The second Grand Challenges Explorations initiative brings together organizations and non-profits in a competition to find creative development solutions. The initiative was founded as a joint effort between the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.  This year’s challenge topic was “Aid is Working. Tell the World.” Participants were to come up with creative development solutions using communication to inform the world of the impact of investment in foreign aid. The goal is to change the conversation around foreign aid and foreign investment.

Nine projects were chosen from those submitted and the creators of those projects will be awarded up to $100,000 USD to work on their communications idea. The project creators will also receive guidance from a Cannes Chimera panel made up of  of representatives of each of the 2012 Cannes Lions Grand Prix winners. The nine projects came from various organizations around the world. They are detailed below.

1. BeHere-BeThere Project by Serviceplan, Hamburg, Germany. This project works with local retail establishments to connect consumers with charitable causes and hopefully solicit a donation. The app will help to raise awareness surrounding development issues in the developing world.

2. Cause Generation: a Platform to Define a Generation’s Cause by OgilvyEarth, San Francisco, USA. University students will have the opportuity to use OgilvEarth’s online platform to create a campaign around a single global cause. The goal will be to convince peers to support the cause and raise awareness around the specific cause.

3. Hactivating Development Aid by Coxswain Social Investment Plus, Tunis, Tunisia. Crowdsourcing has become a popular online tool and this idea uses just that to engage young people in development causes. The site will use first person narrative to get students interested in development issues and allow them to offer real-life solutions to problems.

4. HMKD by Leo Burnett, Chicago, USA. One of the most innovative ideas, Leo Burnett will work to create a working ticker symbol for the New York Stock Exchange. This symbol will report the daily return on investment from development aid to raise awareness that investment in foreign aid really does work.

5. House Parties: Experiential Marketing for Global Aid by Plan International, Washington, USA. 
Various organizations have proven the value of house parties. Mary Kay is perhaps one of the most well known examples and Plan International plans to build off of the success of the house party. The goal is to use it as an engagement tool to raise awareness and support for public development programs.

6. Global 360 by Media Trust, London, UK. Global 360 will be a television, online, and mobile channel produced by young people and containing stories about global development.

7. Mobile-izing the United Voices of Aid Recipients by Environics Trust, Ghaziabad, India.  Interactive Voice Response will be used to collect 10,000 stories about the impact of aid in rural India. The stories will be spread online through social media and responses to them will be tracked to see if a change in behavior results.

8. RADIO8 by Digital Kitchen, Seattle, USA. Radio8 will be a radio station containing the views of 8 year-olds. They will record their ideas, insights, and perspectives on the impact of global aid.

9. Smart Cities: An Interactive Multi-Media and Mapping Platform by Spatial Collective, Nairobi, Kenya. Smart Cities will be an interactive community platform allowing individuals to  report local development challenges and present possible solutions. The goal will be to improve communcation between governments, citizens, and aid organzations.

– Amanda Kloeppel
Source: B&T