The Calyx Project is an initiative aimed at founding an organization to serve as both an accelerator and a safety net for women on the threshold of careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.
Great ideas sometimes come out of the blue—often, however, they start closer to home. The Calyx Project originated with one of Go Creative Arts' long-standing clients, Elizabeth Albee, who is passionate about the need for diversity in STEM fields. For several years, she had been pondering the idea of launching a nonprofit organization that could serve as a kind of "old girls' club" for women in STEM, offering opportunities for mentoring, networking, feedback, and casual access to senior wisdom. As she described her idea, we sketched out an approach to help her develop the concept and build the organization from the ground up.
Go Creative Arts as a company, and Laura and Dwight as individuals, embody the essence of what it is to be a trusted partner.
—Elizabeth Albee, The Calyx Project
Strategic planning was our first task—and the immediate concern was to gather partners to help share the load. Stepping back from the idea of a nonprofit organization, we suggested founding a proto-organization to gauge interest, invite connections, and be a recruiting hub for important players in the eventual nonprofit. Once enough people were involved, the proto-organization would have the role of standing up the nonprofit organization.
To serve the effort of establishing the proto-organization, we then worked with Elizabeth to create a brand—starting with a name—and a website. We were drawn to the concept of the "calyx" of a flower. The calyx consists of the green leaf-like structures that extend out from the stem of a plant; its job is to protect the bud until the flower within is ready to open. Metaphorically, this fit perfectly with an organization of women already in STEM careers engaged in giving stability to younger women's career aspirations.
After landing on the name, we developed a logo and mark that reflected the concept in an appealing way. A simple website built around the design elements of the logo serves as a portal for interested parties to read about the project, register their interest, and get more information.