9 projects selected in 2nd Cannes lions and Gates Foundation competition for social good

CSR, Festivals & Awards

Cannes Lions and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation selected nine projects as part of the second Grand Challenges Explorations initiative. Each project will develop an innovative communication approach to changing the global conversation about the impact of development aid.

The creators of the nine projects will each be awarded up to US$100,000 to work on their communications idea and will be mentored by a Cannes Chimera panel made up of representatives of each of the 2012 Cannes Lions Grand Prix winners. The Cannes Chimera will work with the grantees to help develop and hone their initiatives. Grantees are then invited to apply for up to US$ 1 million of additional funding from the Gates Foundation to implement their ideas.

The nine projects from agency and non-profit organisations from around the world are:

  • BeHere-BeThere Project by Serviceplan, Hamburg, Germany: Using location-based network applications in collaboration with local retail partners, Serviceplan will connect consumers to charity projects in the developing world to raise awareness of development issues and trigger donations from retail locations to specific projects.
  • Cause Generation: a Platform to Define a Generation’s Cause by OgilvyEarth, San Francisco, USA: OgilvyEarth will develop and launch an online platform for university student teams to use to campaign for a single global development cause for their generation, convince their peers to support that cause, and execute an awareness raising project around the winning cause.
  • Hactivating Development Aid by Coxswain Social Investment Plus, Tunis, Tunisia: The organization will develop an online crowdsourcing program that engages young people around the world and enables them to learn about global development challenges through first-person narratives as well as provide solutions to real-life challenges identified by their peers.
  • HMKD by Leo Burnett, Chicago, USA: Leo Burnett will develop a plan to create a working stock ticker on the New York Stock Exchange that will track the daily return on investment from development aid to raise awareness that investments in humankind are working.
  • House Parties: Experiential Marketing for Global Aid by Plan International, Washington, USA: Plan International USA will test a proven marketing model – the House Party – as an engagement tool to build support among the public for international development programs.
  • Global 360 by Media Trust, London, UK: Building on its existing programming, Media Trust will produce the first television, online and mobile channel run by young people, which will create and distribute stories about global development.
  • Mobile-izing the United Voices of Aid Recipients by Environics Trust, Ghaziabad, India: Environics Trust will use an Interactive Voice Response system to collect 10,000 personal narratives about the impact of aid programs in rural India, will disseminate them online and through social media, and then measure how the information changes perceptions among a youth audience.
  • RADIO8 by Digital Kitchen, Seattle, USA: Digital Kitchen will create a worldwide radio channel for eight-year-old children to provide knowledge, insights and perspectives on the impact of aid through first-person stories, music, and cultural exchanges, with a goal of promoting connections between the developing and the developed world.
  • Smart Cities: An Interactive Multi-Media and Mapping Platform by Spatial Collective, Nairobi, Kenya: Spatial Collective will create an interactive community platform, accessible via SMS, for citizens to present local development challenges and suggest possible solutions, with a goal of promoting better communication between citizens, service providers, local governments, and members of the international community and improving living conditions for people in developing countries.

Once again we are seeing some truly inspirational and creative ideas being brought to the table for the better good of the world. I’m particularly proud to see that the global communications industry is rising to the challenge and increasingly engaging with this unique and fantastic initiative (…) Having had the privilege to see the first Cannes Chimera in action during the mentorship workshop in Seattle last year, I have no doubt that when these nine grantees convene in Seattle in October, they will be blown away by the experience of working first hand with the most skilled and passionate creative communicators in the business

Philip Thomas,

CEO Lions Festivals.

The creative challenge “Aid is Working. Tell the World” solicited communications ideas that can help change the global conversation about the impact of investments in foreign aid. Answering to a competitive creative brief for ideas in four specific submission categories: Mobile, Data, Young Audiences and The Progress of Development, the nine new projects were selected from entries submitted from around the world. They were chosen solely on merit – applicants’ details are kept confidential – by a review panel comprised of experts from the first Cannes Chimera, winners of the 2011 Cannes Lions Grand Prix, and representatives from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. These grants are awarded as part of the foundation’s Grand Challenges Explorations initiative which fosters innovations that can help overcome the most persistent challenges in global health and development.

Innovative communications are going to be an important part of solving the world’s biggest challenges (…) We’re thrilled to be partnering with Cannes Lions, which enables us to collaborate directly with the global creative community to find ways to build awareness and support for critical global development problems

Tom Scott,

Director of Global Brand & Innovation, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Some of the nine grantees will also be honored on stage during the four awards ceremonies that take place during the Cannes Lions festival week 16-22 June.

A new global creative challenge will be announced on Monday 17 June at the 60th Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity during the Cannes Chimera Initiative seminar. An all-star cast, including Chimera Members and previous grantees, will take to the stage to discuss the Cannes Chimera Initiative and launch the next challenge.

The Cannes Chimera Initiative, in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, exists to harness great ideas for the good of the world. It is open to anyone from any discipline, from students to communications executives, and from any organisation. Applications are submitted online to Cannes Lions, and initial grants of $100,000 are awarded for the finalists. Successful projects have the opportunity to apply for a grant of up to US$1 million to implement their idea.


Material written by Vera Gavrila and Andreea Popescu