Our top takeaways from Symposia ’23


Our top takeaways from Symposia ’23

The theme ‘Symposiacould not have been more fitting to the location of the most recent Worldwide Partners (WPI) Global Summit. Athens, Greece - a city bursting with history, art, and culture - provided the perfect backdrop for a true multiverse of thought-provoking conversations held between marketers, creatives, and members of the WPI network who gathered to share inspiration and ideas about the future of advertising. 

After three days in Athens, our Co-CEOs Ann-Louise and Camilla returned to Advance filled with fresh inspiration to share with the agency. Here are some highlights that have stuck with them since landing back on Danish soil.


Nothing about us without us

“One talk that stood out to me was the panel discussion on diversity, equity, inclusivity and belonging (DEIB)”, says Ann-Louise. “We share a responsibility as marketers to portray the society that we are a part of, and it’s important to be reminded of what it means to develop respectful, authentic and inclusive communication.”

Many of our clients at Advance communicate directly to people who live with a range of disabilities, and we are constantly thinking about how we can address these audiences in a way that doesn’t just include them, but also helps them feel understood and supported. “We must strive to communicate in a way that helps fight taboos and stigmas, and the best way to do so is to keep the end-user’s experience in focus with everything we do.”

The slogan nothing about us without us was mentioned by Christopher Kenna (Founder, Brand Advance Group) during the talk. “This has been on my mind a lot since coming back from Athens,” says Ann-Louise. “I’d like to involve the rest of the agency in thinking of even more ways to prioritize user experiences and insights in future campaigns.”


Advertising drives culture (and the other way around)

John Harris (President & CEO, WPI) said at the beginning of the summit that “Advertising drives culture.” But it’s also the other way around. The culture that is fostered by different groups and communities around the world is a source of creative dynamite that will make any agency or brand stand out from the crowd. As Steve Vranakis (former Executive Creative Director, Google) said during his talk on leadership and the intersection of creativity and technology, “culture and creativity will kill your competition.”

Camilla shares how this has made her reflect on Advance’s own culture, as well as the importance of maintaining it. “Something that we’re particularly proud of at Advance is our focus on a collaborative culture. We place a strong emphasis on working together on every level: between teams, but also with our clients and as a part of networks like WPI. We see curiosity, the ability to ask questions and the drive to communicate openly as key ingredients to consistently delivering high quality work.”

When thinking back to Steve’s talk, Camilla is curious about new ways to maintain and strengthen the Advance culture. “Our longest-standing client relations are not just a product of the work we do, but also because of how we do it. But we shouldn’t take this for granted. We’ve got to keep prioritizing open dialogues and fuelling curiosity within the agency to maintain the competitive edge that our culture gives us.”


Connectedness for problem solving

One of the greatest sources of inspiration came from the summit itself – as a global network of independent agencies from more than 40 countries, bringing together the WPI community is a unique opportunity to discuss industry-wide topics and address common themes, challenges and opportunities faced by independent agencies across the globe.

“The WPI network is very much about networking and sharing experiences. I always think that we are lucky to have such a strong network of great people who are willing to share their challenges and discuss how we can solve them. That is unique and a huge inspiration for me”.

Advance has been a part of the network since 2018. And became shareholders in 2020.

”We like to think of the network as an extension of our Copenhagen team, and our history of successful collaborations with partners from different parts of the world gives us and our clients the confidence that we can deliver work effectively and efficiently for any market worldwide”.


About WPI

Worldwide Partners is a global network of the top independent marketing services agencies in the world who share an independent spirit and entrepreneurial drive to build commerce through connectivity, creativity, and collaboration.

With over 80 agencies in more than 40 countries, and experience in over 90 industry verticals, Worldwide Partners serves as a hub that harnesses the talent, expertise, and diversified capabilities of the agencies within our network to reimagine growth for both brands and agencies. Find out more about WPI here.