DK2024 Rewind: Welcome to the world of creatives

Elma Mešić, Content Designer

The three-day celebration of creativity and innovative ideas this year was marked by the concept of all emotions found between the two sharpest extremes known to man – love and hate. Mistakes are commonly associated with the negative side of the spectrum, but DK2024 showed that this isn’t necessarily the case. The foundation of all knowledge is our own or others’ mistakes from which we’ve learned something, and this year’s lineup of educators consisted of brilliant minds, creatives, and innovators from around the world.

Let’s take a look into the AAA Hall because it’s precisely there that some of the people who changed my approach to problems and provided a new perspective are found.

AAA Hall

The largest hall at the conference hosted Dan Ariely, an inspiring expert on human behavior, a passionate scientist, mountaineer, triple New York Times bestselling author, and a brilliant TED speaker (seriously, check out his TED talks). He showed me the importance of research yielding the most unexpected conclusions. Sometimes, we think we know enough about a topic and can confidently predict the outcome, but people, cultures, and times are unpredictable. Fortunately, unconfirmed premises teach us just as much, or nearly as much, as confirmed ones.

One of the greatest pranksters of our time, Oobah Butler brought to me a reminder of what I believe in, but I forget from time to time – “Why can’t you?” Love for trying and being more daring was also talked about by our favorite unhinged speaker Jessica Gioglio, giving current marketing examples. Timothy Goodman, an amazing artist and designer who works with Apple, Google, Nike, and other global brands took the crowd with his charisma and specific art style inspiring us all.

Another significant inspiration for me was Brian Collins from We Are Collins (also included on the list of “50 Companies Creatives Would Kill to Work For”). Their impressive project list includes the redesign of Spotify, Twitch, and Avon’s identity, among many others. His bold approach in showcasing “modern” design examples (such as simplified sans serif textual logotypes) makes you realize that one era is over and that it’s already time for another. Just think about how cool old sci-fi illustration posters or art nouveau prints were. Dear creatives, let’s take those styles, add romanticism, impressionism, brutalism, steampunk, fantasy, or whatever intrigues your imagination, and make it new.

To take old ideas to the future, you need a medium to do so. Morgan Cerf did an amazing job showing us how far we have come and how even further are we going to by presenting his: “3 Ideas From Neuroscience That Were Discovered in the Last 10 Years and Will Change the Next 10.” Creating content for your dreams and futurist neural implants, all of a sudden makes hit 2010 movie The Inception very real for us.

B, C, and other letters

If you ever felt overwhelmed by the huge AAA stage, DK organized additional lectures and panels outside of it. And if you weren’t quite ready to unwind on the beach yet but still needed some fresh air, lectures were also available outdoors. This way, you could still discover what “The 10 Things” Eugen Cheong wanted to teach us were or how Billy McFarland messed up the Fyre Festival so much.

In the smaller, more intimate surroundings of the B and C halls, we learned how to “Be a Real Player”, and how to incorporate sustainability into our work, and some even opened their “Folder of Shame”, showcasing those projects we all have—those that definitely won’t end up in our portfolios. And that’s okay; mistakes are something we need to embrace before we can improve ourselves.

One of the rooms hosted open panels where everyone could participate (and free beer was provided to encourage us). The DK LLLounge also featured some special presenters—us! We had our time to shine and tell everyone about our silver-winning Young Lions project: “Be the Guardian of Our Winters.

Young Lions

The idea came to fruition a month before DK. For 24 hours, 100 young lions were secluded from the outside world to brainstorm and work on their creative solutions in six competitive categories: Design, Digital, PR, Marketers, Media, and Print. The client was Protect Our Winters, a nonprofit organization focusing on law reform for environmental issues and civic engagement campaigns, such as disseminating news from climate scientists. We took lion’s pride in securing second place for our innovative solution. The project aims to empower people, making them feel as though they are standing atop a mountain, guarding the world, and fighting for causes they believe in. We would provide members with a transparent membership card designed to function as a real-life winter filter, along with gifts such as an outdoor metal mug utilizing the latest printing technology, including a cold reveal (completed with a witty message). The best part is that all our materials and paints are environmentally friendly and designed for accessibility.


Under the thousand lights and as many eyes fixed upon them on stage, the hard work of many has paid off. After lectures and just before the party, amazing new ideas and projects were showcased. From the innovative use of clay paints for Istrian premium olive oil to heartwarming donation stories and the catchy GUC GUC commercial that we all hummed along to, the ideas were spectacular. We also had the honor of seeing our names displayed on the stage. But next year, not only will our names be shown, but we’ll be climbing onto it as well! So watch out, DK25!

Midnight lectures

This year’s DK had an amazing new addition – midnight lectures. The intimate, no-recording atmosphere with your favorite speakers and open conversation concept was complemented with a glass of drink. Questions you always wanted to ask, about your specializations, ideas, paths to take, and every philosophical late-night thought you would share with your friends were brought to the podium of a huge dimmed room. Everything around you provided you with a feeling like you had sneaked into some forbidden place. Right there, you would realize that all of those brilliant people are still just people, who have their struggles, ups, and downs, just like you. You could see people from a stage in a completely new light – the barrier was broken.

This takes me to one of my absolute favorite experiences. After the midnight talk, I was still left with some unanswered questions, especially from the most amazing Micaela Mantegna. Earlier that day, she took us from hall AAA to the Metaverse, and that evening she gladly sat down with me, one-on-one, and helped me get answers to every question I had. Sharing her journey gave me so much inspiration to create, find new ways, and overcome obstacles. She also showed me a bunch of photos of her adorable cats, and that always elevates the conversation to a whole another level.

All of the lecturers did have their time on stage, but they were all approachable at any convenient time during the conference for a one-on-one chat or able to provide you with a contact if you had any further questions.


What if I told you that you could be at the party where Brian Collins is raising the roof by remixing “Let the Sunshine In” and other hits, Oobah Butler is pulling off his thing on stage, and Micaela Mantegna is spinning the best bangers at 2 a.m., filling you with so much energy you almost can’t handle it, while dancing with so many creative minds (Dan Ariely, your vibey moves are to be remembered). No, you’re not in your creative director’s dream, but at the last party of DK24!

WHAT A NIGHT, FOLKS! What a night…

What to take from it

  1. Let the FOMO take you, because in this case, if you take that afternoon nap, you are missing out on possibly the most important lecture you’ll ever have.
  2. Be more daring; making a huge mistake is literally the worst that can happen.
  3. Before attending a conference, make sure you research the lecturers and panels, because that’s how you get the most out of it.
  4. Creativity in design dies when we start using only design as our inspiration (and this goes for any field).
  5. Never, ever stop learning.
And yeah, don’t miss DK2025!
  • AAA Hall
  • B, C, and other letters
  • Young Lions
  • Awards
  • Midnight lectures
  • Part-ey
  • What to take from it

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