In 2007, when India was celebrating 60 years of independence, C.K Prahalad delivered a lecture in New York. He said “As we celebrate India@60, let us remember that all our accomplishments are in the past. Leadership, however, is about the future and it is about change. Leadership is about hope. So I decided not to dwell on the past 60 years but to focus on the future. I will focus on India@75, not India@60″
He then went ahead to identify directions of development that India needed to march to her destiny. Apart from identifying sectors of education, economic trade and science, he emphasized on an important dimension of spreading the culture of volunteering in India.
In 2009, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in collaboration with the Boston Consultancy Group (BCG) undertook a pan-India visioning exercise to validate the vision of Late Prof C.K Prahalad. An India@75 Foundation was set up, and taskforces were aligned with each sector.
India@75 created a National Volunteering Grid to bridge the gap between the demands of the non-profit organizations & the supply of highly passionate individuals who are willing to offer their skills on a pro bono basis. The TATA group was entrusted with the mandate to promote and systematise Pro Bono volunteering across the country. The taskforce was headed by Cyrus Mistry & Dr. Mukund Rajan for a one year term.
Twist Open was onboarded for the design of the Pro Bono identity (skilled volunteering) as well as the UX and Interaction design of the volunteering platform.
Our first task was to create an aura around ‘skilled volunteering’, define a brand personality using stories & visual references that would make Pro Bono Volunteering aspirational in the mind of the common Indian. Ordinarily, the word “Volunteering” may conjure images of the needy and evoke feelings of sympathy. We wanted to break this stereotype and position Volunteering as something to take great pride in, to show off, to aspire for.
This meant we had to find a surrogate for ‘Volunteering’. We explored several metaphors; dream-catchers, tattoos, DNA structure, ripples and music till we found one that represented the ethos perfectly. The dandelion. The dandelion’s floating seeds are a figurative expression for spreading good, where the effect of one’s actions go a long way.
The dandelion metaphor struck the right chords and was a resounding success with all the stakeholders on the project. We then moved to creating the brand identity, which is used on the Pro Bono web platform.