Guest Post: Matt Van Hoven // @VanHoven
This week I spoke at Saatchi's 7x7 event during Advertising Week. Con Williamson, Saatchi's CCO, opened up the event by saying the event was meant to inspire the ad community by putting ideas front and center that are tangentially linked to the industry, but aren't central to the business. Below is a SlideShare of the presentation I gave, on human rights, free speech and the web -- and why this cross-section of issues is particularly vital to the overall health of our industry.
I'm inspired most by the discussion of these topics. As advertisers we don't often talk about free speech, but without it we wouldn't be able to do our jobs. Imagine if all your ideas had to be vetted by a government censor before they were made public. Imagine how limited your work would be!
Similarly, the web has become our collective nervous system, the pathway for sending and receiving messages. Without it, we wouldn't be near as tapped into the goings-on discussed in the presentation. We wouldn't be able to communicate so easily or on such a personal level. We'd be disconnected.
The combination of free speech and the web is in my opinion the game changing recipe of our time. It helps us relate in new ways, despite our many differences. Who could imagine that Americans would share the same values as Egyptians, Tunisians, Thailanders, Londoners, Mexicans, Bahrainis, Yemenis and countless others? In these troubling times, our humanity has united us under a common banner - freedom - and the web has been our vehicle.
With all this in mind, I want to stay inspired. I want to continue the conversation. I want to raise my voice so as to make sure I never lose my right to use it. Without that right, it doesn't matter how inspired I am, because I wouldn't be able to share the ideas that bounce around my head. And if that day comes, inspiration will be rendered meaningless.