In Partnership with
Bill & Melinda Gates foundation

2011 Challenge: Winners

The ten finalists of the first-ever Cannes Chimera challenge were selected from 914 entries submitted from 85 countries. The ideas were judged on their own merits, their creators remaining anonymous, by a committee made up of the Cannes Chimera as well as members of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s review board and a small group of experts.

The finalists were at the Gates Foundation’s campus in Seattle from November 14-15 2012 where they were each  presented with a prize of $100,000 USD and worked over two days with the Cannes Chimera to develop their ideas.

Successful projects now have the chance to secure an additional award of up to $1m USD to bring their idea to fruition.


Pamoja Together!

Boston University, Boston, USA

Boston University’s programme on crisis response and reporting will collaborate with universities in Western Kenya to create a global health student newsroom, build cross-cultural understanding about the role of aid in improving public health, and train the next generation of storytellers. Check the campaign's progess at


Deep International Ltd’s Communications, Italy

Italy-based Deep International Ltd’s Communications' project aims to introduce children in developed countries to foreign aid work by matching them to their aid-supported birth-twin in developing nations. Aid workers will build a database of ‘twins’ by inputting their details through smart phone applications – allowing developed-world children (and their parents) to explore twins online.


Future Buro, Sydney, Australia

Sydney-based Future Buro will turn the figure of 0.7% - the percentage of national income governments have pledged to spend on aid - into a brand. The aim is to show aid in perspective and in relation to the wider economy and highlight how small contributions have incredible effects. It will also facilitate individuals, brands and publications to donate 0.7% of incomes, budgets and media space.


Galewill Design, New York, USA

Galewill Design from New York propose to translate the complicated language of foreign aid into simplified, compelling messages using a proven, research-based methodology, and develop a one-of-a-kind digital translation tool to help the aid community tell compelling human stories. The aim is to transform the way the field talks about its work.

 I See You!

Habitat Seven, Seattle, USA

Seattle-based Habitat Seven propose to create an interactive children’s e-book series for tablet devices that tells the personal stories of children whose lives have been touched by aid efforts. Their goal is to cultivate meaningful dialogue within families to spread the message that aid is working.

Fixes U

Institute for Transformation of Learning, Milwaukee, USA

The Institute for Transformation of Learning at Marquette University, USA, will partner with David Bornstein (How to Change the World) and Tina Rosenberg (Pulitzer prize-winning The Haunted Land) to build the first Wiki-style platform that packages solutions-journalism (specifically NYTimes Fixes columns) into mini-case-studies for educators around the world to embed in, and across, the curriculum.   

How Does Aid Work?

Stichting 1 Procentclub, The Netherlands

Let’s ask the crowd! is the idea of Stichting 1 Procentclub (1%Club) from The Netherlands, intending to  create a mobile monitoring and evaluation tool. It shows how aid impacts the lives of people at local level by telling first person stories and connecting it with open data. This tool connects grassroots projects to a global audience in a real time conversation.

Broadcasting Foreign Aid: A New Strategic Approach

ProSocial, LLC, USA

This idea, by USA-based ProSocial, LLC, proposes to employ an innovative, cross-disciplinary, issue-driven creative process to develop an original television series telling the stories of aid workers around the world, and to use this series as an anchor for a public engagement campaign about how international aid makes the world fairer, more stable and safer.

Aid is Working. Just Ask G.I. Joe

The Truman National Security Institute, USA

This proposal by The Truman National Security Institute in the USA pairs the trusted voices of military veterans with innovative multimedia to reframe international development as a national security imperative. Building on a record of award-winning products, their MakeUsStrong campaign creates short films featuring members of the military demonstrating how international development helps keep America safe.

The Echo Project

Wieden+Kennedy New York, USA

The Echo Project by Wieden+Kennedy New York, USA, proposes to design and develop devices that measure actions indicative of foreign aid success. The measured data will be used to establish an open collection of real-time streams and to create a variety of meaningful interactive experiences.