And the winner is…


The polls are closed and the results are in. Our hub officially has a name!
Check out what Kristy Eliades, one of our communication officers, has to say about the entire process.

“When I first joined the PiT team I found myself often wondering what on earth I could offer. The team talked in abbreviations and I nodded my head pretending I knew what they were talking about for about a minute, and would then get frustrated and ask consistent questions. Surprisingly, this didn’t annoy anyone. Instead it was a source of laughter for the entire team. I had over ten years’ experience in advertising and marketing in the private sector but very little experience in NGO work. Sooner or later however, I learned how to merge my knowledge and gain from the team’s experience in the third sector and by the time we got together to discuss the development of our online hub, I was already abbreviating my ‘work-words’ too.

Branding was the one thing I’ve done before, and possibly a chance for me to feel like a true asset – but I had worked long enough with the Peace-it-Together team, to know that nothing would ever be the way it ‘usually’ is. Not even the brainstorming sessions.

In advertising when the branding process begins account executives fly in and out of the office in a panic, marketing strategists’ research for weeks on end and the creative team usually comes up with the best ideas in the shower – right after the creative meeting is over. It is also a confidential process that usually takes place amongst a team committed to working on their own and in private until the new product is launched.

With PiT the branding process began with casual chit chat amongst the team, sending e-mails asking for feedback from the network officers and collecting an impressive 200+ initial suggestions. The process was all-inclusive from the very beginning, and although it’s not something I’ve ever experienced before, I still got the same buzz I get from any creative session. Everyone had their own gems to add. The creative juices were flowing just as naturally (if not more naturally) than they do at top agencies.

At the final stages we invited all stakeholders including our network partners and the winners from our Knowledge and Innovation fund to a creative brainstorming session where we put up all initial suggestions on the walls and spent the afternoon picking at fruit and cheese and introducing even more new ideas. We then agreed on  five shortlisted names … and opened the voting process to the public!

The five shortlisted suggestions were: CohesionLab, Mahallae, InnovEX, Social Cohesion Lab, ExchangeLab. And as of March 1st the online polls were closed.

The final winner, with a whopping 42.86% is…. (drum roll please)


The name was voted for by the general public through surveymonkey and will brand all the network’s online efforts. Mahallae will also be translated into a domain name for the platform which we will be developing by the beginning of summer.

Mahalla (Greek Cypriot) and Mahalle (Turkish) both mean neighbourhoods. We added an ‘ae’ to pluralize the word in Latin and also make it an autonomous (and new) word on its own. For an extended description of the word’s multi-regionality and meaning, check out the wiki description here.

Thanks to the team for involving me in this weirdly honest branding process. This brutally authentic approach to market launching is not something I will be forgetting any time soon!”

Kristy Eliades
Communications Officer
NGO Support Centre


One response to “And the winner is…

  1. Pingback: And the winner is… | Voices from Eurasia - We help build better lives.

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