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This challenge is closed and the winners have been announced

Challenge winners
GOLD: Tara Moran
Tara won Gold in the Sony Pictures LifeStart Challenge. Her submission demonstrated her lateral thinking and her ability to think outside the box. She’s pitched us a concept that could be prototyped, tested and brought to market.
SILVER: Nikki Pham and Mark Ramsey
Nikki and Mark won Silver in the Sony Pictures LifeStart Challenge as a part of a team. They’ve demonstrated integrated, lateral thinking and have demonstrated their ability to explain and prototype digital products that are beautifully visualised.
BRONZE: Sandy Bassi
Sandeep has demonstrated her ability to conduct primary user research, approach people on the streets and conduct qualitative interviews with them. We were impressed with her empathy and her ability to contextualise social phenomena. With her Virgin Money Giving submission, she won Bronze in the LifeStart Challenge.

What you need to know

The challenge

Do you want to give to charity but worried that you’ll regret it when money gets tight at the end of the month? Social engagement is not just about giving money; it’s much more about creating a social movement and you’re more than equipped to do just that.

We’re looking for fun ideas to help raise awareness and money for a good cause of your choosing. Would you focus on improving the process of giving, make it easier to identify with charities, or revolutionise the way we donate? We’re looking for fun, exciting, out of the box thinking that could be practically applied to enhancing and transforming charitable giving.



Do you remember the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge? In 2014, everyone was suddenly dumping a bucket filled with ice cold water over their heads. It raised awareness for the disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and encouraged donations to be given for research. It turned out they raised a lot of money, $115 million funding new research projects.

The “No-Makeup selfie” again in 2014 also raised £8 million in under a week, as women posted pictures of themselves without makeup. Everyone, including celebrities, posted bare-faced selfies and nominated their friends as they donated money in the process.

It’s the same with Movember. How many of your friends are growing a moustache every year to be a part of this movement to raise awareness and money for men’s health?

Since the introduction of social media, charitable giving has changed significantly. It’s no longer about quietly putting money in an envelope when tactfully asked. Social media has allowed for online events, where people can invite friends to their wider network to get involved.

Everyone who gives to charity also has the chance to become an ambassador for a cause they believe in. Something that could become much more valuable than the 11 pounds people in the UK on average give to charity every month.

You’re invited to choose a cause you’re passionate about and think of how you’d raise awareness that would start a movement to raise funds but also the necessary recognition to really have an impact.


What skills do you need to enter a challenge

What skills do you need to enter a challenge

Playfulness: Everyone loves to play and it’s in your hands to encourage people to have fun. However you encourage people to get on “your” bandwagon of social giving, it should make people want to tell others.

Social Media Literacy: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, YouTube.. a basic understanding of social media will help you understand how you could you activate the individual communities and engage them in your initiative. If you’re new to social media look for the hashtags people use and try to understand what makes them want to follow and engage with others.

Empathy: Look at what other initiatives have worked and try to understand why. What are the elements that make men want to grow a moustache every year? Why was the Ice Bucket Challenge so popular? Ask people who participated and listen to what they say and what arguments you keep hearing repeatedly.

Ideas to get you thinking

Ask yourself: What made people participate in all the other charitable fundraisers that went viral? What are the elements that make people want to be a part of something? Self-reflect, ask your friends, ask strangers on Reddit or Quora, call your mother or your aunt, and ask them how they engage in charitable giving or what’s stopping them from doing so.

Be curious: Gather friends and brainstorm. Research flash mobs, social trends and memes and think of what you’d like to do one day that others would most likely also like to follow and that would be easy for them to replicate. Design the rules of your social movement.


Remember, you can be as creative and visionary as you like. We want to see great ideas and innovative applications of new technologies.

Join us