our mission

Inspire and empower cultural changemakers to transform the world

You’ve felt it: an overwhelming discontent with the world’s growing injustice and inequality. But how to turn that spark into action? Discover the movement that harnesses the power of culture to tackle the world’s biggest problems.

We believe in the power of culture to change the world

Culture creates the kind of change that moves humanity forward in concrete, tangible ways. Reduce inequality. Tackle poverty. Democratize opportunity. Fight climate change. If it stops people and the planet from thriving, it’s on our list.
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Harness culture to improve lives
In 2010 Maurits Montañez started Manuvo with the belief that culture isn’t only art or heritage, but a larger repository of ideas and knowledge that helps us understand reality and change reality itself. To help us imagine, and then build desirable futures.

Moved by the contrasting realities of Mexico, between its rich culture and the adversities faced by many, Maurits set out to explore the emerging possibilities of mobile technology to create educational tools that would help people in need discover and harness culture’s transformative power to improve their lives in meaningful ways.
Nurturing early readers
We believe in the power of books to spark a lifelong journey of discovery, creativity, and learning, especially in places like Mexico where readership is low. Starting in 2011, we partnered with Latin America’s top book publishers to explore new ways to ignite a love of reading from a young age by melding beautiful storytelling with innovative technology. 

We created a series of storybook apps that feature illustrations, animations, voice, music, and playful interactions that stimulate children’s imagination and develop their literacy skills, while raising awareness about important issues in the region.
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Making poetry accessible for everyone
How might we connect Mexico’s rich literature heritage with today’s generation, particularly for first-time readers who often find it intimidating and unrelatable?

In 2011 we partnered with CONACULTA to create the digital version of Blanco, one of Octavio Paz’s most iconic poems, featuring audio readings, video commentary, hand-written notes, a contextual timeline, photos, and other media that make the reading experience more interactive and educational.

With more than 100,000 downloads, the app was an instant success, paving the way for a new approach to bring culture closer to all.
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Developing literacy skills in rural Mexico
Empowering marginalized communities has always been a big part of our mission. That’s why in 2012 we created Naaybox, an itinerant van that nurtures reading, writing, and digital skills in the rural areas of Mexico where there are no schools or public libraries.

Traveling across regions, Naaybox encourages kids and their families to engage in literacy, technology, and creative workshops through a library of storybook apps, inclusive facilitation, and modular spaces for storytelling, making, sharing, and community building.
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Reimagining museums for the digital age
As technology evolves, so does our relationship with museums and heritage sites, creating opportunities to experience culture in new, deeper ways.

In 2012 we partnered with the Gran Museum of the Mayan World to create our first digital museography project, resulting in ten interactive modules for 42-inch touchscreens and ten electronic labels that make the visiting experience more didactic and participatory.

This started our decade-long collaboration with Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) to bring human-centered innovation to museums, exhibitions, and archeological sites across the country.
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Sparking curiosity for math
When it comes to math class, most kids in Latin America aren’t exactly thrilled. We can’t blame them, really: formal education systems, based on memorization and standarized testing, have made it abstract and unrelatable. We think storytelling can help.

In 2013 we created Juan and Sofi, a series of five apps that introduce preschool kids to basic concepts of arithmetic, time, and space through the story of two siblings, Juan and Sofi. By combining familiar characters with everyday situations and interactive exercises, we encourage kids to stay curious and explore the world using the language of math.

Today, Juan and Sofi is available in 3,000+ tablets in public schools across Chile.
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Digital repatriation of Codex Mendoza
In collaboration with Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History, University of Oxford, and King’s College London, we created the digital version of the Codex Mendoza, an iconic document describing the Aztec empire before the arrival of the Spaniards ⎯ guarded at Oxford’s Bodleian Library since 1659.

This free, interactive resource uses technology to repatriate one of the most important objects in Mexican history, giving everyone the opportunity to experience it for the first time. Not only to preserve and explore our past, but to deepen the roots of our identity.
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Preserving indigenous languages
Of the estimated 7,000 languages spoken in the world today, nearly half are in danger of extinction. Today, a third of the world’s languages have fewer than 1,000 speakers left, many of whom are indigenous people. With every language lost, entire cultures disappear.

To change this, in 2016 we created Kernaia, a platform that prevents indigenous languages from going extinct while integrating its native speakers into the digital economy. Through training, a co-creation process, and a digital marketplace, Kernaia creates an ecosystem where indigenous communities can thrive and lead the revitalization of their culture.
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Nurturing creativity through dance
Dance is as important for creative learning as other subjects like science or language. We learn by moving. But in most schools, dance isn’t encouraged enough ⎯ if at all.

Between 2017 and 2019 we collaborated with Ballet National de Marseille, ICK Amsterdam, Mercat de Les Flors de Barcelona, and Explora il Museo dei Bambini di Roma to create Map To The Stars, a digital toolkit for educators that brings dance to primary schools through tutorials and challenges that fuse body movement with curricular topics and multicultural exchange, helping kids develop their confidence and creative skills.

Today, Map To The Stars has over a thousand active students across Europe.
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A story-making toolkit for literacy skills
Having seen the limitations of both all-technology and no-technology approaches to literacy education, we created Wonder Literacy. This toolkit combines tinkering and making with storytelling and digital sharing to engage kids in an approach to reading and writing that encourages playfulness, invention, and social interaction.

In 2019 we partnered with three public schools in Liverpool, UK, to co-create the toolkit and run pilot workshops to support underserved children in their learning journey, obtaining positive results and feedback from students and educators alike.
New brand design
For our tenth anniversary, we partnered with Pentagram to design a new brand identity for Manuvo, helping us better reflect our values, approach, and bold new vision.

Inspired by our movement to harness culture to improve lives, Pentagram designed a playful visual system out of vibrant moving parts that represent culture and education as the building blocks that drive change and social progress. This principle was carried out throughout our new logotype, typography, colorful palette, and graphic language.
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Inspiring and empowering cultural changemakers
We started Manuvo because we believe culture is a powerful changemaker. And with your passion and creativity, together we can build a brighter future for all people and the planet.

Through our documentary series Changemakers, our Make Better campaign, our training programs, and our online resources, we’re helping people like you discover and harness culture’s transformative power to improve lives and tackle the grand challenges of our time.

Join us and be the difference in the world.
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our story

Inspiring change
since 2010

Manuvo has its roots in Mexico, in the quintessential state of Michoacán, a land of rich history and culture, at a time when the Internet and mobile devices opened a world of possibilities to make a difference in people’s lives.
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Meet our founder

Maurits is a Mexican entrepreneur, computer scientist, designer, futurist, and educator dedicated to improving lives through the power of culture.
From preserving indigenous languages to nurturing creativity and literacy skills, his work fuses arts and culture, technology, design, and foresight to help underserved communities stand tall, overcome adversity, and drive change toward desirable futures.
In 2016, the MIT Technology Review named Maurits to its list of Innovators Under 35, an honor given to young innovators at the vanguard of technology finding solutions to global problems.
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Manuvo’s work has been featured in The New York Times, CNN, The Next Web, and Deutsche Welle, and has received multiple international awards, including:
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