Skip to main content

Impress Bill and Melinda Gates With Your Idea, Win $1 Million

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has a message that they want to get out; “foreign aid really works.” And the foundation, in conjunction with the Cannes Lions Festival is funding a million-dollar contest to see who can best get that message out.

The submission is pretty straightforward and is limited to just two pages. The entry deadline is 15 May 2012.

What might the judges base their decision on? The rules list the following as a start:
  • “New ways to collect and share first-person stories from those impacted by aid in the developing world;
  • “Data collection and visualization that demonstrates the “how” and “what” of aid, e.g. where funding goes and how it impacts people and communities; money spent on development relative to other areas; measurable progress against the Millennium Development Goals. (The foundation is particularly interested in MDGs 1,4,5,and 6.);
  • “Creative distribution mechanisms to deliver stories, data, and information to key audiences;
  • “Concepts that spark active engagement and collaborative problem-solving, e.g. games, crowdsourcing, and other projects that move the field from one-way communications towards authentic engagement;
  • “Revolutionary ways to humanize the challenge and the solutions and to connect communities receiving aid to those who provide it.”
As many as 10 ten semifinalists will get $100,000 to develop their ideas. They will be flown to Seattle to confab with the “Cannes Chimera,” a panel of super-creatives in a learning environment. The winner will get a $1 million to execute their idea.

Judging will be based primarily on two things: How well it lines up with the topic and how innovative or creative it is. Approaches like lobbying public officials are specifically disallowed.

Contests of this sort have a fantastic history.

A way for ships to get a fix on their longitude while at sea came about thanks to a contest sponsored by the British admiralty. Charles Lindbergh flew across the Atlantic in part to claim the $25,000 Orteig Prize. The splendid British aircraft the ‘Spitfire’ was inspired by a contest. The Ansari X Prize opened up near-earth space flight to non governmental entities. Qualcomm is sponsoring a $10 million ‘tricorder’ prize to get to a version of the Star Trek medical tricorder. There’s a half-dozen more such contests organized under the aegis of the X Prize.

Such contests create a multiplier effect, inspiring many people and organizations to spend their time and treasure on winning the prize.

Good luck! And if you win, remember who told you about it.


Popular posts from this blog

Three Ways to Be Charitable

I’ve spent a big chunk of my career working with or for charities. Many of my dearest and ablest friends are in the charity ‘space.’ And the creativity and problem-solving coming out of the nonprofit sector has never been greater.  Although I’ve had numerous nonprofit clients over the last decade or so, I haven’t worked in a charity for about 12 years now, which gives me a certain distance. Distance lends perspective and consequently, I get a lot of people asking me which charities I recommend for donations of money or time. My usual answer is, “it depends.” “On what?” they respond. “On what you want from your charitable activities,” I reply. It sounds like a weaselly consultant kind of an answer, but bear with me for a moment. The English word charity comes from the Latin word caritas and means “from the heart,” implying a voluntary act. Caritas is the same root word for cherish. The Jews come at charity from a different direction. The Hebrew word that is usually rendered as charity is t…

Top Eight Cause-Related Marketing Campaigns of 2007

Yeah, You Read it Right. It's a Top 8 List.

More cause-related marketing campaigns are unveiled every day across the world than I review in a year at the cause-related marketing blog. And, frankly, I don’t see very many campaigns from outside North America. So I won’t pretend that my annual list of the top cause-related marketing campaigns is exhaustive.

But, like any other self-respecting blogger, I won’t let my superficial purview stop me from drawing my own tortured conclusions!

So… cue the drumroll (and the dismissive snickers)… without further ado, here is my list of the eight best cause-related marketing campaigns of 2007.

My list of the worst cause-related marketing campaigns of 2007 follows on Thursday.

Chilis and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
I was delighted by the scope of Chilis’ campaign for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. As you walked in you saw the servers adorned in black co-branded shirts. Other elements included message points on the Chilis beverage coas…

KFC Concept Restaurant Gives a Nod to Cause Marketing for Local Causes

KFC, a unit of Yum Brands, is testing a new quick-serve restaurant version of the fried chicken outlet and among the changes is that its cause marketing efforts will be much more local, according to Anne Fuller, senior director of development for KFC eleven.

The KFC eleven test store is in Louisville, Kentucky, KFC’s headquarters. When it opens August 5, 2013, it will feature rice bowls, flatbreads, salads, KFC original recipe chicken among other items, plus sides. A second test location is set to open in Louisville before year’s end. The 11 in KFC eleven is a salute to the 11 herbs and spices in their original recipe chicken.

The trade-dress for the test store includes lamp lighting, digital signage with community news, and artwork from local artists.

Why step into the quick serve space? Fuller answered a reporter from this way: “People love KFC but it's not a frequent choice for many guests for some reason. We wanted to create a broad and balanced menu that could mayb…