The Netherlands are at the forefront of technological innovations, such as in the field of horticulture and water management. But a Dutch entrepreneur who wants to start abroad, needs more than a good idea.
NLWorks is for entrepreneurs with international ambitions. The organization helps companies to realize sustainable development projects abroad. They facilitate international cooperation with long-term programs involving companies, governments and institutions. The colorful collection of programs, partners and projects makes it quite complex and therefore not always easy to explain what NLWorks actually does.
Global challenges, Dutch solutions
It was quite a challenge for NLWorks to tell a clear and unambiguous story. To properly explain what they do exactly. That is often difficult for starting organizations. Because there is so much to tell!
Together with the NLWorks team, we developed a visual. While sketching, we mapped out a large collection of story blocks. And on that basis we could see what the common thread in the story was. Step by step we worked on a visual that clearly explains what the organization does.
Designing a visual explanation
“That was quite a job!” says Inge Wijzenbroek, NLWorks communication advisor. “Our team of many smart and driven people had so many ideas, stories and opinions! People often got lost in too many details and content of the programs. Internal conversations went in all directions.”
All stories had to be funneled towards one clear corporate story. Flatland’s visual consultants Yara and Willem kept the NLWorks team on their toes. With our method of visual design thinking we brought a clear line in the story. The sessions at Flatland in the office also provided a lot of inspiration.
Animations make it even more concrete
NLWorks was able to practice telling a shared story with the visual. This made the corporate story a lot clearer. Yet the story remained quite abstract. There was so much complexity in the NLWorks programs that they continued to formulate them in general terms and, as a result, interesting information was lost. And that didn’t make it any sharper. In other words, it had to be a lot more concrete!
That is why Flatland and NLWorks developed a series of animation films. Per video a very concrete situation in which the contribution of NLWorks becomes clear. About sustainable pig farming in China, smart greenhouses in Kentucky, the generation of electricity, gas, clean water in India and healthcare in Colombian villages.
If you describe the programs with words, you will not be able to do that as well as with animations, because there is so much to tell. The good thing about animation is that you work with multiple layers of information: you don’t have to explain everything, because that is visible on the screen. In that sense you can put more information in a video.
After showing a pilot version to friends and family, NLWorks became even more enthusiastic about the effect of the animations. “People were very enthusiastic!” says Wijzenbroek. “They said: Now I finally understand what you are doing!“
Totstandkoming en ontwikkeling nog de grootste impact
Inge tells about the added value of drawing during the sessions with Flatland: “You are immediately confronted with all the input you give. We were involved with seven people and during the sessions Flatland’s Lucas made some drawing. We gave him a flood of information, and Lucas made a picture of it with loads of elements. ”
“That was literally an eye-opener: a picture is like a mirror. You are forced to get to the essence of your story.” Visualizing helps to sharpen your story and forces you to make choices.
Resultaten: sprekende animaties
Together we developed four different animations. Always with the same intro, but afterwards a different impact program is highlighted each time.
Check them out here (spoken text in Dutch):
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