On 3 October at the British Library H+K hosted our annual creativity symposium Creativity+. This year focused on the theme of ‘Opportunity’, with the half day event featuring a series of inspiring and uplifting sessions from a diverse range of speakers. Each speaker shared their take on how best to turn challenging circumstances into opportunities; either for themselves, for their business or for society.


The power of opportunity to transform business

We were very pleased to have WPP’s CEO Mark Read open the day for us, sharing his thoughts on the power of opportunity to transform business. Mark highlighted WPP’s ability to pair imagination with deep technological expertise to build ‘gardens in the sky’ for clients. He encouraged our audience to find moments of creative inspiration to transform the fortunes of places, brands, organisations and communities – creating opportunity where none existed before.

A technology panel followed, hosted by our very own Charlie Morgan, Managing Director of Tech, Sports and Entertainment at H+K London. The panel featured Spotify’s Marco Bertozzi, DAZN’s Sarah Beattie, Activision Blizzard’s Luke Mackay, Snapchat’s Mark Carroll, and Dolby’s Perveen Akhtar. Together they explored how to capitalise on opportunities of technology to transform the entertainment industry, with discovery being a fundamental part of business, creators and fans needing to have dialogue. They also considered how sound is the future to entertainment, and how experience is today more focused on the needs of the player than the game or platform itself.

The morning’s focus on the power of opportunity to transform business closed with a discussion between H+K’s Candace Kuss and Daniel Cheetham, CEO of our extended reality (XR) partner Happy Finish. They looked at how XR can be an opportunity to enhance communication, showcasing examples such as Ford:WheelSwap where XR has successfully been used to illicit empathy and drive behaviour change.


The power of opportunity to transform society

After a short coffee break, the second part of the day when to on to look at the power of opportunity to transform society.

Priya Matadeen, General Manager at DAZED, led shared how the media can be used as an opportunity to reflect on society. She noted that media at its best when at the forefront of, not just reflecting but shaping, what is occurring in culture and society, giving the example of climate change being driven by youth.

Ben Ryan, head of the paediatric division at Glaze Prosthetics and founder of Ambionics, gave an extremely impassioned overview how human ingenuity can help solve event the toughest of challenges. Ben’s son lost his arm at just 10 days old. He shared his deeply personal story of how he became a self-taught design engineer and put his psychology background to good use, developing new ideas for paediatric prosthetics. Ben successfully helped his own son and has since seen Ambionics partnering with Microsoft and Glaze Prosthetics to provide body powered prosthetics to children all over the world.


The power of opportunity to transform your own life

The final section of Creativity+Opportunity was opened with a panel of three of the twelve artists who recently painted the Doors of Opportunity in our London office, commissioned to celebrate H+K’s 50th anniversary year. The panel discussed art as an opportunity to provoke and inspire.  Chaired by art critic Naomi Polonsky, Anastasia Beltyukova, Laxmi Hussain and Karimah Hassan encouraged an increase in representation of female artist and considered the role of social media as a valuable source to diversify art, providing opportunity to any age.

Bumble’s Louise Troen followed, in conversation with our Global Head of Content + Publishing Vikki Willimott. They discussed how your personal brand is more important than you think. Louise spoke of the importance of a meaningful brand mission to achieve success, at a time where people are buying into brands with a social purpose over the best products in the competitor landscape. She also shared her tips on building your own personal brand, notably, defining your own values, finding ways to be entrepreneurial within a structure and remembering the power of listening.

The day concluded with blazing a trail to create opportunities for others, with a conversation between Sky Sports News’ Jon Holmes and transgender professional racing driver Charlie Martin. Jon founded Sports Media LGBT+, and used his interview with Charlie to explore how she uses her platform within motorsport to create positive awareness and visibility for the LGBT+ community, having been the first person to bring LGBT+ into motorsport. Charlie highlighted the opportunity for inclusion and diversion within the industry, and how sport should be everybody’s game but bringing visibility to this opportunity is key.

We’d like to thank all our speakers for giving our 200+ guests such an inspiring day, with a refreshingly optimistic perspective on all forms of challenges. If you attended and have feedback we’d love to hear from you.