Searching for belonging in Europe
Client: Are We Europe | Role: Brand Strategy | February 2018
The European media landscape continues being fractured by national borders — in an otherwise borderless Europe. The Are We Europe Foundation aims at facilitating the platform, where this narrative can concentrate: told by European Storytellers. Politically involved and culturally curious Europeans that want to have a voice in the big question: What does it mean to be European?
We found that Europe as a concept has one major problem: The abstraction that we face while talking about Europe is too big. On a national level, there are many touchpoints that people identify with as being Germany, Greece, Croatia or Spain. However, by enforcing this meta-concept on all those countries while ignoring the question how people are going to feel connected to it, ‘belonging’ becomes hard.
Europe as a whole is evolving constantly, which is why Are We Europe cannot aim at finding the one definition that holds all the truth. Rather, recognising it as a constantly evolving concept raises the opportunity to build a community around this change.
With the community as a central element of the brand and the platform — the podium of the young European voice — in mind, Are We Europe was based on three main axes: An online platform called for young Europeans to write, analyze, and connect with each other, a project called Edges of Europe that applies the "design sprint" model to produce multimedia stories about regions and issues that deserve more attention than they are getting, and the main outlet: a printed magazine.
Those three pillars serve as three different perspectives, with different journalistic disciplines that give a stage for discussing the ever-changing state of what it means to be European: centralised in one platform, beyond the horizon of news.