CREATIVITY UNLEASHED James Hilton and Future Lions Student teams from across the globe picked up the Future Lions awards at this year’s 60th annual Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in France this June, singling them out for promising careers Future Lions, run by the ideas and innovation company AKQA, is open to students from all over the globe. Now in its eighth year, it celebrates forward-thinking ideas for brands without media, technology or audience constraints. The creative concept for this year’s competition, Destiny Awaits, was the brainchild of Southampton Solent University alumnus and AKQA’s chief creative officer and co-founder, James Hilton. James, who has accumulated a multitude of awards in his career, including Grand Prix and Gold Cannes Lions, is a visiting professor at Solent and is soon to become an honorary professor. In November 2012 he returned to the university to deliver a lecture on the global design and creative industries and to share his experiences with Solent students. James co-founded AKQA with CEO Ajaz Ahmed shortly after leaving what was then Southampton Institute in 1994. He studied Graphic Design OND and HND at the institute from 1990 to 1994, winning two competitions and obtaining work for external clients while he was still on the course. He credits Solent University with obtaining a suite of Apple Macs during the time he was there, allowing him to experiment with new software and ideas. A world leader in design and creativity, in 2010 James was among the Creativity 50, a list of the world’s 50 most influential and inspiring
creative personalities. He was named the UK’s number one digital creative director for two consecutive years by Campaign magazine, and has served as a judge on respected industry awards such as Cannes Lions, the Webby Awards, the Clio awards and Eurobest. AKQA is one of the most successful and highly respected agencies in the world, with offices in Amsterdam, Atlanta, Berlin, London, New York, Paris, Portland, San Francisco, Shanghai, Tokyo and Washington D.C. “We were, are and always will be an ideas company,” said James. “We use technology to amplify these ideas. Since day one we have focused on creating amazing experiences that inspire our clients and their audience in whatever way or medium is relevant. Because of this it is a continually exciting and challenging environment in which to invent the next insanely great thing. And we also work very hard.” Future Lions is AKQA’s way of inspiring and identifying the next generation of forward-thinking talent, entrepreneurs and storytellers, said James. "In 2013 Future Lions again showcased five incredible ideas that inspire and impress," he said. "By applying technology and creative thinking to a range of problems, Future Lions 2013 winners demonstrated the power and impact brands can have when they make people's lives better."
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Southampton Solent University's Alumni Association magazine - 2013