How our creative industries will survive the future, according to the adobo SheCreative Conference 2024 speakers

MANILA, PHILIPPINES — Women are leading the way in the Year of Creative Sustainability, and the speakers at the 2024 adobo SheCreative Conference were living proof. Some of the most influential minds in our creative industries, including Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda, Globe Telecom Chief Marketing Officer Pia Gonzalez-Colby, and The Misfits Camp Founder and Chairmom Merlee Jayme, shared their valuable insights on creating a more sustainable future for creativity and the creative economy. The inspiring event took place on March 26 at Shangri-La The Fort, Bonifacio Global City, capping off International Women’s Month with an afternoon filled with knowledge and networking.

The adobo SheCreative Network supports and empowers creative women by recognizing their talent, enhancing their capabilities, and celebrating their successes with programs that educate and nurture the female creative community. The adobo SheCreative Conference is the network’s biggest event of the year, bringing together top creative leaders to share their wisdom with the SheCreative audience. This year, the conference was built around the theme “Forging a Sustainable Future for Creativity,” directly addressing the atmosphere of uncertainty that has been troubling our creative industries as of late.

With constant disruption like the rapid development of AI, ever-shifting audience dynamics, and the very nature of creative work being put into question, how can we ensure that our creative industries will continue to thrive? And more importantly, how can we guarantee that our creative talents will be able to enjoy sustainable careers? These were some of the questions answered by the remarkable women taking the adobo SheCreative Conference stage this year.


Host Gretchen Ho kicked off the afternoon by introducing adobo Magazine Founder, President, and Editor-in-Chief Angel Guerrero. Angel spoke on the necessity of creativity in today’s economy, as well as the need to recognize it as our most valuable resource. She then called onstage the SheCreative Conference’s star-studded lineup of speakers for a rare photo op with all these amazing women gathered on one stage.

Senator Loren opened the program proper with her keynote address on nurturing the creative economy in the Philippines through collaborative efforts among people, industries, and the government. She explained how empowering women economically can also integrate their participation in the shift to a more sustainable economy and how creativity, in particular, opens up opportunities to do so.

“I pose a challenge for all of us to use the power and influence we have to enhance creativity for other women so that they will also have options, choices, and the chance to select behaviors that are better for both self and planet,” Senator Loren said.

“We must use our creativity, resourcefulness, influence, power, and economic power to make sustainable and transformative change in the service of a diminishing planet.”

Pia followed Senator Loren’s address with a rousing talk on how brands can thrive amidst the many technological and market shifts we’ve been seeing lately, and how they can adapt to these developments to create a more sustainable future for their business. She explained how the three R’s — Relevance, Resonance, and Responsiveness — work together to build a brand’s resilience to change.

The relevance brings context to creativity, resonance manifests in how creativity is embedded in the company’s culture, and responsiveness is how it opens collaboration to create impactful work.

“Contrary to what some may think creativity is not just for convenience,” Pia said. “Everybody can and should play a part: creatives, scientists, business managers, strategists, and project managers.”

Merlee then offered her own insights on how creativity in advertising can evolve in a sustainable fashion. With the standards of creativity always in a state of change, creative workers need to be equally agile in their skills and mindsets.

“To be creative, you have to be willing to embrace what’s there,” she said of the emergence of AI and what it poses for creatives. Personally, AI tools help her overcome the procrastination stage by having it as a virtual brainstorming partner or the trigger to start work with your input. “As a creative, you have to ask questions like ‘What if?'”

President and CEO of MediaQuest Holdings Jane Jimenez-Basas offered her expertise on ensuring that the media and entertainment industries stay sustainable in the wake of rapidly shifting audience preferences. Taking note from history, she shared how the emergence of new media was only a disruption: TV did not kill radio, and radio did not kill newspapers.

“Downloads did not kill music, and streaming is not the death of cinema. Only business models have changed, but technology has not been the end of human creativity.”

DTI – Design Center of the Philippines Executive Director Rhea Matute wrapped up the first half of the program. She gave a talk on how creativity and the creative industries contribute to the Philippines’ economic growth. With the numerous projects she has accomplished under the Design Center, she pointed out how design shapes culture and how culture shapes values.

“If there is any industry where Filipinos can excel naturally, it’s in its creative industries,” she said. “It’s our responsibility to work hard; to work hard with passion, ambition, and grit to create an environment that will not only allow you to thrive but also create a whole creative economy.”

The second half of the program went underway with Unilever Beauty & Wellbeing PR & Influencer Lead, PH/MY/SG Lui Castañeda, talking about inclusivity’s extremely important role in influencer marketing. With 66% of consumers demanding that the ad industry help change the world by ending stereotypes, inclusivity directly impacts a brand’s performance. Under Unilever, she is able to realize visions from the inside, elevating their beauty brands with impactful change.

“The future of creativity is forging diverse connections, helping break barriers to unleash the potential of different people,” she shared.

Accenture Song Director of Experience Platforms Lisa Collins tackled one of the hottest topics in creativity today — AI — and how creative professionals can effectively adapt to the changes brought about by this technology. She shared how adaption is necessary every time a new technology or medium comes out, and the importance of creative technologists in resolving the challenge of the process.

“We need to help people understand what’s possible in your [technological] models and how to apply them to specific concepts,” Lisa said.

The last talk of the day was presented by Hyper Island Asia Pacific Managing Director Peachy Pacquing, who talked about the skills creative workers will need to develop to enjoy long, successful careers in the future. Her advice to “get a little stupid” to get into the mindset of learning, relearning, and unlearning these skills was met with much applause. In the age of artificial intelligence, she shared that being smart will mean something completely different. She also shared that creativity, complex problem-solving, and cognitive flexibility are skills that will improve one’s adaptability quotient.

“We must broaden our definitions of creativity to explore the unknown,” she told the audience.

With all the knowledge shared by the distinguished women taking this year’s adobo SheCreative Conference stage, the way towards a more sustainable future for creativity was clear. There is no alternative to what is inherently human: empathy, ambition, and culture. Whatever innovations emerge can be a force to create possibilities and enable ecosystems and organizations to create meaning. Thanks to the women leading the charge into tomorrow, we can see that our creative industries are in excellent hands.

The adobo SheCreative Network Conference 2024: Forging a Sustainable Future for Creativity is co-presented by Unilever. Our Event Partner, Future Proof, and Organization Partners: ASEAN SOGIE Caucus, PANA, Philippine LGBT Chamber of Commerce, Asia Society Philippines, Women’s Business Council Philippines, DMAP.

Partner with adobo Magazine

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Back to top button