AKQA Future Lions launches Tom Bedecarré School of the Year Award

AKQA Future Lions has launched the Tom Bedecarré School of the Year Award in honour of Tom Bedecarré, AKQA’s Chairman Emeritus.

Ajaz Ahmed, CEO of AKQA, said: “Tom Bedecarré’s incredible career is defined by his ability to nurture, guide and develop the next generation of leaders and innovators. Tom has made a unique and lasting contribution to AKQA, for which I will always be immensely grateful. Through his relentless dedication to entrepreneurship and inclusivity, Tom is a brilliant leader who has mentored creators and students to reach the highest peaks of professional achievement.”

Ajaz added: “Every so often, if you’re truly fortunate, you get to meet someone who profoundly alters the course of your life in unimaginable ways, all for the better. Tom Bedecarré is a saint in my life and countless people’s lives and journeys.”

Tom Bedecarré said: “Looking back over my career spanning more than 40 years, I am most proud of encouraging, supporting and mentoring many students and young colleagues starting their careers.”

The Tom Bedecarré School of the Year Award will recognise schools, academies and educational centres that demonstrate a proven approach to broadening access and leveraging pioneering technology to amplify impact.

Since its inception in 2005 with the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, AKQA’s Future Lions Awards have become one of the most coveted honours for emerging talent in the design, creative and advertising industries. A panel of education and creative sector experts reviews AKQA Future Lions entries. Winners are invited to the ceremony in Cannes to receive their awards.

Working at the intersection of technology and creativity, Tom Bedecarré was instrumental in designing the AKQA Future Lions initiative. He was named “Silicon Valley’s Favourite Adman” by Fortune magazine. Most recently, Tom returned to Stanford, the university from which he graduated in 1980, as a lecturer and mentor. At Standford, Tom was presented with the Jon Blum Outstanding Alumni Mentor Award to recognise how he has engaged with students and helped them identify their passions and develop their potential. This accolade is rare for non-academics.

Tom has helped steer numerous boards and philanthropic ventures, including the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl, Stanford Committee on Investment Responsibility, and the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) Advertising Agency Advisory Board.

The introduction of the Tom Bedecarré School of the Year Award coincides with AKQA’s 30th anniversary celebration, during which the agency has been honoured with the Agency of the Year wins an impressive 81 times.

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