Future Lions

Winners’ quest for impact

AKQA Future Lions, now in its 14th year, is the official student ideas competition for the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. The 2019 competition encourages students to break through perceived limits, connecting brands with audiences in new ways. This year’s contest attracted over 1,000 entries from a record 444 schools, across 71 nations.


Despite the socially neutral brief entries from all over the world have consistently revealed a growing emphasis on ideas themed around societal progress, contribution and positive impact.
AKQA founder and CEO Ajaz Ahmed said: “The inspiration and motivations of the entrants demonstrate today’s youth is potentially the most powerful, but underutilised, resource on Earth.”
This year’s winners are:

Mcfive for McDonald’s Light-based disinfection technology is integrated into McDonald’s touch-screen service points, and customers are prompted to high-five the screen after ordering, which sterilises their hands before eating, in a simple and fun way. Team: Da Hye Lee, Dong Hwi Jung, Lin Heo, Se Hun Oh, Seung Yeon Lee School: Hongik University, Seoul

UR Voice for Vodafone A necklace device uses AI to recreate the voice of a patient that has lost their natural voice, and syncs this with the patient’s mouth movements and gestures, to recreate the patient’s full range of vocal expression and emotion. Team: Amanda Sanromã, Gabriel Gonçalves, Lucas Y Justino, Matheus Valery School: University Centre of Fine Arts, São Paulo

Epilepsy Watch Out for Apple Apple Watch is used to detect a seizure, and Siri then provides step-by-step instructions to guide bystanders - who may otherwise feel powerless or afraid - to assist the patient, thus showing the potential for wearable technology to help both the wearer and those around them. Team: Arendse Rohland, Sarah Peen Andersen School: Miami Ad School, Hamburg

Miami Ad School is named Future Lions 2019 School of the Year, having provided the most shortlisted finalists, including Epilepsy Watch Out.

The three winning teams plus Miami Ad School were each awarded a Future Lions 2019 trophy, live on stage in the Debussy Theatre at the Palais des Festivals in Cannes, on Tuesday 18th June. The creative community VSCO and emerging-technology magazine WIRED are the official partners for Future Lions 2019, and the award ceremony was hosted by VSCO chief marketing officer Tesa Aragones and AKQA managing partner Sam Kelly.

VSCO chief marketing officer Tesa Aragones said: “At VSCO, our creative community constantly inspires us with their creative courage and optimism. We were honoured to review the entries for this year’s Future Lions competition, where we saw this spirit of positivity displayed through so many innovative and breakthrough ideas. Congrats to the winners, whose creativity is making the world a better place.”

WIRED’s executive director of partnerships and consulting Piper Goodspeed said: “The students’ collective work and vision is inspiring. They are creating and collaborating, to build a new society that is founded on innovation and possibility. We are seeing young minds expertly harness rapidly evolving technologies, to disrupt commercial traditions with a new, open field of opportunity. How wonderful to imagine the impact that these Future Lions will have on our future world.”

AKQA managing partner Sam Kelly said: “AKQA is seeing that today’s new creative generation is overwhelmingly on a quest for social good. The Future Lions are contributing perspectives from all over the world, and are showing that ideas truly have no boundaries. This highlights our responsibility as brands and marketers to nurture this creative talent, and to always strive to improve people’s lives through everything we do.”

During the past decade, 99% of Future Lions winners have moved into employment with respected creative organisations internationally.

To learn more about the 2019 Future Lions winners, please visit: futurelions.com

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