Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

The Borderless Brand

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

The Borderless Brand

Article excerpt

Borderless seems to be running rampant nowadays. A brief item in the July/August issue of Utne noted the way the "Without Borders" formulation has caught on. It's been used in the names of global humanitarian and activist groups of all stripes.

There's Acupuncturists Without Borders, for instance, which is featuring its Katrina recovery efforts on its website with the distinctive tag line, "We Stick Bayou."

There's Clowns Without Borders, whose members apparently function as a traveling USO show for children and other audiences in war- torn countries.

There's Engineers Without Borders, whose website includes a quote from former World Bank chief James Wolfensohn on empowering people and a regular feature on the "Sustainable and Appropriate Solution of the Month."

There's Grantmakers Without Borders, which seems to understand that a better world won't happen without some funding.

I was hoping to find Zoologists Without Borders, but there is no such group - yet. There is, however, down at that end of the alphabet, Veterinarians Without Borders. Its somewhat grim-sounding tag line is "When the herd dies, so does the village." But its more hopeful message is that properly tending to livestock can be an immense boon to the food supply and economic security of developing countries.

The granddaddy of them all, if it's possible for a 35-year-old organization to be a grandfather, is Doctors Without Borders, or in the original French, Medecins Sans Frontieres. (Its journalistic counterpart, Reporters Without Borders, is a 21-year-old great- uncle, although without quite the same reputation for political neutrality.)

"Recognizing the power of the noncommercial brand, and in an effort to honor the origins of its spirit," Utne reported, "film producer Geralyn White Dreyfous ('Born into Brothels') is currently shopping a documentary tentatively titled 'Doctors Without Borders. …

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