Creative Academy

The Creative Academy is a certificate programme designed to catapult young talent to the next level of their careers.

The search is on for the 30 creatives who will learn first-hand from the world’s greatest creative minds and industry leaders.

Expect intimate sessions with world-renowned CEOs, CCOs, artists, actors, directors, journalists and creative superstars. Young creatives will be propelled by ground-breaking ideas and build a world-class network.

Creative Academy
Creative Academy
Creative Academy

Who is it for?

Creatives Only.

We encourage all creatives to apply, including, but not limited to Art Directors, Copywriters, Graphic/UX Designers, Directors, Journalists, PR, Creative Technologists, Engineers, Freelancers, etc.

Creatives from companies like VMLY&R, BBDO, FCB, TBWA, WT, Leo Burnett, Pixar, Disney, Red Bull and Al Jazera have all trained at the Creative Academy.

You are:

  • 31 years or under (born on or after 24/06/1990)
  • Working full-time in a creative role, with at least 2 years of experience
  • A fluent English speaker
Creative Academy

Intimate sessions with a curated list of A-List speakers

The Academy pass includes exclusive access to the Creative Academy Programme - a curated list of award-winning speakers in an intimate classroom setting for our Academy students only.

The course is limited to 30 students so that the class can network with the speakers and have one-on-one sessions. Beyond the classroom, the students get complete access to the Cannes Lions Festival talks, award shows, networking events and the closing party.

Academy Dean

R. Vann Graves, Ed.D.

R. Vann Graves, Ed.D. VP, Creative Director

With 30 years of creative, business, and executive leadership experience, Vann began his career at BBDO, starting as an intern and working his way to VP, Creative Director. Beyond BBDO, he was the Chief Creative Officer of UniWorld Group, EVP, Global Executive Creative Director at McCann New York, and a Chief Creative Officer at J. Walter Thompson. Vann currently serves as executive director of the Brandcenter at Virginia Commonwealth University, where he values the opportunity to impact student lives and the future of the creative industries on a global scale.

Along his advertising journey, Vann has worked with some of the world’s leading global brands, including Shell, American Airlines, Cigna, Lockheed Martin, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Visa, MasterCard, AT&T, and GE. He has been recognized with numerous creative honors, including awards at Cannes, the London International Awards, Clio, D&AD, and others.

A Fulbright scholar and decorated veteran, Vann holds degrees from Howard University, the Pratt Institute, Harvard University, and the University of Pennsylvania.

Academy Tutor

Alla Arutcheva

Alla Arutcheva Senior Copywriter

Born in Pyatigorsk, Russia, and raised in Los Angeles, California, Alla Arutcheva is an avid traveler, relentless optimist, and lover of words. As a copywriter working in the advertising industry, she strives to use her creativity for good.

Senior Copywriter at TeamOne, Alla's mission is to help brands find their purpose and connect with their audience in an authentic way, while simultaneously advocating for more diverse representation across the industry. With over a decade of experience in advertising, she has worked on brands like Lexus, Expedia, Make-A-Wish, and more. She’s been selected for a number of prestigious programs such as the Cannes Lions Creative Academy, Omnicom Emerging Stars, and ADCOLOR Futures.

Arutcheva is extremely proud to be the co-founder of Girls Lead Summit (GLS), a peer-to-peer nonprofit organization for girls around the globe. From a collaborative workshop with the Peace Corps in Jamaica to bilingual Zoom workshops attended by girls worldwide, GLS provides a platform for countless girls to amplify their voices and share valuable skills.

Previous Course Speakers

Madonna Badger

Madonna Badger

Badger & Winters



Rebecca Minkoff

Fashion Designer

Rainn Wilson


Susan Credle

Global CCO
FCB Global

Daniel Lamarre

Cirque du Soleil

Annie Leibovitz


David Droga


Sir John Hegarty

The Garage Soho

Ryan Seacrest

TV Presenter

Nick Law

Chief Creative Officer
Publicis Groupe

Busta Rhymes



"This course is hands down the best thing I've ever done in my life"

Pheobe Sloane is a copywriter for CHE Proximity in Australia and took part in the Young Creatives Academy in 2019. After taking part in the life-changing course, she went home having learnt "to be flexible and diverse in your thinking".

Creative Academy

Apply for the 2022 Creative Academy

To join the 2022 class, you will need to apply and be accepted. Every applicant is reviewed by the Academy leadership team and LIONS and there are 30 places available

Festival Update
A limited number of places are still available. If you are interested, please contact for more information.

Before applying, please ensure you have the funding approved to attend the 2022 Festival.

To complete your application, select the Creative Academy pass and proceed to your Cannes Lions account to fill out all the required information.

We ask three questions of all applicants:

  • What do you think is the most creative brand in the world and why? (1000 words max)
  • A 2 minute video telling us who you are and why you deserve a space in the Academy. Please record in English. 2 minutes maximum.
  • A character reference (500 words max). The reference can be written by your employer, your company's talent officer, a senior executive of your company or a previous Creative Academy graduate.

If you are successful, you will be contacted directly and then have 2 weeks to confirm and pay for your ticket.

Each academy pass includes full week access to the Creative Academy and of course access to the 2022 Festival including content, networking events, the Cannes Lions fringe and the closing party.

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