Paul Lavoie, Taxi, talking about the power of doubt at the Tomorrow Awards

Yesterday we were at the Tomorrow Awards, the award show that is to inspire the industry to innovate faster, as Ignacio Oreamuno explained in his welcome speech. It proved quite a long afternoon – at some point turning into a night – if you take into account that only 5 awards were given away. It helped that the event, held at Pakhuis de Zwijger along IJ river, was sponsored by Absolut and some other hard liquor brands and was hosted by the hyper active Haley Mancini of Boom Chicago. There was also some improvisational, interactive theater by some actors who perform occasionally at Boom Chicago to keep the crowd going, but only at the end of the evening this seemed to pick up – when the bottles on the tables started to empty. The most interesting part of the show were the four speakers leading some of the best agencies in the world; Paul Lavoie (Taxi), talking about doubt as an essential ingredient for great work and showing an 8 minute film he just made about the last two days of Vincent van Gogh’s life; Nick Bailey (AKQA) talking intelligently about AKQA’s many ‘human platforms’; Carl Johnson (Anomaly), announcing his new office in Amsterdam and wisely stating that the digital era needs more collaboration and less ego; and finally Jean-François Bouchard who very entertaingly and convincingly showed how at Sid Lee underwear is the preferred dress and crazyness key. There was one thing that all the speakers seemed to agree on; we live in exciting times. You’d almost forget that there were also some awards to give away. The winners were: Skype in the Classroom, Made by Many (UK); Halo Reach, AKQA (USA); What Do You Love, Big Spaceship and Google Creative Lab (USA); HypoSurface, Mark Goulthorpe (inventor) USA; Les Paul, Google Doodle Team & Google Creative Lab (USA). All cases were, as Oreamuno promised at the beginning of the show, digitally advanced. It was a pity though that there were only Anglo-saxon winners. But since this is only the second year of the Tomorrow Awards, it probably just needs some more time to get discovered by the rest of the world. In any case, we definitely agree with Oreamuno; less awards is more.