Voice4Thought was born out of a research project that started in 2012: Connecting in Times of Duress. At that time, West- and Central Africa were undergoing many social and political transformations. Within these societies, youth voices sprang up to protest. At the same time, art and social media became dominant tools for self-expression. We understood these not as a coincidence, but as a conjuncture in history where digital communication and youth culture could create a platform for ‘voices’ or people to be heard. They interacted with the researchers of our projects, creating mutual discoveries of reflections, ideas and information. As a result, the notion of co-creation was established, and led to new forms of expression for these voices: biographies in contexts, blogs, video pamphlets and biographic video-accounts and new forms of exchange of information and knowledge. To continue with this work and broaden its scope outside of academia, we set-up Voice4Thought.
Voice4Thought is a not for profit foundation that offers a platform where different voices around the world can participate in building an inclusive debate and critical knowledge on social, political and economic issues of our time. Most of these voices are actors in longstanding, often unseen, unrecognized, silenced or forgotten social and political processes of change in their countries of origin and across borders. We believe in the power of storytelling in multiple ways. Therefore, we provide them with a digital and on-the-ground space to tell their stories through academic, artistic, and journalistic expressions, workshops and outlets and give the space for others to rethink their and our world critically.
We seek to bring academia to the streets and the streets to academia: we believe in knowledge as the result of a co-creative process in which we seek for new connections and opportunities to learn in order to enable dialogue between academia, decision-makers and civil society in and outside of Europe. The reciprocal process is at the core of our aim to develop new methodologies or understanding (political) change in societies, and giving a space to the unheard voices. The power of diverse Voices (V) and ways of Thinking (T) helps us to rethink our world from a critical perspective. Together we can set up new and innovative ways of creating and sharing knowledge. And together we create an inspiring knowledge community of engaged people.
What we do
The core of Voice4Thought is our digital platform where we connect all dots. Nevertheless, we are equally engaged in on-the-ground projects and events. We organize our own festivals and participate in others, we host a platform for bloggers worldwide and organize workshops, debates and cultural events. We support voices and collectives with whom we work in writing and executing projects, such as the Voice4Thought Academy in Mali. Next to this, we have a peer-reviewed and academically recognized online publication ‘Bridging Humanities’.
In our work we focus on the use and integration of different media and sources: text, video, photography, audio, cartoons and multimedia. As we seek for more possibilities of digital communication we integrate theses sources and ICTs as tools for our projects and at the same time consider them as central part of academic work as well as a crucial part of the definitions of new methodologies. We embrace the possibilities opened by new technologies and the role of the digital. We invite people to join our organization with their own projects to collaborate in our networks.
ANBI status & KvK
Foundation Voice4Thought (V4T) has been recognised by the Dutch Tax Department as a public benefit organization. It has been granted a ANBI status (Algemeen nut beogende instelling). The RSIN fiscal number of the foundation is 856321382.
Voice4Thought is registered with the Dutch Chamber of Commerce/Kamer van Koophandel (KvK 65930029).
Mirjam de Bruijn
Susan van Esch
Board of advisors
See the team page.
Foundation Voice4Thought does not remunerate board members.
Voice4Thought is not legally responsible for the opinions of others. Others are free to express their opinions, and we want to share and spread these thoughts. They all have their own story to tell and we help them spread it, and it is not up to us to decide what is right or wrong. Voice4Thought does not take any responsibility for the content on people’s own blogs and opinions they express there. However, all content published on the Voice4Thought website are checked and edited. The conditions for pieces published under the Thoughts-section on the Voice4Thought website are the following:
- V4T does not publish any articles that incite hate speech, are politically biased, create ethnic divisions, are expressing racism, sexism or any other form of exclusion of marginalization of groups within society.
- The opinions should be pieces written with at least some relevance to issues being present in society.
- Pictures and videos used in the pieces should be accompanied with a source that has given its consent to use the content.