DNA’s Project Sugar Free A Fast Company 2022 World Changing Ideas Award Finalist
SEATTLE, WA [May 3, 2022] — The winners of Fast Company’s 2022 World Changing Ideas Awards were announced today, honoring clean technology, innovative corporate initiatives, brave new designs for cities and buildings, and other creative works that are supporting the growth of positive social innovation, tackling social inequality, climate change, and public health crises.
Seattle Agency DNA won three awards for its Project Sugar Free initiative, an AI technology it created to combat online sex trafficking on behalf of the StolenYouth organization. While conducting a social listening assignment for a financial institution client, the agency came across a surge of “Sugar Baby” related posts that targeted youths by offering fast and easy money in exchange for mutually beneficial relationships. Sugaring has become an on-ramp for sex trafficking. The AI bot intercepts and takes action on online sugaring attempts intercepting over 12,000 conversations, deplatforming 30 exploiters and getting nearly 200 posts removed from Twitter in the State of Washington in just over a year.
“When you can do something that makes a difference in people’s lives and your community, it changes how we view the power of advertising,” explained Alan Brown, Chairman of DNA. “Being able to bring together our passion to make an impact with technology and marketing on behalf of this important cause, is one of the most meaningful projects we have worked on. We are looking forward to expanding it into a national initiative and are so appreciative of this recognition.”
DNA’s Project Sugar Free was a finalist in the small company created category and an honorable mention in the AI & Data and Corporate Social Responsibility categories.
“We are consistently inspired by the novelty and creativity that people are applying to solve some of our society’s most pressing problems, from shelter to the climate crisis. Fast Company relishes its role in amplifying important, innovative work to address big challenges,” says David Lidsky, interim editor-in-chief of Fast Company. “Our journalists have identified some of the most ingenious initiatives to launch since the start of 2021, which we hope will both have a meaningful impact and lead others to join in being part of the solution.”
Now in its sixth year, the World Changing Ideas Awards showcase 39 winners, 350 finalists, and more than 600 honorable mentions—with climate, social justice, and AI and data among the most popular categories. A panel of eminent Fast Company editors and reporters selected winners and finalists from a pool of more than 2,997 entries across transportation, education, food, politics, technology, health, social justice, and more.
About the World Changing Ideas Awards: World Changing Ideas is one of Fast Company’s major annual awards programs and is focused on social good, seeking to elevate finished products and brave concepts that make the world better. A panel of judges from across sectors choose winners, finalists, and honorable mentions based on feasibility and the potential for impact. With the goals of awarding ingenuity and fostering innovation, Fast Company draws attention to ideas with great potential and helps them expand their reach to inspire more people to start working on solving the problems that affect us all.