The story behind the name MovED

November 10, 2023
Sonja-Sofia Thure

Last spring I had the chance to join a community that was then called Voices For Freedom NGO, and that was initiated by some of the most generous and warm-hearted people I’ve ever met to help build Ukraine through education after the horrible attack by their oppressor.

I had been agonizing over what I could do to help Ukraine when the horrid news and images started pouring. My heart broke for those people, especially children, whose lives had been taken or forever altered. But what could I do? I’m not an aid worker, not a teacher, not an influencer. I don’t have actual skills to do anything other than perhaps donate money and make noise - and doing those didn’t feel enough.

A chance, serendipity, as it sometimes does, stepped in and brought me together with the founders of Voices For Freedom - Hannele Mennala and Mikko-Pekka Hanski. They were looking for someone who could write, conceptualize, build brands and tell stories. Something and someone like me.

One of the first tasks I got the chance to take on with this incredible bunch of people, was to come up with a new name for the endeavor. Voices for Freedom was a good name, but perhaps we could invent a new one that could even better summarize the work that these brilliant people do, be catchy and memorable? Perhaps it could hold within itself that it is education that this whole movement is all about? And maybe it could be shorter, but also mean something bigger?

We got to work.

As anyone who has ever named anything in their lives can probably attest, naming things, people, products, movements, companies, brands, anything really, is not easy.

You want the name to be original, unique, easy, but at the same time it should hold many meanings in itself, sometimes even universes. If you are extremely creative and lucky, you can maybe come up with a name that no-one else has thought of in the context of your business or organisation, and maybe, just maybe, there is a domain available for that name.

Our group of creative minds thought of many alternatives together and separately, and one word from those conversations caught my ear and kept being stuck in the back of my head. I cannot remember who it was that wrote it down first, but there it was. Because more than anything, we were creating a movement

We were doing work and putting effort into making a difference and making the world perhaps a little bit better. For those in need in Ukraine, and definitely also for ourselves. Because when there is evil in the world, we need the feeling of having done at least something, no matter how little, to help.

So, movement it was. At least in my head, at least for now.

How could we tell it was a movement for Ukraine? For mentoring and educating the teachers of Ukraine for that moment when they are free from being oppressed and start building themselves and their country back up again?

How could we also invite others along, and share the experience of how deeply we were and wanted others to be moved when seeing and hearing news from Ukraine.
Wait a minute… moved. Yes, that’s it. That’s what we want for all of us. Movement for good, for the whole world to be moved.

After that, the rest of the word clicked easily into place.

So there it was. Plain and simple - MovED.

When we gathered together to make the decision on the name, this was probably one of the fastest decisions in the long history of decision-making.

We would be MovED.

We would be MovED because movement signifies action, transition, and change. All of the things we wanted from the people around us, for the good of the educational landscape of Ukraine.

We would be MovED because movement represents transformation, progress, and growth. It is the rhythm of life, reflecting our inherent drive to learn, adapt, and evolve, no matter where we are.

We would be MovED because we see education as an ongoing process of discovery,  enlightenment and empowerment.

We would be MovED because the name represents our call to action to stimulate curiosity, ignite passion, and promote critical thinking.

The world is changed through words, as people wiser than me have stated and shown. And even people like me, who really only know words, can make a difference and help in situations where we can’t do anything else.

If I could do it, imagine what you could do. MovED still needs professionals, ideas, hands, brains, doers and just people with who have time to give. So if you, too, have been deeply moved by what you have witnessed, do join us. 

Together, we are MovED.Together, we can make a change.

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