What is Adobe Youth Voices?


Adobe Youth Voices (AYV) ignites young people’s Creative Confidence—the ability to har­ness creative skills to solve problems—thereby empowering them to find their voice and make it heard. AYV is the Adobe Foundation’s signature global initiative to increase creativity in educa­tion, which is critical to improving the lives of young people today and well into the future.

At the heart of AYV is an educational method­ology that provides youth 13 to 19 years of age with the inspiration, training, and technology to create original media works on issues they care about. Since 2006, more than 5,000 educators and 190,000 youth from 60 countries have engaged in AYV programs to develop thought-provoking content on relationships, human rights, the environment, and other topics. Through these experiences, participants hone skills of self-expression, ideation, collaboration, flexibility, and persistence— the skills we regard as central to Creative Confidence.

How Adobe Youth Voices Works

To broaden our impact, we partner with organizations dedicated to inspiring youth voice and helping communities thrive. Adobe Youth Voices (AYV) is our global corporate responsibility youth commitment and a signature program of the Adobe Foundation. The mission of the program is to ignite creative confidence in youth, empowering them to develop the skills they need to find their voice and share their creative vision. In partnership with EDC, we have developed a powerful professional development program for educators to use creativity to engage young people in learning through compelling and relevant experiences. We also donate cur­rent software products to schools and nonprofits each year to enrich young people’s learning experiences and enhance creativity and collaboration. Through these targeted efforts we seek to make a significant impact in the communities where we operate and beyond.

The program comes to life as young people identify an issue they care about, and express a point of view on that issue by creating original media content – from videos to essays, animation to music – enabled through Adobe software and tools.

Further program elements include:

  • Adobe Youth Voices Awards – a global challenge that invites youth to creatively express their vision for driving change in local communities.
  • Adobe Youth Voices Scholarships – a program developed to support the next generation of creative thinkers and propel the future careers of those who create.

Program Impact

The Adobe Foundation works with Mission Measurement in a coordinated, ongoing evaluation of AYV. The evaluation measures the effectiveness of AYV against intended outcomes for educators and youth. For youth, positive results include increased creative confidence and its accompanying skill set, including self-expression, ideation, collaboration, flexibility and persistence. Educator outcomes include improved knowledge of creative skills and how to teach them, using digital tools with youth, increasing the application of creative thinking and the use of digital tools across subject areas and capitalizing on the learning opportunities presented when youth master self–expression and creative thinking.

The Case for Creativity

Creativity is central to Adobe’s business and brand – our products enable people around the world to express themselves creatively through technology. It’s also central to our social responsibility commitments – self-expression and creativity are how we support change, especially when it comes to working with communities and youth.

We believe that creativity is critical, today and for our future. In fact, creativity is cited as the top leadership competency for the future1, and 78 percent of college educated professionals say creativity is very important to their career2. As we move in to the future this will only become more important: two-thirds of jobs in 2020 will require new kinds of skills3. The ability to innovate and adapt is imperative.

Yet, creativity is in crisis, particularly in education and among youth. The rudimentary, basic skills education of the past era is no longer sufficient. Around the world, students are not being equipped with the necessary creative skills, which are on the decline in grades K-6. And this shows in the impact on our workforce: 32 percent of current college-educated professionals don’t feel comfortable thinking creatively in their career4.

At the Adobe Foundation, we see this creativity gap as particularly worrying for today’s youth that need these skills to be able to succeed in the economy of tomorrow. As such, Adobe Youth Voices plays a central role in Adobe’s efforts to address this crisis. By igniting Creative Confidence in youth, they will have the necessary creative skills to succeed.

  1. The Most Important Leadership Quality for CEOs by Austin Carr. May 18, 2010 on FastCompany.com
  2. Study: Creativity Should be Taught as a Course. November 7, 2012 on Adobe.com
  3. Forecasts From The Futurist magazine on wfs.com
  4. Study: Creativity Should be Taught as a Course. November 7, 2012 on Adobe.com