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Marketing and Comms
Amsterdam’s Creative Industry Rising to Challenge to Take on the Climate Crisis

Extinction Rebellion and The Humblebrag call upon Dutch creative industries to take a collective stand for the climate. Amsterdam’s first Creatives for Climate summit will take place on 18 September at Patagonia HQ.

Our house is on fire: The heat waves that hit Europe this Summer broke world records, Greenland's ice has melted at a rate scientists didn't expect to see until 2070, and the fires raging across the Amazon right now strike a further blow to our environment’s wellbeing.

Time is running out, and solving our climate crisis requires commitment from all sectors of society, including the creative industries.

In July, change agency Futerra built on the #creativesforclimate movement and launched the Creative Climate Disclosure. Now, on September 18th, creative agency The Humblebrag will launch the Creatives for Climate Summit, bringing together key stakeholders within the Dutch advertising and marketing industry to create a collective plan of action.  

With talks from climate activist group Extinction Rebellion, activist brand Patagonia and former advertising-executive-turned-brand-activist Mark Aink, among others, this event will open a dialogue on the climate emergency and the creative industry's potential to limit further damage. And it will close with a clear, collective call to action that all players can implement.

“The scale of this crisis is so large that we need radical systems change and collaboration between business leaders across all sectors — like we’ve never seen before,” says The Humblebrag founder Lucy von Sturmer. “I started The Humblebrag with the mission to inspire and support business leaders to take a stand on social, cultural and environmental issues. While I’ve been dedicated to championing business as a force for good; I see the limits. Hence the need to organize this summit. Extinction Rebellion’s message needs to be heard by the creative industry — those that have the power to inform and shape minds.”

The creative industry has the power, influence and skillset to inspire action and come up with new solutions. This is why Extinction Rebellion directly called on the industry to step up to the challenge in the Guardian earlier this year, and continues to do so — more recently at the Cannes Lions in June. 

“Marketers, creatives, strategists and designers are in a unique position — we have the ideas and the tools to mobilize citizens in defense of the planet,” says Alex Weller, EMEA Marketing Director at Patagonia. “As a professional community, we must take action; and the time is now.”

The Creatives for Climate summit is the latest in a growing wave of efforts to use the power of the creative industry to nudge consumers toward more sustainable behaviors and lifestyles. In 2018, here in the US, 17 of New York’s top marketing, advertising and communications agencies partnered with leading climate scientists and nonprofits under the name Potential Energy, to harness consumer insights and creativity to motivate urgent and collective action to address climate change, starting with Gen Z — an estimated 17 million soon-to-be-voters citing a deep passion for climate change and other societal issues. Then, in June, a group of leading consumer brands — The Estee Lauder CompaniesHappy Family OrganicsHeineken USAJohnson & JohnsonKeurig Dr Pepper, National Geographic, Procter & Gamble, Target and Veocel — launched the Brands for Good movement, a collaborative with the goal of transforming the field of marketing by shifting consumer behaviours at scale and making sustainable lifestyles more aspirational and rewarding, thereby driving positive impact for people and planet.

While momentum like this is encouraging, greater collective engagement and mobilization are needed to drive the necessary change. The scale of the crisis might make it easy for brands and businesses to believe themselves inept at making an impact — according to the Carbon Majors Report, only 100 companies are responsible for 71 percent of the world’s carbon emissions — but initiatives such as Brands for Good and the Creatives for Climate Summit are an invitation for the industry to be part of the solution. 

Linda Moerland, Extinction Rebellion The Netherlands, said: “Scientists have confirmed we are in the sixth-mass extinction of Planet Earth. Today, CO2 levels are the highest they have been for millions of years and this is causing more frequent, prolonged and severe wildfires, droughts, and tropical storms. Many cities in the Netherlands are below sea level. Historically, the Netherlands has been successful in managing this, but we are grossly unprepared for the 1-3m rise in sea level expected to materialize by 2100.

“We, too, will face an existential threat. I believe the creative industry can lead the way in telling the Dutch public The Truth, something we desperately need in the context of the climate crisis.”

Event information

Wednesday September 18

18.15 - 21.00

Patagonia HQ Amsterdam

Email for more information: [email protected].