Andre Chaves

Brazilian, 27 years old.

In May 2014 I traveled to New York to visit just a few of the most awarded agencies in the world and learn how they were looking towards the future. It was an incredible experience, especially because Papel&Caneta’s mission was to help Brazilian agencies change their game in search of something new and unexplored.

But, after some talks, a global leader asked me: do you really think that a Brazilian non-profit project would be able to change the competitive way the ad industry works? Do you think a 24 year-old Brazilian guy is ready to tackle a challenge this big?

As much as I believed in myself, from that moment on I realized that I needed to go beyond and, more importantly, find friends – movers and shakers who were lighting up new paths in different parts of the world. I realized that I had to start a global, collective movement made up of brave leaders who were also on the same journey, willing to challenge conventions, work together, and create positive change.

In May 2016 – exactly two years later – I found myself in New York again. This time, I wasn’t alone. Instead, I was joined by activists, leaders and young people from different countries and places like LEMZ, R/GA, Sid Lee, Sagmeister & Walsh, SpecialGuest, Code&Theory, FLAGCX, Buzzfeed, Mesa&Cadeira and GOOD. A team composed of people who hadn’t yet met, but who wanted to donate their time and resources to help the Black Trans community to change the world.

Today – as much as this experience has been incredible – I have no doubts that this journey is only beginning. The time for change is now.

2014, May – 2016, May.