State of the Community 2018 Competition


THE GOAL: Building a social movement to provide answers to today's pressing issues as a counter discourse to extremist and populist voices

  • With the above goal in mind, select a famous quote or create your own phrase that reflects an idea that will generate positive change or solution to current global issues.
    Example of a Phrase: “Your Rights End, Where Mine Begin”
  • Explain the Phrase, and why it matters in 500-700 words essay and a two-minute video presentation. Please note that no special film equipment or skills are required for the video presentation, which may be filmed on a smartphone or other device. 2017 Phrase of the Year Finalists
  • Submission Deadline: Sunday, April, 15, 2018
  • 5 to 10 finalists are selected to either present in person at the Dhillon Marty Foundation (DMF)'s State of the Community Conference 2018 (UNESCO, Paris, France), or DMF will screen their presentations on their behalf. The finalists' essays and presentations will also be published on DMF's website. 
  • The winning phrase will be announced and awarded during the award ceremony at the conference on Friday, June 29, 2018 [See schedule details on the program page]. 
  • This winning phrase will become the coming year’s theme for the DMF’s initiatives.


  • Participation in the Phrase of the Year Competition is open to youth (typically from age 13 to 35).
  • Participation is open to individuals or teams. A team must designate a representative to facilitate communication between the team and the Dhillon Marty Foundation.
  • Entries must meet all RULES (listed below) and deadline.


1. Essay and Presentation: Submission by Sunday, April 15, 2018

  • Submit a 500-700 word essay on your Phrase and a 2 minute video presentation.
  • Presentation should show why the Phrase is relevant to our global society, and how to engage people from around the world in a constructive dialogue to make informed critical and conscientious thinkers for a sustainable world. 
  • As you submit your phrase and essay, please mail us some sand from a beach in your area. This sand will become part of an art installation, inspired by the slogan “Sous les pavés la plage - under the pavement, the beach” of the 1968 May French social movement. The installation will be a core piece of the exhibition to take place in May 2018 in Paris, marking the 50th anniversary of the 1968 movement, which ultimately spread from Paris to start the 1960’s global social revolution.

2. Finalist Selection

  • 5 to 10 submissions will be selected as finalists.
  • In cases of identical ideas, the entry with the more compelling argument will be selected.

3. Finalist Presentation: 

  • The finalist presentations will be screened at the conference on June 29, 2018 [See schedule details on the program page]. All presentations will be screened with or without the finalist being physically present at the conference.
  • 2 minute presentation + 6 minute Q&A
  • The finalists who are physically present at the conference may give a slideshow presentation or a speech, instead of screening their video presentation.

4. Winner Selection: Announcement on Friday, June 29, 2018

  • The selection jury's votes at the conference will determine the winner.
  • The winner will be announced at the award ceremony on June 29, 2018  [See schedule details on the program page].
  • DMF has the right to use all documentation submitted by the participants.
  • The winning phrase will become the coming year’s theme for the DMF’s initiatives. The winning team must be available to participate in the Foundation's activities throughout the year to build the discourse around the phrase.
  • Please note that travel and accommodation costs for attending the conference is to be covered by individual participants. 
  • DMF has the right to modify the program details anytime. 


Giving a presentation, especially one that requires brevity, is never an easy task. This short guide aims to help you create a presentation that effectively delivers your amazing idea and thoughts.

Here are the four simple steps needed to create and give a presentation (+ tips):

1. Choose a Phrase

  • Do some brainstorming and research as much as necessary for ideas. Since it is a “Phrase” and not a paragraph, it is absolutely necessary to narrow your ideas to one core message.
  • Make sure it is concise and catchy, as it must be easily understood and remembered by people. Think of it as an elevator pitch – although you will back it up with a presentation, the Phrase alone should be able to express everything.

2. Make an outline (and scripts and/or slides, if necessary)
An example of a presentation structure:

    • Make your audience care (explain the current global situation, using relatable/known examples of current/historical events and phenomenon)
    • Explain your Phrase (clearly and with conviction)
    • Describe your evidence
    • Call to action (WHY your Phrase matters to the world, convince people to vote for your Phrase to become the Phrase of the Year)
    • Reveal the new reality (HOW can the idea reflected by your Phrase be implemented in real life? How will that change the world?)

Ask yourself the following:

  • Are the Phrase and the presentation innovative and interesting
  • Is it fact-based?
  • Are the idea of the Phrase and the presentation structure clear/logical enough for people who have never heard this Phrase?


    • Practice makes perfect. No matter how many times you have given a presentation, you will be speaking to a completely new audience with a new purpose.
    • Film yourself talking, watch the video, and see where you can improve. Give each other feedbacks among the team and if possible, practice in front of non-team members to receive their feedback.

    Things to keep in mind while practicing:

    • Posture: Stand still (don’t shift your weight sideways) and look confident.
    • Eye contact: Make eye contact with your audience. You don’t have to stare into the eyes of everyone in the audience, but keep them engaged.
    • Speed: Make sure you are not talking too fast or slow. To figure out the appropriate pace, watch (and imitate) speeches performed by great orators like Barack Obama, Steve Jobs, etc.
    • Smile: If appropriate, try to smile. It not only helps you reduce your anxiety but also keeps the audience engaged.

    4. Prepare your presentation- video/slideshow (with confidence – you earned it!)

    Sample presenation sytle ideas:

    2017 Phrase of the Year finalists