30 years old, and back at school. I'm in Cannes this week at the Young Lions Media Academy, scraping in under the rapidly closing age door to soak up some sun-kissed wisdom with a class of my peers from across the world. It's a week-long, intensive download from some of the best minds in the business on what the future of our industry is, and how we as Young Lions can help to shape it. It's co-deaned by Jane Melvin, a media and marketing powerhouse, formerly of UM, Leo Burnett and Starbucks, and Katie Derham, broadcaster extraordinaire of BBC fame. My mum is very impressed.
It's actually day four on the ground, but yesterday school started in earnest, with a full day of activity, starting at 8:30am. At registration on Sunday afternoon, Jane remarked that "it is easy enough to make more money, but it is not easy to make more time". This will be the overarching theme of the week. Yesterday's schedule crammed in some fascinating talks from Brian Wieser, Nick Brien, Mike Barrett and Kathleen Griffith at the academy on the industry and our place in it, along with some festival talks over in the Palais on trends and AI.
We also got briefed on our group projects, which we'll present back on Friday, having tried to invent some time from somewhere to actually do the work. More on that as the week goes on. Then it was off to the IPG welcome drinks on the beach, a futile attempt to get into a party with Stevie Nicks, then back to the Palais to party with the Young Lions on the terrace. Most of us have had almost no sleep and are unlikely to get much more this week, but it's sunny, sandy, with plentiful rosé to wash down all the inspiration.
Stay tuned for more updates on this week at Cannes - tomorrow it's Initiative @ Cannes over at the beautiful IPG villa.
Until then, à bientôt!