On 9-10 November 2015, UNICEF and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland hosted the first Global Innovations for Children and Youth Summit which brought together over 500 thought- and action-leaders from private sector, government, academia, and development from over 67 countries. The Summit sought to raise awareness of the potential impact of innovations on children’s lives, create new partnerships, amplify proven, high-impact innovations for children worldwide and develop new localized innovations to help lift children out of poverty. The summit also showcased some of the many UNICEF-led innovations.
In collaboration with the UNICEF National Committee in Finland, we were asked to support on the production of some of the design collateral for the event. Some of our responsibilities included logo development, the design of a real-time choose-your-sessions app, some of the design of printed collateral and screen-based designs and creative input on the overall branding of the event. We worked alongside a local creative team, so our job was mainly to provide input as to how the brand and overall look and feel could celebrate the summit as well as honor the UNICEF brand.
We designed and developed an app for participants to choose which sessions to attend. Participants could view session descriptions, locations and speaker biographies. We were able to use the data to track the interest level of each of the sessions and session speakers. Some of the goals of the app were to allow users to have a more convenient way to access information from their smartphones, to help event coordinators monitor session attendance and to cut down on paper waste. Once our team members arrived in Helsinki, we worked with our developer sitting in New York to test the app at the venue and ensure its usability as the app was set to work only off the event space’s private wi-fi network.
Because our team sits in New York, we were faced with designing somewhat blindly. We did not have prior access to the venue and faced very tight deadlines, so concepting designs came about through many hours of phone meetings, sketches, Google docs and emails with coordinators sitting in Helsinki and elsewhere. We arrived at the venue only days before the event, so we were also prepared to produce quick turnaround changes and additions to design pieces–something which we knew would be inevitable. Collaborating abroad has many nuances, so to be able to provide designs with known intangibles was quite a challenge, but in the end proved to be rewarding for our team.