Rare with Google

Google
Rare 2020 online workshop
Rare Google 2020 header image

Delivering a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion program for Google. Three years on, we've gone global.

  • Curation & programming

  • Design & art direction

  • Event Production

  • Talent management

  • Content capture & development

  • Ticketing & registration

The creative industries are notoriously homogenous. Diverse talent is abundant, but opportunities are few if you don’t fit a certain mould. Google wanted to do something about it, and so started Rare—a year-round Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) program by and for underrepresent voices.

The insight

DEI programs have proliferated across industries as the world seeks to rectify systemic injustice and bias towards minorities of all backgrounds. Designing the Rare experience allowed us to tap into two decades of experience design and pivot it into programming that was both collaborative and relevant to the community we were creating for. 

"Being Rare means embracing my differences to drive innovation within creative work, and to move workplaces towards a more progressive, inclusive future."

APAC Rare participant, 2020

What is Rare?

Since its foundation in 2017, Semi Permanent has designed and produced Rare's evolving program of talks, workshops, mentorship opportunities and research projects to increase DEI initiatives both internally at Google and in the creative industries at large. Rare’s vision of diversity spans race, gender, sexuality, neurodiversity and physical ability, and we’ve been proud to help this movement evolve in terms of how those stories are championed in the years since. 

24 pre-recorded films from over 10 hours of footage

32 speakers

3 regions

6 leadership accelerators

90 hours of live sessions

222 delegates

Making Rare

Making use of an intelligently punk graphic identity from MAUD and deep insights from the team at Google, an emphasis on connectivity underpinned our philosophy from day one. Spatial design emphasised collaboration and conversation between participants; practitioners were hand-picked to enable a cohesive group experience across both physical/digital experiences; and talent was curated (in collaboration with inclusion agency Utopia) to inspire and enable them to carve their own space in a brave new world. 

"DEI initiatives require sensitivity and precision in order to faithfully address the landscape and create genuine, tangible impact. Semi Permanent's expertise and attention to detail helped Rare set a benchmark for meaningful change in the field and grow into a program that is truly global in approach." 

Tara McKenty, Rare co-founder and Google creative director

Gemma O'Brien
Rare 2020 lanyards
Rare grew quickly, and in 2019 we supported its global expansion by designing and producing physical activations and experiences at major creative festivals in London (D&AD), Cannes (Lions), New York (Advertising Week) and Sydney (Semi Permanent), as well as Rare-initiated executive meet ups and workshops in Las Vegas and Tokyo. We deployed our design, storytelling, curation and production credentials to bring each city to life with custom programming and design, while overseeing digital campaigns to bring it all together globally.

"There were lots of small learnings along the way, but I think the big headline material for me was 'You CAN do it, and the world will be a better place if you do.'"

EMEA Rare participant, 2020

An evolving digital program

When Google initiated a no-live-events policy in 2020, Rare was redesigned as a highly interactive digital experience that still stayed true to its global mission. Our creative and production team worked across multiple timezones to drive the process from start to finish: engaging 32 inspiring speakers, creating comms to entice over 750 applicants; remotely producing, shooting and editing 24 pre-recorded films from over 10 hours of footage; and facilitating 90-hours of live sessions for over 220 selected delegates across Asia-Pacific, EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) and the USA.
Takunda Muzondiwa - Rare 2020
Takunda Muzondiwa
Poorna Bell - Google Rare 2020
Poorna Bell
Jimmy Smith - Rare 2020
Jimmy Smith
Caroline Casey
Caroline Casey
Bejay Mulenga - Rare 2020
Bejay Mulenga
Avish Gordhan & Mandie van der Merwe - Rare 2020
Avish Gordhan & Mandie van der Merwe

A global expansion

Thanks to overwhelmingly positive participant feedback and Rare’s timing with a global awakening on industry inclusion, Rare was recently appointed as Google's global in-house DEI program and expanded to incorporate a paid traineeship program and creative campus to really put into practice internally what was learnt over the years externally. 
2019 Book GIF
Rare at Cannes
Rare at Cannes Lions
Rare at Semi Permanent
Rare at Semi Permanent
Web RareEvent RobinWright CannesLion2019
Robin Wright, on the Rare with Google stage at Cannes Lions, 2019.
Semi Permanent was also commissioned to executive-edit, produce and publish RARE 2020, a 200-page compendium of stories, essays, research, conversations and highlights from Rare's 2020 program and the social context of which it existed. Here, we collaborated with four emerging leaders from the UK, Japan, Australia and the USA to dissect the year and create a path forward for the industry at large; an experimental publication and precursor to year-round editorial and research programming currently in development. 
In 2021, Semi Permanent will bolster Rare’s physical and digital program production with digital strategy, social media management, talent curation and the introduction of Rare’s first publicly available book project; small pieces of a bigger puzzle that will be solved only through deep collaboration and inspiration from around the globe. 
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Rare Sydney printed program
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