By Esther Barfoot

Discovering alternative futures. And helping them along. That is what drives Esther Barfoot in her work as a communication activist.

Many systems, such as our democracy, financial system, ways of organising and communicating seem broken or faulty. Esther develops and realises communication concepts for bottom-up and future-oriented movements, such as a movement by police people in the Dutch National Police reclaiming their professionalism, a community initiated by Rotterdam council to prepare the city for climate change and the WE Programme, set up by Tchibo to improve human rights in the factories in their supply chain.


Activist communication stands between the innovators and change agents and is co-created with them. It focuses on change that wants to happen. To do so, activist communication addresses the intuition and experiments freely and eagerly with a great diversity of work forms and (artistic) concepts. It is not an omniscient communication, but open to discover the future together with the participants.



Harold Janssen, DeLimes | New Organising:  ‘Always looking energetically for what is going round, what is developing, what is unfinished, what is about to emerge. Curious, looking beyond the self-evident. And then making those ideas, stories and unfinished thoughts available to others, who can carry them further. Through whatever medium. Communication activist, she says. I would say: knowledge broker.’


Lily Martens, international facilitator, storytelling expert:
‘There are spunky journalists with a great pen, creative magazine editors with style and inspiring presenters with flair. Esther Barfoot combines it all. Add to that her overview, vigor and ambition. Exactly what this multimedial time needs!’


Luc van Beers, Proof Reputation: ‘Esther is an associative thinker with great empathy and understanding of the experience of the people receiving her media.’