I’m at the Cannes Lions Festival and the founders of Creative Social Daniele Fiandaca and Mark Chalmers have invited me to the Creative Social lunch at L’Ecrin Beach to celebrate Creative Social’s 10-year anniversary.
Daniele opens the lunch with a short speech in which he reminisces about the early days at Creative Social. “And here we are today, with a network of over 300 socials, lots of partners, events that we have organized, knowledge that we have shared! I’m proud of what we have achieved,” he says as he raises his glass.
Back in 2004, Daniele and Mark founded Creative Social as a network of creative directors and business owners. Since then they’ve grown to be the most influential network in the creative industry. They organize exclusive events – CS Global Events – around the world on different themes, from Amsterdam to Shanghai and from Beirut to São Paulo.
After the toast Daniele also thanks Amanda Steimberg, Director of Disney Media and partnerships at the Walt Disney Company, who was one of the first to see the Creative Social’s value for brands when she was at Microsoft.
After lunch, I sit down with the two founders and ask them what Creative Social is to them.
“We see Creative Social as a platform for progression for creatives and the creative industry,” says Daniele. “It is about people getting together and getting inspired and inspiring other people.
“I think one of the reasons people who have remained involved with Creative Social are successful is that Creative Social encourages the exchange of cultural insight and influences, which in turn brings real authenticity to our members’ work. And authenticity is crucial for brands as well as agencies today.”
“The CS Global events have become a crucial part of the Creative Social philosophy – what makes these events so unique?” I ask.
“The CS Global events are a win-win for brands and members,” says Daniele. “They are one- to two day-events that we organize twice a year, targeting a small group of 40 senior creatives from the CS collective. The aim is to share, inspire and discuss any issues raised by participants.”
“Basically you get to be creative with competitors at the very highest level,” says Mark. “It’s like a beta testing space for creative ideas…”
“And so what’s next?” I ask. “After 10 years of Creative Social where do we go from here?”
“Well none of us know what the future is but what we do know is that we can’t conquer it individually,” says Mark. “With Creative Social we have created here an environment of collaboration and as long as we keep sparking off each other, coming together and exchanging influences, we can make that future together.”
“More concretely,” says Daniele, “we’re introducing quite a few new initiatives. For example, Creative Social at home; smaller sessions of no more than 25 people being entertained by a Social in the intimate setting of their own home. And we are launching our new book, Hacker, Maker, Teacher, Thief: Advertising’s next generation. It is important for us that we keep things fresh because we believe that after 10 years, you need to ignite new sparks.”
© 2014 CoolBrands – Around the World in 80 Brands
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