Mark Woerde is co-founder of the Amsterdam-based ad agency Havas Lemz and the non-profit organization Letsheal.org. AdAge ranked him one of 50 most creative people in the world.
He started his crusade to promote prosocial advertising in 2011 when he delivered the world’s most comprehensive body of evidence that people are waiting for brands to embrace and promote altruistic values. These findings grew into the bestselling book “How Advertising Will Heal The World and Your Business.”
In 2014, Mark’s dream to set a world wide radical example of how creativity can make this world a better place was realized. Mark with his team and Terre des Hommes, put Webcam Child Sex Tourism successfully on the agenda of politicians and police forces all over the world with the virtual girl Sweetie.
In 2017 Mark and his team launched the Make Friends Across Religions initiative, an historical appeal made by the most prominent leaders of the world’s major religions. The statement is intended to reduce social tension around the world by stimulating interpersonal contact between people of different faiths. It was made by Pope Francis, the Grand Mufti of Egypt, Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, H.H. the Dalai Lama, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and many others.
Creative Under Fire
If you’re on my side and believe in prosocial brands, you will sooner or later find yourself confronted with real big global problems. I know for a fact that creatives, like you and me, have the power to solve big, complex, scary real-world problems. I learned this through my experience working on the Sweetie campaign and my latest initiative Make Friends Across Religions.
I also found that the same talent that allows us to create also hinders us from confronting bigger, more frightening problems than those outlined in marketing briefs. It could very well be true that the self defense mechanisms that help creative people maintain a sense of comfort and security actually prevent us from being able to consider more serious global problems in the first place.
Of course I will share ins and outs of my latest adventures, but I will also share some tools. Tools that can help you solving big global problems without losing your sanity. The new book, Creative Under Fire, capturing these stories, tools and more is due to be out in 2018.