform pop sonatas, build social empires, and craft radical policy. We bridge geographies and disciplines, designing opportunities for meaningful conversation, collaboration, and discovery. We are bound by our curiosity and creativity, and a value system that emphasizes kindness and integrity as much as ambition and accomplishment. The world is our lab, and altruism is our currency. With over 900 members in 40 cities on 5 continents, we’re connecting tomorrow’s global leaders today.

  • curiosity
  • audacity
  • generosity
  • playfulness
  • vulnerability

We began with explorations in texture and color, which, through multiple feedback rounds within the branding working group, eventually led to a more symbol-driven motif. The logo had to be a symbol that could resonate with a global demographic, was ethnically ambiguous, and gender neutral.

 We first explored different potential concepts:

  • Exploration 1: Circles > warmth and playfulness
  • Exploration 2: Building blocks > support
  • Exploration 3: Thinkers and doers > lateral thinkers, vertical expertise
  • Exploration 4: Nations and flags > global identity > 30 nations > 30 patterns
  • Exploration 5: network > cross-overs > intersections > asterisk

To pursue the process, the branding narrative and visual teams voted and chose:
“Exploration 5: network > cross-overs > intersections > asterisk”.

From there, the visual team went back to the drawing board to draw this concept out into 4 stages:

  • Exploration 5a: development of pattern and texture, to create an ID that represented the dynamic quality of our group. Intersection of Depth and Dynamism
  • Exploration 5b: Refinement of ID, digging deeper into the symbolism behind the motif, and color concept development
  • Exploration 5c: Narrowing down over 200 different iterations, typeface study in parallel within working group
  • Exploration 5d: Bring concepts down to 2 options and 3 color palettes

unnamed

 

An animated .gif that shows the logo exploration process.

 

 The logo concept we designed revolves around the asterisk. Created through intersecting paths, the asterisk evokes a sense of curiosity, playfulness and audacity, which resonates with our core community values. In written language, we put an asterisk next to something when we want to emphasize additional depth. Through a symbolic layering of polygons at its center, the motif speaks to the rich layering of diverse backgrounds, super powers, and experiences of our members.

ThousandNetworkFinalConcepts-01

 

Now we need your help!

To choose the final logo, we’d love for the community to:

  • pick one of the two asterisks – A or B
  • pick one of the three color schemes – 1, 2 or 3

Key consideration as you help make a final decision:

  • Is this legible, scalable?
  • Can the symbolism be misconstrued in any way?
  • Is this identifiable within your regional context?

A Thousand Hugs,

 Visual Branding Team
Aisha Sheikh www.createsimplexity.com
Eoin Bara www.v7.ie
Steve Tam www.100ac.re
Thierry Blancpain www.grillitype.com

 

Moving from a name to a brand

Now that we have a new name, we’ll move on to creating a memorable and suitable brand narrative and identity. To accomplish this, we’ve asked some branding experts in our community to put together a timeline for achieving the following:

  • Core narrative (including messaging and naming details)
  • Brand strategy (including digital and PR approach)
  • Visual identity & guidelines with logo, type + color, and digital (website guidelines)

Specifically, Melissa Richer (San Francisco), Robert Bolton (Toronto) and Sagarika Sundaram (London),  will be working on story and narrative, while Thierry Blancpain (Zurich), founder of Grilli Type Foundry and the designer of the Sandbox logo, Eoin Bara (Dublin), founder of V7, and Steve Tam (Toronto), founder of 100ac.re, have all kindly agreed to submit design proposals. Radha and I will facilitate the process with both groups.

Here’s the timeline we’ll follow:

Feb 1 – Work commences on One Thousand brand narrative and visual identity

Feb 23 – Brand team to update community on narrative/PR/naming details

Mar 8 – Brand team to share visual direction in a blog post + town hall for feedback

Mar 31 – Brand team to share final visual direction and final narrative

At each juncture, we’d love to get your feedback on the ideas that are coming out. At the end of March, we’ll have a new visual identity, a story to tell and brand guidelines.

Get ready. History is in the making.

 

Get involved early

Our recent debates over naming have served as a good reminder of the diversity of opinions in this community. As an example, in the midst of the naming process, we would receive contradictory emails from members. “Three names is too much, you should just propose one name and let’s go for it” wrote one member a few minutes before another member told us: “we have to vote on all names, that’s the most democratic.” At every step of the way, we got contradictory feedback. On the same evening, I spent 1.5 hours on the phone with a member who passionately defended a specific name that another member had, one hour earlier, called “pathetic.” Even with the three names the Branding Committee had proposed, opinions diverged: “I personally like Wayfare a lot” wrote someone on the Facebook group, before another responded: “I don’t get it.” Some loved the “warmth” of Canopy, others find it “bland.” Some loved the symbolism behind One/Thousand, others thought it was “elitist.”

Those differences partly result from the diversity of our individual experiences within this community. Some hubs have tight-knit groups of members who meet on a weekly basis; others only meet a few times a year. Some members are surrounded by their closest friends in the community; others are alone in their hub. Some members travel the world to create bonds of friendship across borders; others rarely attend local dinners. Some members consider our community as a place for authenticity and growth; others leverage it largely as a professional network. As a result, everybody comes to the table with different expectations. It’s heartening to see so many members care deeply about the direction we are taking. At the same time, it’s important to keep this diversity in mind in our discussions and acknowledge that (as another member highlighted) “we will never be able to satisfy everyone.”

As a transition board, sensitivity to this diversity of thought is our primary mission. We do not feel empowered to make decisions on behalf of the community. Rather, we seek to listen to those who want to provide their input, and facilitate a discussion as well as a decision-making process based on those inputs. Process seems to us to be the most important word here. To transcend the diversity of thought our community represents, a collaboratively-designed process becomes our collective ally. Only by agreeing on a process ahead of time can we then move beyond our differences and agree on the outcome, even if we disagree with the outcome at face value.

Moving forward, we’d like to extend an opportunity for every member to get more involved in the initial stages of decision-making – when we’re determining the process. Once the process is engaged, we are charged with taking the community forward following that process. In the interest of rest of the membership as well as time, it becomes difficult (even unfair) for us to change the process in favor of individual suggestions. In the next couple of weeks, we’ll be suggesting processes to move forward on by-laws and governance, and we’d like to invite everyone to join the conversation early in the game. As we post, please use the comments section or drop by town halls to ask questions and contribute. If you can’t join in (for whatever reason), please trust your fellow One/Thousand members who did.

A new name

The people have spoken!

Over the past week, 606 members of our community voted on their choice for a new name. Thank you to everyone who participated and took the time to voice concerns, questions and opinions. The final results were selected according to the Single Transferable Vote method. After months of work and a week of deliberation, the community has chosen a name that represents who we are — we are a thousand ideas, a thousand people, a thousand friendships…We are One/Thousand:

One/Thousand is a mobile society of remarkable young people. We cook up molecular gastronomy, perform pop sonatas, build social empires, and craft radical policy. We bridge geographies and disciplines, designing opportunities for meaningful conversation, collaboration, and discovery. We are bound by our curiosity and creativity, and a value system that emphasizes kindness and integrity as much as ambition and accomplishment. The world is our lab, and altruism is our currency. With over 900 members in 40 cities on 5 continents, we’re connecting tomorrow’s global leaders today.

Our next step is to improve on this first brand story as well as design a visual identity. Together with the name, these should represent our narrative. We’re still working on the timeline and deliverables for this, and will communicate it all in the next few days.

In this process, we’ll continue to incorporate feedback as we go so please don’t hesitate to leave comments. What do you think is missing from this name? What does this name not evoke that you’d like to find in the visual identity and tone of voice?

You can see the detailed results of the vote in the following pdf:

Voting Method Explained

While voting for our new name, you may have noticed that the poll asked for you to rank your preferences, rather than simply vote for your preferred name. Recognizing the importance people feel around their naming preferences, we wanted to ensure that member’s full preferences were considered when deciding a name. As a result, the board decided to use something called Instant-runoff Voting (IRV), also known as preferential voting. IRV takes into account more than a voter’s top choice. Most importantly, IRV ensures that the our winning name of three options has the support of most voters.

In IRV, the winning candidate must secure a majority of votes. If no majority is present, the candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated, and those individuals who voted for the eliminated candidate then have their second choice represented – they essentially get to recast their vote with the reduced field of options. In this manner, IRV simulates a runoff election, but without requiring multiple rounds of voting. The least popular choice is eliminated and the vote is “instantly” rerun with the two remaining candidates, based on voters’ preferences.

In our case, it turned out that the name with the most votes under IRV also had the most number of #1 votes, although the margin was considerably smaller when second choices were factored in. Rerunning the vote with the top two options ensured that the winner secured a majority of the vote.

You can read more about Instant-runoff Voting on Wikipedia. Or you can watch a cartoon explanation.

Announcing name choices

This post is the third in a series of posts on our naming process. We started with explaining the great work our Brand Committee had done since June, and then announced the process to come to a name by January 12.

Over the last 6 months, we’ve engaged the entire community to find a name that truly encompasses the creativity, curiosity and vibrancy of our group. From July to December, we polled the community to establish core values, conducted brainstorms across the globe (phone calls, dinners, workshops, diagrams), and worked to narrow down our brand narrative, before entering the final phase of the process to vote on our name.

From December 15-24, community members submitted 72 names on the Creads platform. The Creads exercise became the converging point in the ideation process. As the board announced on December 15, we asked every member of the Branding Committee to each select three names they would choose, and highlight why those names resonated with them. We also asked community members to email us their recommendations so everyone had a chance for input at this integral stage.

Having established a strong foundation for the community to rally around values and a name, we enlisted the experience and knowledge of the group’s brand experts to not only shortlist the names, but more importantly construct brief narratives that would evoke our unique story as a community.

From all of this input, a focused group of brand specialists – those within our family who have made a career out of creating brands, namely Saga, Thierry, Eoin, Steve, Robert and Melissa, led by Aisha and myself (Radha) – shortlisted 3 names, which we are now putting forward to the community for a final vote.

What was the criteria?

The criteria we put forward to the Branding committee for their suggestions was the same we followed in short listing 3 names:

  • Ownable. Our new name has to be ours, and truly ours. It cannot be something that has been used over and over again, or is known throughout the world for another organization, product, movement, or community.
  • Aligned with our brand narrative. This community is unique and our new name has to have a story that reflects our values and identity.
  • Culturally and geographically non-specific
  • Longevity. We want a name that will be timeless, reflect our ever-growing community and have relevance in the future.

Defining our narrative

In addition, from the list of names on Creads, Sagarika Sundaram (one of our brand experts) noticed patterns bubbling up in the long list of names. What we are hearing is that there are three traits, as a community, that we want our name to capture.

  • Warm: We are a family of friends. Our generosity towards each other defines who we are as a group.
    eg. caravan, canopy, XO
  • Weighty: We are a community of exceptional people, and we need a name that acknowledges our expertise and our specialness. We deserve gravitas and credibility.
    eg. nautilus, constellation, one/thousand
  • Edgy: We are pioneers. We push our work to the edge of possibility. Our lifestyles match our mindsets – we invent our own rules for living.
    eg., tribe, wayfare, HQ

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It’s worth pointing out that if we look for one name to capture all three sentiments, we risk becoming all things to all people. If we want to present ourselves to the world with a clear and strong voice, we need to lead with one trait, and capture the other two through supporting brand elements, such as tone-of-voice, imagery, identity, etc.

Keeping this in mind, the brand team has selected one name that stands for each trait. Your job is to select one. In selecting a name, you are implicitly selecting the trait that you think is most important to present to the world, as a community.

The 3 shortlisted names

Here they are in alphabetical order:

Canopy Network
Category: Warm

Wayfare Network
Category: Edgy

One/Thousand Network
Category: Weighty

Voting

Note: please reach out to the board if you don’t get a voting link in your email.

Now, it’s up to you! You have until January 13 to vote the three names. By picking one name, you are implicitly picking the trait you think our name should lead with. The selected name will be used to drive the brand narrative and other communication assets. We’ll then highlight the two other traits through supporting brand elements like graphics and tone-of-voice.

On January 14, we’ll tally the votes and announce our new name 🙂

One caveat: in the event that a certain name is not available for legal or other practical reasons such as negative brand association, we’ll work with the Branding Committee to suggest an appropriate alternate name that highlights the same trait.

* The members of the brand committee were: Melissa Richer, Sagarika Sundaram, Thierry Blancpain, Steve Tam, Eoin Bara, Radha Mistry, Aisha Sheikh, Stavros Stavroulakis, Michelle Lim, Audrey Richard-Laurent, Nastaran Tavakoli-Far, Erica Berger, Denis Baranov, David Skudlik, Luc Jodet, Brenda Wambui, and Edward Silhol

A New Community

Dear friends,

Three weeks have passed since you elected the 5 of us to move our community forward. As we implement processes and take decisions over the next 6 months that will have a lasting impact on our community, we are committed to providing full transparency and empowering you, the members, to guide us through those decisions.

For this to happen effectively, however, we face an inherent challenge. While we err on the side of over-communication with newsletters, Facebook updates and town halls, we also realize keeping up is difficult, and there is no traceable trail of our process.

That’s why we are creating this blog. We hope to use this as a dedicated platform for us to share weekly updates, and for you to keep tabs on what’s going on and react, respond and suggest ideas.

Our first post traces the naming process up till now, and our second post provides details on the branding process once we have a name. Our third post suggests an idea to use the blog as a collaborative platform to create our new by-laws – an exciting opportunity to one of the first (if not the first?) global organizations to design our new operating framework collectively. We’d love to hear your thoughts.

We hope you join us in this thrilling ride!

Michael, Asia, Tahnee, Tia & Alexandre