Hands are getting their due, though, in a new competition launched by the creative think tank Be Open. The organisation has launched a ‘call to action’ to creative minds worldwide to explore the theme of hands through photography, video or graphic art.

Participants are asked to harness their brainpower – and handpower – create an exciting, unusual or poetic image related to the subject of hands and post it on Be Open’s Twitter, Instagram or website with the hashtag #BeOpenHands. Anyone, anywhere in the world, with access to the internet can take part.

The project links to Be Open’s ongoing research into handmade work and strategies for its survival. ‘Hands are the quintessence of creativity,’ says Yelena Baturina, a Russian entrepreneur and philanthropist, who founded Be Open in 2012 to encourage innovation among young designers and artists. ‘We’re calling all web users around the world to send us their visions. The idea is to allow entrants as much freedom as possible in the interpretation of the theme, so that we generate some profoundly unusual thoughts and responses.’

Entrants thus far have posted snaps at the Taj Mahal, trick photography, finger puppetry, paintings and family photos, all featuring hands as the focus. Be Open has posted its favourites on the website beopensocial.com.

‘Hands’ is the preamble to Be Open’s major project for 2015: participation in Milan’s Expo 2015 with the next stop of its project ’Made In...’, the investigative tour which began last February in India and focuses on the relationship between contemporary design and the excellence of small producers and craftsmen at the four corners of the earth.

Baturina’s team will work with an international jury to choose a winning entry next February. The winner will receive a three-day, all-expenses-paid trip to Expo 2015, including a tour of Milan and inclusion in Be Open’s Expo showcase on the theme of ‘Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life’. So what are you waiting for? Play your hand.

The winner will be announced at the end of February 2015