Next Creative Leaders

Next Creative Leaders is a portfolio competition that identifies, celebrates, and gives a global platform to talented women and non-binary creatives who are making their mark on the world with both their work and a unique point of view on creative leadership.

2020 Next Creative Leaders - NCL Profile

Elma Karabegovic

Agency Elma Karabegovic

Client NCL 2020


Top 10 Winners

Annual ID


Next Creative Leaders 2020 - Winner Profile

Elma Karabegovic

Elma Karabegovic

Associate Creative Director
FCB Toronto
Toronto, Canada

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Being born in Bosnia and living during the Bosnian genocide drove my family out of our homeland, immigrating to Canada in the 1990s. As a young, white, Muslim woman, learning English and yearning for acceptance by my peers, I found it very difficult to find my place in Canada. No one made room for people who are different; you had to push your way in and once you had established yourself, try to make room for others. Finding my voice and championing inclusivity has become a part of my genetic makeup in my personal life and has defined my career, my work, and my leadership style.

During my career in advertising, I’ve sought opportunities to create change, to fight for diversity and inclusivity, and to create work for clients (both pro bono and corporate) who believe their brands have the responsibility to do good. Of course, that required strong leadership and support at the Agencies where I have worked, being afforded a platform to fight for the causes I believe in. Over the last 14 years, I have sought out leaders that believe in inclusivity, not only to further my interest in creating campaigns that will help create change, but to learn from their leadership skills.

As a newly appointed Associate Creative Director, my main goal is to create an inclusive and equal playing field for every young creative, while working to implement new policy and hiring practices to create opportunities for wider representation of the BIPOC community in our industry. To that end, I’m part of the FCB Culture & Inclusion Community working towards training, outreach, and equal representation in our agency. I’m also an active mentor for five up-and-coming creatives, meeting with them regularly to help them chart their way forward. Good leadership is about creating space to learn and advance while creating an environment of trust where everyone’s voice is heard and empowered.

I have selected several campaigns that not only call attention to social issues but demonstrate my leadership in bringing them to life. Finally, I’d like to thank you for considering me for the One Show Next Creative Leaders. I’ve admired all of the previous winners and to be amongst them would be an incredible honor and the best affirmation that I’m on the right path to becoming the leader I hope to be.

2020 Awards

NCL Winner
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