To understand and respond to a dynamic and complex business environment, organizations require creative leadership. This means that leaders must have innovative creative competency and creative thinking skills in order to adapt and respond to complexity. One such creative strategy leader who possesses unique skill sets, creative ability levels, ideas, and motivations, and merges them all to create a digital creative community and platform — Ina Behrendt, Chief Innovation Officer at Miami Ad School Europe & CEO of Infinity Campus.
Ina has worked in the creative business for over 20 years, encompassing both the creative and marketing aspects, as well as the educational and economic aspects. She made her way up, next to her excellent knowledge – through passion, collaboration, excitement, and always with a vision in mind. The dynamic leader not only understands what it means for the next generation to be in the industry as a young, especially female creative working hard to be heard, recognised, and honoured, but she also understood early on that the industry was altering and undergoing a huge transformation.
Prior to joining the management board of Miami Ad School Europe and the establishment of Infinity Campus, Ina worked for the most influential digital creative agencies like R/GA, New York, inventors of Nike+ and Razorfish Australia – creating game-changing and award-winning campaigns, platforms and services for clients like Nike, eBay, and McCormick.
A Unique Place Where Creativity, Innovation And Technology Blend Together
Miami Ad School Europe is one of the world’s best and most successful, as well as creative and innovative schools in higher education in the world. The premium school brings together many different schools in its two-year portfolio curriculum in Art Direction/Digital Design, Creative Concepting/Copywriting & Storytelling, and Creative Technology. For students, this unique place is known as: “The place where you become, who you are meant to be! and it is part of a world-wide network of 15 schools.”
Ina established the professional arm of Miami Ad School Europe further and took it to the next level, as a transformation and innovation expert in this industry. First and foremost, she introduced advanced trainings and courses online, cooperated with new partners, and created new forms that did not yet exist in this way. This touched a nerve, and it has now grown into an independent start-up, where Ina acts as CEO – together with her 2 business partners,
Sabine Georg (COO of Infinity Campus & CEO of Miami Ad School Europe) & Philip Wogart (CTO of Infinity Campus & Creative Tech Advisor at Miami Ad School Europe) and in conjunction with Miami Ad School Europe.
Ina says, “We aim to establish a unique platform for our special courses, trainings, summits and bootcamps made up of our expansive network of mentors – available online regardless of one’s physical location by mixing even more technology into our creative bloodstream. Infinity Campus means Transformation – means Movement – a Development of yourself, your Knowledge and your Creativity. It means, to pulsate, to move, to push boundaries and yourself to the next level. It means to transform!”
Furthermore, these three pillars serve as the cornerstone of Miami Ad School Europe and Infinity Campus’s success and popularity:
1. Innovations >> Creativity + Technology + Entrepreneurship Thinking
2. Diversity >> International Network + Collaboration + Culture
3. Mindset >> Experience + Biohacking + Personal Development
If you want to be ‘successful’, everything you aim for should generate energy, inspiration, passion and solutions for the better.
Standing Out From Rest
Ina truly believes that it is part of their responsibility to create and design an educational system that breeds future creative innovators right from the start. Miami Ad School worldwide has created a unique educational concept that pairs realistic training taught by well-known practicing industry professionals with hands-on job experience. The premium school offers:
- A diverse combination of classes in terms of hard- and soft skills, based on the actual needs of the industry/job-market.
- A diverse combination of practical training through international internships at the best and most awarded and outstanding agencies and companies, & hands-on academic classes and events on campus and locations or online, led by industry professionals.
- A diverse network of students and teachers and industry partners as well as other Miami Ad Schools around the world – with over 35 nationalities, all sorts of backgrounds – no matter what gender or orientation or industry they’re from.
- It also offers a 2 year educational diploma program – as well as an academic path, through its Master in Business Management program in cooperation with its partner university, Steinbeis School of Management + Innovation.
- A diverse range of acknowledgements through industry awards, prizes, and honors – like being named: The Future Lions School of the Year by the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.
Facing Head-On Pandemic Challenges
“First of all, the majority of schools and universities missed out on adjusting their curriculum to our new world we live in, which especially has shown during the rapidly changing context since 2020. For us, as innovators in education for the next generation, an overarching key differentiating factor is: DIVERSITY, MINDSET & EXPERIENCE,” states Ina. Besides, she and her business partner, CEO of Miami Ad School Europe, Sabine Georg, previously Google Manager for over 14 years, have encountered challenges like, Silo-thinking, rapid changes, bureaucracy and the pandemic.
In overcoming these challenges, these 2 female leaders firmly believe that CREATIVE DIGITAL SPACE and CREATIVE PHYSICAL SPACE play a big role.
· Creative Digital Space
Infinity Campus was established as a robust and innovative new e-learning platform based on the foundation of INNOVATION, DIVERSITY & MINDSET to create unique courses and expansive networks independent of physical locations by combining even more technology into the creative bloodstream.
· Creative Physical Space
On many levels, the pandemic accelerated and intensified many things. Miami Ad School Europe has to adapt, invent, and innovate even more, and much more quickly! This has resulted in numerous developments, including the move to the Factory Berlin location, in addition to new collaborations. A cutting-edge infrastructure with quick digital access and human connections – enlightening and invigorating! All of this can be found in Berlin, thanks to the Factory Berlin Partnership, which provides a vibrant community and a solid context for its students.
Ina proudly asserts, “It reflects what the school stands for: a program that is fit for the future, in an environment that is full of possibilities.”
We need to do more to promote and encourage the concept of female leaders.
Creating A New Innovation And Creativity Space
According to Ina, they should never stop learning themselves, be open minded and push themselves to the next level. So, the versatile leader has implemented new best practices in terms of new product developments, partnerships, and methodologies in the past 5 years e.g.:
Ina attended an Innovation Hub conference a few years ago and met a Dr. of Micro- and Cell Biology, who inspired her regarding techniques and methods centred on understanding how we function, specifically our cells, and what that means for your own understanding of your role in the team and as a leader. They collaborated to create something completely new for the creative industry: in addition to educating their students during internal Innovation Days, they designed and launched ‘The Re-Charge Room,’ which uses Bio Hacking methodologies such as brain-light meditation to boost students’ creative energy.
· T-Shaped Talent Model
The T-shaped skill-set build-up is a very fundamental implementation. The output of this strategy is critical for creative agencies and Tech companies looking for new talent, and it is in high demand. The vertical bar on the letter T represents the depth of related skills, with students developing deep expertise in one field – such as Art Direction, Concepting/Copywriting, or Creative Technology – while also developing a strong sense of curiosity for other disciplines and basic knowledge skills, as well as a desire to learn from experience in other fields. This describes the T’s horizontal bar, and hence the capacity to work with experts from various fields and apply knowledge in areas other than one’s own. This has become a more consistent method of developing the next generation of hybrid creatives, and it is now well established across the entire curriculum.
Ina says, “As a t-shaped talent, you stay more interested and open-minded, you’re better at collaborating with others, you experience the satisfaction of depth in a certain area of knowledge and you are more creative than others – therefore, this talent is more attractive to employers.”
For us, as innovators in education for the next generation, an overarching key differentiating factor is: DIVERSITY, MINDSET & EXPERIENCE,” states Ina
Achievements In A Nutshell
1. FUTURE SUMMIT SERIES – THE 100
Ina co-founded the 1st international Non-Conference, called FUTURE SUMMIT SERIES – THE 100, where 100 rebels, pioneers and trouble-makers in the field of innovation – like Nancy King, Global Brand Director at AirBnB – Ani Liu from MIT Lab – Mick McConnell, Head of Concept Studio at WeWork, at that time, etc. were brought together to share their experience, brief, ideate & create the future on eye-level with the attendees.
2. WOMEN IN TECHNOLOGY
Ina co-founded the Women in Technology initiative in Sydney, Australia, which is a comprehensive and innovative program aimed at addressing the gender imbalance in STEM professions by nurturing, teaching, and employing women.
3. JUNIOR CHAMBER INTERNATIONAL
The dynamic leader was selected to join JCI (Junior Chamber International), the world’s largest association of young leaders and entrepreneurs under the age of 40, where she was in charge of driving Digital Transformation and Women in Leadership through the pillars of education, and where she established a network initiative for young females in STEM fields in Europe.
4. CREATIVITY HAS NO BORDERS
Ina initiated a Creative Lab and brought together a large team of international creatives and Human Resources Manager to launch a platform that even Google supported, where creative refugees were able to showcase their work and gain recognition for job opportunities – no matter where they came from – as one of 15 global leaders of the international and diverse collective Papel & Caneta. She intended to address the industry’s deficit and lack of creative talent by assisting a large number of creatively talented individuals whose talent had previously gone undetected and unappreciated. >> creativityhasnoborders.com