The Future of Creative Agencies

Guest Contributor/ Duane Holland 

In recent years the UK has faced the deepest economic downturn since the 1930s, but the outlook is positive with the creative industries being one of the fastest growing sectors. Further exponential growth is expected with The Arts Council predicting the UK will become the global ‘creative services hub’ by 2025. 

Creative agencies are going through a new golden era, with advertising and marketing having the largest consumption rate or Gross Value Added. As these industries look to technology, data and science to unearth new growth opportunities and with rising consumer expectation and sophistication levels – this dependence on innovation is only set to continue.

But with success being so dependent on these agencies embracing a world without borders and as creatives start to work more closely with lateral leaders across multiple disciplines, perhaps it’s time for a platform to mark such collaboration.

AGENCY 2030 is an academic study in collaboration with UCL, one of the world’s leading universities, and DH READY, a cross-discipline creative agency. The project is a ‘meeting of minds‘ where academic thought-leaders across science, technology and culture come together with pioneering industry brand thinkers. Together we forecast the changing dynamic of creative agencies across the spectrum including advertising, media, PR, social, digital, live, design, innovation, sponsorship, content, tech, mobile and UX.

Our contributors offer an alternative perspective by predicting big trends and applying them back into what new services, skills and structures could become commonplace in creative agencies in 15 years time.

Our research was opened up to a wider audience of likeminded people through a series of five conversation salons including: 

Behaviour Enhanced Technologies
Dr. Parashkev Nachev, Honary Lecturer at the Institure of Neurology at UCL AND Brian Millar, Head of Strategy at Sense Worldwide, and guest contributor to Forbes, Fast Company and The Economist.

Cognitive Restructuring
Dr Bahador Bahrami, Social Neuroscientist at the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience at UCL AND Oliver Connor, Insight and Trends Specialist at OMD.

Distributed Self
Prof. Anthony Steed, Virtual Environment and Computer Graphics, UCL Computer Science AND Saverio Romeo, Head of R&D, Roll Studio.

Human Sensing Spaces
Prof. Andrew Hudson-Smith, Director & Head f Dept of The Bartlett Centre for Advanced Spatial Anaylsis, Chair in Digital Urban Systems AND Lewis Robbins, Senior Assoc Strategist at Jack Morton Worldwide.

Cross-Discipline Duos
Patrick Collister, Head of Design for Google AND Prof. Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, Director of I-O & Business Psychology. 

The latter was held at Club Zetter powered by Central Working, hosted at The Zetter in Clerkenwell. Agency 2030’s findings will be written up over the coming months and shared in the summer. For further information please get in touch at [email protected]

About Duane

An interdisciplinary brand strategist, Duane is co-founder of AGENCY 2030 and the founder of DH READY, a cross-discipline creative consultancy helping businesses become ‘Tomorrow Ready, Today’. The agency specialises in brand storytelling, concepts and experiences rooted in emerging movements. Prior to this, Duane worked in a number of senior planning and execution roles within PR, Experiential, Digital, Youth CSR, CRM and Integrated. His previous clients include Coca-Cola, PlayStation, Grey Goose, Courvoisier and Jim Beam.

Photo credit: Jahel Guerra Roa