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Millennium Promise Competition


With Millennium Promise

Competition Brief


The purpose of this competition is to create an online campaign design for Millennium Promise, a non-profit organization with the mission to achieve the United Nations Millennium Development Goals – eight globally endorsed objectives that address the many aspects of extreme poverty – in Africa by 2015. Millennium Promise works with impoverished communities, national and local governments and partner organizations to implement high-impact programs aimed at transforming lives on the African continent and engaging donor nations, corporations and the general public in the effort.


Design a campaign to advocate the Millennium Development Goals.

This competition calls for the design of a new media campaign that promotes public awareness of the Millennium Development Goals (“MDGs,” see Background Information below). The aim of the campaign is to prompt the general public to do what they can to support the cause and urge their leaders to stick to their commitment to the MDGs. The campaign needs to be web-based. It should be designed to reach as wide and global an audience as possible on the Internet, and as such anything of a “viral” nature is encouraged – but the campaign can only be represented using the Entry Provisions stated below and in our Entry Rules.

Your entry must include:

  • An overall message The campaign message should educate the general public about the main objective of the MDGs: to improve the lives of the world’s poorest. The overall message should be clear, compelling and empowering – ultimately, this is a call to action to inspire people to join the global fight to end poverty.
  • The MDGs Entrants can choose to select individual Millennium Development Goals or promote all eight in their campaign. (See Background Information below for the complete list.)
  • Campaign design Entries must show what the campaign would look like. Entries are limited to text, images and video/audio files only. Any proposed interactive elements (games, widgets, websites, social networking applications, etc.) must be represented using only these tools. Entries that direct users away from the DESIGN 21 website will be disqualified. See the Entry Rules for full details on file type, size and number constraints.
  • Target audience and distribution The entry should describe who their campaign is aimed at and how they see their campaign reaching that audience.


Millennium Promise logo
Entrants may incorporate the Millennium Promise logo in their design. If you do, we recommend that you download it from the Millennium Promise website at the following link and use the accompanying style guide here.

Entrants must not use the logos of any other organization or entity unless they have contacted the organization or entity in advance and obtained permission to do so.

MDG Icons
Originally developed by the MDGs Campaign in Brazil, the MDG icons are available for use in campaigns at national and global levels. If you would like to incorporate them in your design, we recommend that you download these icons from the two sites listed below and use them in your campaign. You may use them as they are or you may alter them – however, the competition is NOT premised on the design of the icons themselves but on the objective of an overall campaign design. Note: Should you use the MDG icons as is please include the following credit in the text of your entry description: © UNDP Brazil.


Entries are limited to text, images and video/audio files only. Entries that direct users away from the DESIGN 21 website will be disqualified. See the "How To Enter" Rules for full details on file type, size and number constraints and recommendations.

  • Up to 400-word description (English only)
  • Up to six (6) 550 x 550 pixel images. At least one image must be uploaded
  • One (1) 480 x 320 pixel video file (optional) or one (1) sound file (optional)


Thursday June 19 2008 at 6:00pm UTC (Universal Coordinated Time) The submission deadline may be subject to change. Any change will be announced on our website.


The Millennium Development Goals

At the Millennium Summit in September 2000, the largest gathering of world leaders in history adopted the UN Millennium Declaration, committing 189 world leaders to a new global partnership aimed at reducing extreme poverty and establishing a series of time-bound targets, with a deadline of 2015, that have become known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

The MDGs are quantifiable targets that address extreme poverty in its many dimensions – income, poverty, hunger, disease, lack of adequate shelter– while promoting gender equality, education and environmental sustainability. The MDGs reflect our most basic human rights – the rights of each person on the planet to health, education, shelter and security.

The eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are:

Goal 1: Eradicate Extreme Hunger and Poverty
Goal 2: Achieve Universal Primary Education
Goal 3: Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women
Goal 4: Reduce Child Mortality
Goal 5: Improve Maternal Health
Goal 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, Malaria and other diseases
Goal 7: Ensure Environmental Sustainability
Goal 8: Develop a Global Partnership for Development

Millennium Promise

Co-founded by Jeffrey Sachs, Millennium Promise is a non-profit organization working to end extreme poverty. Their mission is to achieve the MDGs in Africa by 2015, working with the belief that for the first time in history our generation has the opportunity to end extreme poverty, hunger and disease. Millennium Promise works with impoverished communities, national and local governments and partner organizations to implement high-impact programs aimed at transforming lives on the African continent and engaging donor nations, corporations and the general public in the effort.

Their flagship initiative, the Millennium Villages project, applies scientific research, economic analysis and international development expertise towards the practical achievement of the MDGs at the rural level. Now operating in 80 villages across 10 countries in Africa, the Millennium Villages project takes a comprehensive approach to ending poverty by holistically addressing agriculture, nutrition, water, health, education and infrastructure needs simultaneously.

2008: Act Now

The MDGs can be achieved if all actors work together and do their part. Poor countries have pledged to govern the ongoing interventions and invest in their people through health care and education. Rich countries have pledged to support them, through aid, debt relief and fair trade. But time is running out: 2007 marked the halfway point to the 2015 deadline, and now with seven years to go, there is still much to be done. The MDGs are achievable by 2015; what is needed is the will to hold governments to their promise.

Related Websites
UN Millennium Development Goals
Millennium Promise
Millennium Project
The Millennium Campaign
More information about each MDG can be found here.


A total of $10,000 in prize money will be divided among several prizes, depending upon the number of judges appointed by DESIGN 21. DESIGN 21 shall appoint judges to select finalists from the competition entries. Each judge will also have the opportunity to select a winner to be awarded a “DESIGN 21 Judge’s Prize.” There will also be an award for the “Most Popular Entry,” which will be selected by the DESIGN 21: Social Design Network members.
Five thousand ($5,000) will be divided equally among the entries awarded the DESIGN 21 Judges’ Prize and the Most Popular Entry. In the event, however, that one entry is awarded more than one of the above Prizes, that entrant will be entitled to the cumulative prize amounts of the awards it has won, as if each award was given to a separate entry (for example, if an entry were to be awarded two Judge’s Prizes and the Most Popular Entry, that entrant would be entitled to three (3) times the prize money as the winner of each of the remaining Judges’ Prizes.)

Millennium Promise will select one (1) entry that will be awarded the remaining $5,000 in prize money and be designated the “Overall Winner.” Again, in the event that the Overall Winner is also selected to be a DESIGN 21 Judges’ Prize recipient and/or named the Most Popular Entry, it will also receive the corresponding, cumulative prize money.

In addition, Millennium Promise may give special “Best of” mentions to a select number of entries, which will bear no cash prize. In the event that any of the designated judges are unable or unwilling to name an award winner for any reason, the DESIGN 21: Social Design Network team may, in its sole discretion, divide the prize money as if the judge had never been designated (i.e. the money would be apportioned equally among the remaining Judge’s Prize and Most Popular Entry awards); alternatively, DESIGN 21 may, in good faith and in its sole discretion, select an entry in place of that judge. If Millennium Promise is unable or unwilling to elect the Overall Winner, DESIGN 21 may elect an entry in its place, or, in its sole discretion, decline to award an Overall Winner, and divide the prize money among the awarded Judge’s Prizes and Most Popular Entry.

If Your Entry is Declared a Winner
If your entry is declared the Overall Winner, or is awarded the DESIGN 21 Judge’s Prize or Most Popular Prize, you must certify that you are over the age of eighteen (18) and confirm your identity. In the event that your entry is selected the Overall Winner, you will be required to sign the Copyright Assignment Agreement here with Millennium Promise.

Judging Criteria

In addition to the regular judging criteria outlined in the General Competition Rules, entries to this competition will be judged on:

  • the strength and clarity of the campaign message in the context of the chosen MDGs
  • the choice of the online medium/tool to communicate the message and its representation
  • the campaign’s potential to reach as wide and global an audience as possible and be translated into different languages
  • the effectiveness of the campaign in reinforcing the Millennium Promise brand as a key partner in the fight against extreme poverty and in the achievement of the eight MDGs


Total prize money of $10,000 will be allocated as follows:

$5,000 to the Overall Winner
$5000 divided between multiple prizes: DESIGN 21 Judge’s Picks and Most Popular


The Overall Winner will be chosen by the Millennium Promise Communications Team and CEO John McArthur.

In addition four DESIGN 21 Advisory Board members will select their Judge's Picks. These are:

Marcella Echavarria (Colombia), director SURevolution, journalist and designer

Cynthia E. Smith (USA), Curator at Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, including recent show Design for the Other 90%

Susan Szenasy (USA), Editor-In-Chief of Metropolis magazine

Peter Zec (Germany), design consultant, former president of ICSID (International Council of Societies of Industrial Design) and founder of Red Dot Design Award

About Competitions

The DESIGN 21 series challenges designers of all disciplines to find solutions to social and global issues. It’s guided by UNESCO’s premise that education, science, technology, culture and communication are tools to spread knowledge and information, build awareness and foster dialogue.

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