Dubai Lynx – sessions to watch

As the region’s creative industry prepares for the annual Dubai Lynx festival, we take a look at some of the highlights at this year’s event



Creative excellence will take centre-stage once again this month, as the annual Dubai Lynx festival brings together the MENA region’s brightest and best creative minds.

The two-day festival of creativity takes place at Dubai’s Madinat Jumeirah on Monday, March 11, and Tuesday, March 12, with both days jam-packed with talks, demonstrations, workshops, roundtables and networking opportunities.

We’ve picked out some of the best talks from across the two days, from brain-training and co-creation to human centricity and mobile storytelling.

Monday, March 11

Creativity and the brain

Bas Korsten, creative partner, J Walter Thompson Amsterdam

Inspiration Stage, 3.15pm

What are creatives doing to make sure their brain is in the optimal state to generate the best ideas? This is one of the questions Bas Korsten will address in his session as he seeks to establish new and different ways of developing creativity through the latest learnings in neuroscience.

The presentation will take as its inspiration the practice of NFL quarterback Tom Brady, who trains his brain for two hours a day with an app designed for the brain impaired. This shaves milliseconds off his reaction time – priceless margins in a highly-competitive sport, which have recently helped him deliver a sixth Super Bowl title for his team New England Patriots.

Ideas bringing people together

Ahmed Younis, head of Creative Shop MENA, Facebook and Instagram

Transformation Stage, 2pm

With technology having democratised creativity, new creative tools allow us all to produce and post content that has the ability to express and shape our cultures. This session will discuss why it’s so important for brands to recognise that audiences make, shape and curate content at their discretion – not the brands’ – and why they need to adapt their creativity as a result.

Ahmed Younis will explain why brands must react to this new era by contributing to the conversation through great ideas that bring people together, and how the ideas that shape culture are also being shaped by culture.

The collision of retail and e-commerce

Nagham Akileh, e-coomerce senior director – Transact, OMD
Raouf Ketani, head of Annalect

Discovery stage, 2.30pm

With the physical and online worlds starting to merge, brands are starting to use their digital data to inform in-store experiences and even target their consumers based on this. Tools such as geo-targeting, geo-fencing and beacon technology have become increasingly important to marketers, allowing businesses to learn more about their customers, and in turn increasing satisfaction efficiency and profits.

This panel discussion will feature specialists from the e-commerce and communications worlds, and focus on how brands worldwide and in this region are using data to create seamless personalised experiences.

Tuesday, March 12

Proving creative effectiveness

Piyush Pandey, chief creative officer worldwide, Ogilvy

Transformation stage, 10.50am

Ogilvy’s chief creative officer, Piyush Pandey, will surely provide one of the highlights of this year’s Dubai Lynx with his talk ‘Proving creating effectiveness’.

During his presentation, Pandey will delve into what exactly effectiveness is, whether it can be measured only by numbers, and what the way forward is in terms of assessing our work and its true effectiveness.

An eight-time consecutive winner of the title ‘most influential man in Indian advertising’, Pandey is the only Indian to win a double gold at Cannes, and a triple grand prize at the London International Awards. Last year, he and his brother Prasoon won the Lions lifetime achievement awards of St Mark at the Cannes Advertising Festival.

Play the future: The best ideas are co-created

Alaa Al Shrooqi, director – visitor enhancement, visitor experience, Expo 2020
Humza Ijaz, chief creative officer, Accenture Interactive
Kristine Lasam, head of branding and integrated marketing, Accenture Interactive

Discovery Stage, 5pm

This session will be led by the team that helped co-create and bridge the gap between the physical and digital world for Expo 2020 visitor experience. They will explain how they used creative techniques to elevate ideas, create a meaningful experience-led purpose, and harnessed the power of service design methods to co-create a human-centric experience.

The speed of culture: Human-centric ideas worth talking about

Alex Josephson, head of global brand strategy, Twitter

Transformation Stage, 12.10pm

Also examining the idea of human-centricity will be Twitter’s head of global brand strategy, Alex Josephson.

He will explore how conversation trends and audience behaviours power the launch of movements and messages on Twitter and beyond, as well as how marketers harness these insights to shape conversation and culture.

By looking at how ‘moments’ and ‘movements’ unfold, Josephson will unravel the formula for breaking news on Twitter – what happens in the first 48-72 hours that follow a story’s initial tweet, and how these patterns translate beyond the platform to impact wider culture.

Masterpieces born on mobile

Caitlin Ryan, creative director EMEA, Facebook and Instagram

Transformation Stage, 2pm

The continual advances of mobile technology are changing how brands connect and engage with today’s consumers. Caitlin Ryan will look at the evolution of modern-day storytelling, and the new creative strategies brands are deploying to drive impact and results with today’s mobile-first customers. From tech-enabled vertical stories, to socially connecting AR and VR videos, and community building initiatives, this session will examine how brands are using technology to build their story.

Be bold, be brief, be gone

Islam ElDessouky, head of integrated marketing communications and content marketing, The Coca-Cola Company

Sasan Saeidi, CEO, J Walter Thompson

Transformation State, 3.15pm

Islam ElDessouky and Sasan Saeidi will use this session to answer the questions what type of content works best today, and why?

With a wealth of topics making up today’s creative industry – such as new marketing tactics, format specificity, distribution, and reimagining the funnel – there can be an overwhelming amount of work to fit into a limited time frame. With customers also time-pressed, this session will examine how to succeed in content marketing by going back to basics.

For more information about Dubai Lynx, including details of all talks and workshops, visit dubailynx.com