Can optimism and curiosity win the battle with Ai

20 October, 2023
Can optimism and curiosity win the battle with Ai | News | Pause Awards
George Hedon, founder and CEO, Pause Fest & Awards
George Hedon
20 October, 2023

Plunge into the world of tech-powered creativity with David Droga, CEO at Accenture Song, as he shares his insights on innovation, the impact of AI, and why creativity is worth fighting for.

In a world where technology is advancing at an astonishing pace, the boundaries of creativity are constantly expanding. Recently, at SXSW Sydney, we had the privilege of hearing David Droga, CEO at Accenture Song, talk about the future of tech-powered creativity moderated by Sunita Gloster AM, Non-Executive Director, the discussion was nothing short of enlightening.

David Droga, known for his creative prowess and innovative thinking, wasted no time in diving straight into the heart of the matter. Here are some of the key takeaways from conversation with this creative visionary.

Tech Amplifies Creativity

Droga began by emphasising that creativity knows no bounds and can fit into any mould you provide. He spoke about how technology is a powerful amplifier of creativity, magnifying its impact in ways we couldn’t have imagined. “Being creative and using technology, it’s just going to amplify. Creativity fits in any shape you have,” Droga quipped.

“Creativity is innovation. It’s the same. Technology needs creativity to be more relatable and real.”

He also stressed the importance of embracing change, stating, “Not all creativity needs to survive. There are things that we bucket as mediocre that should disappear. Change is good, and it’s necessary to create.”

Creativity Equals Innovation

Droga drew a clear parallel between creativity and innovation, highlighting that they are essentially two sides of the same coin. “Creativity is innovation. It’s the same,” he stated. He emphasised that creative individuals possess a unique ability to ask different questions and perceive the world through a distinct lens. “Creative people ask different questions. We look at things to add value,” Droga noted.

David Droga at SXSW Sydney

Technology and Creativity: A Symbiotic Relationship

In today’s rapidly evolving landscape, Droga underscored the importance of not romanticising the creative process. He explained that with the tools and technology available today, high-quality work can be produced at a fast pace. “You can do things at high quality at a fast pace now with the tools we have,” Droga asserted.

However, he acknowledged the tension that arises when rewiring teams at such breakneck speeds, cautioning that the most significant damage in marketing often stems from self-inflicted wounds. “The most damage in marketing is self-damage,” Droga mused.

The Human Touch in Creativity

While technology plays a vital role in enhancing creativity, Droga firmly believed that breakthroughs and leaps come from humans. He highlighted the importance of retaining the human element in the creative process, saying, “Technology needs creativity to be more relatable and real.”

Droga used the example of AI, stating, “Gen AI is not going to write a Barbie movie. It’s complex, but ‘Fast and Furious,’ you can.” He encouraged everyone not to ignore technology just because they may not fully understand it.

The Future of AI Script Writing

The conversation took an intriguing turn when Droga questioned whether AI script writing should be regulated. He firmly believed that mandating such regulation might not be the right approach. “Tech is irrepressible,” he asserted. Instead, he encouraged us to focus on how to coexist with technology and thrive alongside it.

“Creative people are about adding, what can I add to the situation, while all CEOs are about how they can extract from the client, team or situation.”

Droga’s perspective shed light on the divide between creative thinkers and business leaders. He remarked, “Creative people are about adding, what can I add to the situation, while all CEOs are about how they can extract from the client, team or situation.”

Creativity: The Driving Force

One of Droga’s defining characteristics is his unwavering passion for creativity. He spoke of a scenario where he was given a million dollars with one simple instruction: “Make something fucking cool.” He embraced the challenge with gusto, highlighting that great ideas don’t necessarily cost more than mediocre ones. “Strive to think that you can have prototypes instead of decks now. We can produce so much more and faster,” Droga enthused.

Keeping Clients Relevant

When it comes to the world of advertising and marketing, Droga emphasised the need to keep clients relevant in an ever-evolving landscape. He spoke of the importance of understanding and researching to find new possibilities and opportunities, which he believed was at the core of creativity. “Finding new possibilities and opportunity, that’s creativity,” Droga remarked.

The Creative Potential

In a world rife with anxiety, Droga expressed his optimism about the potential of creatives. He believed that the best thing one can do is to invest in the future of their staff. “The best thing you can do is give your staff the future,” he declared.

“The best thing you can do is give your staff the future.”

Droga’s outlook on life is characterised by curiosity and a drive to make a difference. He urged everyone to embrace opportunities by being curious and avoiding the trap of self-deception. “I look at everything as an opportunity. By being curious. Not buying my own bullshit. Do something right,” he advised.

The Steve Jobs Approach

Droga channelled the spirit of Steve Jobs, calling for a bold and fearless attitude in the creative realm. He declared, “Steve Jobs’ call to the arms, to the crazy one… That should be the attitude for creatives every day.”

He also touched upon the notion of being replaceable by technology, stating, “I’m okay to be replaced by tech.” However, he emphasised the importance of caring more about outcomes and having the superpower to simplify complex concepts. “My superpower? I can dumb down everything,” he quipped.

Australia’s Unique Position

Droga’s conversation took a patriotic turn as he discussed what makes Australia unique. He likened the country to a youthful, cocky and competitive 15-year-old with global influence despite its small population. He spoke of Australians’ ability to travel well and make an impact on the global stage.

“It’s going to be a battle, and creativity is worth fighting for.”

The Battle for Creativity

In closing, Droga underscored that every industry needs creativity, and it’s a battle worth fighting for. He stressed the importance of looking to the future, building innovative teams and staying laser-focused on projects.

As Sunita wrapped up the conversation with David Droga, it became clear that his love for making and solving things, his thirst for interesting conversations, and his desire for better leadership in Australia (becoming next PM) were the driving forces behind his enduring creative journey. In a world where the only constant is change, Droga’s unwavering commitment to creativity serves as an inspiration to us all.

So, as we navigate the ever-evolving landscape of tech-powered creativity, let us remember the words of David Droga: “It’s going to be a battle, and creativity is worth fighting for.”

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Category tracks

The Culture track seeks entries that exemplify the development of an inclusive and collaborative workplace culture, crucial for organisational success and growth. Submissions should illustrate transformative strategies implemented across core business functions, reflecting expertise, leadership, and a clear vision. These strategies should demonstrate a positive impact on the business, its employees, stakeholders, and customers, showcasing how a nurturing culture contributes to overall growth and innovation.

The Excellence track celebrates businesses that have demonstrated remarkable success and impact within their industry, regardless of their size. Entries for this category should illustrate how the business's strategic execution, guided by visionary leadership and exceptional expertise, has significantly influenced the industry. The focus will be on the tangible outcomes of these strategies, highlighting the company's ability to innovate, lead, and leave a lasting impression in its field.

The Good track is focused on recognising companies dedicated to their mission of creating a positive societal impact. Entries should highlight innovative solutions aimed at addressing global challenges such as environmental sustainability, social equity, and community well-being. Successful submissions will demonstrate how their initiatives contribute to significant changes, tackling issues like gender inequality, social imbalance, and injustice, thereby setting a precedent for responsible and impactful business practices.

Awarded to a single entry in a category, Grand Prix is the top accolade in that category. To win the Grand Prix, the entire Judging Board must unanimously agree that the entry deserves the accolade of being the best in that category.

The Growth track is about showcasing how businesses have enhanced productivity and execution to make a significant impact in their market. Entries should highlight innovative strategies that have optimised the customer journey, leading to increased engagement and commercial success. This track is for those who have effectively used their understanding of the market and customer needs to scale their business and achieve notable growth.

The Operators track seeks entries that showcase leadership in fostering innovation within their ecosystems. Ideal submissions will highlight how your initiatives have catalysed the creation of new products or services, bolstered by a culture that uplifts internal teams and the wider community. This track celebrates those who drive progress by empowering voices and forging transformative connections in their industry.


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