Ten of the Best YES Manifesto Examples

All of these manifesto examples are about one thing: change. But what sort of change do you want to make?

There are two basic types of change. You’re either saying NO to something or YES to something. You might also think of this as away from (I don’t want that) and toward (I do want this).

Previously I shared 10 of the best NO Manifesto examples. Today I share 10 of the best YES Manifesto examples.

And at the end of this post, grab the YES keywords you need to write a manifesto.

1 JFK’s Moon Landing Speech

The most common form of a YES manifesto is a Goal. And one of the most powerful goals of all time was US President John F Kennedy’s speech to Congress in 1961. He declared:

“…I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth. No single space project in this period will be more impressive to mankind, or more important for the long-range exploration of space, and none will be so difficult or expensive to accomplish.”

John F Kennedy, US President.

I wrote more about this here. 

2 Sebastian Terry – 100 Things

And if one goal can be a manifesto then a bucket list of goals is one too.

Sebastian Terry wrote 100 items on his bucket list and then went out and did them. He wrote a book about his adventures. It’s an inspiring read. Some of the goals in Terry’s manifesto include:

  • Marry a stranger
  • Save a life
  • Join a protest
  • Skydive naked
  • Be a TV weatherman

What’s on your bucket list?

3 John Lennon, Imagine

A song as a manifesto? Why not. The intent is the same, it’s just a different expression of a manifesto. John Lennon’s song Imagine is a worldview manifesto example – it’s a statement of the world he wants to live in. And I’d be happy to join him.

Here are the opening lines:

Imagine there’s no heaven. It’s easy if you try. No hell below us. Above us, only sky.

Imagine all the people Livin’ for today Ah

Imagine there’s no countries It isn’t hard to do Nothing to kill or die for And no religion, too

Source: Lyricfind

4 Atlassian Corporate Values

Another popular way to write a YES manifesto, especially in the corporate world, is to declare your values. Your values become your guide for how you want to act and behave. Australian software maker Atlassian has these five corporate values:

  1. Open company, no bullshit
  2. Build with heart and balance
  3. Don’t #@!% the customer
  4. Play, as a team
  5. Be the change you seek

You can also use your values to write a personal manifesto.

5 Milton Glasser, I Love New York

I Love New YorkA symbol as a manifesto? You bet. Again, it’s simply another way, a different expression, to declare your intention.

(Other symbol manifestos include: the peace sign, a national flag, a coat of arms, and a smiley face)

In the 1970s, New York City had a reputation problem. People thought it was a dangerous city because of the high crime rate. Plus, the city was on the verge of bankruptcy.

An advertising campaign was commissioned to change this perception and attract tourists as a way to inject money into the New York economy.

Legend has it Milton Glaser came up with the design while sitting in the back seat of a taxi cab on his way to a meeting.

Since then it has become the official slogan of New York and versions of it have been copied around the world.

This manifesto example tells people how to feel.

6 Apple, Here’s to the Crazy Ones

This is one of my all-time favourite manifestos and I included it in my list of top ten famous manifestos of all time.

It’s an ad by Apple from 1999. Surprisingly, it doesn’t show any of their products and not a single computer. Instead, it powerfully states who they make their products for. It’s their brand philosophy as a manifesto TV ad.

The ad uses images of famous creators – how many do you recognise?

He For She - UN Women Solidarity Movement for Gender Equality

7 United Nations, He for She

In 2014, the United Nations Global Solidarity Movement challenged the idea that gender equality is a women’s issue.

The HeForShe movement invites people of all genders to stand in solidarity with women to create a bold, visible and united force for gender equality and social change.

8 The Specials AKA, Free Nelson Mandela

In the 1960s, Nelson Mandela was imprisoned by the apartheid government of South Africa.

And a worldwide campaign Free Mandela began soon after.

With global involvement, it had many forms. This included numerous protest events and in 1984, British music group The Specials AKA released the song Free Nelson Mandela.

Mandela was released in 1990. He had been imprisoned for 27 years.


9 Save Water

It’s been predicted that we will run out of fresh water on the planet by 2040. The surprising fact is we have less fresh water than oil. And we use it at a much faster rate.

That’s not good news. But we can do something about it: Save water.

The Clean Ocean Foundation is one of many who campaign to save water.

Platform 21 - Repair Manifesto10 Platform 21, The Repair Manifesto

A YES manifesto has two qualities. You’re either defining what you want (JFK goal) or you are defining what action to take.

Dutch Group Platform 21 want to do its part for the planet. Their big idea is to stop recycling and start repairing. And there are three good reasons for this.

  1. Not everything can be recycled.
  2. It takes more resources to recycle something.
  3. Recycling promotes consumption – you have to buy the thing again. In contrast, when you repair something you have the same thing for longer.

As a result, Platform 21 came up with its Repair Manifesto. It’s 11 principles you can adopt to extend the life of your things. Their principles include:

  • Repair is not replacement
  • Repair survives fashion
  • To repair is to discover
  • Repairing is about independence
  • You can repair anything, even a plastic bag.

How to write your YES manifesto

How can you use this to write a manifesto?

Simply use this two-part formula: YES word + Cause

For example, Free + Mandela or Save + Water.

Here is a list of keywords you might use to write a YES manifesto, plus an example of each one.

  • Yes (what are you saying yes to?)
  • Goal – John F Kennedy’s Moon Speech or Sebastian Terry’s 100 Things
  • Values – Atlassian Corporate values or your personal values
  • Go – (where do you want to go?) – JFK’s Go to the Moon speech
  • Do (what action do you want people to take?) – The Repair Manifesto
  • Be (what way of being do you want to encourage?) – The Slow Movement (LINK)
  • Start – (what do you want to start)
  • Free – Free Mandela
  • New (what is your new way or new thing?) – Charlie King’s New Rules of Golf Instruction
  • For (what are you campaigning for or working toward?) – He For She
  • Save – Save Water
  • Feeling (what’s the feeling you want to promote?) – I Love New York
  • Best (any form of wanting to be the best) – Vancouver wanted to be the greenest city in the world in 2020

More Manifesto Examples

If you’d like more manifesto examples or to write a manifesto then check out these next:

There are also over 250 manifesto examples on 1000Manifestos.com

More Updates

The Ultimate Guide to Planning Your Life's Work

Your life’s work won’t just happen automagically by itself. To fulfil your life’s work you need a plan. But what’s the best way to do this?

Four Questions to Win the Game of Life

I’m a sports nut. I’ll watch almost any sport – especially Aussie Rules football. And from watching and playing a lot of sports, I know

Four Declarations for when things don't go to plan

Forest Gump’s mum famously said, “Life is like a box of chocolates – you never know what you’re going to get.” For me, life is