Playlists on Fire! (THE Idea)

Updated - 07 March


THE FINAL IDEA - Playlists on Fire!


Music is as universal as it gets. Music connects and inspires us in different ways.
Imagine building a better world by sharing the music you listen to.

Pencils of Promise will partner with Spotify to give an amazing global challenge to music lovers around the world:

Spotify's immense listener base of over 20 million users in over 23 countries worldwide will be invited to create and share their playlists to get as many listeners subscribing to them as possible.

The contest will culminate with the ‘PoP Playlists on Fire!’ Concert in London or New York.

How will this work?


March 3 - Updated Top 3 


Top 1 / 3: GOALatemala

A soccer tournament bringing together fans locally and globally to score goals and raise funds for Pencils of Promise.

Soccer communities in selected cities in England and the US will be invited to take part in a 5-a-side soccer tournament and rally donations for PoP. Top teams from each participating city that raise the most funds will be invited to play in a national one-day GOALatemala tournament.

Winners of the two national tournaments will travel to Guatemala to play in a global GOALatemala tournament with a local Guatemala team as well as a select All-Star team with global soccer stars. The teams and stars will also interact with Pencils of Promise school communities in Guatemala. 

  • Each team will register with a small fee. They will also raise donations from local and online communities, which they can track & show via a specific donations page on the PoP website or microsite.
  • The tournaments could also be sponsored by major sporting brands, as well as top soccer teams in England and the US.
  • Interaction with schools could feature educational soccer workshops.


Top 2 / 3: PoP Playlists on Fire

Imagine building a better world through sharing the music you listen to.

Spotify subscribers will be invited to create and share “PoP Guatemala” playlists – containing inspiring pop songs or songs from Guatemala – on Spotify and to their social networks.

Users with the 5 most popular playlists (Likes, Shares, Subscriptions)  get to attend a ‘Spotify PoP Concert’ as VIPs. The concert will feature artists who will also be ambassadors for the competition and campaign.

  • Participants will be paying Spotify subscribers and will pay a small participation fee.
  • When subscribing to playlists, Spotify users will also be invited to donate.
  • The concert will be broadcast live online with ticket proceeds going towards building PoP schools in Guatemala.

Top 3 / 3: Eternal Spring Adventure

We’ll take travellers on a Guatemalan adventure that will change their life and that of others.

Travellers will go on an online adventure with friends to learn about Guatemala, the Land of Eternal Spring and help build schools there.

Travellers will be invited to play an online adventure quest game about Guatemala in teams of 5 with their friends.

Points will be gained by demonstrating knowledge through different game levels about Guatemala – its history, culture, geography, sites and heritage.

The top scoring teams will win a trip to Guatemala, with a chance to interact with local PoP schools communities.

  • Participants will pay to download and play the game either via mobile app or on an online site.
  • The audience will be targeted through various social media channels as well as partnering global airlines, airline alliances or travel sites.


Initial Ideas - Feb 24 (Updated also on March 1)


The working title of the project is a nod to Guatemala, also known as the Land of Eternal Spring.

From the brief and some basic research about 'Pencils of Promise', I was able to find a few themes that are represented in the mindmap image below.

The themes & keywords were useful to start matching different ones together to come up with new connections and ideas (yay lateral thinking!)

  • Associated with the Pencils of Promise brand (including what I see as their “values”)
  • What Pencils of Promise does
  • Other themes 


Some insights - Pencils of Promise has:

  • Ambitions and activities are very global. However, most of their campaigns are focussed on or attract audiences mainly in the US. (Based on campaign content as well as traffic stats showing majority of traffic coming from the US)
  • A brand carries a strong and cool / fun / engaging / inspiring, maybe even a playful vibe.
  • A purpose we can all relate to (changing lives & the world, providing education for all).
  • Strong values (commitment, hard work, humility, “for-purpose”, goal-oriented etc).
  • Focus on engaging the community to be part of their journey.
  • A sense of adventure in making a difference in parts of the world that are not particularly well known, such as Guatemala.

Target audiences for my ideas are mainly people who belong to "communities" of different kinds globally. There's an untapped global audience outside the US that could relate and want to be engaged in global campaign(s) to make the world's future better through helping providing education for all.

Most ideas are based on fun and play with a purpose - driving engagement between the community members as well as companies / organizations.

Generation of funds would be mainly from (but certainly could be more than):

  • Direct donations or purchase %ages by participants and/or their collective communities in each idea
  • Direct or matched donations by different parties (companies, foundations, musicians, sports personalities).

1. Sports Communities - Football (Soccer) Supporters

Football (Soccer) is the world’s most popular game, known to bring people across the world together. Football fans are loyal to their teams. They are proud to participate & be associated with a team and/or player(s) that contributes towards a greater cause - such as providing education and schools to disadvantaged parts of the world.

What if we could reach and appeal to the millions of loyal football fans in their teams / communities to play together and be part of the Pencils of Promise dream?

  • Score Goals for Schools: Celebrate every goal your team scores with a donation to help meet Pencils of Promise's goal to build schools in Guatemala.
  • Jerseys Build Schools: Share your pictures wearing your team’s special Pencil of Promise jersey to your social network, with the highest number of Likes / Shares being matched for donations to build schools in Guatemala.
  • Pencils of Promise League: Play like a pro with your Fantasy Football team and help build schools in Guatemala. 
  • Play for the Promise: Players wear Pencils of Promise (co-sponsored) shirts for a number of games - Players as well as fans contribute each game they wear the shirts.
  • Sketch. Play. Promise: Draw or paint your favourite footballer to help build schools in Guatemala.
  • PoP Tournaments: We will get you, your friends and your community to play local and online soccer tournaments to help build schools in Guatemala.

2. Fans of different artists or music genres

Music also adds a fun element in how people get involved with Pencils of Promise. Music also brings the world together in a powerful way (Cliché I know..)

  • Write Stuff Concert: We will bring together artists to perform online and live for Pencils of Promise. Live & online ticket proceeds go towards building schools in Guatemala.
  • PoP Songs: We will get people to write songs about building dreams (building schools?) and get to perform them with / get them performed by their favourite artists.
  • Playlists on Fire: Build playlists on Spotify with ‘Guatemala’ in them and share them with your friends. Top 3 Sharing users get to win a trip to Guatemala. Top shares matched as donations (by Spotify and/or other participating partners). Users get the opportunity to donate as they subscribe.
  • Promise Dance-Off: What if we can get the world to dance to the same 'PoP' song to help build schools? Teams (Dance communities) can upload their favourite dance videos and get the world to donate while watching the videos.

3. Travellers

What if we could engage the communities of travellers that are looking to interact & give back to the communities in the places that they visit?

Through direct interaction with travellers - as well as partnering with global airlines, frequent flyer programs or global travel sites – we could provide opportunities for traveller communities to do good in these countries through their contributions while enjoying their travel adventures.

  • The Frequent Builder: Travellers build up and donate frequent flyer points to build a school in Guatemala.
  • Eternal Spring for Knowledge: What if your world travel knowledge could help you build schools in Guatemala? Go on online app/game adventure quest in Guatemala with your friends. Form teams online and help build schools.
  • Sketch Cards: Sketch your travel adventures and share the adventure sketches online with their friends and travel communities.

4. Global / multi-national companies or corporations (especially those that are known or aspire to be known for being innovative) and their Employees

  • Build Together for Guatemala: We will get employees to be help build schools from wherever they are. Employees form teams to build schools using models (e.g. Legos) with the winning teams getting a prize and funds raised contributed matched by the company as donations.
  • Painting Communities: We will get employees to paint schools in Guatemala. Employee communities will collaboratively draw paintings (or other artwork forms) that will be auctioned and put up in schools built in Guatemala.
  • Other ideas here surely...


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