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Two Dentsu Employees Made It onto “The Leading Global Thinkers of 2016” List
A voluntary initiative project with no budget or resources is cast into the global spotlight

Amazing party

The award ceremony that evening was even more fascinating. We had the opportunity to meet an incredibly diverse range of people from all over the world who are involved in many unique initiatives. There was a senator from the Philippines who believes that she has justice on her side and continues the struggle to urge President Rodrigo Duterte to obey the law. There were activists from Ireland who are outraged at the fact that it is illegal to import into Ireland medications that are necessary for carrying out abortions. In response, they have continued to illegally import medications into Ireland in a way that echoes the narrative of the movie “Dallas Buyers Club.” There were doctors who were the first ever to successfully carry out organ transplants between HIV-positive patients. These doctors had believed that such transplants were feasible, and had lobbied for law changes to make such operations possible. This led to amendments to transplant-related legislation in the United States. There was a woman from Saudi Arabia who was the first female political candidate to stand in her country. She had been a candidate in a mayoral election. There was an artist who was indignant at the destruction of archeological sites by ISIS, and responded by resurrecting archeological site data using 3-D data. Gathered at the award ceremony were people with courage, conviction and ideas. There was no compartmentalizing of people into different fields or industries, such as advertising or any other. Hence, it was brought home to us that when one wants to make a fundamental impact on the world, such labels are superfluous.

The Leading Global Thinkers of 2016

After the ceremony, there was an opportunity to deepen friendships with other guests

What does it take to change the world?

At the award ceremony, the speech by Philippine Senator Leila de Lima left a strong impression. She opened her speech by saying that she was currently involved in a standoff with President Duterte. She followed this with a self-deprecating joke, “I’m the most hated senator in the Philippines.” It may have simply been a joke to catch the attention of the audience, but it contained an important implication. Senator Lima believed in her own correctness, and continued to act based on her conviction despite what anyone around her might think or say. As a result, she was successful in having an impact on society. That principle can also be applied to what we do in our day-to-day work. We work in the realm of “creative expression” and “ideas”—things that cannot be touched. Sometimes these things are very vague concepts. This can attract antipathy and severe criticism from many people. However, by believing in the power of ideas and continuing to act on these beliefs, it becomes possible to radically alter people’s preconceived notions and opens up the potential to move the world forward. From the bottom of our hearts, we were once again grateful to be involved in the creative field, and it renewed our determination to carry out work that has even more impact. We are sure that we can do it. Even if the field in which each of us works is different, we were able to make connections with people who have essentially the same passion. As we embarked on our journey home, we felt an excitement at the possibility of all kinds of future collaboration that may sprout as a result of our trip to Washington, D.C. We feel enormous gratitude to all the people who made this opportunity possible, and we want to return this gratitude through our work.

Project members

Togo Kida

Creative Director
Dentsu Lab Tokyo

Akira Suzuki

Creative Director
Strategic Planning Division
Dentsu Inc.



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