A blood donation effort that unites Israelis and Palestinians in a shared lifesaving goal; Italian TV commercials that show the importance of integrating people with Down Syndrome into society; a campaign that doubles the percentage of American parents with young children who have spoken to their pediatricians about autism. These are some of the powerful campaigns that are highlighted in a new online resource called Creative for Good.

Developed by the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on the Future of Media, with support from the Ad Council and Ketchum, the innovative site showcases inspiring and effective pro-social campaigns worldwide. It also provides a brief “how to” guide for organizations embarking on such efforts.

I am proud to have been part of the initial discussion where the concept of Creative for Good originated at the Forum’s Summit on the Global Agenda two years ago in Dubai. There, the Global Agenda Council on the Future of Media was approached about getting the public involved in solving critical social issues such as education, health and the environment. Rather than using resources to create individual campaigns, we decided it would be smarter and more efficient to create a resource for campaigners worldwide.

At our discussions in Dubai, we found that many organizations, particularly NGOs, do not have the resources to develop sophisticated social marketing campaigns. That’s why we developed a platform that could be accessed by anyone with an Internet connection.

The case studies on Creative for Good come from all over the world, providing lessons learned in an array of media and cultural environments. The briefs will take you from the United Arab Emirates, where a public service campaign helps parents take the right precautions to ensure that their children do not fall out of open balconies in high-rise buildings, to Thailand, where citizens are exposed to a message of hope for cancer patients.

Creative for Good was recently unveiled at the Cannes Lions International Festival, one of the largest and most prestigious gatherings of creative artists and communicators. At last year’s festival, former US President Bill Clinton challenged the creative community to do something big to effect positive social changes. “Communicators will have a profound influence on how the next 20 or 30 years will turn out,” he said.

Creative for Good is heeding the call. Some of the projects profiled on the site are on a grand scale, such as a campaign where 209 Fabergé eggs (each individually commissioned from leading artists, designers and brands) were hidden across London to raise over £1 million for charity. Other projects focus on changing perceptions one person at a time. For example, Bell Bajao in India teaches men and boys to use a simple action to stop domestic violence against women: if they hear a violent argument erupt inside a nearby home, they go and ring the doorbell to interrupt.

Creative for Good features material that we can all learn from, sharing a rare vantage point with communicators throughout the world. This new platform has the potential to unleash ideas that, up until now, have been only imagined. It has the power to inspire individuals, communities and societies to embark on new social endeavours, and in the process, change the way people think and act. Most importantly: it has the power to produce even more “creative for good” in the future.


Author: Peggy Conlon is President and Chief Executive Officer of the US Ad Council and Member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on the Future of Media.

Image: A deaf music student plays the trumpet in a school in Sao Paulo REUTERS/Nacho Doce