Civic Duty At Cannes
  • Friday, Jun. 16, 2023
Tahaab Rais

Jury duty is defined as a civic responsibility. And judging by what Cannes Lions judges have to say, that axiom applies to not just our legal system but also to industry awards shows, particularly the one taking place this month in the south of France.

For example, Jean Lin, chief culture officer of Dentsu Group Inc., is the president of this year’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Cannes Lions jury. In SHOOT’s preview of this year’s Cannes Lions, she reflected on the importance of the competition in general and then specifically the SDG proceedings.

“Judging at Cannes has always been a rich learning experience and time for reflection for me personally,” shared Lin. “Listening to the perspectives from diverse talent in the room informs the jury’s viewpoint and helps put our own perspectives into context. It is also a tremendous opportunity and responsibility to help set the tone and define the category for the industry--any piece of work that we award carries a key message and significance. We as jurors learn so much from the debate to clarify what is important...Creating a safe environment for debate and dialogue with a common goal is critical to achieve successful jury outcomes. This is the microcosm that represents our society--in order to create the sustainable development of our society, we need everyone to work together and join a productive conversation.”

Lin added, “More than ever, we need creativity and innovation to shift consumer behavior to embrace sustainable lifestyles, and to shape society in a way that businesses thrive from greener products, services, and business models. The significance for the SDG Lions is to recognize and advocate the actions, creativity, and ideas that make the world we live in kinder and more sustainable, create systemic changes and impact at scale.”

The sense of purpose attached to judging at Cannes is profound for Lin--and for that matter, each judge or jury president whom SHOOT reached out to for our Lions Preview coverage--which appears in this June-July PDF edition. Experiencing stellar work means the world to Tahaab Rais, group chief strategy officer at Publicis Groupe, MENAT, and a Creative Effectiveness Lions judge. Rais summed up his feelings succinctly, sharing, “Ralph Waldo Emerson spoke about this truth that when a mind is stretched by a new idea, it never returns to its original position.”

Robert Goldrich is a SHOOTonline editor

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