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Kris Hoet - ADCE Festival - Imagineering Creative Intelligence

October 10, 2017

Learning to imagine – Kris Hoet

Kris Hoet is Chief Innovation Officer at Happiness, Global Head of Innovation at FCB and curator of the 4th European Creativity Festival. Below he sketches a new vision for the relationship between imagination, technology and creativity.

My current view on technology and how it influences ideas came by accident. I literally don’t understand how to code, and only have general view of how technology works. But I really am curious by what I can do with it. I am fascinated by how it changes behaviour, by how I can implement or use that technology in my ideas to influence people’s behaviour; to make people’s lives more interesting, entertaining or better. I can imagine what is possible with it.

Imagineering creative intelligence

The next industrial revolution will be a creative one – which is the good news for us creatives – but we will need to rethink how we work, if we want to play a part in that revolution.

Today we can make pretty much anything with technology. So the real challenge is not so much about making it, the real challenge is coming up with ideas. Ideas that you then both with technologists try to make happen. I call this ‘imagineering’. We have to re-think our creative process, and how we come up with ideas. We cannot stick to the processes like we used to. We must consider where creativity and technology influence each other. And we must imagine how technology can influence people’s lives, in a positive way.

Beyond limitations

The combination of technology and imagination has both helped and hindered us. It has helped because when you see what is possible, when you’re curious enough to understand how things impact people, then you re-think how you collaborate with others. You change the ideas you come up with. But it has hindered because when you understand how technology really works, the more you understand the code, the more you also think within the box of the limitations. If you know what a certain tech can do, then you know what the limits of possibilities are.

That’s why it’s so beautiful to work with people who can imagine without understanding all of the technology. They don’t have these limitations. They come up with ideas that are far crazier than you can imagine. Sometimes those ideas seem impossible. But often thinking about it with the right technology you can make it happen.


All of this requires that people change how they work. Change is difficult for anybody – but there are places when this is particularly difficult for creatives As creatives we hold our ideas close to our heart. And this is good, it makes us great creatives. But when we hold an idea close to our heart we only think of inviting people in when we think they are necessary for our idea.

What we have to do is make sure our ideas become open invitations. That people who have different backgrounds and knowledge can contribute to the idea. We need to rethink the notion of ideas being close to our hearts and make sure we can make them dear to the hearts of a lot of people. Then we can imagineer. Then technology will take us to places we could never imagine before.

4th European Creativity Festival

This is what we’ll explore at the 4th edition of the ADCE Festival. ‘Imagineering Creative Intelligence’ will fall under three themes – Ideas, Business and Experiences. I’ve chosen speakers who have the vision in these categories, on how technology influences ideas.

We’re creating a place where people can learn from each other, to see how other people can influence you is something we believe in. Most importantly, when visitors get back to their workplace they’ll be able to change the very nature of their ideas.

Imagineering Creative intelligence runs 10 – 11 November 2017. It takes places at Disseny Hub Barcelona, and all talks will be in English. Tickets are priced at a very reasonable €60, less for students and ADCE members.