At Cannes Festival, Learn How To Be Creative Like a Swede

Will Three Days of Workshops and Lectures Reveal the Scandinavians' Secret Sauce?

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The Cannes festival continues to go beyond handing out hardware, for the first time offering ad folks venturing to the South of France a crash course it promises can help agencies and marketers to replicate Swedish creativity around the world.

Dubbed Made@Sweden, the course is described as a three-day creative immersion in lectures and workshops put together by the Swedish Institute and the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.

Cannes' new academy
Cannes' new academy

The festival noted that brands emerging from Sweden include Ikea, H&M, Absolut Vodka, Skype and Spotify. Many of Sweden's top creatives, such as Matias Palm-Jensen, Andreas Dahlqvist and Linus Karlsson, have gone on to international agency careers. And independent Swedish agencies like Forsman & Bodenfors do campaigns for clients such as Ikea that are admired around the world.

For a small country, Sweden has always been admired for its creative chops and digital prowess. A few years back, Ad Age tried to find out their secret, but all we could come up with was that Swedes are more group-minded than Americans, and collaboration and flat structures are ingrained in their work. Companies there are also smaller, and not big on hierarchies.

Now the Cannes festival's new academy will try and offer an insider's perspective from Sweden's top creatives, techies, innovators, entrepreneurs and behaviorists. The festival hasn't named them yet, but said speakers will be from Swedish creative agencies, communication and business schools and Hyper Island.

As Cannes continues to broaden its remit from an awards show to a learning center, the festival week in June also includes a Young Creatives Academy, Young Account Executive Academy, Jim Stengel Young Marketers Academy and Jim Stengel CMO Accelerator Program.

The Swedish course also may help encourage attendees to the festival to stay longer. Made@Sweden will be open to 35 delegates, who have to pay for the Cannes festival's full week delegate registration package, priced at $3,300, in order to attend.

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