Interview with Phil Collis, Creative Director of Skoll Foundation, US

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Phil Collis

As Creative Director, Phil Collis is responsible for any creative / multimedia products for the Foundation, and oversees in-house films, website properties, social media and syndicated channels in direct support of the Foundation’s strategy.

Skoll Foundation | Muse Awards

Interview with the 2019 Muse Creative Awards Winner - Phil Collis

1Please give us a brief bio of yourself, your company, job profile, etc.
We’re a non-profit Foundation started by Jeff Skoll (first president of eBay). I’ve been with the company for many years and came from a creative agency background before moving into eLearning during the first dot-com boom. What I love about my job is that we get to work with inspiring changemakers who tackle complex social issues like global health access, climate change, and girl's education around the world and our work in convening and storytelling helps them deliver promising solutions at scale.
2Tell us a bit about your business and what you do.
Much of our work is based around the Skoll World Forum—a yearly event held in Oxford, England that brings together social entrepreneurs, artists, philanthropists, government leaders, and activists for a week of networking, learning, and inspiration. We’ve been fortunate to have incredible leaders speak at our events such as Malala Yousafzai, Jimmy Carter, and the late Kofi Annan amongst others.
3Congratulations! As the winner of the 2019 Muse Awards, what does it mean to you and your company and team to receive this award distinction?
We’re thrilled to receive this award because we’re a small team that puts on this event, but we pride ourselves on pushing the envelope and bringing a fresh look to social issues. There’s no reason why design in social issue events can’t be fresh, exciting, and inspiring and that's what we hope we’ve achieved this year.
4Can you explain a bit about the winning work you entered into the 2019 Muse Awards, and why you chose to enter this project?
This was the first time we’ve had an integrated approach across branding, art, collateral, and stage. It was also a fresh look for us – we wanted to make sure we were diverse and inclusive of a range of issues, cultures, and geographies without seeming cliché. Hopefully, that’s what the judges saw as well!
5What was the biggest challenge with this project?
Our biggest challenge was to come up with a visual that matched the theme of the event – “Accelerating Possibility”. We wanted something that felt forward-looking; highlighting some of the innovations (such as mobile-enabled community health workers) that were born from our community. We intended the Escher-esque styles of the main image to also demonstrate how issues are connected, another key theme at our event.
6What are your top three (3) favorite things about our industry?
Talent can come from anywhere – especially in the rise of digital/social. Our field has a tremendous ability to look at the past and remix, re-work, and refresh styles and messages into something new. Art and design can truly change the conversation – especially when to the global conversation.

Winning Entries

Accelerating Possibility | Event Marketing | 2019

Accelerating Possibility | Skoll Foundation | Muse Awards
Anchored by our theme this year: Accelerating Possibility—we overhauled the visual design identity of the Forum with a modern, streamlined sensibility imbued with hope and optimism of a much better future... (read more)

Accelerating Possibility | Brochure | 2019

Accelerating Possibility | Skoll Foundation | Muse Awards
The program and passport are the prime print vehicle for telling the story of the work of the Skoll Awardee organizations and their impact on the world. These printed items also serve an immediate functional role of orienting delegates with the full schedule... (read more)

Accelerating Possibility | Illustration | 2019

Accelerating Possibility | Skoll Foundation | Muse Awards
This year—anchored on our theme: Accelerating Possibility—we overhauled the visual design identity of the Forum with a modern, streamlined sensibility imbued with hope and optimism of a much better future... (read more)

Skoll Foundation

The Skoll Foundation drives large-scale change by investing in, connecting, and celebrating social entrepreneurs and the innovators who help them solve the world’s most pressing problems.