Ascential and Cannes Lions to advance the Sustainable Development Goals Agenda

It was announced at the start of the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly, that Cannes Lions, who run  the International Festival of Creativity, will launch the Sustainable Development Goals Lion in 2018, marking a new drive to advance awareness of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that were unanimously adopted by world leaders at the United Nations in 2015 and encourage the creative industries to celebrate and support sustainability around the world.

The 17 global goals represent a collective ambition to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. The new award will recognise the world’s finest creative minds for work in which they champion the SDGs.

The Sustainable Development Goals Lion will drive awareness of the SDGs and seek to harness the power of the global creative industry to accelerate progress towards their achievement by 2030. All entry fees generated by the Sustainable Development Goals Lion will be donated to projects that advance the goals, based on consultation with potential beneficiaries such as the United Nations, United Nation agencies and NGOs.

Terry Savage, Chairman, Cannes Lions, said, “At Cannes Lions we know that creativity can be a positive force for good, and the combined power of the communications industry is formidable. Major players have been involved with the United Nations global goals initiative for some time and we’ve been proud to be able to give their work a platform.

“Brands and other organisations are now increasingly leading action that promotes good in the world and initiatives that positively impact and enhance the lives of the global community. This award will celebrate and recognise those doing exactly that.”

Duncan Painter, CEO Ascential, added, “In 2016, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stood on stage at Cannes Lions and asked the world’s greatest creatives to come together to create the biggest campaign ever for humanity. This partnership is the next important step in this crucial journey for humanity and the planet.”

The Sustainable Development Goals Lion will reinforce existing collaboration with the advertising community through Common Ground. The United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed, who spoke at the Cannes Lions Festival in June 2017 said, “The United Nations supports the initiative and welcomes the new SDG Lion award. The Sustainable Development Goals outline a universal, integrated and transformative vision for a better world. A category of awards of such relevance will help activate the creative community to help achieve the SDGs through their creative resources and power of communication.”

Claudia Romo Edelman, global Special Adviser for UNICEF and founder/host of the Global Goals podcast distributed by CBS, has been instrumental in developing this initiative and will serve as an official Advisor to the SDG Lion Award.

The Sustainable Development Goals Lion will be developed with input from the UN and global experts ahead of entries opening in January 2018. A dedicated, multi-disciplined jury from relevant sectors and specialisations with experience both in the industry and on global issues will judge an international spread of creative work across the 17 SDG categories at Cannes Lions next year.


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