We can’t keep doing what we’ve been doing to the world. The world can’t cope with our disregard for its needs any more. There is no question, therefore, that D&AD Impact matters. Impact is a mustering place for creativity that is spread across the planet. It applauds, nurtures and encourages it to do nothing smaller than change the world. Nothing smaller than making it better.
Impact grew out of D&AD White Pencil, whose launch CEO, Tim Lindsay, and Unilever spearheaded in 2013. “Impact may well be Tim’s greatest legacy,” stated Paula Taylor, global development director at D&AD, “perhaps rivalled though by Shift.”
Mustering the might of the world’s creativity
While White Pencil focused on advertising creativity that comes up with branded solutions to real life problems, Impact’s scope is broader. It awards creativity by brands, NGOs, charities, social entrepreneurs and agencies who are coming up with solutions to real life problems. “Brands are a primary focus though,” Taylor noted. “They are facing a responsibility as well as an opportunity to use creativity as a force for good for the first time. NGOs and charities have always worked for good. And business, with its ability to generate ideas, to produce and to distribute to scale, has the power to bring real change to the world.
“Our traditional audience, our advertising agencies and design, still enter. And there is some wonderful work being done by them,” Taylor added. “But there is also a lot of creativity in start-ups and technology companies and Impact brings those into the fold.”
Nurturing ideas that make the world a better place
Like D&AD, which runs its educational programmes as well as the awards for which it is famous, Impact operates on a number of levels.
First is the global awards show of ideas that are driving change, and Impact has recently simplified its categories to make it easier for people to enter this. Second is its accelerator programme that supports and nurtures creative ideas which have the potential to change the world. Thirdly, it’s a campaign to educate brands and entrepreneurs as to how to incorporate purpose and creativity into their business strategy. And lastly, it’s a platform to give voice to different ideas and creative approaches to the problems businesses face today.
Mentoring the next generation of world changers
Behind Impact is a council of thought leaders. Australia is represented by, innovation leaders Ben Cooper (Tricky Jigsaw), Emad Tahtouh (Nakatomi) and director, Richard Bullock (Will O’Rourke). Emad Tahtouh was the recipient of D&D’s first Black Pencil for Innovation in digital design, and last night added a second Black Pencil for Revoice.
Other Council members include David Jones, founder of You and Mr Jones and One Young World; Haiyan Zhang, innovation director at Microsoft Research; Fernando Machado, SVP of global brand management at Burger King; Bill Tai, venture capitalist and founder of ACTAI Global; Gigi Brisson, founder of Ocean Elders; and Cyrill Gutsch, founder of Parley for the Oceans which has worked with adidas to develop millions of shoes made from recycled ocean plastic.
One of the council’s most significant jobs lies in Future Impact, which nurtures young social impact entrepreneurs making a difference in the world, by using Impact’s council members as mentors in twelve-month mentorships and providing accelerator programmes.
“Impact is broadening the audience of those who can participate in creativity for good and acknowledging that creativity doesn’t just sit within the creative industries,” Taylor explained. “A huge part of what we want is for creative agencies, with their clients, to make braver choices. We really think that sustainability and social impact is the way forward.”
Marcel Worldwide and Intermarché’s Inglorious Fruits and Vegetables epitomises what Impact is, she explains. The campaign, promoting the saleability of imperfect fruits and vegetables that had previously been wasted, started something completely new. It created a trend worldwide. Its impact grew. Five years later all the way down in Australia, for example, fruit and vege chain, Harris Farm Markets, and one of the country’s top two supermarket chains, Woolworths, are selling imperfect produce.
“82% of USB investors believe the returns of sustainable investments will match or surpass those of traditional investments,” Taylor quoted from D&AD Impact’s manifesto. “Investors view sustainable companies as responsible, well-managed and forward-thinking – thus, good investments.”
A few of the campaigns that have won Impact Pencils: