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ADCE Presents White Paper on Key Findings from First Creative Incubator
Document highlights trends, challenges and opportunities that creative organisations need to face in order to thrive in a radical new context

ADCE and Pi School, the promoters of the Creative Incubator, a new program that wants to be a space for creatives to debate, experiment and propose new business models for the sector, present the first ADCE White Paper. A recipe to redesign the creative organisation of the future that is the result of 12 months of research, interviews, exchanges and collaboration of more than 90 active participants from 21 countries. 

With the name 'White Paper: Potential models to design the creative organisation of the future', the document provides an assessment of key problems within the creative industry and recommends alternative approaches to look at organisational models, having used simulations and prototyping to spot the potential opportunities and the challenges of application.

Main drivers and problems

The paper first identifies four main drivers that have triggered the need for alternative business models. These are the growth of marketing technology and new dimensions of data usability, a cultural shift of consumers in relation to new media channels, the disconnect between creative talents and traditional working models and the acquisition of agencies by consulting and tech organisations. But opportunities never arise without challenges. As a result, the paper lists four main problems that come along with those drivers: the lack of innovation culture, the lack of technological integration, the lack of client centricity and the problem of attracting talent. 

Trends and tips

After outlining a set of solutions to each of these problems, the paper points out six successful trends, with tips to implement them. These trends are:

1) The necessity to periodically reinvent your business model.

2) The realisation that talent needs flexibility.

3) The popularisation of the In-house-Agency model for a better understanding.

4) The consideration of design as a discipline connected to everything else, and therefore a need to set up a design organisation.

5) The ever-growing importance of Experiential-driven design.

6) The adoption of a start-up mindset based on experimentation and failure as a way to find the right business model.


After going through all the drivers, problems, solutions and trends, the paper summarises some key aspects that can help model the creative organisations of the future, bearing in mind that there is no single agency model but many different ones. The report describes the agencies of the future as small in size and agile in dynamics but globally active, decentralised and disconnected to the physical space, horizontal or collaborative hierarchy, high in freelancers, more specialised and rich in cross-disciplinary roles and functions.

Finally, the white paper ends by imagining models that put it all into practice and explains what they are based on, how the work, their added value and challenges. ‘Metamoto’, a crypto-currency fuelled agency that believes in transparency and creating objective value for creativity, or ‘Ideas to Go’, an online collections of great ready-to-use communication ideas which you can buy with a click, are some of the examples featured.

Download the full ADCE White Paper here.

2019 Creative Incubator

Rome, Barcelona and Berlin will host the next edition of the Creative Incubator, a set of workshops funded by the EU-Creative Europe program. This year, the community of creatives will focus on defining a creative standard, a process that enables upcoming generations to use creativity and design to apply solutions to real-world problems that go beyond communications campaigns. 

The program starts in Rome (28-30 March), in the unique learning environment of the Pi School Villa. It then moves to the home of ADCE at the Disseny Hub in Barcelona (6th-8th June), and finishes the incubation journey in Berlin (5-7 September), at the University of Applied Sciences. Similar to the previous edition, the results of the Creative Incubator will be presented at the 6th ADCE Creativity Festival, in Barcelona, and a white paper with concrete guidelines will be available for download.

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