What is a Manifesto?

What is a Manifesto? IntentWhat is a Manifesto?

If we’re going to talk about creating a manifesto the rather obvious question is: What is a manifesto?

The word ‘Manifesto’ comes from the latin word ‘manifest‘ which means ‘to make visible or to reveal‘. A manifesto reveals your intent.

Most dictionaries define a manifesto as:

A public declaration of intent.

Let’s look at these three words in a little more detail and in reverse order to explain that further…


Your intent is what you set out to achieve. It is your aim or purpose. Your intent may be a goal, a vision, a mission, an outcome, a plan, a plot or a design.


A declaration is an announcement or proclamation that creates the future. For example, a judge may sentence a criminal to go to jail. And, by making this announcement, it becomes a binding legal agreement that determines that criminals immediate future. In our own lives we make declarations everyday. Some obvious ones include: I’m going to bed, I’m having chocolate, I think I’ll call…

In linguistic terms, a declaration is the opposite of a description. When we describe things we merely note how it appears to us. Declarations are not descriptive, they’re creative.


Public is the opposite of private. Going public may mean posting ‘it’ on the internet for the world to see or it may be shared with a group of friends. Either way, you make it available rather than keep it locked in a drawer.

Three Rules for Manifestos

From this definition we have three simple rules for creating a manifesto:
1.    Manifestos outline what you set out to achieve. What do you want to achieve?
2.    Manifestos create the future. What’s the future you desire?
3.    Manifestos are shared publicly. Who can you share your  manifesto with?

To help you better understand ‘What is a manifesto?’ you might like to consider some examples. We’ve collected over 200 at 1000manifestos.com.


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