A global addressing system from a company called What3Words won the Lions Innovation Grand Prix Award at Cannes on Friday.
There was just one Grand Prix issued in the Innovation category and none were bestowed for Creative Data, a new subcategory introduced this year.
The What3Words addressing system divides the world into three meter squares and provides a three-word address for each square.
According to the company, some 75% of the world’s population has no addressing system or a poor one -- lacking house numbers, street names, ZIP and other postal codes or all of the above.
The new system addresses those deficiencies, which can mean the difference between life and death in some developing countries. For example, water sources that become disabled can be located and fixed, humanitarian aid can be requested and delivered and micro-financing can be scaled. Hospitals and schools can be found quickly.
The system was cited by Innovation Jury President, Nick Law, Global Chief Creative Officer, R/GA as an example of systematic, Silicon Valley thinking, relevant, he said, because, "As a jury, we were very concerned about problems to be solved."
Commenting on Creative Data jury’s decision not to award a Grand Prix in the inaugural year of the category, Jury President David Sable, Global CEO, Y&R, said there was such strong diversity in the first year's entries it had made identifying an overall winner challenging. "We feel that every Lion we awarded was tight, clear, representative of its sub-category, but we felt that it was inappropriate at this stage to choose one to represent the totality."