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What’s better than attending a 3 day festival with speakers from NASA, Google and Pixar? Hosting it.

The -ING Creatives Festival in Dubai is the Middle East’s most eclectic yearly creative event. The 2017 edition saw people like Ingrid Chou, Creative Director from MoMA in New York, Dan Goods, visual strategist from NASA, and Steve Raymer, photographer from National Geographic, share their stories of creativity and lead inspiring workshops. When I was asked to host the event I jumped at the opportunity; who wouldn’t want to hang out with great minds like this? But it also gave me the chance to help add deeper meaning and specific relevance for an audience of 700 people, who had flown in from all over the region.

At one point I jokingly mentioned the festival should actually be called the -ING Creatives Festival of Existential Confusion because every talk gave the audience the opportunity to reflect differently on their own lives and careers. When Doug Powell spoke about how he’s creating a cultural shift at IBM, a company of 380,000 people, it made you imagine your own possibilities of being an epic changemaker. But when Nan Na Hvass from hyper cool Danish design agency Hvass&Hannibal talked about how she started it with her childhood friend and that they never want to be bigger than a two-girl shop, you could easily imagine being utterly content that way too.

If there was one lesson to take out after 3 days with over 30 speakers, it’s that there's not one single formula for success. The opportunity all of us have is to figure out which version helps us to fully realize our own potential. And, perhaps equally important, which version makes us happy. I hope to see you next year at the festival. Jessica Walsh from Sagmeister & Walsh and speakers from Ideo and Pinterest have already been confirmed. Check out for the latest updates.

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