8 Key Takeaways from the adobo Festival of Ideas 2018

Article by Deina Ida Blancaflor (@disblancaflor)
Photos by Deina Blancaflor and Patricia Chua (@ptricia.chua)
Graphics by Mari Loca

The Adobo Festival of Ideas may have concluded a month ago, but the learnings are more relevant than ever, especially with its theme “Creativity at the Heart of Digital Tech: Data, Tech, and A.I.” 

READ: Adobo Magazine Celebrates 11 Years of Passion and Creativity

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In today’s age where technology is rapidly evolving, we often wonder, “Where do we fit into this?” or better yet, “Are we still needed?” Especially with advanced techs such as artificial intelligence, augmented reality, and cybernetics, it’s no doubt tech is becoming more and more pervasive with each passing day.

But let’s not forget that all these are the products of our human mind; our creativity. And when these advancements are embraced and adopted into our creative process, when we work with them instead of shying away from them, new forms of creativity are produced.

The adobo FOI was a plethora of ideas, but here are eight key takeaways we’ve rounded up for you:

8. “We have to push ourselves to lay eggs. If we don’t do this, we’re gonna die. I am not gonna live forever but I want my ideas to live forever. This is proper evolution.”

Graham Fink (@graham_fink), keynote speaker and Chief Creative Officer of Ogilvy and Mather China, emphasizes the importance of always creating in his talk, “Can an Analogue Chicken Lay a Digital Egg?”. There is no certainty that these “eggs” will always breed wonders, but we have to just keep laying them. “Some eggs are going to die, some are not going to make it, but some will thrive and prosper.”

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7. “It’s not easy to predict problems, but stay focused on your vision. It will help you come up with ideas and get you one step closer to your goal.”

Meanwhile, Kazuhiro Shimura, Creative Director of Dentsu, gives us context on how we can seed creativity for business innovation. He further explains that we have all these technologies around us, but we mustn’t be intimidated by it; in fact, we don’t always have to use cutting-edge technology in everything. Sometimes, the simplest solutions are still the best.

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6. “Adapting marketing is the way for this industry.”

In Abhishek Gupta’s (Managing Director of Team Unilever and Mindshare PH) talk “Programmatic + Creativity”, he urges creative minds to adapt to the changes in technology. We’ve been provided with an entirely new landscape which opened up to a lot of opportunities to sell, to connect, and to understand. Today, there’s tremendous potential on how we tell our stories online.

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5. Who gets fired on the Fourth Transformation?

KindMind Co-Founder Peachy Pacquing (@peachypacquing) indulges us on who gets fired amidst these changes. Consequently, these are the uni-dimensional, data-indifferent, thinkers but not builders, and the award-thopomorphic.

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Tip for creators: “We are creative but we are not the center of the creation universe; it will always be the users.”

4. Who gets hired on the Fourth Transformation?

Another KindMind Co-Founder, Mark Meily (@markmeily), complements Peachy’s talk by explaining who then gets hired on the fourth transformation. According to him, these are the empathists, linguists, experiencers, and valuators.

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3. “What drives action if not facts? Emotion. What shapes perception? Stories.”

For most of us, data is scary. Seeing heaps and heaps of numbers and qualities will always send us running the opposite direction, often toward computers who have the ability to efficiently interpret these data. Although Niek Van Veen, VP Strategy and Operation of Thinking Machines Data Science, agrees that computers are very good at computing millions of possibilities, he says our upside as humans is that we are very good at storytelling.

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2. “Intelligence is not exclusive to humans anymore but what remains in humans is creativity.”

Angel Guerrero, President and Editor-In-Chief of adobo Magazine, and Festival Executive Chairman, leaves us with this quote. The world may be riddled with digital technology and data-driven connections, but it is our task as humans to keep pushing creative boundaries and continue finding ways to work with the technology at hand.


1. The new creativity is curiosity.

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Everything starts from something; the biggest executions root from the simplest ideas, and our human nature to be curious about everything is what ultimately drives us to create. Keep asking questions, keep thinking of alternative solutions, keep challenging yourself — these are the seeds of a fruitful ecosystem of ideas and stories.

There’s a lot to be digested from these talks but one thing is for sure, creativity isn’t dead.


The adobo Festival of Ideas 2018 titled “Creativity at the Heart of Digital Tech: Data, Tech, and A.I.” was held at the Newport Performing Arts Theater, Resorts World Manila on February 28. Now on its successful fourth FOI, its mission is to drive and achieve the ambition of inspiring a generation of communicators, creatives, brand, and business-builders and equip them with information and inspiration to pursue their goals.

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What was your key takeaway from the event? Do you know how else we could marry technology and creativity? Comment them below!