In depth creativity without borders

Last weekend I had an amazing time at ADC’E Festival ‘17 . In just two days something inside me that I was trying to mask with labels of “I am” and “I have been working on” was once again opened up. No matter how you call it at the end of the day creativity is the freedom to express. Yourself, the world, the frame of your vision, the tone of what you’re hearing, the idea you received or imagined. It’s raw, it’s sometimes scary, but also fascinating.

It is just impossible to name every single thing that was discussed during these days, but here are my top 3 take-aways that I wanted to share with you.

Creating tools, building bridges to destroy the gaps of ignorance.

Steve Vranakis from Google Creative Lab spoke about why we all should be creative activists. In his speech he made a very good point that people might think creatives just create stuff because they want, because they can, but people should look at it in a bigger picture. Creativity well used is building platforms, settings and the resources for others to do a remarkable things. To see things, notice problems, call to action and also solve problems. I love the idea about open-ended stories. The goal is to solve the problems, to do that we need to trigger emotions, for that we need to develop open ended stories with the use of frameworks by technologies. Everything interacts. At some point the story tellers are also the world’s greatest problem solvers, because stories destroy ignorance and they trigger the mechanism that is needed to be activated for the search of solution.

The humble feeling of sincerity that came out of his speech was well put in the quote he shared at the end –>

AI has nothing on us, unless we label ourselves as replaceable

The most fascinating speech in the festival personally for me was from Fernanda Romano, founder and creative partner of Malagueta Group. She spoke a lot about ideas and work techniques in the era of technology that ended up having the same punchline – Artificial intelligence doesn’t have what we have – curiosity. Humans especially creative personalities question the status quo all the time. They test theories, develop systems and seek for something more. Like “there needs to be more” and “what if?”. Artificial intelligence will not do that, it will just seek for new database. The database we give them all the time. And yes, the more we give the more advanced they get. Let me just draw out a bit of rough timeline here –

  • 11 years ago (if my memory does not fail me) I got my first touch screen phone
  • 9 years ago joined Twitter
  • 8 years ago joined Facebook
  • 5 years ago joined Instagram
  • 3 years ago bought my first fitness band from Jawbone, since then I have tried Fitbit, Garmin and now Samsung Gear S3.

Subjective rating of my use of each daily:

  • Twitter 5%
  • Facebook 30%
  • Instagram 65%
  • Samsung Gear 100% for checking the time, the weather, the calendar, phone notifications, sleep, activity etc. – I take it off my wrist just for charging, otherwise I feel stressed, like something is missing without it.

What does it all mean? These are the platforms to whom I give most of my data every day. And yes, it is scary to think about that Samsung watch knows where I am, where I’ve been, how I slept, what I ate, how my heart rate reacted during the day and my physical activities. And that is just the part I know they know.

8 years ago, when I joined Facebook, I had no intention to make it a part of my daily life, nor did it mattered what I put out there, since none of the employers gave a damn about your timeline. Things change, and we have grown into share society, where every person is a mini media, censorship and PR agency that work non stop.

And yes, with this oversharing we add just a bit more power to data bases and it is true at some point AI will enter our daily life as a support or a workforce that can objectively solve problems a lot faster and more effective. But AI will never replace us, since they do not have curiosity, creativity and emotions. So if at the end of the day you can still check all those three boxes – you’re safe. Be curious of the world, explore, see and learn new things. Be creative in the sense of being free to have your own point of view and ideas. And please stay humble and human, empathy is still one of the best characteristics you might have.

Creative environment in the agency is a team

Tom De Bruyne founder of Sue Amsterdam shared his experience on how to create creative culture that is both effective and motivating. His main idea was that agencies often tend to have one high horse who then is being push in front and used to gain recognition and somehow it does work for a while. But the goal in long run is to create stable agency infrastructure, where each voice counts, where people feel appreciated and have the best environment to reach their full potential. As much as people love reward system, nowadays it is losing to an appreciation. Yes, we feel happy about the salary raise for a day, a week or the first month, but we get used to it, as in comparison appreciation is something we long for as a human beings all the time. It gives the feeling of being valuable and overall brings the effect of the need to live up to this recognition with giving more to the team.

This made me revisit the very core of psychology – Maslow’s pyramid of human needs. If we look at it we can put appreciation in four out of five levels (since level 1 is physical needs like food, water etc) – it makes us feel safe, it creates feeling of belonging, feeling of accomplishment and self-actualization.

So in the end it is not about the solution or rewards, it’s about the process, about the inside feeling and team work. If the team is bonded, if they see common goals and truly enjoy the process, they will end up to have a killer creative environment that will be followed by exciting solutions.

Wanted to make it short, turned out to be quite a handful. Hope it was useful and thank you for stopping by.

Thanks to all the amazing people from ADC *E who made it all happen. Looking forward to PI school creative incubator next year.


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