Honest sustainable – the relevance of creativity in times of digitization

By Carolin Deberling

Cannes was all about responsibility, attitude and leveraging the power of digital to develop creative concepts without being digitally driven. There’s one company that does all those things brilliantly. I’m still reeling – in a very positive way – from the session entitled ‘Building Brand Love with Purpose, Brick by Brick.’ It was hosted by LEGO.

For generations the LEGO brick has been inspiring children to think creatively, even though many people today don’t associate the LEGO brand with the ‘normal world of play’ in the digital realm, a.k.a. gaming.

I recall something Jack Ma from Alibaba said in an interview last year: “Everything we teach our kids should be different from machines – they have to be taught about values, conviction, how to think for themselves, teamwork and compassion.” I haven’t got any children of my own, but I know from my childhood experience that LEGO has been doing all those things for decades.

Julia Goldin, Global Chief Marketing Officer LEGO Group, started her presentation by quoting Alvin Toffler, an American futurologist. He said: “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read or write. But those who cannot learn, unlearn, relearn.”

That applies one-hundred percent to LEGO, a company on a mission to inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow. LEGO teaches kids to be creative, to discover new shapes and functions, to tackle and solve problems, and then to dismantle what they have built and begin again …

Julia Golding very credibly and responsibly explains the skills we will need in the 21st century and how LEGO delivers them – very effectively, if you ask me.

  1. Problem solving
  2. Creativity
  3. Communication
  4. Collaboration
  5. Critical thinking

Skills that get children thinking creatively and reasoning systematically so they can unleash their potential and shape their own future. In addition to this mission, LEGO focuses on four principles:

  1. Defend and promote every child’s right to play
  2. Innovate by embracing change
  3. Collaborate with those who love you & share your purpose
  4. Protect children and their world

LEGO wants children, the builders of tomorrow, to inherit an intact planet. Simple compliance with environmental standards isn’t enough. Julia Goldin provided four illuminating examples. One is the LEGO Foundation which provides play-based learning to children in crisis settings. Others are the LEGO bricks made from plants, which will result in the reorganisation of the entire production process in the next few years, the biggest solar roof in Denmark on the LEGO company building, and an annual Play Day for employees.

LEGO is a company with an authentic and honest philosophy that’s left a lasting impression on me and sets an excellent example for the rest of the corporate world.