Introducing you to one of our Dutch Digital Design partner agencies: putting them in the spotlight. Giving you a look behind the scenes. Sharing some Dutch digital design insights. Or telling you about something that they believe the world needs to know. This month it is Greenberry’s turn - a strategic digital design agency based in Utrecht. They believe that digital design can help solve - sometimes complex - social issues. It is what makes Greenberry tick. We talk with Mariska Doppenberg - communication-and project manager. About how they feel they can contribute and create positive impact with the help of digital technologies.
Meet Mariska. Meet Greenberry.
Mariska studied communication science and international business. Spent a semester at Bangkok University. And is now the communications manager at Greenberry. She joined Greenberry in 2014 being the 9th
team member, and is currently in her 9th year at the agency. A perfect match, in skill and interests. Her role is relatively unique as she combines her communications role with project management. This means that she is in charge of coordinating Greenberry’s social media activity, events like Dutch Design Week and the communication of launches of platforms, apps, etc. Together with the partners, she also looks at the business strategy of the agency. When needed, Mariska also helps manage projects.
Greenberry was founded in 2006 by Bas van Bokhorst and Jan-Willem van Beek. Both are still active within the agency. Bas as managing partner and Jan-Willem as partner. Jan-Willem is also CEO of Forty - Greenberry’s partner agency and experts in innovation and start-ups. Michael de Kruijf joined in 2009 as senior partner. In 2011 Alain Dujardin started as creative director. Alain is also a board member of Dutch Digital Design.
The four partners together focused on making digital design more innovative, relevant and socially impactful. A strategy that is still followed and intrinsic to the agency. Social responsibility is key to them and the whole Greenberry team. They want to enthuse and inspire through social impact. Through empathy, creativity and technology.
Being B Corp
Greenberry have also just received their B Corp certification. Meaning that their business ‘is meeting high standards of performance, accountability and transparency with regards to employee benefits and charitable giving as well as supply chain practices and input materials.’* Or - in simpler words - making a positive impact in areas with regards to governance, employees, community, environment and customers’
‘Hearing about B Corp made us enthusiastic straight away: that’s what we wanted too. A great match with what Greenberry believes in and what we would like to represent. To give an example of what we’re doing to comply with being B Corp, and something we are very proud of, is within the area of community: to spend energy and time by using our skills and knowledge - next to paid projects - on projects and themes that matter to us and the community. Like mental health and inclusive design.’
Digital design and social responsibility
‘Being part of the Greenberry team means wanting to help to make the world a better place. To actively contribute to and be driven by this. To be part of Greenberry, you need to have a socially critical view. This way we stay close to what we believe in, and are able to create authentic digital projects and products with social impact. We are always in it for the long term. Creating partnerships with our clients, within our team and with those who use our platforms, apps, etc.’
Health as a theme
‘Health has always been one of the common threads in our work. Ten years ago we already created the ‘Vakantiedokter’-app (now: Zilveren Kruis Wijzer) for health insurance company Zilveren Kruis. An app that could give you advice with regards to medical issues whilst on holiday.
We work closely with health experts and professionals for every health-related project we do. Adding our expertise, for example, in technology and how to best reach specific audiences. It’s a true partnership.
We believe that a healthy and happy life makes for a healthy and happy society. Health touches everything. Whether we talk about mental health, physical health, financial health, or a healthy environment. It is all connected.’
Healthy work created by Greenberry
So, let’s share what makes Greenberry truly Greenberry: socially impactful work. Also recently awarded with an Esprix award - although the agency will emphasise that awards are not the be-all and end-all for them. ‘Of course, it is something to be proud of and helps raise awareness that digital technology can help contribute to a healthier, happier world. For that to be recognised, is great.’
Let’s start with Feelee. The work that has been awarded with an Esprix award. Feelee is an app that gives youngsters a better insight into their feelings and emotions. Teaching them in a light-hearted way how to identify those feelings, and, ultimately, improve their mental resilience. Youth care institutions have started using the app as part of their treatment. Feelee was originally started as a startup: Greenberry invested in the development of the app themselves. Proof that they are in this for the long run.
Newsflash:Feelee has recently won a gold Dutch Interactive Award (Dutch Interactive Awards 2023). Hands up to Greenberry and Garage2020!
Moving onto First EET kit
(pronounce: first aid kit, English: First EAT kit). A truly impactful website that raises awareness about eating disorders, and helps people recognise, understand and treat symptoms sooner: a first aid kit for eating disorders. This platform has come together through a close collaboration with K-EET - a Dutch institution consisting of professionals and experts in this field. To make absolutely sure that this was done properly, the Greenberry team shadowed a team of doctors in the hospital and talked with patients and their parents. ‘A moving and confronting experience at the same time, but absolutely necessary.’
The next project My Heart Diary
(Dutch: Mijn Hartdagboek) is a smart diary app that provides insights into recognising symptoms of heart failure. It gives people the tools to understand the symptoms and explain them to their GP. A personalised app for people aged 60+. The team carried out two user surveys. One to validate the concept and needs of the users. The second one to test its user-friendliness - ensuring that the app is accessible to older people, including those with low health literacy.
And last but not least, Stookwijzer - a guide for sensible and sustainable use of your fireplace at home. An app that helps improve air quality as fine dust does not only cause poor air quality, it can also cause serious health problems. The app makes people aware of the effects of burning a woodfire at home, and advises users when not to burn a fire as it will have an adverse effect to the air quality when the air quality is already poor in their area. Using simple imagery and words makes the app accessible to all. Stookwijzer also gives tips about how to burn a fire the smart way, being less polluting and more efficient.
This is just a small selection of the impressive and socially responsible work that Greenberry creates. For more examples, have a look at their website (Dutch read).
A changing world
‘The world is changing. People and companies need to show more social responsibility. However, this social responsibility needs to be intrinsic. Companies need to avoid greenwashing at all times. Meaning that a company might look like a sustainable and socially responsible business on the outside, but when having a closer look, this is not the case. Therefore, we feel it is also part of Greenberry’s responsibility to educate and partner with more commercially focused clients to look at their Corporate Social Responsibility, and help create a positive impact in their field of business. We, at Greenberry, have become experts throughout the years in creating projects - together with our clients and end-users - that have a positive impact, and enable companies to have a more socially responsible role within our society. Co-creation - always with the end-user in mind.’
Would you like to chat some more about how digital technologies can help create socially responsible experiences? Mariska and the team at Greenberry would love to talk with you.