Creative Businesses

ADC Festival 2020 focuses on "Power of No"

20 May 2020
Insights from Art Directors Club virtual creative festival at Kampnagel

Seats in the Kampnagel cultural centre remained empty on May 14 and 15, 2020 in the wake of the corona crisis. Around 900 viewers instead gathered online to watch the digital Art Directors Club Festival 2020 live on Facebook held under the theme of "The Power of No - For a new Diversity of Thinking" this year. Nine keynote speakers including business philosopher Anders Indset, cradle-to-cradle inventor Prof. Michael Braungart and graphics icon Stefan Sagmeister outlined their latest ideas. Hamburg News reviews the congress and reports on exciting ideas.

Querying old ideas prompts new thoughts

Dörte Spengle-Ahrens, curator of the ADC Congress and member of the presidium, expressed surprise at the large number of online delegates, which were almost on a par with live visitor numbers in 2019. Entertainer Uke Bosse and Spengle-Ahrens presented the humorous event which was opened by the Norwegian-German economist Anders Indset aka "Rock'n'Roll Plato". He postulated: "The old economy is dead. So is the New Economy. We have to rethink economics." Indset termed the new economy the quantum economy and called for a culture of participation, co-operation and relinquishment instead of consumerism and the latest technologies. Delegates should  "say 'no' rules. We need a conscious revolution, and creative troublemakers," he stressed.

Sustainability was yesterday; cradle to cradle inventor:

Prof. Dr. Michael Braungart, head of the Hamburg Environmental Institute and a passionate lateral thinker, took to the digital stage later. Unlike Indset, Braungart frowns on going without and saving money because "sustainability was yesterday". After all, "not as bad does not mean good", he noted and pointed out: "Everything should be useful." For this reason, all kinds of products have to be redesigned not simply for longevity, but for a defined period of use. According to the cradle-to-cradle or regenerative design concept, all used materials flow back into the biological cycle. They are thus useful and do not generate waste. Products should be understood as services, e.g. buying the use of chairs rather than the actual chair, Braungart stressed and even urged fellow keynote speaker, Tim Mälzer, to insure his rying pan. This was the only way for Mälzer, a celebrity chef, to ensure that he uses and recycles the best materials.

Cradle-to-Cradle concept

Sources and further information

Art Directors Club

The Art Directors Club für Deutschland (ADC) e. V. brings together over 700 leading figures in creative communication. Memers include renowned designers, journalists, architects, scenographers, photographers, illustrators, directors, composers, producers, digital media specialists and advertisers. The ADC Festival is considered the largest meeting of the creative industry in Germany.

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