Many of you would have known us by the name Nusantara Development Initiatives, or NDI. It was a name which a bunch of us, while still in university back then, chose when we first started out. It was a great name and had great resonance among our supporters who were very familiar with Indonesia.

So, about that logo change......

As we scaled our impact, the diversity of our stakeholders grew; coming from countries like Japan, Australia the United States and our home base in Singapore. I began to notice that more and more people were not able to remember our name or make the connection between our name and what we do. We were therefore in a position where while we were already showing good results, people had difficulty remembering us.

Something else was also happening: As an organization, we were growing up. And growth brings with it a different kind of challenge –how can the ethos of the founding team be kept alive when new people are joining the team? What is it that we truly care about, and what defines us? Could our logo act as our ‘North Star’, and a compass to guide us of what we do and equally as important, don’t do? And finally, how could we better engage the world, since our cause was universal?

I was reminded of the decision made by a small Japanese company called Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo many decades ago. It realized that in order to engage the world better, it needed a name that can ‘translate’ well outside Japan. It eventually renamed itself, Sony, after much debate.

We are not comparing ourselves to Sony, of course, but the analogy is to highlight that sometimes an organization can outgrow its name.

It was not a decision that I took lightly and one which I had spent almost a year mulling over, especially as I had grown attached to our original name. In the short term, it will cause us some inconveniences as we make the transition. In the long term, a logo that is sharper to our cause will help drive greater awareness of our work, so that we can always be in a good position to deliver greater impact.

The logo is read as Chapter W. We think it represents the values and spirit of the organization well: A strong ‘can-do’ attitude by people who are passionate about the cause and who are willing to challenge conventional wisdom to make change happen. It is also designed with the future in mind: It is my belief that non-profits who can figure out how to combine technological advances into their work will make change happen at a large scale. In future therefore, all high impact non-profits will be tech non-profits, regardless of their cause.

Fairoz Ahmad

October 2016

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© 2016 Chapter W ● All rights reserved ● Chapter W is a non-profit organisation registered in Singapore as Nusantara Development Initiatives reg. no. 201 213 383R

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But most importantly, we chose this name because at the core of what we do is to help women write their own chapters in life. By empowering them, they can in turn, empower their children to shape their own chapters in life.