Steelcase 100th Anniversary BBQ at our Global Headquarters in Grand Rapids, MI
Steelcase 100th Anniversary BBQ at our Global Headquarters in Grand Rapids, MI
Our 100 year anniversary celebration has been in full swing since March, and to the surprise of some – there’s no traditional, 4-color coffee table book in production. The intention with which we chose to use interactive technology to engage in a dialog about the future is evident most notably, in this website.
Within the first month, this site received 22,000 unique visitors from 126 countries/territories. Not only do we feel honored to have brought so many new friends along on this journey of dreaming together, it’s very exciting to have been recognized by Communication Arts as their W.O.W (Webpick of the Week).
Community leaders and film enthusiasts had opportunity to view “One Day,” the documentary that Steelcase commissioned for its 100th anniversary, and meet its director Daniel Junge at a special event on last night at the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts (UICA) in Grand Rapids, Mich. “One Day” presents views of the future as seen through the eyes of 10-year-olds in six countries around the world. Junge’s 2012 Oscar-winning film “Saving Face” about acid-burn victims in Pakistan was also shown. The event was co-sponsored with Genesis, Inc., our creative partner in the 100-year anniversary initiative, as a fundraiser for the UICA.
Nancy Hickey, Steelcase chief administrative officer was on hand to open the evening and invite the audience to join the dialog – in person and online via the Steelcase Facebook page. During lively conversation after seeing “One Day,” audience members described it as “incredibly inspirational,” “provocative” and “unexpected, mind-changing.”
“As Steelcase contemplated its 100th anniversary, we wanted to do something that we believed was characteristic of the company through its 100 years, and that was to optimistically look to the future, knowing that things would change and wanting to be part of that change,” Nancy Hickey explained .
“One Day” is 17 minutes long and available online for public viewing here. It’s been seen by Steelcase’s employees around the world and will be shown at other Steelcase-sponsored events this year.
You can also make your mark on the world ‘dream map’ at www.facebook.com/steelcase .
Today, we were honored with a Michigan Green Leader award and recently by being named one of Michigan’s 101 Best & Brightest Sustainable Companies. As we’re forging an integrated path to deliver value across social, environmental and economic platforms, recognitions are a sign of progress and assurance that we’re on the right path. At the same time, we’re always reminded that the scope of opportunities is huge, and being a leader means continuously learning, taking on new challenges and collaborating – within our own company as well as across companies, industries and geographies.
Creating sustainable value for the 21st century is clearly a big, top-of-mind issue in many of the dreams for the future that we’ve collected so far in our anniversary project — whether it’s 10-year-old Siddesh , India, who reminds that “we have to think about the world before making new things,” or 20-year-old Erin Schrode , co-founder of Turning Green who says “the notion of shared value is critical, where the environmental ramifications, social consequences, and economic profits are relevant to all involved,” or sustainability icon William McDonough who dreams of a future when “we don’t just eat the apple, we grow a tree that will feed generations to come.”
A recurring theme is that the social, economic and environmental system that sustains us needs to become stronger. What’s more, the world is fast becoming one big construct of interconnectivity, and businesses have a critical role to play in creating a more sustainable future. A full-spectrum approach to sustainability goes beyond reducing a company’s operational footprint and working towards eliminating materials of concern. It also means investing in social impact initiatives that create lasting solutions. No one can solve these problems alone. So maybe connecting our dreams is a good place to start? Please bring your dreams to this website or our Facebook page, and share your ideas and comments. Let’s unleash our imaginations on the future, together.
Come with us as we visit our Steelcase colleagues from all over the globe and see how they ushered in our 100th year. Of course, the celebration is not just about cookies, cake and libations; many employees have joined the company in dreaming about the future. Please take the time to add your dream to the global map as well. What do you think the future will be like?
We are proud of the many achievements our company has made over the past 100 years. From securing a patent for the first fireproof wastebasket in 1912, to introducing the Frank Lloyd Wright desks in the 1930s, to launching an HDVC-enhanced collaboration station called media:scape, we have a lot to be proud of.
What makes this anniversary especially exciting is the support we’ve received from colleagues in the design and business media. Over the past few weeks, some of our friends at Core77, GOOD Magazine, SmartBusiness, Grand Rapids Press, The Associated Press and others have highlighted our history and dreams for the future. If you’d like to learn more about the milestones mentioned in these articles, we encourage you to check out our interactive timeline. There, you’ll be able to discover the many turning points in our history that together reveal the bigger picture of who we are and where we’re headed. Our story, our future, is just beginning.
About two years ago Steelcase asked Genesis Inc. to help make the 100th Anniversary really inspiring to everyone whose life is touched by the company, all over the world. We’re a strategic and creative consultancy that works in partnership with Steelcase on ongoing projects, and whatever the assignment, we always begin at the beginning. So we started by uncovering the core idea behind everything the company has ever done. We then expressed that with a symbol, a graphic mark, that would guide all of our creative efforts. This mark represents a single moment in time, one very few companies ever come to experience. And it was designed to celebrate not just a rich past, but a rich future to come. Not surprisingly, we called it the Insight Symbol, because it is insight – into people, markets, and the world of work – that has created the Steelcase we see in 2012.
Relive and remember the 100-year celebration each time you purchase merchandise. It gives you the opportunity to re-create the experience as well as share it with others.
To order any of these Steelcase 100-Year anniversary merchandise items,
please contact 800.784.0358 (toll-free) – credit cards purchase only.
Hours of operation: M-F (8:00 a.m. EST – 5:00 p.m. EST)
Steelcase customer manager: Devin Wehrmeyer
Metropolis magazine has been an authority on all aspects of design for over 30 years. Today, the magazine releases a special issue to celebrate Steelcase’s 100-year legacy and promise for the future.
Available online and in print, the issue provides an intimate, behind-the-scenes look at Steelcase’s transformation from local manufacturer to globally-integrated enterprise. The issue includes an in-depth interview with President and CEO James P. Hackett, and highlights Steelcase’s research-based design team. Rounding out the coverage and looking into the future, the magazine features the 100 Dreams, 100 Minds, 100 Years initiative that asks children and thought leaders around the world to envision the future.
Susan S. Szenasy, Metropolis’ editor in chief and also one of our 100 Minds contributors, oversaw the project for the magazine.
Jim Hackett says it’s not companies that last 100 years, but ideas. The core idea that has driven Steelcase? A hint: people like you.
Looking back, it’s clear our company has always been about looking forward. Our past, present and future are all about turning insights into innovations that unlock the promise of people at work and make the world a better place.
So now step back in time. Discover the many turning points in our history that together reveal the bigger picture of who we are and where we’re headed. Our story, our future, is just beginning.