Innovator 25 Asia-Pacific 2021 | PRovoke Media
Our sixth Innovator 25 class in Asia-Pacific provides another valuable glimpse of our industry’s future, shining a spotlight on those individuals who are reshaping influence and engagement at a time when the industry is profoundly reimagining the future of work, campaigns, live events and much more.

The people recognised here come from various corners of the industry — creative strategy, digital execution, influencer mapping, media storytelling, senior management — but together they represent a compelling picture of what marketing and communications looks like today, and where it is heading tomorrow.

You can read all of the Innovator 25 Profiles, and explore their inspiration, advice and career learnings, using the navigation menu on this page. We have also collected insights and trends among this year's Innovators in the infographic below, including the organizations they come from, the brands and people they admire, their collective take on the PR industry's strengths and weaknesses when it comes to innovation, and their own personal habits and tips. 

The highest proportion of our class are based in Singapore (32%), followed by Hong Kong (16%), Australia, India, New Zealand and Taiwan (8% each.) Indeed, this year sees considerable geographic breadth from our Innovator 25. Each of the Innovator 25 profiles explores their views towards the state of industry innovation, while also providing unique insight into the habits and learnings that drive our class of innovators. As usual, the early morning and late evening dominate when it comes to our class' favourite time of the day.

"I like the earlier part of the day," admits the Hoffman Agency's Nicolas Chan. "I am most productive because I want to be lazier in the later part of the day (lunch, zzz monster — the works). I function very well in the morning even when I don’t get enough sleep."

Mornings also win for H+K Strategies' Marianne Admardatine: "It's the moment I feel most fresh, energized and in tune with my self. Mornings give me that sense of calmness while preparing for the rest of the day."

"It’s a fresh start and another chance to do my best with this life," adds LinkedIn's Dawn Chia, another morning supporter. "Time to rise. New beginning," agrees Dentsu PR's Masahiro Makiguchi.

Evenings are just as popular, though, often when food is involved. "Dinnertime," says Dole Sunshine Company's Fiona Hong. "Enjoying a good meal and winding down the day with family or friends definitely helps recharge me."

"7pm," adds Globe Telecom's Maria Yolanda Crisanto. "Enjoy dinner with my family, start to relax and perhaps watch a movie."

Night owls are well catered for too, particularly among parents. "I have children, so life is quiet at 9pm," explains Stuff's Carmen Parahi. "I seem to get a burst of energy then and if I start writing or working at that time I can continue really easily until 2am. If there are no clouds, I’ll go outside and stare at the stars too. I enjoy listening to the owls at night."

"From 11pm to 2am," adds Yorf Guo from BlueFocus. "It’s a time for me to think quietly or focus on my own interests." Other night time pursuits are popular too. "3am, where the world is asleep and I’m out having my gin and tonic," says GroupM's Jane Lau.

Then there are those that hedged their bets when it came to choosing their favourite time of the day. "Whenever I see the beautiful sky, or late hours if I don’t have early arrangements the next day," offers TSMC's Nina Kao.

"Awake time is my favorite time," says Uniteam's Andreas Schantz. "I wish we could could live longer and do more in our short life. Time flies. I gotta go :-)"

Our Innovators also offered plenty of useful advice for getting out of a creativity rut, typically focused on the merits of switching off and doing something completely different. "Read," says Golin's Jane Morgan. "Go and sit in Starbucks and people watch. Speak to different people. Take a break and watch some comedy to loosen up."

"I take a shower," admits David Lian from Zeno. "Every time. A good, long, drench in warm running water, seems to unclog more than a few gears and makes new connections for new ideas. And there's science to back this up too!"

"Playing the piano, listening to all kinds of music from classical, jazz, Stormzy to Grace Jones, exercise and travel," adds H2S Consulting's Hazlina Hashim. "Spending time with family and friends."

Blackout Media's Victoria Makutu takes a different approach: "Put the youngest person on the team in charge of what we’re doing for a while... and just focus on supporting them to do the job well. I learn things, they learn things, we all win."

All of these are helpful, no doubt, but there is "no secret recipe," according to Matt Collette from Edelman. "I find that taking a break from a specific task with different stimulus to be super helpful," he says. "That can be as simple as listening to different types of music, reading or listening to a podcast on a completely different topic, or even scrolling through Youtube and watching some videos. I also find going for a hike helps to clear my thoughts and refocus on the task at hand.  I’m a logical thinker so I try to structure an argument/POV in an ordered manner that’s connected. Those breaks help me to do that or get new inspiration."

There were also several noteworthy responses when our Innovator 25 class was asked what they would be doing if not in their current jobs. "Even if I did not have my current job, I am 100% sure that I would have been doing something in data science," said Genesis BCW's Binesh Kutty, who admits to an unsurprising fascination with technology.

"A secret agent or a news anchor," begins Andreanne Leclerc, encouragingly, before admitting that she is  "currently studying cryptocurrencies."

Mark de Silva from AIA, meanwhile, is less convinced of the merits of the corporate life. "I'd be a perpetual student, in a PhD programme." Dow's Linda Lim offered a similarly specific response: "I'd run a pottery studio where hobby potters can rent a space of their own and share kilns. It's a great way to make a time and space consuming hobby sustainable."

You get the sense that Thrive's Leilani Abels would not waste much time if she found herself at a loose end. "If I wasn’t leading Thrive, I’d create a role that continues to impact the growth of others, ideally in the health industry helping people to embrace wellness," she explains. "I’d love to play a bigger role in sport, particularly women’s sport, and one day I may pack my bags and head to Samoa to work with their government to escalate climate change and disaster impact efforts."

But it's Goodstuph's Pat Law who comes up with the most exciting alternative career: "Very likely a Mafia boss." That's an offer we're not about to refuse.