Future Lions 2021

Rebuild the World with the LEGO Group

A new legacy begins.

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The Future Lions competition was founded by AKQA in partnership with Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. Now in its 15th year the program shines a spotlight on emerging talent, diversifying and improving access to the creative industry for young people.

Every edition of Future Lions aspires to empower the next generation of thinkers and problem solvers. After 15 consecutive years of the same brief, a new legacy has begun that can help to shape a better future. No other competition for young creatives offers the opportunity to produce a solution for a real challenge with one of the world’s most influential brands.

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The competition reborn

Encouraging young people aged 18 - 25 to take part and submit their projects, winners now pitch live on stage to a panel of expert judges, and for the first time one winner is awarded the Grand Prix and a chance to turn the idea into reality.

Rebuild the world Future Lions 2021

A real brief to rebuild tomorrow

The LEGO Group is the first client partner to set a brief with Future Lions. The LEGO brand’s mission is to inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow. The brief was set, asking young people to use existing technology and imagination to show how creative play is an essential skill set to Rebuild the World.

Breaking boundaries

The 2021 contest broke previous records making it the most successful year to date. Reaching over 1,500 young people globally since the brief launched through virtual creative sessions, project critiques and semester-long partnerships. The global Future Lions team have worked with some of the world’s most prestigious design and technology schools including Bergh’s School of Communications and the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, and for the first time building long-term new creative partnerships with schools in Dubai, Leeds and Milan.

2,380 Participants
525 Schools
87 Countries
1 Grand Prix

The winners

This year four winners were chosen by the judges from cross disciplinary teams of leading talent at the AKQA Group and creatives in the product team at the LEGO Group. In a first for the competition, the Grand Prix winning team will work with the LEGO Group and AKQA to explore their idea over the next year.

Grand Prix

Invented by kids

The power of a child’s imagination is often undermined by parents. They simply do not see the need for imaginative play. To prove a point, Invented by Kids uses LEGO to turn children’s imagination into reality.

Faith Low and Lydon Ong.
Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts and Singapore Management University.


It was a true joy to see the pipeline of great thinkers we have coming through and the amazing concepts they are already coming up with today. We can’t wait to work with these creative minds in the future.

Julia Goldin, Chief Product & Marketing Officer at the LEGO Group



A digital to-do list designed to assist children with ADHD, by reimagining their routines as LEGO building instructions.

Zackarias Lindskog, Hedda Hyland, Henric Gustavsson, Lovisa Zeiloth, Henrik Billing.
Berghs School of Communication.



Let’s Go

Using LEGO bricks fitted with solar panels to harness the power of the sun as a source of energy, using LEGO as an eco-friendly alternative to standard power sources.

Daniel Rosero.
Brother Barcelona.

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Digital Assistance

An adaptive computer aided design software which uses eye tracker technology allowing children to build their own creations without the use of fine motor skills and hand strength.

Hannah Hargreaves.
Leeds Arts University.

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The trophy rebuilt

The winners each receive a Future Lions trophy envisioned as a lion cub, symbolising the start of a creative journey. To celebrate the partnership with the LEGO Group, the master builders at LEGO Group HQ in Billund, Denmark constructed a new bespoke limited edition Future Lions trophy.

The Future Lion cub is reimagined with classic orange bricks and new playful details with ears that move and a tail that can be posed. The trophy now features in the exclusive Model Builder’s Catalogue.

Innovative production

Filmed at Garden Studios in London using a state-of-the-art virtual production stage, the Future Lions seminar is one of the first films produced in the UK using LED and Unreal Engine technology. This transitions the viewer seamlessly into an immersive 3D Future Lions world to witness the live action of the finale unfold.

Virtual production uses 3D CGI modelling and precision camera tracking to film live action and computer graphics in real-time. With no imagery created in post-production, live action footage is captured within a pre-visualised virtual world.

The LED backdrop projected the 3D animated Future Lions environment showcasing rotating bricks and the Future Lions trophy, creating an immersive world. Shot on RED cameras that paired imaging sensors to a camera fixed to a dolly, it produced a gliding movement that gave the illusion of scale and depth, creating a stunning parallax effect embedding the virtual environment into the stage.

The exclusive seminar

The event is hosted by AKQA Managing Partner Sam Kelly who is joined by AKQA Chief Creative Officer Peter Lund. Watch finalists pitch their shortlisted concepts to the judging panel, which comprises of Chief Product and Marketing Officer of the LEGO Group, Julia Goldin, leading British designer Jay Osgerby OBE and entrepreneur Jamal Edwards MBE. The prestigious School of the Year award is presented by guest Anna Rafferty Vice President of Digital Consumer Engagement at the LEGO Group.

We’ve always held a special kinship to the winning ideas; a desire to see them blossom and influence the world. This year we are honouring ideas all worthy to be put into practice and we couldn’t be more excited to see one winning idea take its next steps.

Peter Lund, AKQA Chief Creative Officer