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Radical Collaboration: Creatives convene to tackle the climate emergency

The second Creatives for Climate summit took place at Patagonia's HQ in Amsterdam on February 26th bringing together 150 creatives from across different sectors, agencies and brands to join forces. 


It was an evening full of inspiration, motivation and most importantly - a call for action. After hearing from rousing activists and inspiring thought leaders, 150 creatives rolled up their sleeves to collaborate and come up with innovative solutions to tackle the climate crisis - responding to briefs presented that night.

Creatives for Climate was intended as a once-off event, but has grown into a non-profit initiative bringing the power of the creative industries - and the creatives within it - to activist groups, scientists and those with regenerative solutions. 

2019 was the year of awareness raising; 2020 must be the year of action

Opening the night, Lucy von Sturmer, Founder of The Humblebrag and Co-Initiator of Creatives for Climate said:

“When we put on the first Summit in 2019, we pointed to actions coming from the creative industry in the UK such as the Creative Climate Disclosure and Create & Strike. Our general feeling at this time was that the UK had done a lot to organize in response to the climate emergency, but not enough was being done here in the Netherlands. We hosted a Summit to hear from the demands of Extinction Rebellion and explore what we could collectively do to respond.”

"As storytellers and myth-builders we have the power to shape the world we live in... and with great power comes great responsibility."

Since the first Summit in September, Creatives for Climate has launched a platform, a podcast and a rousing regular Friday’s for Future newsletter. More importantly  the initiative led to 22 agencies, including the ADCN, to declare a climate emergency and five briefs have been sent in collaboration with climate activist groups leading to more than 200 creative executions

Enough talking; lets get to work!

The second Summit embraced the theme 'Action Works!' and featured keynotes by William Skeaping, a former ad strategist turned Extinction Rebellion activist who co-edited the bestselling “This Is Not A Drill” and Dan Burgess, founder of initiative Good For Nothing who have successfully mobilised a large part of the UK’s ad industry to take action.

Will warned about the lack of serious action on the climate emergency, and warned against initiatives that "feel good," but don't lead to serious behavior change. He encouraged people to tap into their emotions and be radical in their actions.

“We need to overcome a sense of grief, denial and complacency about the climate emergency."

"If your company is destroying the planet - do something about it. But if your CEO won’t change, change your CEO. ”

Dan, who for ten years has worked to bring professionals together to join forces on purpose-driven briefs, shared insights on how people can come together - for a greater cause - to drive change. From his experience building Good for Nothing, he reminded participants: "no silver bullet solutions exist, and this is why radical collaboration and experimentation are key."

He asked:

“Why is it that the things that make us happy are the things we spend the least time on? We love the planet, we love being out in nature - why aren’t we doing anything about it? 

 “Love, generosity, creativity, imagination, collaboration, participation, care and empathy are 100% renewable.” 

The second part of the night was focused on creative ideation and co-creation between participants responding to two briefs shared on the night: Friday Future Love and Fossil Free NL.

Creativity to change mindsets

Femke Sleegers from Fossil Free NL presented a brief to limit fossil fuel firms from advertising, stating “change isn’t coming from the government or the market. Change is coming from us.” 


Dan Burgess along with brand activist Mark Aink then called for a cultural revolution, whereby all professionals commit to working on the future each Friday. He said:

“It is absolutely unfair that school kids are trying to save the planet on their own. We - the adults- must step in and commit to Fridays for Future."

A physical space - join us on Friday!

Going forward, the creative community was called on to self-organize and act, and a new physical space was announced to allow just that. Every Friday, from March 6 onwards, Midwest is open to anyone who wants to be part of the Creatives for Climate community. 

Access the briefs and get involved at creativesforclimate.co. And remember:

The people crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.

Editorial note: Since this event, publication Pebble Magazine has been the first to commit to every Friday for Future. Read more here.

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