Working for openness
WeAreOpen is a nonprofit that creates campaigns with a coalition of businesses to promote diversity and inclusion for millions, and helps companies become more open by offering services, workshops, talks and consulting. Our mission is to show to millions that openness is a value for organizations. We also help employers and employees experience, learn and showcase the benefits of inclusion.
The journey from a passionate volunteer project to an emerging nonprofit social enterprise: this is where it all started! WeAreOpen was founded in 2013 by Prezi, espell and Google with a clear idea of promoting and helping organizations understand and experience the benefits of openness at the workplace. 1,000+ companies and organizations publicly joining WeAreOpen; 150+ public commitments from companies to improve gender equality at their workplace in a given year; 100+ CEOs, and many company groups attending Budapest Pride march to support LGBTQ inclusion; and hundreds of publicly shared videos and stories from well-respected public figures about why being open is a good thing and a value for both organizations and society.
Through the years we have worked together with dozens of academics, researchers, business leaders, entrepreneurs, experts, public figures, bloggers, artists, entertainers and many others to fulfill our core mission of openness. Along the way, we managed to create a real-life community – the OPEN Community – formed by our founders, members, partners, advocates and supporters.
Being open is a good thing. As open companies, we regard it as a fundamental corporate value that our employees and our partners are judged solely on the basis of their actions and their work performance, and without regard for their sex, age, sexual orientation, national or ethnic background, political convictions, physical abilities, or other characteristics.
Highlights of WeAreOpen's journey
In 2013 for the first time ever WeAreOpen took its supporters to Budapest Pride with a joint float to show public support for LGBTQ+ people, colleagues and friends. Before this happening, we were only aware of 2-3 companies that attended Budapest Pride and supporting LGBTQ+ people visibly. Since 2013 our community is ever growing: we brought together 100+ business leaders and 2000+ of their co-workers to march with us at Pride. Besides LGBTQ+ inclusion, we aim to focus on topics such as gender equality, Roma and ethnic inclusion and disability awareness with equal importance and handle diversity & inclusion as a whole. We have participated in the Rehab Critical Mass initiative as part of our disability awareness efforts. As for promoting openness as a general value for both organizations and society, we launched a national video campaign featuring artists, writers, journalists, athletes and many others who shared their personal stories about experiencing openness. We also participate in events such as BrainBar Budapest, Aspen Conference and the Glamour Women of The Year Gala.
In 2014 WeAreOpen executed a national representative research in partnership with Gemius Hungary about gender equality at the workplace. WeAreOpen called for Hungary based organizations to make a commitment to improve gender balance at the workplace.
Beyond Pride month, on Valentine’s Day in February 2015 we launched a public campaign in partnership with DDB Budapest asking famous Hungarian musicians to rewrite their love songs in a manner that supports same-sex relationships and LGBTQ+ inclusion. In 2015 we also launched our disability campaign and attended the Rehab Critical Mass movement in Budapest with our supporters to raise awareness of disability inclusion in Hungary.
To address recent challenges of diversity and inclusion, in 2016 we established OPEN Conference, the international diversity conference for business leaders. OPEN Conference aims to push boundaries to create a real-life community of forward-thinking business leaders and experts in order to build a more inclusive workplace. In 2019 the OPEN Spotlight was founded to honor the outstanding accomplishments of companies and organizations that made an impact on diversity and inclusion internally. OPEN Conference includes a handful of services such as presentations, talks and workshops. In 2020 OPEN Conference was nominated for the Highlights of Hungary Award: thank you!
In 2016, the WeAreOpen’s board of directors was established including business leaders who support openness and diversity such as Péter Árvai, co-founder and CEO of Prezi; Miklós Bán, CEO of espell; Richárd Schuster, Head Of Strategy and Operations, EMEA Communications; and Kevin A. Murray, Citi CEO for Central-Europe and country head for Hungary. In 2019, our board grew with a Poland-based member Karolina Marzantowich, The Heart, Head of Blockchain.
In 2017 we launched our ‘Instead of flowers/besides flowers’ Women’s Day public video campaign. We asked influential Hungarian business leaders and artists to share their thoughts about their efforts to improve gender equality at the workplace all year round beyond Women’s Day.
Taking the next step: to help organizations improve their internal gender balance, in 2018 we launched the Two Steps for Companies Program – a data driven approach for organizations to measure how their employees feel, and using this data, provide action items to make further improvements. It also includes a data-driven Certificate to recognize an organization’s achievements. In 2019 we launched our Common Interest gender equality initiative encouraging business leaders to make public commitments to improve that area.
In 2019 we launched the OPEN Backstage arts & culture event series to bring together our OPEN Community on a regular basis to meet and get inspired by outstanding performances, talks, screenings and many other exciting programs in line with our core values of diversity and openness.
For organizations that would like to take a step further, support our mission and strive to be part of the community of openness-promoting organizations, we launched the Supporting Circle. Members of the Supporting Circle can enjoy access to OPEN Backstage events and be among the firsts invited to our campaigns.
At WeAreOpen we experienced the tremendous impact of what it means if business leaders lead by example and if companies switch competition to cooperation to initiate positive change on important social issues. At WeAreOpen we use this method that has become our signature for years now: through the OPEN Campaign Model we design campaign ideas, and we invite hundreds of organizations, our Community members to participate and stand together for openness in public. For example, we launched such campaigns that brought together 100+ business leaders to stand together for LGBTQ+ inclusion and gender equality, and inspire others to join them as well.
We are proud to be able to achieve all of this in cooperation with the community of open companies and organizations, with our sponsors, partners, supporters, advisers and friends.
Board of Directors
– What is the WeAreOpen initiative? Why was it set up? What is its mission?
We know that many in Hungary share our values, and we believe that it’s important to make this public. The WeAreOpen initiative, along with its webpage nyitottakvagyunk.hu, has been created for companies, organizations and communities that would like to join us in expressing a commitment to openness and inspire others to do the same.
– Who was the initiative founded by?
– Who are its members?
Over a thousand companies, organizations and communities that agree being open is a good thing have joined WeAreOpen.
– Who can sign up?
Any company, organisation or community that agrees with our goals and is not affiliated with any political party.
– How can organisations sign up?
If they agree with our manifesto, they can simply sign up by filling out this form. It’s as easy as that. We’ll then display the participating organizations on our website so everyone can see that they agree being open is a good thing.
– What can I do to get more involved with WeAreOpen?
Organizations and companies are welcome to join the Supporting Circle, get a Supporting Membership or get annual sponsorship opportunities. We encourage you to find out more on our website or contact us for further inquiries.
– What do the participating organizations commit themselves to?
Nothing more and nothing less than what is set out in our manifesto.
– How can I learn about the latest activities?
– How can we get in touch with WeAreOpen to know more?
You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org