D&AD’s Impact Programme has helped bring over 30 impact-driven ideas to life in the last three years, from an initiative to bring the forest back to Beirut to an ingenious prototype for a binder that makes chest binding safe for the transgender community. Supporting individuals and teams of creatives, designers, and entrepreneurs to develop their early-stage ideas, the programme helps shape and execute creative solutions to contemporary problems. We caught up with three of our Impact winners from 2021, to find out how the programme has helped them develop their ideas and realise their vision for a better future.
Broaden your network and increase opportunities
In the early stages of developing and launching an idea, networking is crucial because you never know who will be able to help you. Georgina Potier and Jake Abrams, who created Get Better Books, a project that helps communicate medical procedures for children in fun and dynamic ways, were shortlisted for an Impact Pencil in 2021. Speaking about how the Impact programme helped her understand the importance of networking Potier says, “Word of mouth is incredibly powerful — be prepared to talk to anyone and everyone at any time about what you do.”
She adds, “[The Impact Programme] has introduced us to amazing contacts within the industry who have been generous with their time and amazingly enthusiastic. It’s given us a consistent nurturing network and support. As we have come across hurdles they have always been there to guide us through.”
Meanwhile, Tomomi Sayuda who was shortlisted for a Future Impact Pencil for her project AICOM, says connecting with experts in their fields is the best way to develop your concept, idea or business. She says, “D&AD’s Impact accelerator Programme was a great opportunity to receive critical advice from global creative leads to make our ideas better. Our project is creative but academic research-based, so creative suggestions such as ideas on how to promote the project, further our business strategy and understand our technology’s future potential was hugely beneficial.”
Your idea needs to make business sense
A great idea will remain just an idea without proper funding, and one of the main things to learn when developing a project is how to pitch it as a business. Giorgia Malandrino, who created Geoidentity, an academic passport to preserve the identity of people displaced as a consequence of wars and climate change, said she was like a sponge during the Impact Programme, learning from everyone she met and putting those learnings to practical use. She says, “I absorbed energy from every single person in the program and then converted this energy into a different form. Thanks to the D&AD Impact program I understood how much creativity structures my thinking. This structure has allowed me to be clearer — especially when I presented my requests to fund the project. Clarity is contagious.”
Potier also mentions the importance of learning to pitch for funding saying, “We were given really useful sessions on defining our market, and understanding who exactly might be our future stakeholders. Learning how to create a concise business pitch that distilled the essence of what we are about to potential new clients and collaborators was also really beneficial, as well as a clear comprehension of our value proposition. As two creatives who have never had to think in these terms all the sessions were invaluable. The programme gave us a shrewd understanding of business structures and how to make our idea pay.”
Having people believe in you boosts confidence
Having people who believe in your project in your corner to lend support is also always a huge confidence booster. On how the Impact Programme helped her and Abrams push on with their idea, Potier says, “The D&AD Impact Programme has been inspirational, it has given us confidence to forge ahead with our ideas and it has solidified the concept within our minds, and made us more determined to use our designs to help children on their difficult medical journeys.”
Similarly Malandrino says that apart from learning technical skills like storytelling, one of the most important benefits was gaining confidence in how much her idea matters. She says, “I learned how to generate impact, and how to tell different stories to different people. But most importantly, I realised how much Geoidentity matters, and how to keep working on it.”
D&AD Impact celebrates creative ideas that are making a real and positive difference to the world. It also helps creative ideas grow, by providing mentoring, training, visibility and funding to work that shows potential. Learn more about D&AD Impact here.