As co-founders of Advertising Week Europe, the annual thought-leadership festival is always an exciting time for everyone at The Lighthouse Company. This year we were delighted to host three amazing seminars across the week; two from the Lighthouse itself and one from sister company Psyched, our transformational leadership development business.
We opened 2017 with one of the first seminars of the week at Picturehouse Central. Entitled ‘Risky Business? The Art of Reinvention’ this session focussed on making significant career changes – a topic very close to the heart of the Lighthouse, particularly when considering that 39% of leaders questioned in our annual New World Talent Survey had considered leaving the industry in the past twelve months. Our frank and fearless panel included journalist turned TV presenter turned ecommerce entrepreneur Kate Thornton, the Reverend Richard Coles – one half of 80s pop sensation The Communards turned vicar and Anna Jones, the ex-CEO of Hearst who has recently embarked on a change of direction by setting up not one, but two start-ups.
Next up was the first Advertising Week Europe outing for Psyched. This session, entitled Mental Manifestos, was moderated by Psyched co-founder Ben McKie and allowed for three very different manifestos on mental health and performance to be presented from the world of academia, the boardroom and the street. Legendary psychologist and author Oliver James first presented his thoughts from an academic standpoint and was followed by Lighthouse founder and Psyched co-founder Kathleen Saxton who bridged the world of psychotherapy into the business world. Finally, Hussain Manawer, astronaut-to-be and Guinness World Record holder for hosting the world’s largest ever mental health seminar gave a view directly from the street – as well as the very first performance of his most recent spoken-word track ‘I’m Ashamed’.
Our final session of Advertising Week Europe brought together three socially minded entrepreneurs to talk about ‘The Commercial Conscience’ and the need for true values and purpose in the workplace. We welcomed Lucy Clayton, CEO of Community Clothing, the clothing manufacturing co-operative set up by British fashion designer Patrick Grant, Thomas Knights, photographer and founder of Red Hot, the anti-bullying movement for redheads and Joshua Coombes, founder of #DoSomethingForNothing and a hairdresser who spends his days cutting the hair of the capital’s homeless.
The fifth year of Advertising Week Europe was another outstanding success and, as always, the Lighthouse was delighted to support what is a major opportunity for our industry to come together and celebrate the work that we do today as well as looking forward to the future potential for our sector. Having had the absolute pleasure to launch Advertising Week Europe 2017 as the official partner to the Opening Gala at St. James’s Palace – we already can’t wait until the festival makes its return in March 2018!