Questions for the Future
LIONS x WeTransfer

Our “Questions for the Future” series in partnership with WeTransfer showcases a series of beautiful digital canvases that depict open-ended questions about the future of creativity put forward by LIONS Live speakers.
We wanted to know the big questions on the minds of creative leaders around the world as we round off the year. We asked designers from the LIONS Creative Studio to produce artistic interpretations of these questions which live as wallpapers on

No rules, no brand guidelines. No… well, OK, there was a brief. But aside from that: pure creative freedom and a blank canvas for fresh ideas. Take a moment to explore the artwork, and the reasoning behind each of the questions.
Designed by Claire Zen from the LIONS Creative Studio

How do agencies encourage brands to continue disrupting in a rising era of ‘creative conservatism’?

Nancy Reyes, President, TBWAChiatDay New York

"Firstly, I am so encouraged to see there is a greater level of consciousness around inclusive and accountable communications - certainly more than there has ever been. The social injustice in the US and the global pandemic are having a profound effect on our moral compass.

But, a moral compass and greater consciousness must not be interpreted as safety. Safe ideas are ignored, forgotten and dismissed. We will not make change with safety. We must be braver than we have ever been.

How do we do this? In a time of crisis we learn more about who we are, and who brands are, than we would have ever known. Look there, dig there and you will find seeds of how to be brave."

Designed by Emil Rivera from the LIONS Creative Studio

If we don't invite new ways of thinking, how will we develop new ways of creating?

Heather Pieske, Executive Creative Director, Vox Creative

"We all yearn for a world of breakthrough ideas, disruptive thinking and newness. The opportunity to see something we’ve never seen and feel something we’ve never felt is always something we are after. But sameness is a constant threat. It lurks in our habits, our processes, our pitches, our teams, and our history. It lives in our ‘best practices’ and in our unfortunate proclivity to cling to what’s comfortable, easy and proven. But releasing work that truly pushes boundaries and challenges us requires reinvention. It demands that we create spaces for those who see creativity from new angles, those who kick the tires of what we’ve always done and who see rules as things to be broken rather than abided by."

Designed by Ramon Sanchez at the LIONS Creative Studio

Will we be brave enough to follow our creative instincts in a world full of data?

Laurie Howell and Toby Treyer-Evans, Group Creative Directors, Droga5
Speakers at LIONS Live October

Designed by Stephanie Ellis at the LIONS Creative Studio

If technology can resurrect a creative genius, will they be a genius in another era?

Hugo Veiga and Diego Machado, Global Chief Creative Officers, AKQA
Speakers at LIONS Live October

"We like this question because it teases our brains about the limits of AI against the unlimited potential of human creativity within the context they’re living."

How sure are you that everything you’re wearing was designed by a human?

Morten Grubak, Executive Creative Director, and Vicky Chen, Head of Strategy, VIRTUECopenhagen

"Once, desirability trickled from a narrow elite down to the masses, like nectar from the gods. Now, designers have a direct tap into our deep desires through the digital data left by our constant scrolling.

Your eyeballs betray your desires, and algorithms are lightning quick to whisper the next big sellers in the ears of designers.

You are, in effect, clicking the next season’s collection into being.

Some of the garments even exist as nothing but render until you press a button.
A globally scattered production chain will then bring them right to your doorstep with a minimum of human interference.

To this hyper-effective system, designers are but cumbersome, meat-and-bone middlemen.
How long do you think it will tolerate them? And how sure are you that it hasn’t already happened?"

Designed by Yael Tur-Shalom at the LIONS Creative Studio

How can empathetic human brands thrive in an era where Big Data and algorithms have the final word?

Gabriela McCoy, Director of Portfolio Strategic Insights and Analytics, Bacardi

"We all yearn for ‘Big Data” that predicts human behavior.  As data hoarders we quantify and categorise consumers, build algorithms, and assume more data means more insights.  However, creating in a world of Big Data results in mundane creative output at best, or worse, lifeless creative.

The truth is, humans are unpredictable, and their lives are cosier, messier, and quite imperfect.  And, breathing in living human input into creative paves the way for a brand that exhales real human output. This demands we release desire to understand humanity in totality in exchange for the more interesting bits of a person, which is far more provocative, unpredictable and oh, much more human!"

Push through or wait it out – how to deal with creative burnout?

Patrycja Podkościelny, Illustrator and Graphic Designer

"This question is simple but crucial because every creative will find themselves in this situation sooner or later, no matter the skill or experience. The answer is unfortunately ambiguous since everyone is different.

For me burnout is the result of overworking, so just taking a break from time to time helps. For others, pressure will be what motivates creation. That’s why the major thing is to know yourself and what suits you best."

Designed by Nessim Higson

If technology doesn’t take responsibility for its creations … now … will things continue to break down?

Nessim Higson, ECD, WeTransfer

"Why am I asking the question… With great ideas and innovation comes responsibility? This is an oversight that many people and companies suffer from. What seems to be pure and good in intent and inception, can be subverted and shifted to being harmful. We need to look no further than what we are making at WeTransfer to recognise that. That’s what prompted us to become a B Corp and to take responsibility seriously."

These wallpapers will be live on for the remainder of the year.
To discover more insights and perspective from the LIONS Live speakers, please take a look at our LIONS Live Wrap-up Report