WEEK 11: A Manifesto

March 21, 2016


What is a manifesto? A mashup of several definitions gives me what I’m thinking of as I write this lesson plan: A public declaration of intentions, motives or views.

What manifestos do you know from history?

  • The Declaration of Independence
  • The 10 Commandments or even The Bible according to one list, so, yes, a book can be a manifesto
  • I Have a Dream speech by Martin Luther King
  • The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels
  • Here’s to the Crazy Ones, Apple’s ad after Steve Jobs’s return as CEO

There are many more. One example we’ll look at in several forms is the Holstee Manifesto, which was created by founders of a design company called Holstee. Mike, Fabian and Dave sat outside and focused as they began to form the idea of what they wanted from life and how they wanted their start-up to fit into that. This is what they came up with, and a video was eventually born of it.

Holstee Manifesto poster1

Then someone set the words to music with voice-over and animation.



And THEN, someone put it to actual video in a creative way. Same words, but how might the message be received differently?


What are your intentions? What motivates you? What are your views on life, love, happiness? Or other things? What is your manifesto?

This week, research manifestos to get a broader idea of how the idea has been interpreted by others. Pinterest will pull up a plethora of items when you put “manifesto” in the search bar. Brainstorm to figure out what you stand for, what motivates you, what empowers you. Write your manifesto. Share it and get feedback for what works, what needs work. Revise.

Things to consider:

  • First person? I am creative. I am strong. I will …
  • Second person, like commands? Go ahead and be yourself. Be strong.
  • Third person is less common and is sometimes mixed with the others: People will try to … Courage is … Leaders are built from …
  • If using a bulleted type of manifesto, try to use parallel structure, meaning your sentences should be built similarly. If you use second person commands, each sentence should begin with a verb: Be yourself. Communicate ideas. Open your mind.

    If you are using first person, begin each sentence basically the same way, with a first person pronoun and a verb: I will begin each day … We will rise above … I am strong …

  • You may choose to write your manifesto in more of a paragraph format like King’s speech.
  • Revise until you have the best parts and it isn’t too long, because …

Part 2: App that Manifesto

After you have written, shared and revised your manifesto, you will be ready to create a presentation for it. You’ll want to consider dividing up parts of your manifesto, whether that’s line-by-line or chunks that go together. These chunks should be able to be represented with images of some sort. You can use your own images, taken with your phone or camera of your family and friends, or you can use images from Creative Commons or you can create drawings and scan them or you can create other images with programs.

You have several options of web-based apps to use, and I’ve provided a few examples below:

Haikudeck has begun charging since I used it, but there is still a free version. Just click on ‘get started’ then ‘continue free’. I do not know how limited it is. At the time, I used either copyright-free images provided by Haikudeck or went through a creative commons site like Flickr, Pixabay or Wikimedia. My manifesto from Nov. 2015 with Haikudeck. Under edit, this is set to public, so it should play without having to sign in.

PhotoPeach is another option, very similar to Haikudeck, but you can also use transitions and music. This is the PhotoPeach version of my manifesto from Feb. 2015.  It is set to public, so it should play without having to sign in.

And for my new try at a new app, there is PowToon, more appropriate for funny things than serious, but its advantage is that it can be uploaded to YouTube. Here is my Manifesto, created hours before I present to you, by way of PowToon.

Other apps to try are Emaze, with presentation templates already made, ready for you to customize; VoiceThread, an app in which you load photos, then record a voiceover of you reading your manifesto, then time the slides to coincide the way you want them to. Feel free to use another if you know of one you’d like to try, but the object is to apply current knowledge to help you learn new technology, to write something original and creative, using processes that include sharing and revising, to use images and, possibly music, while observing copyright laws.

These two big tasks, writing and creating the presentation may take some time to do your best, so the project is due by the end of class next Monday. We will present Me Manifestos in class beginning next Tuesday.

Below are a couple examples from earlier semesters:

An Athlete’s Manifesto

An Emily Manifesto

Katlyn’s Manifesto

Be original, be sincere, and make people think.


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