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A NEW WORLD CREATIVE AND STRATEGY COHORT

Rebirth

REPORT: 001
2020 marks the beginning not the end.

When we talk about rebirth, we’re talking about a constant journey of reflection and development, a consistent application of mind, body and soul. We’re not listing prescriptive checklists on how to behave, how to hire, how to listen, we’re tapping into a positive growth mindset – one that is highly attuned to the warping, projecting and feeding of distorted realities to date.

We must evaluate the current outlook, distilled to something along these lines:

WE CHANGE THE WORLD AROUND US AND WE SET THE NEW STANDARD

Acknowledging this allows us to proceed with a shared understanding that we are intentional and conscious beings that control the narrative and shape the world order.

This is the only viable view we can take in order to succeed at shaping a better future. A decisive stance on consistently protecting marginalised communities, and not co-opting and benefiting financially from them or supporting and uplifting them in meaningful and sustained ways, is perhaps a focus that businesses should address.

Covid-19 has exposed our weaknesses across many spheres, tearing out the structures that capitalism stitched together. The weather report, tumbling stock markets, a moral uprising, the unravelling of white privilege, our emotional fragilities, the death of hype culture, exam overhauls, inadequate health systems, BLM, the biggest experiment of remote work ever, the disregard of black trans bodies… the answers and responses we desire won’t be solved overnight.

The word ‘reset’ continually pops up to capture this modern reckoning and refresh. However, we welcome a more holistic view of the human experience, one that accepts failures and embraces positive change, one that actions opportunity and growth socially, morally, culturally, politically, environmentally and economically. It’s less about starting over, but more about taking learnings and honoring memories – it’s ‘rebirth’. 

With this, we admit we can not instantly solve global inequality, but we can start with one universal truth:

MINDSETS ARE CAPABLE OF EVOLVING WHICH CAN IN TURN GENERATE MORE DESIRABLE OUTCOMES

By holding a mirror up and taking a hard look, we begin the process of learning, unlearning, growing and changing ourselves and our environments.

Honing in on the creative industries, Covid-19 has surfaced the deep-seated connections and power dynamics at play. One, creativity and consumerism are much intertwined in many spaces and sectors (think music, film, fashion, arts and so forth); the downfall of one impacts the other. It’s a delicate ecosystem. It becomes embarrassing when there is no answer for the highly polarised allocation of resources and rewards. Two, the dissonance between creative and cultural production in front of and behind the lens. For every model, influencer or talent featured in film, campaigns or the media, there are machines behind these manufactured realities of equal importance. These realisations are catalysts for change. Ask for transparency. Don’t be afraid to say no. We can’t always reject or run away from the system, but we can help to spark change from within, to elevate those coming through and create a higher standard. 

We have witnessed a multitude of entities existing within the parameters of inequality – they thrive off unfairness and benefit from lacklustre attempts at representation. Glitzy advertising award ceremonies, rigged nominations, homogeneous judging panels and festival extravaganzas like Cannes Lions raises questions around necessity and excess. Advertising sold products to the consumer, and the advertising industry rejoiced. When the champagne stops flowing, the hard questions need answering.

Is the world and society represented in our office in an authentic and genuine way?

Are we creating joy or burden? Is it too late to reverse environmental damage? Whilst there is plenty here to tackle, we can put forward our views for a positive growth mindset that starts with… us.

BREAK DOWN PERCEPTUAL BARRIERS
Preconceived opinions, especially bias born from ignorance about others can become self-fulfilling prophecies. This in turn creates self-limiting psychological barriers in others such as feelings of self doubt. We must actively and consistently commit to education outside of our comfort zones. Ignorance alone isn’t dangerous, wilful ignorance encouraged by the privileged to delay knowledge of ‘otherness’ is what fuels prejudice.

ERASE EXPECTATIONS
Individuals are held to expected outputs, which are mostly uncommunicated. This creates failings based on many mismatched assumptions. Be fair, or find a mutual understanding for goal posts. Help when someone is down, and open the door for others. With rebirth, we acknowledge the past and rectifications must be made. Our moral compass is guided and assessed by our core values of empathy, fairness and responsibility demonstrated through ethical decision making. Upholding these values and commitments should be an open journey not a momentary pledge.

WIDEN RELATIONSHIPS
A culture of aggressive competition and gatekeeping inhibits wide-ranging viewpoints to be heard and shared. This cyclical model does not give for those on the fringes, whether it be an idea, a person, a process or practice. Seek newness, forge new relationships, provide understanding and support and everyone will grow. Whilst it appears that advertising is becoming more diverse, why do IPA reports only show 13.8% of all agency jobs from BAME backgrounds, and even worse just 5.5.% across C-suite roles? Cross pollination of different people, groups and communities is important, but going above recognition is fundamental to shifting the dial. Treatment, action, tangible output means more than lip service.

2020 is the year of rebirth.

From The Free Black University, to Creatives 4 Systemic Change to Amrou Al-Kadhi’s recontextualisation of Quantum Physics as a way to understand non-binary identities, we’re greatly inspired by the micro and macro levels of activity around the world across all domains. We’re dedicating ourselves to giving a platform for unheard voices and democratising the advertising agency model even further. No more compromising of values. No more accepting cash for clout.

In an industry of excess, we’re also striving for the reallocation of creative resource to support creative education. It’s our last frontier in an ever growing digitalised, technologically driven society. We want to dispel the notion that creative education is not for everyone, a message that goes against the grain of Ofsted chiefs and education authorities who are constantly hammering the importance of ‘stable’ careers; academic subjects being the apparent best route for higher-level study particular for working class children. Rebirth is about changing the status quo, and proving that challenges can become new ambitions.

We’d like to leave you with food for thought that is:

difficult times give birth to powerful outcomes

We have observed wars, depressions and struggles that have gifted us Dadaism, Afro-Futurism and Acid House and more. Rebirth in 2020 may be laborious but it will be worth it. Signifiers indicating positive steps towards inclusivity, conscious consumerism, online learning, reconnection and community is just one part of the picture. We need to be less entrenched in our approach to a moral consciousness – our knowledge, lives and society are all enriched by being fluid enough to accept rebirth of our closely held ideals.

When we talk about rebirth, we’re talking about a constant journey of reflection and development, a consistent application of mind, body and soul. We’re not listing prescriptive checklists on how to behave, how to hire, how to listen, we’re tapping into a positive growth mindset – one that is highly attuned to the warping, projecting and feeding of distorted realities to date.

We must evaluate the current outlook, distilled to something along these lines: 

WE CHANGE THE WORLD AROUND US AND WE SET THE NEW STANDARD

Acknowledging this allows us to proceed with a shared understanding that we are intentional and conscious beings that control the narrative and shape the world order.

This is the only viable view we can take in order to succeed at shaping a better future. A decisive stance on consistently protecting marginalised communities, and not co-opting and benefiting financially from them or supporting and uplifting them in meaningful and sustained ways, is perhaps a focus that businesses should address.

Covid-19 has exposed our weaknesses across many spheres, tearing out the structures that capitalism stitched together. The weather report, tumbling stock markets, a moral uprising, the unravelling of white privilege, our emotional fragilities, the death of hype culture, exam overhauls, inadequate health systems, BLM, the biggest experiment of remote work ever, the disregard of black trans bodies… the answers and responses we desire won’t be solved overnight. 

The word ‘reset’ continually pops up to capture this modern reckoning and refresh. However, we welcome a more holistic view of the human experience, one that accepts failures and embraces positive change, one that actions opportunity and growth socially, morally, culturally, politically, environmentally and economically. It’s less about starting over, but more about taking learnings and honoring memories – it’s ‘rebirth’.

With this, we admit we can not instantly solve global inequality, but we can start with one universal truth:

MINDSETS ARE CAPABLE OF EVOLVING WHICH CAN IN TURN GENERATE MORE DESIRABLE OUTCOMES

By holding a mirror up and taking a hard look, we begin the process of learning, unlearning, growing and changing ourselves and our environments.

Honing in on the creative industries, Covid-19 has surfaced the deep-seated connections and power dynamics at play. One, creativity and consumerism are much intertwined in many spaces and sectors (think music, film, fashion, arts and so forth); the downfall of one impacts the other. It’s a delicate ecosystem. It becomes embarrassing when there is no answer for the highly polarised allocation of resources and rewards.

Two, the dissonance between creative and cultural production in front of and behind the lens. For every model, influencer or talent featured in film, campaigns or the media, there are machines behind these manufactured realities of equal importance. These realisations are catalysts for change. Ask for transparency. Don’t be afraid to say no. We can’t always reject or run away from the system, but we can help to spark change from within, to elevate those coming through and create a higher standard.

We have witnessed a multitude of entities existing within the parameters of inequality - they thrive off unfairness and benefit from lacklustre attempts at representation. Glitzy advertising award ceremonies, rigged nominations, homogeneous judging panels and festival extravaganzas like Cannes Lions raises questions around necessity and excess. Advertising sold products to the consumer, and the advertising industry rejoiced. When the champagne stops flowing, the hard questions need answering. 

Is the world and society represented in our office in an authentic and genuine way?

Are we creating joy or burden? Is it too late to reverse environmental damage? Whilst there is plenty here to tackle, we can put forward our views for a positive growth mindset that starts with… us.

BREAK DOWN PERCEPTUAL BARRIERS
Preconceived opinions, especially bias born from ignorance about others can become self-fulfilling prophecies. This in turn creates self-limiting psychological barriers in others such as feelings of self doubt. We must actively and consistently commit to education outside of our comfort zones. Ignorance alone isn’t dangerous, wilful ignorance encouraged by the privileged to delay knowledge of ‘otherness’ is what fuels prejudice.

ERASE EXPECTATIONS
Individuals are held to expected outputs, which are mostly uncommunicated. This creates failings based on many mismatched assumptions. Be fair, or find a mutual understanding for goal posts. Help when someone is down, and open the door for others. With rebirth, we acknowledge the past and rectifications must be made. Our moral compass is guided and assessed by our core values of empathy, fairness and responsibility demonstrated through ethical decision making. Upholding these values and commitments should be an open journey not a momentary pledge.

WIDEN RELATIONSHIPS
A culture of aggressive competition and gatekeeping inhibits wide-ranging viewpoints to be heard and shared. This cyclical model does not give for those on the fringes, whether it be an idea, a person, a process or practice. Seek newness, forge new relationships, provide understanding and support and everyone will grow. Whilst it appears that advertising is becoming more diverse, why do IPA reports only show 13.8% of all agency jobs from BAME backgrounds, and even worse just 5.5.% across C-suite roles? Cross pollination of different people, groups and communities is important, but going above recognition is fundamental to shifting the dial. Treatment, action, tangible output means more than lip service.

2020 is the year of rebirth. From The Free Black University, to Creatives 4 Systemic Change to Amrou Al-Kadhi’s recontextualisation of Quantum Physics as a way to understand non-binary identities, we’re greatly inspired by the micro and macro levels of activity around the world across all domains. We’re dedicating ourselves to giving a platform for unheard voices and democratising the advertising agency model even further. No more compromising of values. No more accepting cash for clout.

In an industry of excess, we’re also striving for the reallocation of creative resource to support creative education. It’s our last frontier in an ever growing digitalised, technologically driven society. We want to dispel the notion that creative education is not for everyone, a message that goes against the grain of Ofsted chiefs and education authorities who are constantly hammering the importance of ‘stable’ careers; academic subjects being the apparent best route for higher-level study particular for working class children. Rebirth is about changing the status quo, and proving that challenges can become new ambitions. 

We’d like to leave you with food for thought that is:

difficult times give birth to powerful outcomes

We have observed wars, depressions and struggles that have gifted us Dadaism, Afro-Futurism and Acid House and more. Rebirth in 2020 may be laborious but it will be worth it. Signifiers indicating positive steps towards inclusivity, conscious consumerism, online learning, reconnection and community is just one part of the picture. We need to be less entrenched in our approach to a moral consciousness – our knowledge, lives and society are all enriched by being fluid enough to accept rebirth of our closely held ideals.