What do we want from creativity? That's the million dollar question on stage today at the 60th Cannes International Festival of Creativity on the Cote D'Azur. Every year, the world's best creative thinkers descend onto La Croisette to either drink their body weight in free beer, show off to clients, soak up inspiration, win awards, collaborate on new ideas, make business deals - or all of the above.
Either way - the debate always comes back to the same point - are we as creative as we could be? And more importantly, are we as creative as we used to be? Are we getting less creative?
Jack Black asked that question in a slightly different way - speaking on Yahoo!'s New World of Online Content panel with head of video, Erin McPherson, and Nick D'Aloisio, a mere 18 years old who sold Summly to Yahoo! earlier this year for a mere £18m. Black argued that he had no attention span (not surprising) which is why he's creating comedy 'nuggets' for internet videos and mobile formats. When Jack Black is telling you that you need to optimise for mobile - even the most nervous client can't deny its influence and impact on consumers.
Black's point - that the ability to consume content quickly, immediately and on the go is important for the younger generation - could not have hit the nail on the head harder. Time is the new currency.
But what is it that drives our desire for that currency? It always comes back to the creative. And that's why JWT's session in the Debussy theatre was nothing short of remarkable. It was a truly unique concept that challenged what was impeding the next generation of creative thinkers. We got to 'Meet The Parents' - real parents, of renowned creative thinkers, up on stage - debating whether kids now don't have time, freedom or drive to just 'be creative'.
It's incredible the impact parents can have on their kid's creativity. We were able to peek into the childhood of Jeff Benjamin, Chief Creative Officer at JWT who brought his parents up on stage to prove just that. How many parents hear the word 'bored' on a daily basis? In discussing "house rules" they shared that the word 'bored' doesn't need to exist - you have space, and time, and you find stuff to fill it with. I guess it's up to us to make that 'stuff' really matter.
We also got to 'meet' Brad Montague, Creative Director at Freed-Hardeman University and Robby Novak. Or, as millions of kids around the world (as well as the real President) call him; 'Kid President'. Robby has a very simple approach to life; to give the world a reason to have fun. A great example of this in action was JWT's campaign for Macy's which showed that big brands can make a big difference to small communities.
Making things fun is a huge part of the creative process - and so is creating things that genuinely matter to people - because 'only truly authentic content can address the creativity crisis'. Get the idea right, protect it and be 'stubborn in cutting through the noise' - and you'll end up with something that matters.
Just like Kid President says - it needs to be "equal parts hard work and magic". And he's eight years old. So - lesson of today is: have fun and make it matter. Isn't that why we all got into this game in the first place?
Dave Gwozdz, CEO, Mojiva