The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have announced the first Cannes Chimera Gates Foundation grantees who will work to develop innovative approaches to change the global conversation about the impact of development aid. The grantees are part of the Foundation’s Grand Challenges Explorations initiative that fosters innovation to overcome the most persistent challenges in global health and development.
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 $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 the less fortunate,” said Philip Thomas, CEO, 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’, calls 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. The 10 new grantees – from Australia, Italy, The Netherlands and the US – were selected from more than 900 entries submitted from 85 countries. Each grantee will receive $100,000 to develop their idea. A review panel, comprising experts from the Cannes Chimera, winners of the 2011 Cannes Lions Grand Prix, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, selected projects based solely on merit – applicants’ details are kept confidential.
“We believe new thinking and creativity can help influence the way we address really tough problems,” said Tom Scott, Director of Global Brand & Innovation at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “To change the way people look at development and to help share success stories, we have to do things differently. Thanks to our partnership with Cannes Chimera, people from around the world answered the call and channelled their innovative ideas to help with this challenge.”
The first cadre of ‘Aid is Working. Tell the World’ grantees will gather at the Gates Foundation’s campus in Seattle mid-November, with representatives from Cannes Chimera and the Gates Foundation, to further develop their ideas. Grantees then have the opportunity to apply for additional funding of up to $1 million to bring their idea to fruition. Select grantees will be invited to present at the Cannes Lions Festival in 2013.
Grant applications for a second round of ‘Aid is Working. Tell the World’ are now being accepted through November 7, 2012. The Grand Challenges Explorations programme is open to anyone from any discipline, from student to communications executive, and from any organisation. The current challenge calls for ideas in four specific submission categories – Mobile, Data, Young Audiences, and The Progress of Development.