D&AD's White Pencil joins forces with TIE to create new league of 'social intrepreneurs'

WHITE-PENCIL-1.jpgNominees get the chance to go on a groundbreaking NGO placement; Fighting major obstacles faced by worldwide NGOs at a grassroots level

The D&AD White Pencil rewards creative ideas with a social purpose. The Award is the world's top prize for design, advertising or digital work that  addresses key social, political or ethical issues.

In order to demonstrate its increasing commitment to supporting positive change through creativity, D&AD is collaborating with The International Exchange (TIE) to offer two placements to White Pencil nominees.

TIE is a leadership development programme that combines the expertise within agencies and studios with the needs of NGOs to create positive, sustainable change. It takes talented communications leaders and enables them to share their experience and skills in areas of urgent need.

TIE counts many of the world's top agencies as clients. Alice Hooper, now Board Account Director at Leo Burnett London, co-founded Leo Burnett Change on the back of her TIE experience back in 2011, in which she helped to develop a communications campaign for a small grassroots NGO working with extremely vulnerable children and adolescents within Recife, Brazil.
Change is a collective dedicated to making powerful communications with positive social impact. This initiative led to Leo Burnett worldwide taking on the inaugural White Pencil challenge, and saw them take home the first White Pencil for 'Recipeace' by Leo Burnett Chicago.

Philippa White, Founder and Managing Director of TIE, said "By collaborating with D&AD, our reach around the world will be that much bigger, and the skill sets offered that much more diverse. We'll not only be helping many more NGOs and communities around the world with our powerful communications skills, but together we'll also be enabling more talented communication leaders to learn and grow from the experience of sharing their skills with the emerging world.

"The opportunity for change is huge, both abroad, but also back at home. On the back of the TIE placements, more commercially sustainable ways to fix problems will be discovered and the industry will be better placed to know how to grow business by doing the right thing.

"The more TIE placements that take place, the more our industry will start to change from the core. Our industry will be made to stand for more and we'll all feel even prouder of our chosen profession. Here's to a very exciting collaboration."

Making ethical business behaviour the norm

Tim Lindsay, CEO of D&AD, said: "Our responsibility is to help agencies, studios and individuals to understand and get involved in more sustainable ways of doing business. To encourage a movement that puts corporate social responsibility at the cornerstone of all corporate growth plans and that makes ethical business behaviour the norm, not the exception.

"Ahead of the curve, as they so often are, Unilever liked this and now generously sponsor the White Pencil and through their support we've been able to collaborate with TIE to help push the White Pencil agenda forward.

"The White Pencil, now split into two categories - one for advertising and one for design - is about encouraging and rewarding brands, and their agencies, who are looking to grow those brands and businesses, but in a way that benefits everyone involved.

"And if everyone - consumer, supplier, retailer, employee and employer - benefits, then the motivation becomes irrelevant. In the end, everyone will have to join in or see their business diminish and eventually disappear.

"It's a great opportunity for the advertising and design industries to help our clients, and their consumers, by inventing a new vocabulary; developing new capabilities and leading from the front. In short, to demonstrate that commercial communications can be a force for good. The White Pencil is designed to help the industry bring this about. Over to you."

Recent TIE Success Stories

Melissa Parsey, Lead Strategist for JWT Ethos, has recently completed her own TIE placement in Recife, Brazil, and is now working on the Al Gore Brief with Jon Steel, WPP Planning Director, to tackle the Global Legacy Project - changing habits to change the world. This brief has also been set to our young creative community through the D&AD New Blood Awards.

Trevor Gilley, a designer at Wieden+Kennedy New York, worked in Malawi to create a presentation for government officials that showed people, for the first time, the shocking reality of charcoal production and its impact on deforestation in Malawi. At launch, more than 10,000 fuel-sufficient stoves had been ordered.

Sarah Walker, Director of R&D at Millward Brown London (WPP), explained her recent experience in Brazil: "I have just returned from working with a group of NGOs in Brazil to raise awareness of some of the corruption and human rights atrocities that are being committed in the name of 'preparations' for the coming World Cup... We had four weeks to plan, create and implement a campaign, with a budget of little more than £1000, in a media environment largely controlled by the government. It was one of the most enjoyable, but also intense, learning experiences I have ever had."

All nominees for this year's White Pencil will have the chance to apply for a spot on a TIE placement of up to 30 days. Everyone in the nominated team can apply, from the ECD to the Account Manager, to the Strategist. The individual who is selected will then have the full support of their team back at their home 'base', meaning everyone can play a part.

More information on this collaboration
Enter work for D&AD's White Pencil here

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