- human-centered design (because, as one HR leader put it, “people be peopling”),
- behavior change science (because if information was enough to change behavior, we would all floss), and
- the principles of inclusion, diversity, equity and accessibility (because change without inclusion is just evolved oppression).
About Our Name
Brevity & Wit was the brainchild of our founder, Minal Bopaiah, when she was trying to come up with a company name that encapsulated her writing and speaking style. She also wanted a name with an ampersand. As Simon Garfield writes in Just My Type, “Much of what one needs to know about the history and beauty of a font may be found in its ampersand. Done well, an & is not so much a character as a creature, and animal from the deep. Or it is a character in the other sense of the word, usually a tirelessly entertaining one, perhaps an uncle with too many magic tricks.” In short, the ampersand symbolizes the power of design to convey feelings and ideas.
In the ensuing years, the ampersand has come to take on another meaning – the power of the middle path, or choosing both/and instead of either/or thinking. This mindset is critical in our work to advance IDEA. We do not believe that building inclusive and equitable systems is ever a zero-sum game where one group must lose for another to win. Or that one individual’s or group’s experience is the absolute truth. Truth exists in paradox, and the ampersand is a reminder to us all to inhabit that world with depth and flair.
Our preferred acronym for the work we do is IDEA (inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility) because we believe there’s no equity without disability justice. Sometimes we use DEI because it’s more familiar to clients (and has better search results). We describe ourselves as acronym agnostic, and will gladly use the preferred acronym of a client organization while also including accessibility in our approach.
Our Partnership Model
Today, when creative, wholehearted, ethical people want to take care of their families and loved ones, they often have to sell their souls or overwork to make money.
This is unacceptable because it perpetuates systems of oppression, where behavior that is harmful to people, the environment, or the future of humanity is incentivized.
Brevity & Wit envisions a world where organizations prioritize creativity over busyness, financial sustainability over profit maximization. In such a world, creative, wholehearted, ethical folks can be highly paid professionals, thereby incentivizing others to do good, and allowing such individuals and organizations to use their “money as medicine” to connect, heal, and repair our world.
We’re bringing this world about through ethical design and consulting services that open doors in people’s minds to new ways of being, behaving, organizing, and building institutions.
Sovereignty is the right every individual has to self-govern themselves. Every person in the Brevity & Wit community has agency and autonomy and is not controlled or manipulated by anyone else. Each consultant gets to make their own decisions, who they are in relationship with, how they control their time, and how much they want to give. They also take responsibility for their actions, managing themselves, and proactively asking for support when needed.
The value of sovereignty is in direct opposition to colonization, which usually governs most employer-employee relationships. Colonization is a process by which a central system of power dominates the surrounding land and its components. Colonizers are not respecters of boundaries. Colonization has led people to have a warped sense of how to be in relationship to one another, particularly at work
Interdependence allows for symbiosis; the ability for two or more parties to benefit from a relationship in equal measure. A healthy community is based on symbiosis, and creates a sense of shared fellowship from the contribution of one’s gifts and the appreciation of others’ gifts. It is not codependent, which crosses boundaries and neglects autonomy. Nor is it extractive, where each person seeks to maximize their gain at the expense of others. Rather, interdependence is reciprocal, respecting sovereignty while seeking to create something greater.
Interdependence is the middle path between rugged individualism and co-dependence, and absolutely critical for healthy working relationships.