The Integritas Project
Helping inspire ethical decision making in 4000 future leaders at the
United States Naval Academy.
This is it's story...
What is the Integritas Project?
You might say it is a project devoted to the character development of four thousand present and future leaders, the young men and women enrolled at the United States Naval Academy.
You might say the Integritas Project is a community of people dedicated to an idea and an effort, that has, over the course of five years, touched the lives of hundreds and hundreds of the committed and caring who have devoted time, energy and financial support to making it possible. You might say it is a project engaging a triumvirate of principles that have guided US Naval character development since its inception; honor, courage and commitment.
However, The Integritas Project is bigger than any of that. At heart, The Integritas Project is about a dream...a dream that includes you.
By visiting this site, by asking "What is the Integritas Project?", you are already engaged, however unaware, in a question that, if followed, can inexorably lead you to ask about personal honor in your life, about how your choices can affect both you and the world around you. Over the months to come, this site will continually develop and change, showcasing new spots, adding new and powerful stories and images. This is only the beginning.
The Integritas Project may begin with the Midshipmen of the United States Naval Academy but it is a dream that belongs to all who inquire about personal integrity.
My name is Patrick Finnegan and I am the Creative Designer, Director and Co-camerman of The Integritas Project. I have worked in commercial film making for over 30 years. in all of that time, in all of the hundreds and hundreds of projects I have worked on all over the world, although i have always cared about the mastery of my craft...well frankly, caring about selling another car or box of cereal is another matter.
The Integritas Project began with an idea. What if we took the power of sophisticated commercial branding and film making and applied it not to selling merchandise but instead to selling an idea, a powerful idea at the very core of the Military Code of Excellence and indeed at the noble core of human existence: that choosing the right thing in life not only feels good, but is good for one's corp, community, country and indeed ones's soul.
The first step in designing any branding a campaign is understanding your audience.
Designing for the Millennial Midshipman
I had the magnificent fortune to spend nearly two years in research and development for the project. In one a particular week, from early in the morning until often late at night, I met every hour with various groups of Distinguished Military Professors, Professors from the War College, Company Commanders, sports coaches, class instructors, women's groups, Master Chiefs...in brief any and all who might weigh in on the question of choice and honor. But our inquiry did not stop solely at the borders of the Naval Academy. Our quest took us to a round table of more than 20 military journalists and experts in media at DINFOS, the Defense Information School at Fort Meade. From there we journeyed south to Quantico, Virginia to speak with a sizable group of seasoned Iraq and Afghanistan Marine commanders, one who had been responsible for six months for an area (in Iraq) the size of New Jersey with only 1400 Marines.
Everywhere we went, we asked the same question. In the moment of ethical decision, either in the field or life, what was going through you? What emotions, uncertainties or images came to you to help you either make a choice you were proud of, or perhaps fall short of a choice you wish you might have made?
The answers we got back formed the backbone of our designs.
A new sense of Time...
In designing for Millennials, one has to begin with an understanding of the enormous revolution the data-sphere has created in the fundamental psyche of the youth of this nation and the world. Perhaps understanding the scope of that revolution is best symbolized by comparing the two watches above.
The first watch, the analog watch, displays time as a reference to both past and future. When we view an analog watch, we unconsciously see time as part of a continuum. In reading 10 minutes after the hour, we see time both in reference to sun position, day length and even time yet to come.
The digital watch, however, blinks with a moment by moment readout of this very instant. In and of itself it creates no inherent reference to what has come before or what will come after.