Every year, londonbusinessblog.com unveils a new list of the most creative people in business. The people we highlight have achieved something in the past year that no one in their field has ever done before, something that is already having an observable and significant impact.
As you will see, we have a different view of creativity than our fellow corporate media. For us, creativity is not limited to the areas that are usually considered “creative”, such as entertainment, marketing or branding. We know that creativity happens everywhere: science labs, law firms, parliamentary halls and even the open sea – and thank goodness. Creativity is what drives people to solve the world’s most pressing problems.
The work done this year by the 56 most creative people in business shows different ways in which creativity can lead to bold and substantial change. Here are some of the classes they offer, for 2022 and beyond.
just do something
Appalled by the rise in fentanyl overdoses among recreational drug users, Allison Heller and Dean Shold sprang into action. Their organization, FentCheck, places drug test strips where users are and saves lives. Reynold Verret, president of Xavier University of Louisiana, is building a robust academic pipeline that creates more black physicians and health industry leaders. Not content to live with the glaring vaccine disparity around the world, Baylor College infectious disease experts Maria Elena Bottazzi and Peter Hotez developed the first-ever open source COVID vaccine, called Corbevax, which has already been administered to tens of millions. . When Russia invaded Ukraine, Pavel Vrzheshch rearranged his branding/advertising agency’s employees as “creative warriors,” leading to the far-reaching Zelensky-endorsed “Be Brave Like Ukraine” campaign.
Put people first
After Whitney Pegden noticed that Walmart delivery customers had a connection not only with the service, but also with the deliverers themselves, she expanded the program accordingly. With diverse societal needs exposed by the COVID pandemic, Norma Edith Garcia-Gonzalez has converted LA’s county parks into health centers, shelters and food pantries, with great results, and focused on helping (and employing) local youth. Audio engineer Heba Kadry strengthens the bond between music artists, such as Mdou Moctar and Japanes Breakfast, and their fans. Seniors thrive when they are part of a community. That’s why Evelyn Wolff of Selfhelp Realty Group built The Atrium at Sumner. As climate change makes hurricanes, floods and wildfires more frequent and extreme, Resilience Force founder Saket Soni champions disaster recovery workers and improves working conditions.
Protect what matters
Microsoft’s Tom Burt uses his legal background to protect users’ data from hackers, thieves and foreign adversaries. Through a logistics app called PRoduce, Crystal Díaz is restoring food sovereignty in Puerto Rico, which currently imports 85% of its food. Gina Asoudegan is bringing regenerative farming to grocery stores at scale with Applegate Farms’ new Do Good Dog. Knowing that a free (and robust) press is essential to our democracy, New York Times veterans Megan Twohey and Jodi Kantor have written a book called Chasing the truth to share what they have learned with young journalists and encourage them to “engage with the world and make progress”.
Rise up against the giants
As the behemoths of Big Tech become increasingly dominant, several courageous individuals find innovative ways to keep their power in check. The EU’s Margrethe Vestager led the adoption of two new groundbreaking legislation that goes further than ever before to level the playing field globally. Gretchen Peters works with lawmakers to expose organized crime on social media. Creative-minded attorney Jay Edelson leads winning lawsuits protecting users’ biometrics and more. And while there may be a lot of hype about the new world of “Web3,” Molly White sees right through it (and allows us to).
Blur the lines
Singer-songwriter Arooj Aftab has made the ancient art of ghazal feel like new. Kind of co-creator Bilal Baig positions gender fluidity in a fresh and sensitive way. Fashion designer Kingsley Gbadegesin channels the perspective of the queer community (and has gained a larger following as a result). Former YouTube superstar Casey Neistat chronicles the rise and fall of another YouTube star, David Dobrik, in a revealing documentary called Under the influence. Puppeteer Toby Olié figured out how to translate Spirited Away‘s ethereal characters on stage. Unity’s Timoni West transports real-time data into immersive digital worlds to solve real-world problems.
Wind-driven loading buoys that supply stationary cargo ships at sea? Maersk’s Sebastian Klasterer Toft and David Samad develop that. An electric speedboat that virtually flies above the water? Candela’s Gustav Hasselskog just built one. Meanwhile, Maxine Bédat wrote a widely read book (called unraveled) about the life cycle of a single pair of jeans that cause a lot of pollution and is now fighting, through its New Standard Institute, to hold the garment industry accountable. Sharon Prince also fights for responsibility; it has brought on board leaders in the construction industry and major architectural firms to ensure that their materials are not produced with slave labor.
make it fun
Mark Rober is the Willy Wonka of science. Kyla Scanlon uses a spoonful of sharp comedic timing to drag down financial education. Asad Ayaz, the marketing chief of Walt Disney Studios, keeps the multiverses going. Of Twelve minutes, Luis Antonio brings character study to gaming. In addition to being a world-class surfer, John John Florence has also created a performance apparel and apparel line, Florence Marine X, that lets other surfers join the creative action.