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The NRI Name

The Foundation takes its name from Noordwijk in the Netherlands. As many of the early meetings took place at ESTEC, the European Space Agency test site situated in Noordwijk, it seemed reasonable to include Noordwijk in the name of the foundation. One disadvantage is the pronunciation of "Noordwijk" by non-Dutch speakers. Although "W" sounded as "V" is a relatively common phenomenon, the "ij" is a rarity outside of the Dutch speaking world; the "wij" of Noordwijk rhymes with, for example, the "vi" of vine.

Risk is included in the title to give some hint as to what the venture might be about. The word "Risk" applies to all domains in all sectors – no activity is without risk irrespective of the category of value at stake (e.g. money, quality, personal safety, property, and information). Risk is an ambiguous term, it can be used as a noun, a verb or an adjective and may be positive, negative or neutral in its connotations.

The word "Initiative" was inspired by the Swiss democratic tradition in which ordinary citizens can progress ideas for social change.

The NRI logo is based on an alphabet character unique to Dutch. The "lange ij", pronounced "longer-i", was threatened by the arrival of the standard typewriter keyboard and its missing "lange ij" character. Consequently, the single "lange ij" character was replaced by "i" and "j" placed together; "ij" being an approximation both typographically and phonetically to the " lange ij".  

Some international standards for character code the lange ij as a single letter (ISO/IEC 6937 and ISO/IEC 10646). Others (ISO/IEC 646, ISO/IEC 8859) code it as two separate letters."