One Show Awards

#OneShow2017: Celebrating young creativity with the One Show's Young Ones

You know which student portfolios and client brief pitches won accolades at the One Show earlier this week. Now, as we recover between the two award nights, we find out the student judges' personal judging highlights as well as why is it important to celebrate stand-out young creativity, whether it's the creator or the idea itself that's fresh.

Ahead of the final One Show Award night and the culmination of their Creative Week tomorrow evening, today’s the day of the One Show Creative Summit, taking place at the Conrad Hotel.


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With One Show’s overarching focus on diversity, education and leadership, the single-day conference’s theme of ‘Engaging tomorrow’s audience’ is apt, with speakers set to pinpoint new ways to reach the younger audience.

I felt it was similarly fitting to catch up with the SA jurors for the One Show’s 2017 Young Ones competition – Alex Sudheim, senior lecturer copywriter and art direction at Vega School Cape Town; Carmen Schaefer, lecturer at Red & Yellow Cape Town; Nathan Reddy, chief creative officer and founder of Grid WW Johannesburg; Wessie van der Westhuizen, technology development manager/lecturer at Stellenbosch Academy; and Naretha Pretorius, principal of creative brand communication at Vega School Durban – for insights into their personal One Show Young Ones’ judging highlights as well as the importance of celebrating stand-out creativity in the youth…

Bravery and benchmarking

Sudheim: Differentiation is the name of the game. That’s how evolution works: those who take it to unprecedented levels; who think in ways no-one has thought before, are those marked for natural selection. It’s very important to cultivate an attitude of abandoning the safe places among the youth and awards shows are ways of validating and affirming this courage and vision.


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Schaefer: I enjoyed seeing the range and quality of student work from all over the world. As a lecturer, I'm always interested to see what assignments students are given at other world-class institutions. I like to benchmark the work that we do at Red & Yellow, to ensure that we are on par with the best.

The youth is changing advertising as we know it. The youngsters who are celebrated today will be the industry leaders of tomorrow, so it’s important to celebrate the qualities that’ll encourage worthy leaders. We have to create an industry we can be proud to be part of, and this is one way to do so.

Reddy: The youngsters are always braver, so it's always refreshing to see what’s been happening in their minds. With mix-media playing such a big role, these youngsters have a natural talent to exploit and integrate it. The youth definitely see things we don't. They are also far more adventurous than us. Professionals overthink and over-strategise sometimes, and it shows!

Van der Westhuizen: I was also super excited to see student portfolios from all over the globe. It’s truly a privilege to engage in the next generation’s creative process and see the fruits of their labour.

Untainted creative inhibition

I always like to quote the kid from Hans Christian Andersen's The emperor’s new clothes: "But look, don’t you see, he is naked!” We need to celebrate stand-out creativity in the youth because they are not blinded by past experiences and scared of predetermined future outcomes. Their ideas and creative inhibition is untainted, allowing them to move freely and effortlessly, expressing their true feelings and coming up with exceptional creative solutions, which inevitably becomes driving forces for our future.

Pretorius: Seeing a range of student work from around the globe is most exciting, and also daunting if you consider the volume one needs to work through and judge objectively. I’m curious to see how students approach the same challenge from a different perspective.

Creativity is one of the most valuable yet often undervalued skills. Without creativity, we cannot progress, develop, change, invent nor innovate… The World Economic Forum recently confirmed that creativity sits at the top 10 future skills, so we have every reason to celebrate it, and nurture it.


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That we do. You can follow The One Club on Twitter and click through to our One Show special section for the latest updates!

About Leigh Andrews

Leigh Andrews (@leigh_andrews) is Editor-in-Chief: Marketing & Media at and one of our Lifestyle contributors. She is passionate about issues of inclusion, equality and diversity, the only SA finalist shortlisted for the Women in Marketing #WIMawards2017, and can be reached at .