Opinion

The true reward for great thinking

Every industry has its own set of Awards. The concept of being rewarded for great work starts at school and continues through working life. For students, winning an Award can be a great step towards a new career—it’s something to put on their CV, and the certificate can go up on the wall. It all helps.

But we thought there is a way of making an Award a bit more meaningful. Something that works at more than one level and delivers more for the student, more for the industry…and more for society as a whole.

Pic.: Creative Conscience Award logo

Pic.: Creative Conscience Award logo

This was the thinking behind the Creative Conscience Awards which launched last year. The reward for the finalists was their work presented to some of the most influential names in the creative industry, with the opportunity to network and ultimately to find a work placement. The placement is a critical element when climbing on the first step of the career ladder can be almost insurmountable in these straightened times.

But to have got to that stage, nearly 200 students had submitted work which they, and we, hope will have a broader impact on the world we live in. The heart of the Creative Conscience Awards is the belief that young creative minds could be inspired to develop ideas about how to improve the world. We wanted them to use their creativity to develop concepts which would benefit ethical, moral and worthwhile causes. The first year of any award scheme is a nervous one for the organisers, but the response was overwhelming, not just in terms of the quantity of entries, but the quality too.

The Award had aimed high from the outset, getting on board twenty very high profile, big thinkers from the creative world including Wayne Hemingway, Wendy Dagworthy, Jasper Conran, Dinah Casson, whilst environmental campaigner Jonathan Porritt has also joined the judging panel. ‘Official’ support also came in the form of the Design Council, including judge Chief Design officer Matt Hunter and Chief Executive John Mathers.

This mattered because it demonstrated that we were serious about the aims of the competition, and also had a broad church of support. It is also true that without the financial and management support of LFH, which has a similar outlook to the aims of the award, it would never have happened.

With six categories we were able to Award gold in four and silver and bronze across all categories.

Karin Rubing won gold in the graphics and advertising category for an app that encourages consumers to demand improvements in the way the mobile phone industry operates by highlighting poor manufacturing processes and the use of conflict minerals, whilst Elena Ciolau also achieved gold in the Illustration and Animation category for her idea for a comic that aims to prevent young suicides due to bullying by showing kids that they will get through this dark period in their lives. The full list of the winners can be found here.

Photo: Karina Rubing's work, Gold winner in Graphics

Photo: Karina Rubing’s work, Gold winner in Graphics

Photo: Elena Ciolacu's work, Gold winner in Illustration

Photo: Elena Ciolacu’s work, Gold winner in Illustration

We have been absolutely delighted with the response to the Award. The quality of the work is absolutely inspirational and it’s really refreshing to know that so many creative students are beginning to think with their hearts as well as their minds. We are truly proud of them all and are working hard to help everyone to bring their ideas to life.  It’s exciting stuff and we’re hugely encouraged by the support we’re receiving from all over the world. So much so, that we decided that next year’s awards should be a global initiative. They will be launching in September, with the winners being announced in July 2014.

About the Author

Chrissy Levett LFH

Chrissy Levett is the Creative Director at LFH and the visionary and the founder of the Creative Conscience Awards. She is passionate about helping young people to express their creative talents and so empower them to make a difference in the world.