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Two in SA named winners in Next Creative Leaders (One Club/3% Movement)

A pair of young creatives based in South Africa are among the 34 young creatives from 16 countries named as the latest winners in the global Next Creative Leaders competition, produced by The One Club for Creativity and The 3% Movement to recognize women, trans, and non-binary creatives on the rise.

They are Sands Mathura, associate creative director at Sands Mathura in Cape Town, and Lauren Mitchell, group creative head at Accenture Song in Johannesburg.

Now in its ninth year, Next Creative Leaders is a free portfolio competition that identifies, celebrates, and gives a global platform to qualified creatives across all regions who are making their mark with both their work and a unique point of view on creative leadership that’s changing the industry for the better.  

NCL winners by region, as selected by this year’s esteemed jury, is as follows:


  • Sitta Chandarawong, senior art director, Sour Bangkok
  • Farishte Irani, group head – copy, Dentsu Webchutney, Mumbai
  • Stacy Karayannis, associate creative director, Leo Burnett Australia, Melbourne
  • Kiah Nicholas, associate creative director, BMF, Sydney
  • Rujrada Rienvatana, senior copywriter, VML, Bangkok
  • Tung Wang, associate creative director, Ogilvy Taiwan, Taipei


  • Ligia Fava, art director, David Madrid
  • Emese Gillotte, head of art, and Dorottya Tóth, creative director, DDB Budapest (team)
  • Claudia Illan, copywriter, Marcel, Paris
  • Julia Machado, senior copywriter, Ogilvy Germany, Berlin
  • Josefina Mateo Burton, senior copywriter, LOLA MullenLowe, Madrid
  • Chaeyeong Seo, creative, art director, Wieden+Kennedy London

Latin America

  • Arah Kim, associate creative director, Wieden+Kennedy Mexico City
  • Catharina Mendonça, copywriter, AlmapBBDO, São Paulo 
  • Carolina Pinheiro, creative director, AKQA, São Paulo
  • Alejandra Rozo, art director, David Bogotá
  • Jacky Salome, associate creative director, Wieden+Kennedy  Mexico City

Middle East & Africa

  • Maram Ashour, associate creative director, Dubai
  • Michelle Ko, creative director, FP7 McCann Dubai
  • Sands Mathura, associate creative director, Sands Mathura, Cape Town
  • Lauren Mitchell, group creative head, Accenture Song, Johannesburg
  • Rana Sadek, associate creative director, IMPACT BBDO, Dubai

North America

  • Vanessa de Beaumont, associate creative director, Mischief @ No Fixed Address, New York
  • Abigail Chieppa, associate creative director, Energy BBDO, Chicago
  • Connie Chweh, senior art director, Peloton; cofounder, AZN AMERICANA , New York
  • Rachel Ellam Goss, creative director, Rashell & Co., Los Angeles
  • Sally Fung, associate creative director, FCB Canada, Toronto
  • Ted Malenfant, copywriter, Wieden+Kennedy Portland
  • Sara Muchnick, senior copywriter, Droga5 New York
  • Jacquelyn Parent, creative director, writer, Rethink, Toronto
  • Sollin Sæle, senior creative, Accenture Song, New York
  • Cassandra Shuber and Daniela Marino, associate creative directors, Edelman, New York (team)

Entrants were judged on four to six pieces of creative work and information about how they — and their work — are pushing the industry forward and making a positive contribution in terms of diversity, mentoring, and advocacy. Previous NCL winners can be viewed here 

“For nearly two decades, The One Club has provided programming that helps improve the industry’s diversity and gender equality,” said Kevin Swanepoel, CEO, The One Club.  “We’re proud to co-produce Next Creative Leaders, a competition designed to identify, elevate and give voice to creatives around the world who are making a real difference, opening doors, and inspiring the next generation.”

“It’s amazing what happens when you overtly invite creatives who aren’t the ‘usual suspects’ to share their work,” said Kat Gordon, founder, CEO at The 3% Movement.  “As every member of this year’s jury can attest, there is an embarrassment of riches to be found. The fact that many of these talented creatives also use their gifts to improve the industry itself makes Next Creative Leaders more than a creative competition, but a community-fueled driver of change.  3% is so proud to partner with The One Club for almost a decade on this initiative. It matters.”

Each NCL winner receives a one-year complimentary individual membership with The One Club, with opportunities to participate in future One Club awards juries, and complimentary tickets to a One Club professional development conference ($1,000+ value), panels, and mentorship events. 

The One Club will host a free webinar on February 29 at 12:00 pm EST, featuring select Next Creative Leaders winners and some of their groundbreaking work.

Branding for the latest Next Creative Leaders competition was designed by Selina Kehuan Wu, an MFA candidate at Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, and a Type Directors Club TDC69 competition winner.

About The 3% Movement

Over a 10-year period, The 3% Movement has helped raise the number of female creative directors from 3% to 29%. After hosting 29 events and offering consulting and certification programs, The 3% Movement now supports diverse leaders with creative coaching, research and a global community dedicated to the belief that diversity = creativity = profitability.   

The One Club for Creativity – home of The One Show, ADC Annual Awards, Art Directors Club of Europe (ADCE) awards, ONE Asia Awards, Type Directors Club and competition, TDC Ascenders, Young Guns, Young Ones Student Awards, Next Creative Leaders, ONE Screen Short Film Festival, and more – is the world’s foremost non-profit organization whose mission is to support and celebrate the global creative community.  Revenue generated from entries to its global awards shows goes back into the industry to fund programming under the organization’s four pillars: Education, Inclusion & Diversity, Gender Equality, and Creative Development. 

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