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Sweeping views of London. A few drinks and choice canapes flowing around the room, and the hum of lively conversation.

You couldn’t find a better place to launch and unleash our new Campaign for Great British Creativity.

Debi Bester, DMA Creative Committee Chair, kicked off the evening by introducing the Creative Committee – a group of diverse individuals which really personify the goals of the campaign overall.

Debi spoke with passion about this new campaign with goals to develop creativity across the business model while championing creative craft – and mentioned frequently that this campaign is a creative pursuit that will belong to everyone throughout the industry and is something that everyone can help shape and create.

Why is Creativity crucial to Britain at 6:40pm on Wednesday 13 March 2019?

Debrah Tonroe, managing director – membership and marketing, CBI

Deborah argues that creativity is the bottom line. From the vantage point of the CBI, she discussed creativity in the UK today, and revealed why British businesses need it now more than ever.

She spoke about how creativity is all about seeing things differently, and seeing opportunities in problems. Creatives are often very skilled at shifting a lens and finding new ideas in the familiar, as well as being able to coax new and interesting ideas out of your head.

We’re in an age of innovation. We’re now deciding what kind of country we want to be, and what we’re good at. Deborah speak about creativity as a British trait, and the UK as a nation that fuels ideas and creative spirit. And now, with Brexit, we’re entering the 4th industrial revolution.

With Brexit, the call for creativity becomes more urgent because, as we’ve seen by the number of jobs and businesses moving outside of the UK, the world will not wait for Britain.

She concluded with a call to action – a call for us all to get stuck in and make up for lost time and lost business, channel our creativity, and relaunch Britain.

What will we make of brand Britain now?


On the edge: Creativity in a connected world

Roland Harwood, founder and director, We Are Liminal

How can we use creativity and connectivity to future-proof our businesses in Britain?

Step 1: Explore connections

  • Think about the degrees of separation – we all know someone who knows someone who knows someone super famous (did they know Bowie?)

Step 2: Head out to the edges

  • Ford are pushing their industry to the edges and looking at what they sell from a very wide perspective so they can engage with their customers on a wider plain: not just cards, but mobility.

Step 3: Collaborate with complexity

  • A lot of people deal with complexity by ignoring it – let’s engage it.
  • Interrogate how simple rules can create chaotic behaviour, while some small changes can create big differences

Step 4: Go one step beyond

  • Try something new, dive into something different.

Are you ready to future-proof your business?


How do you free the creativity of your people throughout your organisation?

Emily Somers, marketing and communications consultant, and ex-VP of marketing and food development, McDonald’s

There’s no quick fix to building a culture of creativity, but Emily sure has a few actionable tips.

She tells us that any individual or team can become more creative.

The foundation for her steps to unleashing creativity is built upon a diverse workforce – namely, with business leaders hiring those ‘not in their image’ to help recruit a wider selection of individuals.

Step 1 – Free

  • Strip away the layers of process that erode good thinking and kills ideas.
  • Free them from fear and risk – show them you trust them and give them autonomy.
  • Build a culture of open-mindedness. Remove personal risk and open up the potential for diverse thought.
  • Help people feel safe to be themselves and have a more open attitude to risk. People need to feel safe to be brave. (Pro tip: check out Brené Brown’s Ted Talk, The Power of Vulnerability.)

Step 2: Fuel

  • Fuel their minds.
  • Create more movement in departments, mixing up roles and teams, because those changes, challenges and new problems keep thinking fresh
  • Send people on courses and to events so they can learn more and see more and collect inspiration

Step 3: Fun

  • Support flexible working and make the workplace somewhere people actually want to be
  • Put an emphasis on entering awards and celebrating success
  • Make awards something everyone aspires to
  • This results in everyone working towards a goal of creating award-winning work, pushing boundaries, making brave work, and therefore, winning more awards

And there you have it. Emily’s three simple steps to a more creative workforce – it’s pretty inspiring, and, given Emily’s track record, sure to make a few waves and stir up those creative minds.


The vital importance of ethos and eccentricity to Britain’s long heritage of creativity and to our brands and future prospects

John Grant, marketing and innovation consultant and author

John started with a historical overview of British creativity and showcased a history full of social purpose and a number of political movements. These have been driving forces in creating change throughout the nation.

But some of the dangers in current times are that Britain as a country is too small, safe, and samey. The efficiency of supply chains is now available on the high street. One high street is just a clone of another one, sustaining a Britain that is largely a small business economy.

We have to step it up and join the big leagues. Engage our creative minds and create some change.

Let’s sum it up with his concluding slide:

What is creativity for in the UK today


It’s time for us to rediscover our creativity and channel it into the relaunch of brand Britain.


Click here to download the presentation deck from this event.

Learn more about our Campaign for Great British Creativity here.

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