Tara McKenty
May 26, 2017

What I hope to see at Cannes Lions: Tara McKenty

The creative director at Google APAC, who is serving on the Innovation Lions jury, wants to see work everyone can agree is progress.

What I hope to see at Cannes Lions: Tara McKenty

With the 2017 Cannes Lions festival just under six weeks away, we asked five jury members from different countries and areas of expertise to share their hopes and expectations. See our Cannes 2017 page for the full set.

We live in a time where innovation is at risk. At risk of becoming just another box to tick on the long checklist of creative challenges. But true innovation isn’t a hygiene factor or a linear output to ensure we’ve “answered” that line in a brief. It’s so much more than that!

Innovation at its core is about shifting the world forward. Sometimes these shifts are small yet massively impactful, and then there are others that reshape the global context and change the world around us. Innovation needs to be more than just a surface level attempt at making something better than it was before. It needs to challenge us, inspire us and create more opportunities for future innovations to thrive. We have to suspend our dependency on our belief of the world as we know it and instead imagine the limitless possibilities for what the world might be tomorrow. A world without physical currency, a world beyond the Internet of Things, a world where the rules we are bound by today will themselves be transformed by the power of innovation.

As creatives we have the talent and the responsibility to make innovation matter. We must use every opportunity to shift the world forward and to protect this purpose-driven pursuit from becoming another thing to check off a list. This year at Cannes, I'll be looking for ideas that have truly made an impact by improving something or even someone; ideas that made a difference, regardless of medium.

Innovation is so often associated with technology, but the true meaning lies in what we do in the creative industry. We build original ideas, we reimagine the past, we design new methods or products and we invent new platforms. We do this to help people play more, relax more, get more sh** done, connect more, live more... and often with only a glimpse of innovations’ future potential. We do it because we want to improve in an original way. We want to improve on our previous efforts, improve for the user and improve our craft and our storytelling.

This will be this kind of work that stands out for me; the work we can all agree is progress.

Tara McKenty is creative director at Google APAC and is serving on this year's Innovation Lions jury.

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