My entire career has been fuelled by a love for the European creative industry.
And now, at a time when our digital lives feel chaotic, when business often feels overly challenging, when political issues invade our every waking moment, that fuel is more essential than ever.
This is precisely why Nicolas Roope and I founded the Lovie Awards nine years ago. Named in honour of Ada Lovelace – the first computer programmer – the awards celebrate the best of Europe’s internet content, with categories for best website, app, podcast, video, online advertising, and more.
I am captivated by this year’s winners. They are simply outstanding, a testament to Europe’s contributions to the internet – which, in the words of Stephen Fry (Lovie Person of the Year a few years ago), “are enormous”.
They range from celebrated cultural institutions that tell the crucial stories of our past, like the Anne Frank House digital platform, to a startup fighting food waste to help save our planet (Lovie Emerging Entrepreneurs winner, the Swedish co-founders of Karma), to Lovie Artist of the Year George Mpanga (better known as George the Poet), who has redefined what a podcast can be.
I find so much inspiration from the creators across Europe using the backdrop of our social and political landscape to instil purpose. Thought-provoking campaigns like Mind the Gap for Berlin’s Transportation Authority shed light on the country’s gender pay gap, while Virtue Northern Europe’s “Q” – the world’s first genderless voice for artificial intelligence assistants, developed for Copenhagen Pride – focuses awareness on the gender bias stereotypes facing technology today.
Creativity also has the power to offer solutions. For instance, Volvo’s E.V.A. Initiative points out how the majority of car manufacturers develop vehicles based solely on data from male crash test dummies – the company delved into 40 years of research to better design safer cars for women and children.
As the internet turns 50 this month, these projects – and all others recognised at the Lovies – prove that, despite the chaos and negativity that can overwhelm the internet today, there is great hope.
In a social and political climate that lacks inclusion and casts conflict and doubt, now more than ever we must combine creativity with diversity, and look beyond our borders – not just to advertise to audiences or to sell products or services, but to drive real change.
The ceremony for the ninth annual Lovie Awards will take place in London on 14 November 2019.
Main image credit: The Lovie Awards.