AKQA Launches the 12th Year of Future Lions – Beyond

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Announcing the 12th year of AKQA’s global student competition in collaboration with Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.

This year, Future Lions is calling on enquiring minds without limit. Those who are willing to look beyond what’s expected of them and their industry. Beyond immediate ability to become multi-disciplinary with diversity and depth of thought. For those who are resolute. Unaccepting of status quo. Those who are not fearful of turning their hand to unforeseen innovation and circumstance, but welcome it. Beckon it. For it is simply a celebration of their curiosity. Such are the requirements of young creative people in the digital age.

Over its twelve years, Future Lions has awarded 83 individuals from over 70 countries around the world. 99% of those winners have been hired into the industry. With roughly 2,000 entries each year, Future Lions is the largest creative competition for students and graduates – a perfect stage for invention and ambition to be tested among peers.

The brief is simple: connect an audience of your choosing to a product or service from a global brand in a way that wasn’t possible three years ago. There are no restrictions on the type of work or use of technology. We are proud to say there has never been, nor will there ever be, any entry fees for Future Lions. Five winning teams will be chosen and awarded in Cannes in front of an entire industry at the Palais des Festivals. Alongside student winners, the school with the most shortlisted work will be recognised as “Future Lions School of the Year.”

Past winners of Future Lions have demonstrated three things. A sharp understanding of their chosen brand and why it exists in the world. An equal grasp of the audience the brand is trying to communicate with – including but not limited to what their standard behaviour patterns are and the challenges they face. And an idea that serves the insights of both brand and audience executed with a meaningful combination of art and science. A crucial part of the Future Lions brief is “…not possible three years ago.” In a way, this in itself is a test. This requirement asks not of needless use of technology simply because it’s available, but of a progressive and meaningful use of technology which contributes to this world whether through an easier, better informed or more entertained life. 

Here are a handful winning entries from recent years:

Book Messenger for Penguin Books

Jiwon Ko, Miyeon Shin, Seonhaeng Lee, Haeyoon Jhun

Amazon Emma for Amazon

Yanci Wu and Xia Du

Chromebook_type for Google

Elton Rhee, Ludvig Pehrson and Louis Meyer

Music Speaks for Spotify

Sebastian Brännén and Maria Lashari

To find out more and register your team’s entry, visit


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