Next Creative Leaders 2022

By Laurel Stark on Dec 13, 2022

Every year around this time, we announce a new class of Next Creative Leaders. And as the Co-Founder, I get the honor of reflecting on and finding the words to introduce you to our latest class. Over the past eight years, Next Creative Leaders has come to mean talent and impact to me. But this year, the word that is circling our 2022 class is legacy.

This year, we’ve leaned further into the Next Creative Leaders’ core values around inclusion and visibility, to celebrate a truly global class of winners and spotlight more impressive regional work from around the world.

This year’s class represents a new kind of creative—those who are fearlessly using new platforms and technologies to connect meaningfully. They are redefining the kinds of stories we find worthy of celebrating as an industry.

And this year, the winners are more connected than they’ve ever been. Not just to their creative voices and their purpose, but to the legacy of this competition and the winners that came before them.

I’ve been humbled to consider the ways Next Creative Leaders is wrapped up in the legacies of creative legends like Nancy Vonk, who helped me launch NCL eight years ago, and who was recently inducted into The One Club for Creativity’s Creative Hall of Fame. And the great, Dan Wieden, who we lost this year. Whose namesake agency is home to three of this year’s winners– and 13 winners over the course of this competition’s eight-year run.

Like Nancy and Dan, our 2022 Next Creative Leaders are building a new kind of creative legacy. Not only one of impressive work, but also one of unshakable impact on the careers of countless others. By showing us what’s possible. By leading with the heart. By embracing evolution. These winners are representative of not just who we are when we’re at our best, but who we choose to be when things are hard.

I truly believe the bigger the challenges we face as an industry, the greater opportunity we have for connection, resilience, and innovation—both on an individual level and as a collective. So as we close out a challenging year, I hope, like me, you all find reasons to feel optimistic about our creative future in the stories and the work of the 2022 Next Creative Leaders.


NCL Winners

Click any headshot to view their interview or winning entry.




On January 19th, we are celebrating the NCL 2022 Winners in New York City at NCL in NYC. This evening includes a retrospective of some of the 2022 award-winning work, two panel discussions with winners and other industry change makers, and a cocktail & appetizers gathering.


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