You are currently viewing Emotion, share of knowledge, connection

Emotion, share of knowledge, connection

Felt them all @ Creativity4Better 2022: Back to the human touch in communication

Is that time of the year again? We start each day under the omen: new year, new me! However, this way of starting the day may cause frustration, we’re angry at ourselves, and blue Monday hits harder than before. To change all of this, I chose to start my 2023 with the thought: new year, better me. As the year has only just begun, I decided to take a look at some of the moments from last year that made me feel like I was improving myself. Upon this introspection, one moment shines harder than any other: the day I attended IAA’s Global conference Creativity4Better.
The “Creativity4Better” Global Annual Conference started in 2017, and in 2022 IAA organised the 6th edition. The conference was a beacon of creativity, a truly memorable experience, talking about sustainability and communication with a lot of innovation, customer engagement, networking and customised content.
The speakers presented were top communication experts, creative strategic brilliant minds, as well as sustainability experts and innovation mavericks, that truly inspired the MarCom industry worldwide. The conference was hybrid – I attended the physical conference in Bucharest, but it was also available online.
The 2022’s Creativity4Better was a carousel of emotions mixed with valuable and current information. It was a real pleasure to see so many people passionate about their field of expertise sharing their knowledge with the audience. On the Romanian Opera stage, each one of them brought so many relevant insights, mixing them with personal experiences, and making the topics even easier to resonate with.
It was a full day of immersive talks, reunited under the theme “Back to human touch in communication.” In the first part of the conference, I got the chance to listen to John Schoolcraft, Chief Global Creative Officer at Oatly, Dr Seth Dobrin, Trustwise CEO and President of the Responsible AI Institute and Layal Ammar, VP Hair Care at Procter & Gamble Europe. After a small networking break Matt Bourn, Director of Communications at Advertising Association & Ad Net Zero, and Bart Veenman, CCO of took the mic. They were followed by Laura Jordan Bambach, President & CCO, Gray UK, co-founder of SheSays, Stephane Xiberras, President and Chief Creative Officer, BETC Paris and Dominika Skirło, Creative Lab Lead, Central Europe, TikTok.
The day ended with the sensational presentation of Matthew Luhn, Ex storyteller at Pixar Animation Studios and Mihnea Gheorghiu, Chief Creative Officer at PUBLICIS Italia & LE PUB Amsterdam.
The whole conference was a blast. Full of insights, ideas, perspectives and information closely related to case studies that reveal their effectiveness.

John Schoolcraft, the first speaker of the day, has transformed a 30-year-old business into a global movement focused on developing a sustainable, plant-based lifestyle.

As the Chief Global Creative Officer at Oatly, he played a critical role in transforming his company from a simple beverage manufacturer to a global movement enjoyed in everybody’s morning coffee. And the most shocking part? He did it without a Marketing department!

Explaining how they overcame all the obstacles in their way, he said: “You never really know if you can become fearless. But when the bullies are in your face, that is your moment to become fearless.

Dr Seth Dobrin is recognized as one of the most important people in the field of artificial intelligence. From his position as Global Expert AI, he combined his unique technical expertise and creative experience into a truly outstanding speech.

Explaining the need and reason for the responsible implementation of AI, he said: “When we talk about AI, the EU White Paper put it best: AI should work for people and should be a force of good in society.

Laura Jordan Bambach @Creativity4Better

Beauty industry visionary Layal Ammar, Hair Care Europe VP @ Procter & Gamble, has always aimed to inspire courage and overcome social barriers no matter your starting point. With her empowering work experience and countless successes, in her speech, she shared a truly unique point of view.

Inclusivity and openness are two key “ingredients” that she singles out for the recipe for creative work that aims to change the world for the better. The bigger purpose? Bringing brands closer to their audience and allowing them to form genuine connections.

The reality is that nothing that I showed you today can happen on our own. These transformational hair stories are only possible because they lead to transformational growth. That is what creativity for growth is all about.

Expert speaker Matt Bourn, Director of Communications at Advertising Association & Ad Net Zero, exemplified the principle of Creativity for Good through his relentless work in promoting sustainability and better practices and decarbonising advertising operations.

The nature of climate change is invasive. It affects every side of our lives. We, as the advertising industry, have to get ahead of it. At a global level, we can show leadership.

Stéphane Xiberras @ Creativity4Better

Bart Veenman, a respected specialist in Metaverse and AI NFTs, CCO at has over 14 years of experience in business management and administration.  Using his expansive marketing experience spanning across 47 countries and multiple years with digital projects, he introduced us to a fresh, new strategy ensuring a safe and transparent creative world, for the future.

Are we really going to wear these goggles? I don’t see that happening, but what I do know is that it’s changing the marketing landscape. We need to look at the way we are advertising.”

President & CCO UK at Grey Laura Jordan Bambach is more than an industry leader – she is a visionary. She is a renowned volunteer working to encourage more women to enter the creative industries. In her speech, she detailed the need to be brave and assertive, to present unexpected narratives that we need for a more diverse and accepting world.

When people think about change, they think about being uncomfortable. But I’ve always been comfortable being uncomfortable. I’m the square peg in a circle hole. And I say, if you can’t fit in, then stand out.”


Stéphane Xiberras @ Creativity4Better

Stéphane Xiberras, President and CCO at BETC France and inventor of CAI (Creative Artificial Intelligence), a software robot built to improve the industry, has been looking towards the next Big Thing since the beginning of his career. In his unbelievable speech, he tried to frame an answer to the question: “An AI can imitate, but can an AI be creative?

When you copy the reality, new perils might appear. We can usurp power, we can revive the dead, we can copy artistry.

Dominika Skirło was our mentor in all things TikTok for the day. With a professional background deeply rooted in entertainment and television production, Dominika is a master at advertising to the right audience, in a language they understand.

TikTok is the home of modern-day creativity. TikTok is a party. Everybody can show up, everybody can take part and get inspired. 60% of our users believe TikTok helps embed brands into culture.


Dominika Skirło @ Creativity4Better

Matthew Luhn has over 20 years of experience creating stories and characters for films such as Toy Story, Monsters Inc, Up, Ratatouille, and Finding Nemo. Over the years, he learned how to tell an effective and deep story that pulls your heartstrings.

That is what I love about a movie, about a TV show, about a book: the story. There are companies out there that do not care about stories. Only 5% of people remember any statistic shown, but 65% remember the stories told.


Matthew Luhn  @ Creativity4Better

In his mesmerizing speech, he confessed it’s all about emotion and making people feel something, whether it’s childlike happiness or bringing an audience to tears.

If you don’t have a story, people won’t even remember what you said.

Matthew Luhn  @ Creativity4Better

Mihnea Gheorghiu is a master of creativity and a guru for trends. And he offered us an amazing ending to an unbelievable day with his speech about culture, creativity and rapidly changing trends.

Mihnea Gheorghiu @ Creativity4Better

If you want to be part of the culture, you have to be ready to compete with culture. The truth is, nobody cares about the brief. You cannot get amazing creativity without a great brief, but the problem is that way too often we sacrifice the creative leap for clarity.”

Mihnea Gheorghiu @ Creativity4Better

Even though the IAA’s Global conference took place at the beginning of November 2022, after all this time, I am still amazed by all the information, energy and boost of creativity that we received from all this amazing speakers. And this can only make me more enthusiastic to attend this year’s event! (Hopefully! 🤞🏻)

Maria Alina SITESCU

Social Media Specialist, Creative Content Writer and Storyteller