kevin roberts lectures at aud

Published April 26th, 2009 - 05:38 GMT

The American University in Dubai (AUD) hosted Mr. Kevin Roberts, New York-based CEO Worldwide of Saatchi & Saatchi, one of the world’s leading creative organizations.  The visit was part of the University’s ongoing plan to provide its students with exposure to the working world to better prepare them for their own future careers.

Senior Students majoring in Visual Communications and in Marketing Communication attended, along with their respective professors, department chairs and other members of the AUD community.   Notable guests also included Dr. Lance de Masi, President of AUD, Dr. Jihad Nader, Provost and Chief Academic Officer at AUD, Mr. Elias Ashkar, CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi MENA, members of Saatchi & Saatchi Dubai office and the media.

Introducing Mr. Roberts, President de Masi, said:
“To me, the clearest and most present danger in the communications business today is the risk of somehow trivializing creativity and turning creative people into the forgotten factor in success. That's why when Elias Ashkar offered AUD the opportunity to host his Worldwide CEO, Kevin Roberts, I jumped on it as I knew that he would put creativity center-stage for all our young aspiring communications professionals to see”.

Titled “Magic Dance”, Roberts started his lecture by giving a unique glimpse into the fast-paced world of Saatchi & Saatchi. Throughout his presentation, he explored the power of creativity across the landscape of business. From connectivity, innovation and interactivity to leadership and sustainability, the discussion mapped out the secrets of success for executives negotiating today’s unique challenges.

No stranger to lecturing at universities, Roberts inspired the students and the attendees at AUD with his lecture coupled with viewings of different television commercials, developed by Saatchi & Saatchi.

“The World is in for a rough ride”, Roberts started. “The old model is out. A new inclusive model is in – and it’s you”, he continued pointing to the students.

According to Roberts, the new model [the students] is competitive, passionate and restless.  “You are at the crossroads of culture, commerce and creative, just like Dubai” he commented.

As CEO Worldwide of Saatchi & Saatchi, Roberts has a serious stake in the future of creativity and his agency has a history of fearlessly pushing the boundaries to get there first, a subject the AUD students were very keen on learning about.

“The road to success is built on ideas. Don’t confuse ideas with knowledge. Knowledge is only a click away. Ideas are flames of the imagination. Ideas light up the world” advised Roberts.

Roberts also shared his recipe for success with the students, five shortcuts to reaching the future: fly into the storm by taking risks; think with your heart as creative performance happens when emotions rule; create Lovemarks because they inspire loyalty beyond reason;, change the game by rewriting the rules of business to build beacons of possibilities; and finally to be all you can be by being inspirational players.

AUD and Saatchi & Saatchi are exploring collaboration opportunities, details of which will be announced.

Kevin Roberts, CEO Worldwide, Saatchi & Saatchi
Kevin Roberts is the New York-based CEO Worldwide of Saatchi & Saatchi, one of the world’s leading creative organizations with a team of 6000 people across 86 countries. Appointed in 1997, he previously held international marketing and leadership positions with Gillette, Procter & Gamble, PepsiCo, and Lion Nathan. He is a member of the Publicis Groupe Directoire, Saatchi & Saatchi’s parent company. Clients of Saatchi & Saatchi include Procter & Gamble, Toyota, Lexus, General Mills, Visa International, JCPenney and Novartis.

Active in academic life, Kevin is CEO in Residence at Cambridge University’s Judge Business School in the UK, Honorary Professor of Innovation and Creativity at the University of Auckland Business School, and Honorary Professor at the Peruvian University of Applied Sciences in Lima. He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the University of Waikato in New Zealand, and in 2009, he will accept an Honorary Doctorate in Laws from Lancaster University. Kevin is a member of the Board of Directors of Telecom New Zealand and the Chairman of USA Rugby.

Kevin’s published marketing and management books include Lovemarks: the Future Beyond Brands (18 languages), sisomo: the future on screen, co-authorship of Peak Performance: Business lessons from the World’s Leading Sports Organizations, and Diesel: XXX Years of Diesel Communication.

Kevin was born in Lancaster, England in 1949. He is married to Rowena, and has two daughters and two sons. A New Zealand citizen, he has homes in Auckland, New York, St Tropez and Grasmere. Kevin is trustee of the Turn Your Life Around Trust, an Auckland charity.

The American University in Dubai is a private, non-sectarian institution of higher learning founded in 1995; it serves UAE nationals and international students who seek world-class career-oriented education. It is accredited by the Commission on Colleges (COC) of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) to award Bachelor's and Master's degrees.
AUD is officially licensed by the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research of the United Arab Emirates. The Ministry has accredited the university’s programs in Business Administration (both undergraduate
and graduate), Communication and Information Studies, Engineering, Information Technology, Interior Design and Visual Communication.

AUD holds an Agent's License issued by the District of Columbia Education Licensure Commission (Washington, DC, USA). AUD is approved to operate by the State of Georgia Nonpublic Postsecondary Education Commission (NPEC).

For more information, please contact: Ms. Rim Ibrahim, External Affairs Coordinator, Tel (04 3183139), Fax (04 3998899), Email:


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