The global 2020 Best Workplaces for Innovators ranks 100 winners from a variety of industries, including computer science, biotech, consumer packaged goods, non-profit, education, financial services, cybersecurity, and engineering.
AKQA is positioned 25th for creativity and openness that enables ideas, trust and a collaborative work environment for employees and clients.
APAC region managing partner Brian Vella said: “It’s incredibly humbling to be named alongside companies like Shopify, Slack, Microsoft, Amazon and Google. It’s a tremendous honour.”
Recognition from Fast Company includes AKQA’s work in Australia and New Zealand to halt the illegal logging of the Amazon rainforest; Code of Conscience (in partnership with the São Paulo team).
Neuromuscle, a rapid skill acquisition tool, designed to transfer AI to the human body. Work with Tennis Australia, to make sports broadcasts more inclusive for people living with blindness or visual impairments. And Artificial Intelligence projects transforming how world-class retail considered in-store analytics. In Shanghai, our approach to Innovation led to the imagination application of AR to create Nike’s Unpack Your City and in Tokyo Nike’s Create with Air, an AR-enabled magazine.
“As much of the world recovers from health, economic, and social crises, we need innovation more than ever,” said Fast Company editor-in-chief Stephanie Mehta. “This new list of the Best Workplaces for Innovators celebrates organisations that have fostered innovative thinking by investing in technology, research and development, and their employees.”
“Business, social and technology contexts are ever-changing,” said Vella. “With a fundamental belief in exploration and disciplined execution, our clients and staff have the knowledge and tools to both grow and shape the future. Our unique Research and Development approach focuses solely on exploring and works either alongside, or even inside, our clients’ businesses.”
AKQA Insight is an internal learning platform featuring courses from employees and a series of exclusive talks from influential authors, athletes, artists and entrepreneurs to stimulate ideas and expand the imagination. AKQA Bold is an LGBTQI+ initiative creating a work environment and culture across all offices where everyone is empowered to be their own, authentic selves. WFH FM, a global radio station born in Melbourne during COVID-19, has helped team members stay connected, featuring a morning talkback show, interviews with the likes of comedian Russel Peters, and live DJs from Melbourne, Sydney, London, Berlin and San Francisco.
“This recognition by Fast Company reflects the ambition and aspiration shared with so many clients to make innovation real. We’ve been quietly working towards this for a number of years and it’s now genuinely a core part of our business and this position validates it,” said Vella.
“We used to boast about employing around 2,000 people across 30 studios in 20 countries,” said AKQA’s CEO Ajaz Ahmed. “Now that most of our team and clients are working from home, it feels more like one international studio, without the physical barriers of distance. The incredible recent work being recognised confirms that our hearts and minds remain connected. While everyone is adapting, adjusting and rebooting the ways in which we collaborate, it’s only through inclusion that innovation can flourish.”
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