Moms matter

Happy (almost) Mothers Day!  (If you haven’t got your plans in place to celebrate Mom, you’d better get moving.  And sharing this video with your mom will be a great way to start.)

Search for the Obvious, a microsite run by Acumen (where I work) has just announced the winner of its latest challenge: Moms MatterThis is the winning video, and I challenge you to watch without shedding a tear and without instantly forwarding it on to mom.

The great news is that it’s going be featured on the YouTube homepage for Mother’s Day, so it’s pretty much guaranteed to be seen a million times.  (All the more reason to watch it now, first.  If it’s not showing up in your RSS reader click here.)

The Moms Matter challenge had winners in five categories:

–          Best Video: A World Without Moms

–          Best Tweets: #1, #2, and #3

–          Best Print Ad: Mothers Shape Identity

–          Best Essay: Putting Ourselves in the Problem: Thoughts from Ghana

–          Best Guerrilla Marketing Idea: Strollers

I’m awed by the quality of work this community produces, humbled by the grace and skill with which James Wu curates Search for the Obvious, and also thankful for my own mom and all the moms out there who make life make sense for all of us.

To quote the winning Tweet by @JasonBurke524: More than 1,000 mothers each day give their life while giving life.  8/10 deaths could be easily prevented. Pls RT!

Raising kids is hard, surviving childbirth shouldn’t be – Make it Obvious.

This is a guest post from my Acumen Fund colleague James Wu, creator and curator of the wonderful Search for the Obvious website.

Search for the Obvious began with a simple idea: the most brilliant solutions to the world’s problems are all around us; sometimes, we just need a little help noticing them.

We are going beyond shedding light on these solutions.  We are highlighting some of the world’s most pressing problems and recruiting people to help us change the way the world thinks about them and to increase the urgency in solving these problems. The first Search for the Obvious challenge was Make Sanitation Sexy, and the winners were featured on GOOD, Design Observer, and YouTube (our winning videos got a million and a half views!)

In the spirit of International Women’s Day, Acumen Fund is partnering with ABC  News’ Be the Change: Save a Life and launching a challenge on maternal health.  We are looking for you (or your wonderful friends) to create the most inspiring, sticky ways to shed light on this global problem.

Not convinced? More than 1,000 women die each day due to complications during childbirth – 99% of these women live in developing countries. By the time you have finished reading this post, it is likely that one woman has died in childbirth.

Here’s what you can do. Use your creative genius to communicate this message: Raising kids is hard. Surviving childbirth shouldn’t be. Show the world that moms deserve better!

Here are some ideas for what you can contribute:

  • The most retweetable tweet of all time
  • A New York Times-worthy column that would make Nick Kristof proud
  • An iconic print ad or poster
  • Guerrilla marketing or public art that commands immediate Instagram and yfrog-ing action
  • A must-see must-share video that would hold its own against TED’s Ads Worth Spreading

Enter your submission to Search for the Obvious maternal health challenge by April 17th. Winners will be announced on May 9th (the day after Mother’s Day).