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Exponential Potential

As the world’s oldest and most prestigious scholarship, the Rhodes Trust was ready to broaden their impact for the next 120 years.

But as they prepared to reinforce their commitment to igniting the power of brilliant scholars around the world, they had to grapple with their founder’s—Cecil Rhodes—colonialist history in sub-Saharan Africa.

Together we worked to build a campaign strategy, messages, and design that accurately paint a picture of who the Rhodes Trust is today: an organization supporting and connecting future leaders around the world. The Exponential Potential campaign communicates the value of global collaboration, inviting donors to fight the world’s fight and support the solutions that only globally-minded scholars can lead.

The campaign theme of Exponential Potential is explosive and radiant, showing the unique impact that happens when convening un-like-minded but like-hearted scholars. The campaign communicates how the impact of the Rhodes Trust is completely unparalleled over the past 120 years—and the next 120 years to come.

Mission Minded was selected because of our ability to facilitate honest conversations about diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice. We urged the client to “name the thing,” meaning rather than attempt to avoid discussion of their history, to acknowledge it and from there, to build a new legacy. As the campaign states, “That is our history. We cannot undo it. But we can and will continue to elevate the people of the world with all the power Cecil Rhodes appropriated.” As a part of our strategic process, we also developed personas that were centered around shared aspirations rather than on physical or geographic attributes. And to avoid bias in the development of campaign messages, our DEI advisor led a training for the Rhodes team on asset-based framing.

It's wonderful work. It's powerful and engaging and will really equip us to be great ambassadors for this campaign.

Dr. Elizabeth Kiss as Warden (CEO) , The Rhodes Trust

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