AWA: World Center of Education for Awareness and Sustainability

PARIS, FranceFrance
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Project Stage:
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

AWA is a project to create a World Center of Education for Awareness and Sustainability.
We intend to provide educational photographs and videos, free of charge, to thousands of schools, universities, NGOs, ministries of education, cities, and to spread them on social networks and on YouTube.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if the incredible potential of images would be used by education like it is by Hollywood, Ubisoft, Nike and Apple?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

In 2015, we are not able to explain what the main solutions are in the world economic system, in the world health system, in the world environmental system, for the human psychology, etc. Indeed, there is no global education resources center that allows everyone to analyze and to deeply understand the most important issues of the contemporary society and of the individual. Finally, education is not yet using the full potential of images.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

We intend to provide this platform by creating a large network of partners including, in particular, the largest research institutes, universities, non-governmental organizations, experts and intellectuals from all areas that have a direct impact on human life and its environment. Thereafter, it will be about making the collected knowledge accessible to everyone. Thanks to this, citizens will have the immediate means to develop their awareness in a more responsible and in a more collective way. In order to achieve this aim, we will use photographs and videos as positive tools of wide diffusion. EDUCATION THROUGH ENTERTAINMENT
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

John is studying at MIT, he follows a class on economics bases, his teacher is video-projecting a "crazy image" of AWA. Indeed, celebrities, animals, artworks, furniture, dollar notes, helicopters and other eye-catching elements are all set in a mise en scène in the nature. While his teachers is zooming on the image, John eventually understands what is going on. The image is a support for explaining the problems and solutions in the world economic system. Incredible! It's 2 am. Kate is watching a video after another on YouTube but one just got viral. And surprisingly the best scientists are showing her how to easily take care of her health and of others'! Fully convinced, she buys a T-shirt of AWA with the image summing-up the video.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

As AWA is at the embryonic stage, it doesn't have any impact until now. The projected future impact is direct and non-direct: Direct: 3 types of solutions will be given to the public - to donate money, to donate time and to change one's own lifestyle. When someone acts responsibly, when someone donates time and money, the world changes. Indirect: A global awareness can bring many huge changes to our world. We can suggest that most of its misery rests on masses ignorance. When you learn how to take care of yourself, how to take care of your social and natural environment, you become part of a process. When populations worry about their world but knowing how to change, they will naturally bring durable transformations. Therefore, also poor and remoted areas with no access to images, will benefit from the help that others can bring. EVERYTHING IS CONNECTED!

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

The power of images is huge and known. The more people will "consume" AWA's images, the more positive changes will occur in our world. Our strategy is to build an unprecedented reliable platform of design, production, diffusion and promotion for educational images. Concentrating the forces of interdisciplinary creation combined with the strong scenography elements, like celebrities, animals, artworks, etc. will insure an impact and a natural diffusion of the images. The fact that these images will be offered for free allow them to use thousands of existing on- and off-line channels.

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

Our project is not financially supported yet but all the sources of income listed above can be used. AWA is likely to receive money from local, regional, national governments, individuals, businesses, banks and foundations from all over the world. We plan to generate substantial income by selling artworks to contemporary Art museums and galleries, but this will represent 10 to 30 % of our capital. We will rely on donations.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Wikipedia and MOOCs are a good example of how quality resources can be shared in the world. AWA differs by generating a new type of knowledge, underlining the main problems and solutions in the fields that have a direct impact on human life and on its environment. It also differs by offering an industry of images to education. NGOs have some good quality imagery but they aren't specialized in images' production like AWA wants to become. Responsible communication agencies such as AD Council are often national and answer specific orders. AWA will create edu-products for all the world.

Founding Story

Everything began 7 years ago when I decided to write a thesis named "Misery of the world, Art and utopia". From that moment, I became convinced of my "human responsibility" and I spent 5 years studying by myself the main problems that our world is facing and the existing solutions. I first understood how difficult it was to get such answers. Everything was so complex, the points of view were too many and it was hard to know how reliable the sources of information were. Meanwhile, I had been studying fine Arts for 10 years and in every field of our life, the power of images was revealing itself as enormous. AWA wasn't born as an idea, it is a direct consequence of an analysis, a logical path.


There are about 40 people in AWA's team. Members come from many professional fields and from different parts of the world, mainly Europe. Most members are from or live in France, Germany and Italy. AWA’s core team is currently built around four departments led by four highly qualified professionals. The four departments are:  Education, Social Media and PR,  Development and Production,  Finance and Law,  Marketing and Distribution. Most members are allocated to a specific department, whereas some others can be more flexible and multitask. All members have university degrees. They have also earned international work experience and they can speak fluently at least two languages. All members work part-time on AWA, beside their own career. As the project grows, we plan to have soon most members working full-time on it. We are also enlarging the team with members from all over the world in order to have a consistent worldwide presence.
Please confirm how you heard about the Unilever Awards:

I received a personal invitation by email from Arianna De Mario, the Europe Network Coordinator of Ashoka Changemakers.

Please confirm your role in the initiative (eg Founder/co-Founder) and your organisational title:


Which of the 8 UN Global Goals (Sustainable Development Goals) pre-selected for this competition does your solution relate most closely to? [select all that apply]

No Poverty, Zero Hunger, Gender Equality, Clean Water and Sanitation, Affordable and Clean Energy, Decent Work and Economic Growth, Responsible Consumption and Production, Climate Action.

Leadership and the Unilever Awards
Please provide examples of any previous entrepreneurial initiatives you have pioneered.

I have been developing my entrepreneurial skills over the past five years.

When I was studying and working in Milan, I gathered a group of nine international artists around the theme "A healthier world with Art". Together, we launched our project "Make your Space" in July 2011 that we exhibited at the contemporary Art centre, Fabrica del Vapore. Even if I encouraged the initiative, I did not act as a manager but as a coordinator by making all members equal. As a consequence, managing the project and the team went smoothly and it made me feel comfortable with holding a leading position.

Besides my artistic activities, I also have been involved in business. When I was living in Berlin, I integrated a business called Oxymoron-TV. My main tasks were to paint and sell unique hand-painted T-shirts and to develop the brand and the showroom.
On top of that, I was co-managing the company with its head. Thanks to my involvement, we multiplied the profits by 3 in only one month (from 1,500 to 4,500 euros). My flexibility, my artistic skills and my analytical ability did help a lot in our achievement.

Today for AWA, I am actively managing about 40 people from different ages and countries, which is made easier thanks to my capacity to speak four languages fluently. My main tasks are to organise the work by, for example, splitting jobs, setting deadlines and keeping up priorities. I do pay attention to encourage members of the team by highlighting everyone’s hard and good work and by being fair and positive, while keeping a balance with being firm and directive.
Once again, even if I am the founder the project, I am not acting as the head but as the coordinator. I am open to feedback and constructive criticism to make the project go further. I can also adapt to the different people that I am working with.

Since May 2015, AWA has officially become partner with significant organisations thanks to my ability to present the project and my determination to develop it quickly.

As suggested, please find below further details that will help me succeeding with this project:

I have been working as an artist for five years. To promote my work, I have been taking part to various exhibitions in Art galleries and in dedicated events, such as the Biennial of Mulhouse (2012), which I was selected for amongst 2,000 students by the Academia di Belle Arti di Brera (The Fine Art school of Milan).
The main Art areas that I am working on are painting and photography. I have also been trained as a graphic designer. I designed posters for promoting events for theatre companies, for concerts and for associations. I also designed AWA’s logo.

Today, most of my artworks have been sold which is, for me, a motivating achievement.
Being an artist and an agrégé Art teacher (Agrégation is the highest distinction for teachers in France), I have a good knowledge of Art History and I have a clear outlook on the current market of contemporary Art.

Beyond your existing team, who else are you working with to achieve your objectives, eg partners, advisors, mentors?

Partner with Ashoka, Numa and the World Committee for Lifelong Learning, AWA has only collaborated with Numa so far. Numa will provide mentors to AWA and in exchange AWA will help to develop its "Edtech" project.
AWA will work soon with other partners. Last week Co-city decided to help AWA providing its lean product as soon as possible! Also, MakeSense decided this week to get its members into action for free to organize "hold-up" events together with AWA.

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