Matt Williams: when Cannes turns into actually essential

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Cannes Lions has its detractors. I’d wish to suppose we’ve gone past the times of the snidey ‘it’s only a jolly’ remarks, however you may perceive why some nonetheless suppose the concept for one week annually the business all jets off to the south of France to have a good time us doing our day jobs is barely ridiculous.

However for me, Cannes is vastly essential. It’s essential to have a good time the work – to see how the bar is being raised and encourage us all to be the following ones to boost it.

It’s essential to attach – to share concepts and conversations with pals previous and new. When was the final time within the hustle and bustle of the working week did you truly cease and have a dialog with somebody who may enable you to be higher (from the extra cynical ‘media relations’ perspective, I can even attest to the worth of Cannes once you spend 51 weeks of the 12 months attempting to get 12 completely different conferences within the diary, then immediately you see all 12 of these folks inside 100 yard radius in a single afternoon)?

And maybe most significantly of all, Cannes actually does have the potential to form the way forward for our business. With the burden of the audio system concerned, the enormity of the subjects and the clear want to make one thing change.


Cannes has the potential to form the way forward for our business. However whether or not it can or not, is all the way down to the businesses, entrepreneurs and community leaders to make sure that the opposite 51 weeks of the 12 months don’t then overlook concerning the 52nd.

We have to stroll the stroll, in addition to discuss the discuss. It’s a dialog we at MSQ have usually relating to sustainability, for instance. Sustainability is one the important thing pillars of Cannes this 12 months, but when we’re simply going to make a number of good adverts about low carbon emissions, or write an empty pledge on the aspect of a tote bag, this may all be for nothing.

Businesses should be trying arduous within the mirror at their sustainability technique (certainly it’d be good to know they really all have a sustainability technique). They should be accountable for it – to place in place accepted Science Primarily based Targets, to place their cash the place their mouth is on initiatives just like the Million Tree Pledge. We consider that monitoring our sustainability progress is important if we’re really to know find out how to really make change – it’s why this week we launched our first Annual Sustainability Report, which does simply that.

Businesses must encourage workers and purchasers to go on the journey too. And I imply correctly on the journey. For employees, I’m speaking Electrical Car schemes, serving to each member warmth and funky their properties with renewable vitality, even serving to put their pension into inexperienced investments.

For purchasers, that’s about encouraging and creating low carbon web sites, extra sustainable manufacturing shoots, offsetting conferences.

Which all goes to say, the business should begin strolling the stroll. This week is a incredible platform to debate the problems and name for creativity to be a power for good (when you’ve got President Zelensky addressing the Competition asking creatives for assist in their warfare towards Russia, it’s not one thing you may take calmly). However as soon as the final of the wine has been poured and seashore events are swapped for giant pitches, the conversations – and motion – must proceed.

Matt Williams is head of content material at MSQ Companions.

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