New Roger Hatchuel Academy selection panel to focus on diversity and inclusion

Nine experts from across the creative communications and marketing world will join forces to select the 40 students who will take part in the annual training course at Cannes Lions.
Cannes Lions
"At Google we build for everyone, and our marketing campaigns must speak to people all around the world with different backgrounds, languages, and points of view. Without this diversity, there is no creativity."
Lorraine Twohill, CMO, Google

The Roger Hatchuel Academy was founded in 2003. The student academy, delivered in partnership with Google Creative Campus, is a 6-day programme that takes place during the festival. It is designed to help students interested in pursuing a creative path in advertising launch their careers. In total, 40 students will be selected to come on the programme this year.

Thirty students will be funded by our global representatives. This year, we’ve challenged them to make the Roger Hatchuel Academy the most diverse place at Cannes Lions and to expand their search criteria to be opened to a wider-range of creative people from a few new disciplines/programmes and to look beyond just their area of study into their creative impact on the world. And the remaining ten students will be funded on scholarships from Google Creative Campus.

Because we know that diversity leads to enhanced creativity and creativity is a force for business for change and for good in the world.

"Diverse thinking is essential to understand complexity. Our industry claims to value diversity and diverse thinking  —  now it is time reflect it with actions. "
Abraham Asefaw & Maksimilian Kallhed, Co-Founders of The Pop Up Agency

To help shine a light on the importance of diversity and inclusion in the industry, we have appointed an incredible selection panel of nine experts to help pick the 40 students who will attend the Academy. Each of these individuals are passionate about helping young talent thrive and making the industry to be more diverse and inclusive.

The selection panel

Head of the Selection Panel
Josy Paul
Chairman & Chief Creative Officer, BBDO India

"Diversity and inclusion are mind altering drugs. It's an out of body experience, like having new eyes. It opens the doors of perception and helps access a greater degree of awareness, leading to surprising new ideas and purpose for our work and industry."

Nadja Bellan-White
Chief Client Officer, EMEA; Executive Partner, The Ogilvy Group

"I think that some may believe that diversity and inclusion is a 'nice to have'; a box that you check based on some requirement, mandated by your board or talent department. Diversity is the golden thread that makes our work better. At Ogilvy, diversity is more than just a policy we have to implement- it is woven through the very fabric of our approach to brand transformation. Like a beautiful tapestry, the talent of our industry must be reflective of the vibrant colourful perspectives, colours, cultures, and lifestyles that our industry represents."

Derek Walker
Owner, Brown & Browner Advertising

"You cannot have different and new ideas from a group that has little to no diversity. Be creative is not static, being exposed to different thoughts changes how everyone sees things. Diversity improves creativity. But none of this happens if there is diversity without inclusion, that people are encouraged to be themselves, to bring their uniqueness to the team. The industry right now is like a choir of sopranos and altos, the songs it sings are a limit to how different they can be. Diversity & inclusion is like adding bass and tenors to the choir, when we do, the amazing songs we will be able to sing."

Shannie Mears
Co-founder & Head of Talent, The Elephant Room

"Diversity is extremely important and I think its something that goes beyond ethnicity, age, sexual orientation and all the rest of it. I think its about the ability to be around and be comfortable with all different types of people with different experiences and that represent the world differently. Inclusion is about not just bringing diversity in, but retaining and accepting everyone for who they are and who they wish to be. Our industry need to start adapting and realising how much amazing talent is out there, and giving a real chance on potential. This is all about diverse thinking and allowing difference to take place as we evolve into a more relevant space for all this amazing talent to thrive."

Noor Azhar Mohamed
Education Advisor, Singapore Polytechnic

"In a global stage like Cannes Lions which represents global creativity and global brilliance, a good diversity of creative talents from different backgrounds is essential to keep moving the collective creative paradigm. There need to be discomfort and at times tension for creative minds to improve the way we think, the way we work. And being able to accept the unfamiliar would open doors of opportunity that we never knew existed. Embrace diversity, embrace inclusion. The world will be your playground."

Liz Levy
Executive Creative Director, Complex

"As a brand, you can't tell an authentic story or brand narrative to your customers if you only value select points of view. Building a team comprised of people with different backgrounds, experiences and skills means the ideas and stories generated by these teams won’t be disingenuous or homogenous. Instead, they’ll meaningfully push culture forward, unlocking both innovation and growth.

This is why future industry must be shaped by the divergent voices of tomorrow, where diversity and inclusivity is a priority, not just a number or an objective. These efforts must be embedded into a company’s core DNA, so that its narrative will be authentic, meaningful and representative.

And as leaders in our respective companies, we must invite, support and empower vocal diversity champions at every level."

Adrianne Smith
Founder, Cannes Can: Diversity Collective

"Every great jazz song and every great meal has a mixture of unique ingredients that come together to provide one great product. When selecting new talent it is imperative that various viewpoints, experiences and perspectives are represented at the table. Diversity is the only way to insure that greatness is in the final product."

Maksimilian Kallhed
Director, The Pop Up Agency

"The world is more complex than ever before, diverse thinking is essential to understand the complexity. Our industry claims to value diversity and diverse thinking  —  now it is time reflect it with actions. "

Abraham Asefaw
Founder, The Pop Up Agency

"Striving for diversity is harder work than the status quo. But it has to be done  —  and all of us share the responsibility in making it happen! "

The panel will make their selections for the Academy between 14 and 30 March and successful applicants will be notified after this date. : For more information or if you’d like to apply, please get in touch.