During the afternoon coffee break I was scrolling my Instagram feed to boost my daily inspiration and suddenly found out that I won a ticket for the 6th ADCE European Creativity Festival hosted by one of my favourite cities: Barcelona. Tapas, Cava, Design Festival? You can’t imagine how happy I was!
The ADCE European Creativity Festival lasted for two days and involved inspirational talks, workshops and networking opportunities. The main venue of the conference was the fascinating Disseny Hub. This building is designed for creativity, innovation and it is also the driver of knowledge economy. I believe the organisers chose a perfect symbol of this year’s theme: “People for Tomorrow”. In fact, there is a cool coffee place, which I find also important to mention.
At very beginning of the Festival we got the point of the overall theme of the event. Ami Hasan, the President of the ADCE and Fernande Romano, who is the curator of this year’s ADCE Festival explained that this year we are celebrating people who have already done something for a better future using their power of creativity. As such, I was sure from the very first moment that there was no way not getting inspired during this weekend.
I would love to write about every talk, as each of them taught me something valuable, but in the following overview I would like to outline the most inspiring takeaways.
Following the opening scene, I attended a series of short, but highly intense talks. Through the presentation of Alexander Schills, I became familiar with “Dot” devices developed for those who are blind and visually impaired. He highlighted the fact that we are truly able to change the world through innovation, proving his thinking with his fascinating invention. Laura Hunter talked about a simple but important message in her presentation about Creativity and Climate Emergency: “We all have a choice”. Jamshid Alamuti, Member of Advisory Board & Co-Founder, Pi School and his colleagues from the Creative Incubator showed us how creativity and its tools can be interpreted through our senses. This was done through the behaviour of animals, which is an absolutely new approach for understanding creativity.
On the first day I joined several inspirational talks and during the coffee/lunch breaks I tried to digest everything I heard and networked with the participants. At the talks held by the amazing Young Talents, we had the opportunity to participate in a workshop. Together with the TDK Barcelona host, Vanessa we joined the Fail Fast workshop called “How to cocreate without Pst-it and G*gle” guided by Ian Gehlhaar. Surprisingly, the location of this workshop was not a conference room, but the city streets. We learned how to focus on our senses separately in a very interesting way. At the end of this memorable workshop our task was to come up with a solution for a relevant problem: homeless. We were asked to think about creative ideas by integrating recycled trash from the street. I was very happy having the chance to participate in this unusual workshop.
On the second day, I attended many other interesting and inspiring talks, like Núria Vila, who sees everything from a different point of view and has lovely presentation style. She converts consumer generated waste into ink. Furthermore, I would like to mention Julián Zuazo, who introduced his captivating project called the “Topmanta Topmodel”. His non-profit fuelled platform empowers African immigrants who can then participate in his campaign as models, actors or dancers. We also became familiar with Oskar Metsavaht's brand called Osklen, which aims to support sustainability with its each and every element. Last but not least, I would like to highlight an amazing woman, Laura Visco, who is the Deputy Executive Creative Director of 72&Sunny Amsterdam. She shared her outstanding projects she conducted entirely pro-bono exploring three provocative themes that are definitely not socially accepted: abortion, sex works and female body policing.
During her talk we could feel the tension, but at the same time the room became full of honest and touching emotions. I would like to highlight three sentences that summarizes the content of the presentation and both expresses my standing as well as astonishes me:
1. Whoever is against abortion rights, it’s pro-clandestine abortion. Society still shames those who step outside the norm.
2. Sex work is legal, but not socially accepted.
3. 74% of women felt embarrassed about their boobs at some point of their life. But… these are just boobs.
These works, as she mentioned, are not for Cannes, nor for personal profit or fame, not even for a brand. I can honestly tell you that this talk astonished many of us and made even more of us stronger homo sapiens.
At the end of the Festival we had a fantastic closing party at an exclusive venue, with food, drinks and music, and had another opportunity to meet wonderful minds. To sum it up, I was surrounded with great vibes, got endlessly inspired and it makes me feel fantastic that we can be truly proud of each other. I will strive to create something similar in the future so did the fantastic people I had the opportunity to hear. I would like to thank The Design Kids for the unforgettable opportunity to visit the Festival.
As a closing thought, I would like to share a very important message that I brought from Laure Visco’s presentation: "To accelerate change, we need to start putting ourselves second, not first.” I truly believe that keeping this though in mind we can all make a change.