Day 2 at Goafest kicked off with the 'Knowledge Seminar' - "Only love can save this world. So I stay, I fight, I give. That's my mission - Wonder Woman." This message was what set the mood for the first speaker at the event - chief creative officer and founder, Badger and Winters, Madonna Badger, who spoke on the powerful message of #WomenNotObjects.
Through a series of powerful films, Badger showcased how one can, if they really care, change the narrative of the industry and the world. "One million girls suffer from anorexia in the US alone skyrocketing the suicide rates in the country. Research shows that 80 per cent of little girls at age 11 say that they would rather have cancer than be fat. We need to take care of our women! Women are sexual beings, just like men. It's ok if she wants to be seen as pretty. But that can't be weaponised to an extent where you stop seeing her as a woman and start seeing her as a thing," Badger adds.
She woke everyone up, literally casting a bright light of the awareness on the perils and power of advertising.
Speaker two, founder and global chairman, mcgarrybowen and global CCO, Dentsu Aegis Network, Gordon Bowen was up next. Suitably titled "Data's Inferno", his talk discussed how creativity has and would continue to outshine data. Bowen epitomised what mcgarrybowen stands for - spirited, problem-solver, rebel, wonderer, collaborator, human.
The afternoon quickly moved on to an intense conversation about the power of creativity in today's times led by Barry Wacksman, vice-chairman and global chief strategy officer - R/GA. Wacksman talked about 'Transformation at Speed' with unique insights and stated that with the advent and advancement of technology, everything was disrupted and it opened the doors to 'asymmetrical innovators' like Tesla, Google and Amazon, among others. He further went on to say that to connect with the new generation of customers, one must leverage change because that is the only constant; be it business, experience or marketing. "Business problems cannot be solved with simple story-telling but need to be assimilated with a strategy that transforms perception," he explains.
The evening flowed into the 'Leadership Summit' with Lt. Gen. DS Hooda and Maroof Raza, consulting editor - Times Now. Lt. Gen. Hooda inspired the audience with tales of bravery, loyalty and honour; pillars of the Indian Army. He recalled the Chetwode motto of the Indian Military Academy - 'The honour, safety and comfort of your country first, your soldiers 2nd and then your own' - and drew parallels with civilian organisations and corporate structures.
"Unless you have a cohesive organisation you cannot ask them to do what you ask. Another key factor is knowing your people. People will follow you if they look at the leader and know that (s)he cares for them and will do his/her best to keep them safe.", he explained when asked about good leadership.
The Lt. General wrapped up the session with breath-taking and sometimes heart-stopping photographs of our soldiers at the most dangerous posts and borders saying, "The real hero is the common soldier."
After the deeply impactful session by the Lt. General, cricketer Virender Sehwag regaled the audience with stories from his years on and off the field. The "trendsetter" said that his job was to entertain India with his craft and he has done that successfully. Now, as a commentator, he continues to do the same with his inherent gift of the gab. Exuding confidence, he tackled every question thrown at him with quick wit and panache. Whether it was a politically charged question or about cricketing controversies, he hit clear sixes and fours from the Goafest stage.
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