Words That Change

Making stories happen

words@wordsthatchange.nl +31 (0) 6 47484012

Welcome > Projects


Triodos Head-Heart Impulse for Entrepreneurs


The progressive bank Triodos has built an outstanding reputation in creating financial services that benefit society and the environment. By offering the services of a standard retail bank but focusing its resources and financial management on people and planet the bank has not only created an impressive degree of impact, but also a burgeoning client base, anxious for banking that not only does less harm, but actively does good. Read more

Interactive story journeys at the Other 2016


Simon speaking at The Other conference, picture ® Marije Strijbis

Simon speaking at The Other conference, picture   Maartje Strijbis

E-motive is an international learning exchange between the global North and South, resulting in knowledge flow that improves development in both directions. Witness, for example, the Dutch dairy farmer who picked up tips in treating his cows from an Indian colleague, thus lessening their needs for antibiotics.
Read more

Telling stories at the edge


An afternoon at the ABN Amro’s Innovation Center stretched participants’ minds on how they can communicate technological developments. With a main theme of how innovation stories blend possibility and reality, the interactive workshop took participants through their own innovation stories, bringing their knowledge and expertise to the story table.

What: Innovation storytelling workshop
Who: ABN Amro, 30 + participants
When: June 2015
How long: 2.5 hours

“We re-found our focus for the organisation”


Matt Jaems and Joeri Pruys prime interest in story was how they could turn their film Rotterdam I Love You into a wider movement in the city. Our continuing conversation ended up in a story workshop some months later. We took a deep look at the project’s points of magnetism and evolved a conversation about their project into deep reflection on Rotterdam culture and the role of cities in the 21st century.

Read more

Story activation tool for Danish non-profits

After a successful workshop in November 2014, we worked with CISU to create a story activation tool for their 300-member network. After consultation, prototyping and testing, the tool provided input for CISU to conduct story workshops with their members. Words That Change provided story expertise, which CISU adapted and enhanced through the unrolling of its story programme. This is an example of in-skilling which allows us to have powerful impact where budgets need to be conserved for critical causes. Read more

Circle Economy

Circle Economy 1

Circle Economy promotes systems change in closing the loop in how we use resources at company, sector and regional level. At the start of 2015, they approached us with a question of how they can tell a better story. We designed a half-day workshop that brought together 15 team members, including leadership, to find their own personal story and how this merged to create the combined Circle Economy story.
Read more

World Fashion Apartments

WFA- logoWorld Fashion Apartments supplies dream-like accommodation to busy travellers the world over.

Other than using the US spelling of the word ‘apartment’, WFA stands out because they do everything to an excellent standard. Their apartments are swelling in number and can be found in more and more wonderful locations around Europe. Amsterdam serviced apartments represent the largest group in their portfolio.

Read more

New World Fight Club

New World Fight Club is powerful band of professionals that enable companies to become more responsible in their work. Their key weapon is innovation: they put teams through design thinking processes to enable them to come up with powerful solutions to complex challenges. They work at the heart of companies and their clients include Tommy and TomTom.

Read more

Yogi & Yusef

Packaging writing including slogan and deepening overall brand concept for Yogi & Yousef 100% natural dates.

Dates, it turns out, are hard to describe. Surprisingly, people just don’t know they are reading the word ‘dates’. This is because they usually can see the dates, something which Yogi & Yousef’s packaging concept did not accommodate. They wanted to sell their dates like chocolate bars – because the content is so fantastic.

Read more

Rotterdam School of Management

Under this eight month agreement, Simon produced articles and press releases for both print and online for one of Europe’s leading business schools.

Read more

Tomorrowland 2013


Collaboration does not come much more exciting for a storyteller than writing stories to introduce the acts at Tomorrowland, now for the second year.

Over 180,000 people gather for this festival every year and experience its music whilst dancing in playful mythical landscapes. Our task was to tune in to the myth that had been created by and elaborate it over 21 acts that happened over the weekend.

Pure storytelling and creative joy in collaboration with Amsterdam’s Orange Tree studios.

TEDxAmsterdam: Speakers workshop

This four-hour workshop will enable the speakers of TEDxAmsterdam to deepen into the story they already have.
What emotion can they bring out? What is the deep meaning that could be discovered? Once found this becomes the basis for formulating a deeply compelling talk with purpose, coherence and meaning. The workshop will involve self-investigation and live story practice in a relaxed, supportive and playful atmosphere.​​
Date: TBC
Invitation only.

Storytelling workshops with ING

Storytelling is coming to be seen as a vital art in in any leader’s toolkit. Whether communicating in writing or in person, they need to know how to can structure a story to get a message across for maximum impact.

These workshops, in association with Flickering Wall, taught leaders how they can bring more focus to their communications and apply the age-old art of storytelling to improve internal communication and alignment within and across teams.

The workshops were produced in a customised format for the needs of ING, with 20-odd workshops run throughout the company in the Netherlands and Belgium, in English, Dutch and French.

Newsletter for Savoy Hotel Amsterdam


The Savoy Hotel in Amsterdam needs a newsletter that can give their customers a feeling that they are experiencing a different side of the city. This hyper-local approach to a city guide, using the voice of the Front Desk Manager Ronny, gives readers an insight into the city that guide books and mainstream websites are unable to provide.

The newsletter is produced monthly in association with brilliant content marketers Benworx – and this looks as though it will become a repeat co-operation service for businesses and hotels looking to leverage their online potential.

Water for life

This blog post is an entrant into the The Masdar Engage Blogging Contest. To help me win please vote for it on the contest page and tweet, like and share it as much as you can on the contest page itself before midnight 3rd January 2013. This will not only get me to a massive water conference in Abu Dhabi it will also help spread awareness on vital water issues worldwide.

Humanity’s relationship with water that is both simple and complex. 95% of our bodies consist of water and as well as for  hydration of the body we need it for its psychological, therapeutic and cultural effects. We also use it in industry in energy production, manufacturing processes and extracted from the ground, sky and sea. Our water use affects every ecosystem on Earth, and says a great deal about our attitudes to the planet and to life itself. This article is a broad sweep through three areas where we can transform water use and the change attitudes to this life-giving element.

Read more

Storytelling for Business in Helsinki

The storytelling workshop is arriving at the Hub Helsinki on 20 September to unleash a whirlwind of charasmatic storytellers on the social business community.

Everyone has a storyteller lurking inside them and when this is put to business use it can dramatically improve the presentation and communication of your business. You may know what your business does – but what makes its activities meaningful?

Read more

Philips Design

As Editor and Publications Manager at Philips Design, Simon worked as part of a team that produced articles for the newsletter new value by Design, as well as for the annual design collection.

Below is a selection of articles to which he was the main contributor:

New economics: Fund managers linking pay to social good

A blog post written for PYMWYMIC

By Simon Hodges

In the midst of global economic uncertainty and consumer backlash against financial sector bonuses, a small East African SME Fund is paving the way for a new construct for linking performance to reward: measure return not only by business growth & profit, but also by verifiable social good.

Read more

Dean Kaden


Dean Kaden is a reportage photographer based in London with  a charisma that illuminates as well as captures the best of his subjects. His hyper-modern, dynamic style has a way of getting to the truth of the composition.

His website was a pleasure to write.


mailing list


“Thank you for your great performance yesterday. People were really touched by the way you let them connect with their own story. Including myself ;)” Martin van Briemen, BRUIS Advies, consultant for Rotterdamse Nieuwe


I spent a brilliant time with a group of corporate leaders in the Autumn. Having organised a pitching competition, they wanted a little storytelling help, so I came in to enjoy their company. Now I must tell you, this was a very analytic division of quite an analytic company.  Being much more at ease in the creative […]

What to expect at the Media Trust story training for non-profits on 4 December – to which you can sign up here. It’s rare now to see non-profit organisations talking only about themselves. Instead they are becoming very good at telling the stories of other people: the ones that speak for themselves about the good […]