Staff Reporters
Nov 2, 2012

Cannes Chimera project names first 10 grantees

GLOBAL - The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have named the first Cannes Chimera Gates Foundation grantees, who will receive funding and expert counsel as they work to change the global conversation about the impact of development aid.

Cannes Chimera project names first 10 grantees

The 10 grantees responded to the first call for entries in March. One week remains for new groups to respond to the project's second call for entries. The 10 grantees, from Australia, Italy, The Netherlands and USA, were selected from more than 900 entries submitted from 85 countries.

Each grantee will receive US$100,000 to develop their idea. The Cannes Chimera (made up of the 2011 Cannes Lions Grand Prix winners) will partner with each grantee and provide mentoring as they develop their winning ideas and prepare for a chance at US$1 million in additional funding from the Gates Foundation to execute their project.

“This is an amazing initiative for anybody to put the power of a creatively inspired communications idea to good use and help others less fortunate,” said Philip Thomas, CEO of Cannes Lions. “It’s also a unique chance to work with the Cannes Chimera — the best creative brand communicators in the world — and have the funding to see the idea put into action.”

The grant programme, “Aid is Working. Tell the World”, called for creative ideas to help the public engage with the issues involved in overseas aid and understand that development investments are already paying off and saving lives, according to the organisation.

The sole grantee from the region, Sydney-based Future Buro, titled its project 0.7 per cent in reference to the percentage of national income governments have pledged to spend on aid. The group intends to turn the figure into a brand in order to "show aid in perspective and in relation to the wider economy and highlight how small contributions have incredible effects". The group will reach out to individuals, brands and publications to donate 0.7 per cent of their incomes, budgets and media space.

The other grantees are as follows:

  • Pamoja Together! Boston University’s programme on Crisis Response and Reporting will collaborate with universities in Western Kenya to create a global health student newsroom, build cross-cultural understanding about the role of aid in improving public health, and train the next generation of storytellers.
  • Twins! Italy-based Deep International Ltd’s Communications project aims to introduce children in developed countries to foreign aid work by matching them to their aid-supported birth-twin in developing nations. Aid workers will build a database of ‘twins’ by inputting their details through smartphone applications – allowing developed-world children (and their parents) to explore twins online.

  • Translation. New York-based Galewill Design propose to translate the complicated language of foreign aid into simplified, compelling messages using a proven, research-based methodology, and develop a one-of-a-kind digital translation tool to help the aid community tell compelling human stories. The aim is to transform the way the field talks about its work.
     
  • I See You! Seattle-based Habitat Seven propose to create an interactive children’s e-book series for tablet devices that tells the personal stories of children whose lives have been touched by aid efforts. Their goal is to cultivate meaningful dialogue within families to spread the message that aid is working.
  • Fixes U. The Institute for Transformation of Learning at Marquette University, USA, will partner with David Bornstein (How to Change the World) and Tina Rosenberg (Pulitzer prize-winning The Haunted Land) to build the first Wiki-style platform that packages solutions-journalism (specifically NYTimes Fixes columns) into mini-case-studies for educators around the world to embed in, and across, the curriculum.

  • How does aid work? Let’s ask the crowd! Is the idea of Stichting 1 Procentclub (1%Club) from The Netherlands, intend creating a mobile monitoring and evaluation tool. It shows how aid affects the lives of people at local level by telling first-person stories and connecting it with open data. This tool connects grassroots projects to a global audience in a real time conversation.
  • Broadcasting Foreign Aid: A New Strategic Approach by USA-based ProSocial, LLC, proposes to employ an innovative, cross-disciplinary, issue-driven creative process to develop an original television series telling the stories of aid workers around the world, and to use this series as an anchor for a public engagement campaign about how international aid makes the world fairer, more stable and safer.

  • Aid is Working. Just Ask G.I. Joe by The Truman National Security Institute in the USA The Truman National Security Institute pairs the trusted voices of military veterans with innovative multimedia to reframe international development as a national security imperative. Building on a record of award-winning products, their MakeUsStrong campaign creates short films featuring members of the military demonstrating how international development helps keep America safe.
  • The Echo Project by Wieden+Kennedy New York*, proposes designing and developing devices that measure actions indicative of foreign aid success. The measured data will be used to establish an open collection of real-time streams and to create a variety of meaningful interactive experiences. 

* Article updated on 9 November: The original press information said the Echo Project was by W+K Portland.

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