World’s best young digital experts rise #UpForSchool

A World at School, Up for School or #upforschool campaign

Ben Hewitt with the winning Swiss team of Kevin and Dominique

This week the #UpForSchool campaign has been given a creative boost from leading young digital experts from all around the world.

Teams from 45 countries came together in the south of France to compete in the 2015 Cannes Young Lions Cyber Competition and their challenge was to create a new social media campaign that will help get five million people to sign the #UpForSchool Petition. The teams had just 24 hours to complete the task.

The experts taking part had already won their national competitions, so we knew we were dealing with the best young designers in the world. As they had travelled from every continent to take part in this auspicious award, the energy and excitement was palpable.

When they competitors arrived they had no idea of the brief. I was able to unveil the #UpForSchool campaign on the first day and set the challenge – they were asked to create a social media campaign to secure five million signatures for the #UpForSchoool Petition.

We said that the petition will be handed to world leaders at the United Nations in 100 days and the clock is ticking! As soon as they were set the tasks, each competitor disappeared into their own private booth to work.  It was exciting seeing them at work and finding out more about the new technologies and digital channels working in their countries. They were working across Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Snapchat and many others.

We had long discussions about how we get people to sign up. Its not just about likes and shares, as we want people to consciously sign the petition and be a part of this exciting, growing movement around the world.

The next day the judges arrived and we were able to see all 45 ideas. The results are amazing. These are new ideas that use all the latest digital technologies and innovations.

The competitors gathered to find out who won the competition. The judges awarded the Gold award to Switzerland (graphic designer Dominique Malanja Magnusson and art director Kevin Zysset) for the most compelling social media campaign for the #UpForSchool Petition. Silver went to Lithuania and Bronze to Brazil.

However, for me it was not about a few winners as I knew that many of the campaigns that have been created can be launched. Together we can create a message no world leader  can ignore – watch this space!

There are currently 58 million girls and boys around the world who do not see a single day of school. In 2000 world leaders made a promise enshrined in the United Nations Millennium Development Goals to get all children into school and learning by the end of 2015.

Ben briefs the Young Lions about the #UpForSchool Petition

The #UpForSchool Petition was launched to use this unique window of opportunity to create a global movement of people demanding action to ensure education for every child. Aiming to be one of the biggest in history, the petition will be handed into world leaders at the UN General Assembly in September.

We were thrilled to be asked to put #UpForSchool forward for this incredible competition and thank Cannes Young Lions for this opportunity. There is so much potential to use digital and social media for good and this competition reminded us of the possibilities .  

The #UpForSchool Petition was launched as a digital mobilisation campaign, taking advantage of the power of digital to engage with audiences all over the world with our message and action. We expect to be taking forward many of the ideas in coming weeks.

I want to thank everyone involved for their commitment to this global campaign to get children into school and learning.

Here are some of the amazing teams who took part….






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