First speakers announced for Lions Innovation

A new "festival within the festival" and data-focused award bring more tech and digital programming to Cannes.

Cannes Lions has announced yet another festival-within-the-festival (having launched Lions Health last year), this time focusing on innovation. The Lions Innovation festival will examine and award the increasing presence of data and technology in creativity.

It will take place on June 25 and 26, near the end of the broader Lions Festival. There are 11 founding partners, including Google, MEC, MediaMath and The TradeDesk.

The festival will feature three stages: the Discovery Stage (focusing on examinations of tech trends and live demonstrations), the Experience Stage (featuring hands-on training sessions) and the Inspiration Stage (featuring the keynote speeches and panels).

Lions Innovation will also be where two Lions will be awarded: the Innovation Lion and the newly-created Creative Data Lion for work driven by an idea that made use of data and analytics. Y&R global CEO David Sable will be president of the Creative Data jury.

The new award comes on the heels of the announcement of the Glass Lion for challenging gender stereotypes and the addition of a Young Lion to the Lions Health festival.

The first round of speakers for Lions Innovation isn’t limited to the ad world. Those announced include Dr. Francesca DeMeo, planetary scientist and Hubble Fellow at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, and Jason Kessler, NASA’s Asteroid Grand Challenge program executive.

“Innovation means venturing away from familiar ground into uncharted territory to create something new and valuable,” said Terry Savage, Cannes Lions chairman, in a release about inviting NASA scientists to the festival. “The Lions Innovation program is a representation of our belief that great ideas can come from anywhere, and to bring it together we looked further afield for sources of inspiration than ever before.”

Other speakers include:

- Sarah Wood, co-founder and COO of Unruly, Deirdre McGlashan, global chief digital officer of Mediacom and Kathryn Parsons, co-founder and co-CEO of Decoded, discussing the negative repercussions of the gender gap in the tech industry, where only 17% of the workforce is made up women, and what can be done about it.

- Chuck Porter, chairman of CP+B, Ivan Perez-Armandariz, chief digital officer of CP+B, and Karen Kaiser, Domino’s VP of advertising, discussing how collaboration between the two companies led to better use of data to create better digital products.

- Konrad Feldman, CEO of Quantcast, Justin Pearse, MD of The Drum Works and former Formula 1 driver David Coulthard on shifting the perspective of data being an output to being the input that drives ideas.

- Ben Jones, chief technology officer at AKQA and Chris Satchel, chief technology officer at Nike, on how technology can be utilized on the brand side to drive transformation.

Those wishing to attend Lions Innovation can purchase stand-alone passes, but for the first year anyone with a standard seven-day Cannes Lions pass will also be able to attend.

Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons