Full beam ahead for the Lighthouse at Advertising Week Europe 2018

With more than 235 events and 35,000 attendees Advertising Week Europe 2018 was as busy and insightful as ever and the Lighthouse, as co-founders of this annual thought-leadership festival, were thrilled to host a number of events across the week. This year we presented four sessions; three from the Lighthouse itself and a whole morning of mindfulness from sister company Psyched, our transformational leadership development business.

Leading Under Fire with Ant Middleton was our opening session at Picturehouse Central this year, which involved an exclusive chat with the Chief Instructor of Channel 4’s hit show ‘SAS: Who Dares Wins’. Ant has served in the ‘holy trinity’ of the UK’s elite special forces and he knows a thing or two about brave leadership. The survival skills of today’s leaders have never been so critical to business success. Together Ant Middleton and Kathleen Saxton discussed the mental psychology of what it takes to thrive under extreme pressure and the skills, character and duty of care essential for leadership of teams in these highly challenging times.

Our sister company, Psyched, were the next to take the stage at Advertising Week Europe. Hosting Wednesday’s Morning Mindfulness, Kathleen Saxton, introduced the morning with some hardhitting mental wellbeing findings and then relaxed the audience with a spot of meditation and reflection.

Wednesday morning went on to take a fascinating, if slightly controversial, turn with our Psyched session – A Trip Too Far? Mastering the brain with psychedelic drugs, with Dr Robin Carhart-Harris. There is a growing curiosity around the use of psychedelic drugs such as Psilocybin (magic mushrooms) and Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD) and their impact on the brain. Psyched co-founder Ben McKie joined Dr Robin Carhart-Harris, Research Fellow from Imperial College London and the first person in the UK since the Misuse of Drugs act 1971 to have legally administered doses of LSD to human volunteers, to discuss his ground-breaking insights. Robin highlighted the pioneering research and the alternatives to the over-prescription of antidepressants for dealing with mental health that could be beneficial.

On to the afternoon, and our second Lighthouse session of the week, The Consultants Cometh. Lighthouse CEO Daren Rubins hosted a stellar line-up of industry leaders from the management consultancy firms who are now infiltrating the space once the preserve of major agency groups. Jon Wilkins, Karmarama, Dr Colin Light, PwC, Debbie Vavangas, IBM iX and Russell Marsh from Accenture Digital gave us an exclusive account of what it’s like to be in their shoes, why clients are choosing to enlist their services and what entices leadership talent into this consultancy world.

And on the final day at Advertising Week Europe, Kathleen Saxton had the opportunity to interview one of the most impressive young techpreneurs who may give Hong Kong its first billion-dollar startup, TinkLabs CEO, Terence Kwok. A quest to find free Wi-Fi during a holiday led to the eureka moment that created Handy, the mobile travel solution that is now found in over 100,000 hotel rooms globally across 20 countries. Terence discussed his journey from 19-year-old founder to entrepreneurial leader of one of Hong Kong’s largest and fastest growing startups.