Sneak preview of my intro to Connect: London 2018

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The turmoil of 2018 is close to being over. Only for a whole new era of uncertainty to seemingly be on the horizon.

The internet that was supposed to broaden our worlds and bring us closer together seems to have divided nations and neighbours. Facebook has shown the power of social media in creating divisions and silos in society. With Donald in power we have reached a 1984 post-truth that has numbed us to the madness of it all. China is building whole island bases in contested seas, the Russians seem to be happy to disrupt anything they can, the Saudi’s are killing journalists, and while the proxy war in Syria rumbles on, the new Afghanistan is a breeding ground to keep the terrorism conveyor-belt moving. If that isn’t enough, the lifelong warnings from the scientists about global warming and plastics are just getting more frequent and feverish – just as well I have my bag, for life.

Closer to London and our industry, Ogilvy is shedding employees to “restructure”, Amazon is destroying the high street one poorly packaged cardboard box at a time while single-handedly disrupting the brand world. At the same time brands are finally realising just how much they can do “in-house”, bloggers, vloggers and Instagrammers now command the eyes, ears, hearts and souls of millions and the promised AI is cropping up across customer service roles. In fact, digital disruption is happening right across, through and over our industry. And as if we could forget, there’s the small matter of Brexit still to be navigated.

It’s these themes that we’ve looked to give you answers on during your two days at Connect: London 2018 this week. We have assembled a unique mix of speakers including old hands and new disruptors to help guide you through 2019 and beyond.

There is a distinct digital flavour to a lot of the talks at this year’s Festival, but we’ve also made sure to include sessions that will fuel your creative spark as well as look at the more human questions of diversity and inclusion.

Creativepool exists to connect the global creative industry. Whether you are a brand looking for creative solutions, an agency looking to showcase your work, a production company looking to get discovered, a recruiter looking for new talent, an art buyer looking for the next big thing, a creative looking for a new gig, or a creative director looking for inspiration.

We are a platform that celebrates creativity, but we see it in a different light than the traditionalists. We are a unique collective of individuals and companies, big and small, new and old. We celebrate multi-million dollar campaigns next to the work of a brand new illustrator from Leeds. We don’t care where you are from or what you look like. We exist to bring you the promise of the internet. To help you find new connections, to introduce you to ideas, to amaze you with stories and to bring you inspiration.

We stand at a unique position in the global community in that we can see what’s happening to the industry from the outside and without allegiance. It is this unique position that gives us the opportunity to be able to put together such a diverse range of people and companies and to look at the creative industry from a perspective outside of the players.

This year we have broken up the festival into the Leaders and Learners stages. The Leaders Stage focuses on the business-critical ideas, thoughts and inspiration that are needed to help you thrive in 2019. In keeping with Creativepool’s continual striving to be accessible to everyone, we have given free access to the Learners Stage, Workshop Zone, Expo, as well as offering a Portfolio and Career Advice space.

Oh, and don’t forget our now legendary wrap up Pool Party at the end of day two.


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