British Council announces Digital Open Call for creative professionals

British-Council logo

The British Council is looking for proposals that celebrate diversity, inclusion, equal opportunity and freedom of expression.

To mark the 30th anniversary of the World Wide Web (WWW) in March 2019, the British Council in India has announced its Digital Open Call for all creative professionals who have a powerful idea that has the ability to engage and unite millions of young people across India, the UK and the world. British Council would like to use the opportunity of this milestone to explore what artists and art of tomorrow look like through digital creativity and presents an opportunity to individuals, creative artists, boutique creative firms, coders and gamers to showcase their work to Indian and global audiences.

The World Wide Web has been central to the development of the Information Age and is the primary tool billions of people use to interact on the Internet. For countries to run seamlessly, governments to provide services to their citizens, businesses to talk to their global audiences, education to be made accessible, or simply for entertainment. 400 million Indians, and 4 billion people globally, are connected to the world wide web. .

The British Council is looking for proposals that celebrate diversity, inclusion, equal opportunity and freedom of expression. The call is aligned to the thought that World Wide Web allows for equal access and for people to connect, learn and have more opportunities. It aims to explore the changing concept of connection by supporting digital culture projects that have been inspired by the connectivity brought forth by the internet and taking a plunge into what would future look like.

Tom Birtwistle, Director North India, British Council said, “It is said the best way to predict the future is to create it. That happened 30 years ago when Sir Tim Berners-Lee invented the web. Today, through our Digital Call, we hope to use this milestone to explore how digital creativity may reshape our world again. We are looking to identify innovative and creative ideas and solutions that inspire and connect millions of young people in India, UK and around the world through art and culture. We have run exciting projects before including Saptan Stories, a crowd sourced story telling project that ran for 7 weeks, in collaboration with Aardman Animations. As the web continues to evolve, we hope ideas from our digital call can show us how creativity, collaboration and culture may influence what the future of our connections with each other might look like.”

The Digital Open Call is open to anyone based in India or the UK with a track record of developing new digital projects or experiences that have successfully reached new audiences, preferably a large and diverse group of young people. Project proposals that meet the criteria must be submitted by noon, UK time, on Thursday 31st January 2019. Submissions will be assessed on the following criteria:

· How your proposal demonstrates great, contemporary creativity

· The extent to which your idea connects to the thematics of the 30th anniversary of the world wide web as specified above

· Potential to reach a large and diverse audience

· Your previous experience

· Cost

· Applicants should be willing to share their experience on this project with UK or Indian partners so that there can be a mutual exchange of learning during the process.

British Council’s first open call for digital ideas funded Saptan Stories – a collaboration between the British Council and Oscar-winning British Studio Aardman Animations. Over 7 weeks, young people across India wrote a story together and British and Indian artists and graphic designers brought it to life. 2 million people were actively engaged in Saptan Stories. Workshops were conducted in Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad and Mumbai reaching 400 participants face to face. This received thousands of votes and storyline entries; and achieved an 18 million social media reach and press readership of over 93 million. The project website attracted 160,000 visitors, 97% of whom were from India, most users accessing the site via their Android mobile devices (94%) and visitors spent an average of 1 minute on the website.