Indie Forum & Beach Party 2023


Read thenetworkone Cannes Review here




About the event

The Indie Forum panels are famously no-holds-barred. They’re unscripted, unfiltered and free of corporate messaging.

Our 2023 panels brought together leading creative minds, from the independent agency sector and beyond.


2023 Speakers



14.30: Panel 1, “Creativity and Technology”

We all knew, this was going to be the big talking point at Cannes 2023: inside and outside of the Palais.

Everyone was figuring out how they evaluate / assess / learn about / sell their expertise in..

  • Generative AI: Chat GPT, mid-Journey, Wall-E , Open AI and the other new tools
  • The Metaverse: here and now, or ten years away from being really useful?
  • NFT’s and other shiny new objects
  • Connectivity: Web 3, blockchain, Decentralised Autonomous Organisations
  • AR / VR / XR and other R’s
  • As well as all the many uses of data analytics in communications planning

But we are all independent businesses, that need to ask ourselves.. are these areas of expertise that clients understand? And can use? And buy from agencies?

And can smart, creative, independent thinkers compete at all, with huge corporates and their vast financial resources?

Fortunately, no-one knows the answers, so our panel was a free for all for insights and opinions and speculation.

Many thanks to our panel speakers:

  • Hannah (Hattie) Matthews, Partner and Chief Brand Officer of ScienceMagic in London, ‘a creative and strategic company that connects brands and talent to communities’

  • PG Aditiya, former CCO of (probably) India’s most awarded digital agency, Dentsu Webchutney; now leading (possibly) India’s most talked-about new creative company, Talented.Agency

  • Elli Tuominen, Founder & Strategist at Kurio, Finland’s leading independent social media agency

  • Matt Talbot, ex-Crispin Porter Bogusky, now Partner and CCO of WorkInProgress, an exciting and innovative agency in Boulder, Colorado.

  • JC Valenzuela, Co-Founder and CEO of Propel, one of the best and most data-literate independent creative agencies in Manila, The Philippines

  • moderated by Julian Boulding, Founder of the world’s largest independent agency network, thenetworkone



15.15: Panel 2, “The Changing Nature of Agencies”

These four independent agencies, all led by their Founders, are taking our industry by storm. Not just winning huge numbers of awards, but developing contemporary business models and value systems that attract new talent, as fast as they attract new clients.

For our second panel, these stellar agencies gave us a rare insight into what makes them as successful as they are.

Many thanks to our panel speakers:

  • Tony Bradbourne, Founder of Special, New Zealand, Australia, USA and now UK – recently voted Campaign’s ‘Global Creative Agency of the Year’

  • Christine McNab, Chief Marketing Officer, Zulu Alpha Kilo, Toronto / Vancouver / New York

  • Katie Newman, Partner and Global Chief Marketing Officer, Mischief and No Fixed Address, USA

  • moderated by Laura Swinton, Global Editor of The Little Black Book


The beach party


Of course, it wouldn’t be a Cannes party without a glass of rosé! After the Indie Forum, we filtered onto the beach for drinks and networking with top independent agencies from around the world.