Creativity for Good

A Q&A from 3 leading agencies on the power of CREATIVITY for GOOD

Social impact and purpose have never been so important, as employers look to create deeper meaning for their employees and attract like-minded clients and collaborators.

To celebrate The Edison Agency's social purpose "DESIGN for GOOD" initiative, Steve Wren, Business Director @ The Edison Agency spoke with three top-tier creative leaders to uncover why leading with impact is pivotal to their business and culture.

About The Edison Agency

At The Edison Agency, we have a passion for good design and are committed to designing for good! Since our founding in 2011, we have created strong connections with our community, our people, partners and industry, and it's these ties that have helped shape who we are today.

We see creativity as a superpower and we intend on using it to create positive change. An important part of our agency purpose is connected to achieving a balance between profit, people and planet. We believe our industry has a responsibility to use its privilege and power as communication experts to stimulate change and action from the inside out, working with both industry and commerce to create impact.


Our Guests:

Sian Whitaker, General Manager Broadsheet Media
Broadsheet remains Australia’s Number 1 go-to culture guide. Delivering 3 million visits per month, Broadsheet exists for those with a thirst for culture, and thrives on connecting them to advertisers and brands. 2022 Mumbrella Media brand of the year, Publishing Company of the year, and nominated for Best Media Platform B&T Awards.

Howard Parry-Husbands, CEO Pollinate and Non Executive Director Planet Ark
A two-time award winner in the Advertising Age Small Agency of the Year competition, Pollinate's expertise encompasses every facet of consumer engagement—from brand research and media buying to creative and content development to product customization technology.

Fergus Kibble, Founder and Managing Director FORWARD agency
FORWARD is one of Australia's leading mid-sized independent creative PR Agencies. Named Australia’s Best PR Agency Team in 2021.




“We pride ourselves on building strong connections between brand and audience, and authenticity is paramount to us doing that successfully. Broadsheet has remained steadfast in its mission from day one, and has always valued quality over quantity – this has built a deep trust in our brand and underpins the authenticity so valued by our audience.

We know that our cities and culture are richer through greater diversity, dialogue and understanding, and we strive to give a platform to the people and venues and organisations who help build those things in our cities, driving culture, bringing people together and making our cities great.” 


“Working with purposeful brands and clients led us to think about our purpose and the impact we could have as an agency. It is important that our people see that we are "walking the walk" around purpose and impact, that it is not just something we talk about but something we do. This is one of the major reasons we become a B Corp this year - which, by the way, is a great model to help any business rethink and reorganise with a focus on supporting your people, the community, the environment and creating positive social impact.

We want our work to be a force for good and be supportive of our creative industry. Wherever we can, we look to work with small, independent, and minority-led businesses and creators who are the vibrant backbone of the creative services industry. We also ensure that as we select and recommend influencers and ambassadors for our client's campaigns, there is positive representation and authentic diversity in the people we recommend.”


“Ultimately it’s about sustainability – or rather reversing the current unsustainable way we live, work and play. The current structure that will allow us to return to a sustainable way of life can be broadly encompassed by the UN SDG goals. And the key is that these are the UN SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) and the importance of SOCIAL issues alongside ecological issues.  Too often sustainability is used as a shorthand for climate change when in fact the entire system is unsustainable.

Social impact is therefore a crucial aspect of how we need to redesign the entire system to deliver social equity and business viability that ensures the planet continues to provide a bearable environment.”




“The two main ways we can be helpful is by providing either direct financial support to give back or via pro-bono or low-bono support to charities or social enterprises that may need our help. 

Last year our team discussed and aligned this support around three key United Nations Sustainable Development Goals that we felt made sense for our business; Zero Hunger, Responsible Consumption and Production, and Good Health and Well-Being. In the past 12 months we have supported Oz Harvest, Sea Shepard, and Feel the Magic as part of our 1% Pledge commitment.”


“The pandemic has been a complex, difficult and often confusing time for Australians. Broadsheet invested a lot of time and resources into understanding how our communities – and the businesses operating within them – were experiencing this unprecedented situation, sharing those stories with our audience and also finding ways to help people live a better everyday and experience culture – even from within their own homes or within a five kilometre radius

We got first-hand accounts from Melbourne and Sydney restaurateurs about the impact of the lockdowns and chronic staff shortages, covered our cities reopening and the debate about a government-mandated vaccine pass, and gave a platform to other hard-hit industries struggling in the wake of Covid-19. We also launched our Unlocked campaign to capture the joy of reopening and to encourage people back out into our stricken cities. Fostering a sense of community through our content during a time of extreme social isolation, gave our team a greater purpose.

We also support key cultural and social impact partners through pro bono work each year:”

  • StreetSmart: DineSmart and CafeSmart (8 years)
  • Melbourne Art Foundation: Melbourne Art Fair 
  • Asylum Seeker Resource Centre
  • Mood Tea
  • National Indigenous Art Fair
  • Welcome Merchant
  • Movember
  • Dolly’s Dream
  • Spud’s Game
  • Baker’s Delight Pink Buns


“In 2022 we were winners of AFR Sustainability Leaders and are undergoing BCorp accreditation. We offer a Passion grant – where every staff member is expected to conduct at least 3 days paid training in any skills based activity every year.

A Health and wellbeing program – focussed on flexible working, enhanced maternity/paternity leave, mental health access and support. We refuse to work for tobacco, gambling or weapons manufacturers. We are unlikely to work for fossil fuel companies (and currently do not). We conduct lo-bono and pro-bono work.

We’re Australia’s leading systems thinking strategic agency.  We invest in academic and professional training to develop leading expertise applying systems thinking processes and products to marketing, communications and design. The Pulse – a self-funded bi-annual study of society’s attitudes and behaviour.”




“The feedback from our people when we became a BCORP was overwhelmingly positive, and we have seen an uptick in our internal engagement scores.  In 2021 we won Agency Team of the Year at the Public Relations Institute of Australia's Golden Target Awards - which I think is a testament to the great work we do and the great culture we have created.” 


“Our team is proud that Broadsheet is able to give a platform to people who could not otherwise share their story, especially those who have been or support people who are marginalised. They’re given the ability to build relationships in their communities, raise awareness of important issues and raise their own profiles as they become advocates for others. 

The work we do has an enduring impact on the lives of small business owners. A great example of this is the work we did with the City of Melbourne. In 2021 we reached out to Melbourne Lord Mayor Sally Capp with an idea to help recharge the city’s struggling restaurants and bars in the wake of the lockdowns. That concept became Melbourne Money, a game-changing program that saw the city subsidise 20% of money spent in Melbourne restaurants. 

The program was a hit. In fact, it was so successful it was renewed three times and was extended to the whole of Victoria.

Most of the work we do benefits small business, but in the past we have also relied on them to help us benefit people in need. In January 2020, as parts of our country were ravaged by one of the worst bushfire seasons in Australian history, we knew we had to use our influence to raise funds for those hit hardest by the crisis. Our unparalleled relationships with our cities’ most important cultural figures allowed us to bring together an all-star cast of chefs, bartenders, painters, musicians and more for a twilight picnic on the lawn of the National Gallery of Victoria in aid of the Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund.”  


“Staff retention is incredibly high. Many staff have been here 8+ years and we are proud to say our client retention is also high. Expertise in sustainability attracts more work – over 150 projects across marine and land ecosystems, the GBR, forests, farms, carbon, Ozone, food and fibre, recycling, packaging and circular economy to name a few.”




“Our partners often come to us to produce work that has impact beyond a campaign period. They come to us to connect with the industry in a more meaningful way. Any brand can pay a chef, or a business owner, or an artist a talent fee to get them to speak on behalf of their brand, but only with a partner like Broadsheet can they truly become part of a bigger conversation.

We saw this mindset shift most dramatically during the pandemic, when brands wanted to support local hospitality businesses. Despite tumultuous times for advertisers, which saw advertising dollars cut across the board but specifically in key cultural industries such as tourism, travel and live events, Broadsheet increased its campaign intake, securing high-value campaigns with Diageo Australia, Dan Murphys, Tourism Australia and MYOB. All of these were aimed at supporting small business owners and their mental health during the pandemic.” 


“Many of our clients are working to transform their product ranges to be more sustainable and are building their brands and businesses to be more purposeful.  I think it helps that they see an alignment of intention by their agency partners and that we can demonstrate that we are also committed to looking after our people, the planet and the community. This has strengthened relationships and opens the door to conversations about how we can support them in achieving their goals.”




“In the most basic sense, creative industries exist to cut through noise and either produce communication that makes an individual or wider population take action or elicits an emotional response from them. So, in this way, creative industries are best placed to impact change on a deep level, at a mass scale.

There is a sense of camaraderie in the creative industry, which is filled with empathetic, solutions-focused individuals who are open to opportunities and possibilities to embrace innovative thinking and change. In our case, we can also give issues a platform – introducing the issue to millions of readers who can then advocate for and help drive the change on that issue.”


“It’s a colossal communications failure so far.  Almost the entire ‘creative’ industry has ignored the cognitive science and realities of complex systems which defy traditional advertising, design, media and marketing.  To paraphrase the science “when science and common sense contradict people choose common sense’.  The creative industry has obsessively portrayed social impact or broader sustainability issues as activist Armageddon, simple false dichotomies or hopeful panaceas.  The result is a deeply polarised, apathetic global population and a persistent ‘business and normal approach.

Creative industries – in as much as the biggest failure of climate change action is the failure of communications – are uniquely placed to help impact climate change because they are the largest cause of its failure to date.”


“Because we have a seat at the table in influencing change and helping our clients communicate change. At FORWARD, we do this by helping our clients develop programs that have social impact or campaigns that help educate and inform Australians about the choices and actions they take that will have a positive impact.” 

As more clients, staff and the wider industry continue to rally behind a purpose-driven cause, we hope to see the creative industry express their superpowers of communication, design and ideation to support a better future for all.

Creativity can inspire, disrupt, and most importantly impact CHANGE and when it’s at the core of your DNA, you naturally want to put it out to the world.

To find out more about our guests or how your business can create positive change check out:

The Edison Agency - Design for Good
Broadsheet Media
The Cause Effect
B Corp Certification
Pledge 1%

Design For Good by Edison is an initiative that sees 3% of annual revenue invested back into programs for start-up and not-for-profit programs under the pillars of sustainability, gender equity, diversity and inclusion and education.

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