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This year marks our ninth annual Innovator 25 class in EMEA. Once again, this year’s list features remarkable innovators who are addressing the industry’s challenges with ingenuity and creativity to make meaningful (and hopefully lasting) change at time when it's needed more than ever. The tumultuous past three-and-a-half years have forced the industry to embrace change and continue to reimagine the future of work and communications.
Many of the innovators on the 2023 list are leading the way – often vocally – on breaking down barriers and moving beyond talk to action on all aspects of diversity, equity and inclusion, both within the communications world and in wider society. There is also a strong focus on ESG and sustainability, including professionals doing ground-breaking work in environmental communications and around public health, and a number who have applied innovation to business operations. The EMEA cohort also includes strategists and branding specialists, digital and influencer experts, and those with job titles which range from dedicated innovation roles to corporate communications.
As in the past three years, 56% of our innovators for 2023 are women, and the list is again diverse, with 32% being people of colour, including 12% who are Black. Over half (56%) of the cohort come from an agency background, and 44% are in-house practitioners.
The continuing Russian invasion has seen extraordinary innovation come out of the PR industry in Ukraine, so it’s only fitting that Ukraine is again represented in the list: following last year’s cohort including President Zelenskyy and Nataliya Popovych, the founder of agency One Philosophy and co-chair of the Ukraine Communications Support Network, this year we feature the equally inspiring Julia Petryk, head of PR at Ukrainian software company MacPaw and co-founder of the PR Army.
There are 12 Brits in the EMEA list this year: unsurprisingly, the highest proportion of the class are based in the dense UK market, with other markets represented including the UAE, South Africa, Germany, France, Ivory Coast, Sweden and Italy. 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.
You can read full profiles of this year's Innovator 25, including their Q&As on innovation, by clicking on the individuals’ names in the right-hand column. Other insights and trends from this year's innovators can be seen in the infographics below, including the organisations they come from, their collective take on the PR industry's strengths and weaknesses when it comes to innovation, the brands and agencies they most admire for their approach to innovation, and whether they think AI will make the industry more innovative.
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