It’s rare that you go to two inspirational events before the week is out, but last week was a good week. On Tuesday evening I went to the D&AD White Pencil Symposium. I have long been a believer in what I call “design for good” so I was very interested when the D&AD launched the first new award in its history: an award for “a creative idea that changes the world for the better.”
D&AD CEO Tim Lindsay said: ‘The D&AD White Pencil is a message and a movement. It symbolises the power of creativity as a force for positive social change and provides a platform for a growing community of design and advertising talent to share ideas and showcase innovation.”
But before we got the to awards, we were privileged to hear from a pretty impressive line-up of speakers, chaired by Steven Johnson (above). I was particularly inspired by David Jones (below), author of “Who Cares Wins – Why Good Business is Better Business”, CEO of Havas, and Co-Founder of One Young World.
I have always felt that by doing the right thing, I was reducing my ability to make a living, but that that’s just the sacrifice you have to make if you want to be true to what you believe in. So it was really heartening to hear that profit and authenticity are far from mutually exclusive, but that increasingly the latter is necessary for the former.
David said, “The power that we have, to use creativity to effect positive change is absolutely enormous – and I really don’t think that any of us have understood it yet. There are things that we can do both collectively, and as individuals – we could be the most amazing part of the solution.” He shared four key things we could all do now, to help create more socially responsible businesses – I particularly liked this one because it was so simple and actionable: “Do one thing for an issue you care about.”
Some more key quotes from David’s presentation…
“If you want to do well in business, you need to do good.”
“CSR has been taken out of a silo and put into the P&L by social media.”
One Young World is an NGO and registered charity in the UK with the aim to “give the brilliant young people in the world a platform to effect positive change.” With counsellors including Jamie Oliver, Kofi Annan, Bob Geldoff and Bill Clinton, there were plenty of words of wisdom, but my favourite quote came from one of the young people who took part last year: ”There is no magic in the tools, the magic is in the application.” I hope I can continue to use my blog for good!
And congratulations to Leo Burnett Chicago who won the inaugural White Pencil for their Recipeace campaign.
The following evening, I went to the launch of the Mini Moderns Pop-Up Shoppe, open at Supernice on Columbia Road on Wednesdays 5pm – 9pm, on Saturdays 11am – 6pm and on Sundays 9am – 4pm until Christmas.
I got chatting to Keith about how the shop had come about, and as if so often the way, the story began, “Well we were at a party…”! But it really struck me that being in the right place at the right time, and then being open to opportunities when they present themselves can make things happen.
It took an ability to spot an opportunity, the flexibility to move away from what they had planned for the rest of this year, and a huge amount of hard work and lots of late nights to make this happen. But it also took being at the party – making time for people is incredibly important in this business and something that Keith and Mark are very good at.
The Shoppe, as you would expect, looks magnificent, and there are plenty of fabulous Christmas present ideas for those who still like to do their shopping in person. (I can also recommend traditional sweet shop Suck and Chew a few doors down for stocking fillers with a difference.)
So a big thank you to David Jones and Mini Moderns for an inspiring week – and that was before I even got to the weekend!
Further reading for the especially geeky: