Patrick Burgoyne, CEO of D & AD, former Editor Creative Review
Ah, the new-found angst of Zoom call etiquette. How much can they see over my shoulder? Any embarrassing books or photos on show? Or should I go virtual background? Hmmm, maybe the tropical sea bed scene isn’t quite appropriate for a call to the bank.
It’s incredible how quickly our team has adapted to this bizarre new reality. But one of our biggest challenges awaits. Normally, in May we would be hosting 30 juries, flown in from all over the world, in London’s Truman Brewery to choose this year’s D&AD Award-winners. Now, that all has to be re-thought.
Almost all our judging will now be done online. Not only do we have to figure out how to schedule these sessions with judges spread across all the world’s time zones, but we also have to protect the integrity of the judging process. How do we ensure that all judges have the chance to contribute to the discussion, to make sure that everyone feels listened to, that the debate that is so essential to the process is just as robust and passionate and heartfelt as people expect from D&AD?
Thankfully, the reservations that some may have had over remote judging have rapidly dissipated as we all become used to video conferencing. It will be fine and we will have learned a lot. If nothing else, it will have shown us a way in which we could dramatically reduce our carbon footprint.
And that’s the thing about this crisis. We’re all trying to hold on to two things at the same time - how do we adapt to do what we have to do in the next few months, and how do we learn from that and use it to change what we do in the future for the better? We have to use this awful crisis to rethink, reimagine, recreate a better future.
Right, now I’m off to prepare for my virtual curry night and hoping I can persuade my son - back from university and a natural self-isolator if ever there was one - to come for a family walk. Stranger things have happened in the past few weeks.