D&AD White Pencil Symposium

Our Director, Steven Johnson, will be Chairing the D&AD White Pencil Symposium as part of the White Pencil awards celebration on 27th November. In this post he outlines the background to the event.


Where and when?

Tuesday November 27th 2012. 19:00 – 22:00
The Royal Institution of Great Britain, 21 Albemarle Street, London, W1S 4BS


Steven Johnson, Director, Collaborative Change


Paul Bennett, Chief Creative Officer and a Managing Partner at IDEO
Kim Slicklein, President of OgilvyEarth Worldwide
David Jones, CEO of Euro RSCG Worldwide and One Young World
Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever


I’ve been working as trustee with D&AD for 18 months, focussing on embedding social change and responsibility principles into the advertising and creative industries. A key part of this has revolved around the White Pencil, the organisation’s flagship social change initiative. The White Pencil began life as an award to recognise outstanding creative responses to a specific social change brief. However, given the reach and influence of the D&AD brand and its creative community, it’s clear that White Pencil has the potential to be so much more.

The challenge has therefore been to deepen the significance of White Pencil: to take what started out as a creative award and use it to build a message, a movement, a symbol for a new generation of creative practitioner that is eager to use its skills to drive positive change. The White Pencil Symposium is a key element in the strategy.

Just as the White Pencil has redefined the role of awards, the White Pencil Symposium will redefine the role of an award ceremony. The Symposium is a unique event that will mark the launch of a series of gatherings, designed to amplify the White Pencil message and galvanise the White Pencil movement.

It will bring together global thought leaders from agency, brand and beyond and provide a platform to share ideas, celebrate achievement and showcase innovation. It will set the tone of a conversation that is just getting started. A conversation we will build over the coming months, years, decades – online, offline and wherever it happens. A conversation about the power of creativity to make our world a better place.


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