I have been part of the social design network DESIGN 21’s international panel of expert judges with the task to put forward finalists for the “Stories from the Field: The United Nations Documentary Film Festival” logo competition.

The day before the final judging by the film festival itself was to begin something strange happened. DESIGN 21 was being asked by the festival organizers to include 13 extra entries to the finalist pool. Both DESIGN 21, UNESCO and we in the jury did not agree to changing the system mid-way through the process. It’s not credible to do so and not fair to the already chosen finalists. Unfortunately, Stories from the Field added the 13 extra entries and also picked the winner out of this “extra” group of finalists. The result is that DESIGN 21 will no be able to declare a winner (and pay the winner the price award of 5000 dollar). Instead the price money will be added to their next competition dedicated to the Millennium Development Goals.

What can we learn from this? Probably – always stick to the rules! I’m really glad that DESIGN 21 and UNESCO did not change the rules mid-way through the process.

Here you can read the official letter from the DESIGN 21 director Haruko Smith to all the entrants. However one winner was declared and that was the most popular-voted entry by the visitors of the site. You can see it here together with our 145 chosen finalists and also the complete list of participants.


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