Russia's 2018 world cup logo is quite strange. I wanted to know more about in and specifically who created it. The answer took me a little bit longer to find than I'd have expected; after a little digging I discovered it was a company called Brandia in Lisbon.
Brandia has a website that is completely empty. Which is even weirder for a commissioned brand advertising company. In fact it was so weird I wondered if it was just the wrong link to their website, so I started in on the Wayback Machine.
In 2013 when they were a self proclaimed think tank in Lisbon and absolutely nothing like a typical commission based advertising firm that one might expect to find making these kinds of images. There was virtually no information and so I scoured around until eventually I found some of their stuff archived on Vimeo:
The Estoril Globalization Conference 2014. The website for the organization and conference has interesting information but claims there wasn't one in 2014. But ignoring the fact they don't admit to one in 2014, what the hell is the Estoril Globalization Conference?
Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel
Georgetown University's McDonough School, United States of America
Erasmus University (Rotterdam School of Management), Netherlands
Aarhus University, Denmark
University of Cape Town, South Africa
Getúlio Vargas Foundation, Brazil
Nova School of Business & Economics, Portugal
Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business, China
I don't think anyone is surprised to see Israel here but Georgetown and Cheung Kong were definitely unexpected. Not as unexpected as them being so overt about this whole event, though. They have a list of panels and speakers for each year, so naturally I started digging through 2013, closest to 2014 available.
Turns out there are some really serious heavyweights in attendance. There are also some organizations that aren't household names who are clearly really committed toward this goal and carry a lot of respect in the Estoril Globalization Conference circles.
Since we're dealing with unknowns, I just started picking out names and organizations that seemed peculiar:
Rachel Goldstein, CEO of Agent of Change and also senior board member of the Milken Institute
Hosts a lot of extremely exclusive invite-only conferences that are quite literally shaping public policy all around the world. Those conferences (including Estoril) are where you rub shoulders with folks like Herman Van Rompuy. He's President of the European Council (the one who told Britain they could suck it, no trade deal with Brexit).
That and the list from the Milken Institute of their events got me curious who else was attending. So I just started browsing the list again looking for something interesting.
Estela Barbot, Senior Advisor of Eurogroup Consulting, Former counselor at the International Monetary Fund
Ruud Lubbers, Former Prime-Minister of the Netherlands, Founder of the Earth Charter
Vandana Shiva, International Forum on Globalization
GLOBAL DIALOGUE - THE CRISIS AND NEW DYNAMICS IN THE GLOBAL ECONOMY
Chair: Patrick Jenkins, Banking Editor of the Financial Times
Horta Osório, CEO of the Lloyds Bank
François Pérol, Chairman of BPCE
PLENARY PANEL - HUMAN SECURITY
Chair: Reuven Amitai, Dean Faculty of Humanities, Hebrew ?University of Jerusalem
Luis Fraga, President of the World Stability Observatory, former Senator of Spain
Gabriele Jacobs, Head of the Composite Project, Erasmus University
Helena Rego, Director Intelligence Academy, SIRP
António Rebelo de Sousa, Vice President of OSCOT, Observatory for Security, Organized Crime and Terrorism
Mariana van Zeller, Journalist, National Geographic
The list is rather extensive and goes on but there was one that caught my attention in particular: Helena Rego, Director Intelligence Academy, SIRP
Director Intelligence Academy, SIRP? Sistema de Informações da República Portuguesa, the Portugese version of the CIA. That sounds kind of like a joke compared to the other heavy weighs and so I wanted to know a bit more about Helena and wtf the SIRP was doing there. That's when I stumbled across what appeared to be a secret society disguised as a invitation-only membership driven charity.
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