Last month, 25 pairs of young PR creatives from around the world – all winners in their national heats – competed in the global Young PR Lions competition, part of the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity and sponsored by the International Communications Consultancy Organisation.

In the global final, each of the 25 teams in the global final were shown a detailed brief from One Young World and given just 24 hours to formulate a pitch: a real test of creative thinking under pressure. The UK team of Gigi Rice and Elle Bellwood, who originally entered the competition as independent graduates, were snapped up by London-based consumer agency Hope&Glory after winning the UK round, and went on to be the first UK winners of the global final.

PRovoke Media and ICCO asked some of the finalists – the hottest young PR creatives in the world – what creativity means to them.

Aida Merino, art director, LVB (Netherlands)
“Creativity is that constant spark in your head that keeps you alert and keeps you rethinking everything around you; a daring look at things, an urge to want to change things, to create, to imagine what's left to imagine, and to reimagine what needs improving. Creativity is power, a weapon for good, an ally.”
Instagram: @aida.itsme

Aliasgar Gulshan, account manager, Hill+Knowlton Strategies (UAE)
“Creativity is the act of innovating and creating new things in any form. With every step you take to create something, you change this world. You offer it something new, something it never had before.”
Instagram: @aliasgar12

Aliya Alifadrianti, senior associate, Maverick (Indonesia)
“Creativity is an important life skill to keep us alive (and sane). I think that it is part of our evolution; it helps us to get out of trouble, to create a new solution from existing problems. It’s always fun and exciting to use this skill because we’re dealing with something that’s probably never been thought about before and could lead us somewhere for the better.”
Instagram: @PBYAYL

Anastasia Kashina, copywriter and Anton Stolpovsky, art director, Marvelous (Russia)
“Creativity is a kind of spell. Like any decent magic it needs faith, perfectly matched words and strong visualization. Boom, and the fantasy turns into reality, though this is crazy and you still can't believe it worked.”
Instagram: @daliydali

Burton Leung Chun Yan, executive, Sinclair (Hong Kong)
“For me, creativity is a process where people actualize their imagination and craziness. It’s a form of power that extends through experience and enthusiasm.”
Instagram: @burton_evan_leung

Caitlin Corcoran, associate creative director, Mission (US)
“Creativity is a mix of paying attention to the world around you and following your intuition. Pay close attention to your surroundings and ask questions—what are people talking about, listening to and exploring? Take that and then interpret it through your own unique lens. When an idea pops into your head, trust that it’s there for a reason. Even if it isn’t the final iteration, there is magic in your raw, creative thoughts and they will always lead you somewhere new.”
Instagram: @cat_noel

Elle Bellwood, creative, Hope&Glory (UK)
“Creativity for me is freedom. Freedom to make connections, mistakes, emotions, solutions, changes and revelations. From thinking on how we can help stop deforestation to cleaning and buffing up the kitchen sink we can find creative routes in everything we do in life which I believe makes the world a slightly better place.”
Twitter: @bellwoodart

Gigi Rice, creative, Hope&Glory (UK)
“I'd say that creativity is the same thing as innovation. A new, original relationship formed between two previously unconnected things and breathed into life with a little jazz. I reckon this is a more clinical description than most but I genuinely think it can be distilled into an almost science when recognised that creativity and expression are two different things.”
Twitter: @GigiRicePR

Hiroaki Kuwahara, director/planner, Dentsu Inc (Japan)
“Creativity is addition.”
Instagram: @kuwaharaofficial

Johanna Andersson, content specialist, The Amazing Society (Sweden)
“Creativity is coming up with solutions and ideas that will make People say - Oh, I wish I came up with that.”
Instagram: johannaandersson96

Karim Khafaji, digital account manager, Hill+Knowlton Strategies METIA (UAE)
“Creativity is the process of combining ideas, information and experiences into new solutions.”

Luka Mavreti, senior copywriter, Imago Ogilvy (Croatia)
“Since I am trying to balance copywriting, screenwriting and film directing at the same time, creativity for me is finding the best way and a medium to tell a story, regardless of whether it is a narrative for a brand or of a character. What is most important, different forms of creativity deny me the possibility of keeping one way of thinking for too long.”
Instagram: @lukamavretic

Marsha Imaniara, acting general manager, Maverick (Indonesia)
“Creativity is the ability to look at a problem from different angles, with different lenses, then to pick the most tangible change you can make and the most effective way to get there. It is deep-diving into the wealth of your references, identifying an insight relevant to your audience, and using it to fuel your idea and storytelling.”
Instagram: @intothemarsh

Matilda Hansson, content specialist, The Amazing Society (Sweden)
“Creativity is way of expressing perspectives.”
Instagram: @tildahansson

Melissa Tal, senior client executive, WE Communications (Singapore)
“I believe creativity is a gift we all have, if we choose to activate it. At the heart of it, we need to remain curious enough to pursue alternative ways to solve problems that can add value and purpose to our lives.”
Instagram @melzietal

Mica Keeney, campaign director, Mission (US)
“Creativity is the powerful ability to take our imagination and emotions, and translate them into reality. It breathes life into our society by bringing ideas and perspectives into the world in new and unique ways.”
Instagram: @micakeeney

Monika Marczuk, executive, Sinclair (Hong Kong)
“Creativity to me is taking a complex idea that encourages a new way of thinking and bringing that vision to life, while presenting it in an understandable way that resonates with the target audience. It’s about looking at an issue from multiple perspectives in order to create the desired impact that will last long-term.”

Natasha Chang, client executive, WE Communications (Singapore)
“The essence of creativity is the ability to tackle a problem, re-frame it and reconceptualize. When we allow ourselves to add new perspectives and tell stories in imaginative ways, we re-inspire ourselves to aim even higher.”
Instagram: @tashchang

Oliver Kindermann, creative concepter, Super an der Spree (Germany) and Trang Vu, Junior art director at Serviceplan Berlin (Germany)
“Creativity is like ‘Pew pew whoop brrrrp ra-ta-ta-ta beep kkrrk douh! Meow. Ba-ding. Swusshhh ahhh BOOM!’”
Instagram: @owiekindisch @trangii_v

Orna Clarke, consultant, Murray (Ireland)
“PR is problem resolution, and creativity is a feature of everything we do as PR professionals; whether consciously or unconsciously, it’s a tool we use every day when responding to briefs or developing solutions for clients.”
Instagram: @ornaclarke

Paige Lou, strategic planner, BBDO Shanghai (China)
“Creativity is a free expression to connect and to inspire.”
Instagram: @Kewteepai

Reetta Haanpää, creative art director, Kuubi (Finland)
“Creating something unique with strong intuition and empathy. Exploring the unknown and having fun while doing it!”
Instagram: @reettakatriina

Tea Subat, senior designer, Imago Ogilvy (Croatia)
“I would generally say that creativity is the ability to look at things in a different way. Whether in work or any other aspect of life, it is about the way you observe the problem along with the elements at hand and improve them by forming previously unexplored, one-of-a-kind connections.”
Instagram: @bobismu

Tzeyu Yeh, freelance designer (Taiwan)
“Creativity is the new relationship between existing elements.”
Instagram: @yesyoyeh_design

Ya Ting Chien, copywriter, Ogilvy (Taiwan)
“Creativity is melting butter floating in reverie.”
Instagram: @kanamori_foto