“It’s only recently that we started to create chapters in the US, and Cairo is our first one abroad. Our goal is to launch chapters slowly in key cities where we feel there is a great ambassador who can serve as our partner,” says Kevin Swanepoel, CEO, The One Club for Creativity. With this thought process, The One Club became officially active in the Middle East & North Africa (MENA) region.
The president of the new chapter is Enas Rashwan, who also serves as president of Cairo Ad School and has been a creative director for over a decade. The new authorized chapter will offer creatives in Egypt an array of programming across creative disciplines, with all initiatives falling under four key pillars of education, inclusion & diversity, professional development and gender equality.
“Enas Rashwan approached us shortly after we made international chapters available, and we’re confident she has the experience and skills to make it a success. MENA is an emerging region from a creative standpoint, and Enas is a motivated ambassador,” adds Mr Swanepoel.
It would appear Cairo is only the starting point for One Club’s MENA ambition. The club is also in discussions with a group in Dubai and hopes to have a chapter in the UAE as well. “Our mission is simple — to support and celebrate the success of the global creative community. Establishing The One Club-Cairo enables us to better carry out that mission in MENA. But we want to grow our presence in the region, allowing for broad participation,” Mr Swanepoel explains.
Unlike some of its peer, The One Club uses revenue generated from its global awards shows such as The One Show and ADC Annual Awards to fund more than two dozen programs for creatives around the world. As a global nonprofit organization, the Club aims to “give back to the industry year-round”, a principle that would be in play for MENA as well.
Four Questions To Enas Rashwan On Her Role As President, The One Club For Creativity-Cairo
Your role does not have a precedent in the One Club. What do you see as your responsibilities towards carving the role?
Cairo Ad School is hosting, sponsoring and supporting The One Club’s first international chapter. We do this deeply understanding the advertising industry needs in our region and being in close contact with all stakeholders, creatives, agencies, clients, educators and young talents. My role will be mainly to increase and develop our exposure with our peers in the One Club network making our advertising community stronger, interactive, competitive and inspired through One Club programs and related activities.
What are the next initiatives we will see you bring to the region under The One Club banner?
Many tasks are in our calendar. First, we need to communications the concept of the club membership. We also need to explain how it connects members to the global network and the benefits locally and globally. Then we will start building an active community for all stakeholders to interact, learn and share.
We’ll then look into hosting programs for industry leaders’ development through the Creative Leaders Retreat and the various professional development programs done around the globe by The One Club for Creativity. These include workshops and various initiatives targeting the inclusion and diversity, and gender equality, such as real-world educational experience for young talents through the Creative Boot Camps. Finally, we’ll promote the One Show and ADC Annual Awards to celebrate creative excellence in advertising, design and new media.
What role do these activities play in fostering creativity?
We will offer programs that fulfill and close all the gaps that have in the past been a reason of frustration in the creative output. We will target all parties involved in the process — agencies, clients, creatives, educators and young talent.
Speaking out, participating, meeting with other industry experts from different cultures and backgrounds, gathering all these activities under one roof in an evolving community does not exist in our region. And we will not do this for a week or two per year, but The One Club programs will run in the region for the whole year-long to bring meaningful mentorship, networking and form a strong creative community here in Cairo. This will play a significant role in supporting and growing creative professionals.
Who do you see as The One Club’s competition in the region?
There is no other entity to compare or compete with, either regionally or globally. I believe that The One Club exists not to compete but to truly help and support developing the creative and advertising industry. That’s why it’s the foremost organization in that field.
The industry has complete respect for The One Club’s activities, witnessing the decency and credibility of The One Show festival and knows how important it is. That will drive everyone, because the community gets the best. They position themselves among recognized creatives and agencies and will raise the bar across.