Cannes Lions, Gates Foundation Partner For Global Initiative

It sounds like a cliché from a beauty pageant, where the contestants talk about the lofty goal of achieving world peace or feeding the hungry. But the Cannes Lions organization, which puts on the annual advertising awards festival, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation are serious about doing something to help ease the plight of the world’s poor.

Today, the two groups announced a new brief for a creative competition that identifies innovative communications approaches that will contribute to the goal of eliminating extreme poverty around the globe by 2030.

The initiative was announced at the 2013 Cannes Lions ad festival on Monday. Philip Thomas, CEO of the Lions Festivals, stated: "As we immerse ourselves into the Cannes Lions week of great work and inspiration, we call upon the creative community to take part in the Cannes Chimera Initiative and help change the world by applying their skills to demonstrate the ultimate power of creativity."

The Cannes Chimera Initiative is the formal name of the venture created by the Cannes Lions organization and the Gates Foundation that is designed to tackle big global problems.

The Cannes Chimera Initiative will award up to 10 winners a prize of up to $100,000 and recognition at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in 2014.

Winners from the competition will be eligible to apply for a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation of up to $1 million to execute their idea in partnership with the foundation and its global partners.

The winners also get a chance to attend a creative workshop at the Gates Foundation campus in Seattle. There, they will receive mentoring from the winners of past Grand Prix awards.

"We are thrilled to partner with Cannes Lions to challenge the creative community to develop ideas that create social good," said Tom Scott, director of Global Brand & Innovation at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. "We believe the innovations that come out of this initiative will have real potential to help solve some of the world's toughest global development problems and improve the lives of people around the world."

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