A two-day leadership masterclass for 80 unusual minds – designed to give minority talent a major advantage.

Featuring MBA-level executive training from renowned facilitator, Prof. David Slocum, and inspiring tutorials from some of the world’s top creatives, leaders and activists – the content will cover topics from negotiation and creative leadership, to unconscious bias and the power of vulnerability.

Practitioners

Michael Gough

VP Design, Uber

Uber’s new VP of Design, Michael Gough is a former architect who wants to make the sometimes maligned company more empathetic. The future of Uber is far from determined, and the decisions and actions of Gough will help define it.“The core of design is empathy. That’s the starting point no matter what. That will always be how you address any product challenge. The classic way products were developed was you solved functional needs, and then maybe business needs, and then you lean heavily into human needs over time. This arc, all of the [PR] challenges aside, is a natural arc. The next big step is to become a company that’s really, really good at connecting with people and people’s needs.”

Alma Har’el

Music Video Director and Founder, Free the bid

Alma Har'el is a commercial and film director, best known for her documentaries LOVETRUE and Bombay Beach, the latter of which was awarded top prize at Tribeca Film Festival in 2011, was nominated for a 2011 Independent Spirit 'Truer than Fiction' award, and has been taught in Harvard’s Sensory Ethnography Lab and Film Center as a “genre-redefining work.

Har'el is one of the top commercial directors working today, with campaigns for Airbnb, Coca-Cola, Chanel and P&G garnering millions of hits and winning accolades, including Clio and D&AD awards. Her P&G 'Thank You Mom' campaign for the Winter Olympics gained her a DGA nomination for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Commercials.

In 2016, Har’el founded nonprofit initiative Free The Bid, a pledge which asks agencies and brands to promise to include a woman director on every triple-bid commercial project. As of its second anniversary, in September 2018, Free the Bid has received 100+  pledges from top global advertising agencies and agency networks, along with 13 global commitments from the world's top marketers (including P&G, Diageo, HP, Visa, eBay, Airbnb, and Coca-Cola), which collectively represent over 145 brands worldwide.

Tea Uglow 

Creative Director, Google Creative Labs

TL (Tea) Uglow is based in Sydney, Australia and has worked at Google for nearly 10 years, starting Google’s Creative Lab in Europe and moving to Australia in 2012 to build a team that work on experimental projects using Google, Android and YouTube technology in creative ways.

Most of the projects are collaborations with charities, agencies and cultural organizations around the world that help artists and creators explore new forms of creative practice using digital tools.

Previous projects include Editions at Play, Life in a Day, (a YT film with Ridley Scott) and the YouTube Symphony Orchestra(LSO) and partners like the Royal Shakespeare Company, LEGO, NASA and the Science Museum.

TL speaks on innovation around the world: TL's TEDx talk has over 1 million views and writes regularly on digital creativity in print and online. TL is on the board of the Biennale of Sydney (ART) and formerly D&AD (Design) and AWARD (Advertising).

An advocate and mentor to various under-represented groups in the creative industries TL is also a very active and proud parent of two small boys.

Keala Kennelly

World-champion Pro Surfer

Born and raised in the beautiful Hawaiian islands, Keala is one of the best female surfers in the world and arguably the best female big wave surfer on the planet. Keala spent 11 years competing at the highest level on the ASP World Championship Tour finishing runner-up to the World Title in 2003 and throwing down history-making performances at some of the heaviest waves in the world.

Keala’s notable wins include the WCT Women’s event at Teahupoo four times. She became the first woman to tow into big Teahupoo in 2005. Keala won the first ever Women’s Big Wave World Tour event at Nelscott Reef in 2010 and became the first woman to paddle surf Nelscott Reef. She won Best Overall in the inaugural WickrX Super Sessions event culminating at Maverick’s in 2014.

Keala has won three XXL Big Wave Women’s Overall Performance awards. She went on to shatter boundaries even further in July 2015 by towing into one of the biggest waves ever ridden at Teahupoo. Keala made history that day and later by being nominated and then winning the 2016 Barrel of the Year Award at the XXL Big Wave Awards (an award only ever won by men in the past).

Keala currently lives in Honolulu, Hawaii where she strives to be an outstanding positive role model for female empowerment and the LGBT community.

Prof. David Slocum

Academic Director, Rare

David Slocum is the Faculty Director of the Berlin School of Creative Leadership (Steinbeis University) from October 2016 until February 2019, after which he will remain on our Board of Advisors and continue to collaborate as faculty member. Slocum designs, leads, and teaches executive training programs, and is a certified executive coach, with a focus on leadership of the creative and media industries. A sociologist and historian of media, Slocum’s research and teaching have focused broadly on the transformation of film, media and communication industries, the organization and leadership of creative businesses, and the education and training of creative leaders. He also speaks regularly to academic and industry audiences on these topics. His publications, including four books, have examined a range of cultural, historical, and industry issues in media and entertainment. He is currently writing a history of creative leadership.

Slocum previously served as the director of specialized executive education programs at the George Washington University School of Business in Washington, D.C., where he designed and delivered offerings including the STAR EMBA program for individuals, like professional athletes, with strong personal brands, and the ‘On the Board’ fellows program to prepare senior women leaders for placement on corporate boards. Slocum also spent ten years at New York University, as Associate Dean at the NYU Graduate School of Arts and Science and teaching in the Cinema Studies Department and the Art & Public Policy Program in the NYU Tisch School of the Arts. Additionally at NYU, he served as Director of the University-wide Center for Teaching Excellence, was co-founding director of the Diversity Studies Program, operated jointly with the University of Cape Town (UCT), and coordinated the Graduate School’s global outreach and program design and development efforts. Earlier, he directed and taught in the Graduate Media Studies Program at the New School for Social Research.

Slocum was educated at the University of Michigan, Harvard University, and New York University, where he earned a Ph.D. studying sociology and media.

Beth O'Brien

Creative Director, Colenso BBDO

Beth has a Masters in Fine Arts, and was a practicing artist before she was drawn to creative advertising. She began her career as an Art Director at Colenso BBDO, New Zealand, where she won the country’s first D&AD Black Pencil by launching Pedigree K9FM – a radio station just for dogs.

In 2015 she headed to New York to take up Associate Creative roles at RGA and Droga5, where she created the Role Models spot for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, described by The New York Times and Forbes Magazine as “a masterpiece of political advertising” and a “Hall of Fame-level” ad.

She has a love for everything interactive, a running theme through her work. Like the time she invited hundreds of people to watch the movie Jaws at night, while floating in rubber rings on the open ocean. Or the time she created a virtual-reality hunting game where players won the meat they shot in real life.

In 2017, Beth was welcomed back to New Zealand to take up a Group Creative Head position back at Colenso BBDO – an agency that remains dear to her heart and sparks her creative soul.

Her work has been recognized at all major award shows including Cannes, D&AD, The One Show, Clio, Spikes and numerous local shows.

Oliver Percovich

Founder, Skateistan

Oliver Percovich first skated in an empty pool at the age of six, while growing up in Papua New Guinea. In 1995 he competed in the Mystic Cup, an international skateboarding contest in Prague. Prior to a life-changing move to Kabul, Oliver worked at the Centre for Risk and Community Safety on emergency management projects for various Australian government departments. In 2007 Oliver moved to Afghanistan from Australia when his girlfriend took a job in Kabul. Bored, he would skate the beleaguered city, and became a sort of pied half-piper, attracting street kids who would follow him around and ask for rides. Shortly after, Oliver founded Skateistan, a grassroots ‘Sport for Development’ project on the streets of Kabul. Today, Skateistan has more than 50 employees worldwide and is an award-winning international organisation with projects in Afghanistan, Cambodia and South Africa. The organisation is the first international development initiative to combine skateboarding with educational outcomes. Skateistan is non-political, independent, and inclusive of all ethnicities, religions and social backgrounds, offering both skating and general education classes for over 1000 boys and girls each week.

Tara Ford

Executive Creative Director, DDB

Tara Ford is the Executive Creative Director at DDB, Sydney || Board Member of the Communications Council Australia.

She has experience working in some of the most creative agencies around the world, Her work has been consistently recognised throughout her career, winning her in excess of 200 awards, on a range of clients, both for creativity and effectiveness. They span across the disciplines of brand experience and activation, direct, social media, PR, integrated, print, print craft, outdoor, media, film, film craft, design and Glass (Good). Award shows include; Cannes, D&AD, Webby Awards, One Show, Spikes, British Television, Midsummer Television, Creative Circle, Kinsale, Mobius, London International and New York Festivals, Caples, Clio, Locus, ADMA, AWARD, AdNews and B&T.

This includes her GAYTM campaign for ANZ Bank which won a Cannes Grand Prix (amongst others) and was also named the 'Best Direct campaign in the World for 2014’ by the Big Won and #1 'Best of Print/Outdoor/Design for 2014’ by Creativity-online.com

Her experience ranges from cars, banks and politics to fashion, alcohol and gaming, and everything in between. Brands include PlayStation, Nike, McDonalds, Absolut, ANZ Bank and VW to name a few.

Tara has judged and chaired various award shows including Cannes, D&AD, Clios, Spikes, New York Festivals, AWARD Award (Aus), Adfest (Asia), AADC (Aus), Women in Media Awards (Aus), AdNews (Aus), Creative Circle (UK) and the Roses Awards (UK).

She has been an active mentor to young creative talent through the Cannes 'See It Be It' and young Lions Program, RMIT student program, Miami Ad School and AWARD School. 

And she was a panelist at the inaugural 3% Conference Australasia. 

She was also recently appointed to the board of the Communications Council of Australia.

In between all this, Tara squeezes in raising her four spirited boys and making art.

Sandra Eades

Noonga physician, researcher and professor

Professor Sandra Eades is a Noongar woman from Mount Barker, Western Australia. She completed her medical degree in 1990 and after working as a general practitioner, started her career in health research at the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research where her focus was on the epidemiology of Indigenous child health in Australia.

In 2003 Professor Eades became Australia’s first Aboriginal medical doctor to be awarded a Doctorate of Philosophy. Her PhD investigated the causal pathways and determinants of health among Aboriginal infants in the first year of life.

Professor Eades was named NSW Woman of the Year 2006 in recognition of her research contributions to Aboriginal communities. She also received a ‘Deadly Award’ (National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Awards) for Outstanding Achievement in Health.

Over the past decade she has made substantial contributions to the area of Aboriginal health and has provided leadership at a national level in Aboriginal research. Both Indigenous and non-Indigenous colleagues acknowledge Professor Eades as a leader and role model in Indigenous health research.

Daniel McAullay

Director, Mode Black

Dr McAullay is a Noongar from Western Australia who has considerable experience in Aboriginal health research, policy and practice. He has worked in a number of senior positions in these areas as well as in the tertiary sector.

He has worked and provided advice to a number of Government departments and non – Government organizations, including large research institutes and has sat on a number of groups providing advice to State and Commonwealth Government in the area of health.

He has a strong health research track record, with his primary research areas of interest including maternal, infant and child health, primary health care and other health services research. He currently works as Director of the Centre for Improving Health Services for Aboriginal Children (Perth Children’s Hospital / University of Western Australia) and as the Principal Research Consultant at Kurongkurl Katitjin, Centre for Indigenous Australian Education and Research at Edith Cowan University. He is a director of the newly formed majority owned Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander marketing and communication consulting company Mode Black.

Emelda Davis

President, Australian South Sea Islanders

Emelda Davis expertise are in Media and Community development for grassroots focussed Indigenous/ASSI organisations having worked for Federal and State agencies. Emelda’s role as president of the Australian South Sea Islanders - Port Jackson (ASSIPJ) since 2009 has seen the revival of ‘The Call for Recognition’ through five Wantok national workshops between 2012-2015, development of the ASSI National Association constitution, collaboration on NSW Parliament motion by Alex Greenwich Member for Sydney. In 2015 Emelda received the NSW Council for Pacific Communities Award in ‘Community Events’ and ‘Stronger Families’ category. 2015-2017 development and registration of The Lillian Crombie Foundation (TLC) as a board member to assist Indigenous and broader communities facing hardship. 2016 Sydney Local NSW Women of the Year for coordination of Vanuatu and Fiji cyclone disaster relief and continued work in light of her people. 2017 Emelda was the guest speaker for ActionAid Australia ‘She Is The Real Hero’ Celebratory March; World Humanitarian Day. Emelda is currently Masters of Arts research candidate at the University of Technology-‘Children of the Sugar Slaves’ and is a finalist for the 2017 Rotary Inspirational Women’s Awards.

Karen Bryson

Executive Producer at Finch

Karen’s passion for film craft and strong narrative informs her work across cinema, television and digital platforms. In 2003, Karen won Tropfest with the black comedy BURIED . Karen began her career producing for major Australian advertising agencies including The Campaign Palace, Clemenger BBDO, Saatchi & Saatchi, GPY&R, BWM & Lowe. Karen has been recognized with top honors at major creative festivals including AWARD, D&AD, Cannes, One Show & the New York Festivals.

In 2007 Karen joined the upstart transmedia company radical.media as Head of Production, moving up to Managing Director in 2009, when a significant stake of the company was sold to entertainment juggernaut Fremantle Media Enterprises. In 2011 Karen joined FINCH as Executive Producer, and in 2015 Karen accepted a role on the management board.

Karen’s work on the New Zealand Traffic Authority commercial Mistakes became an internet sensation and created one of the most awarded television commercials of the decade.

Karen’s recent project, Stop it at the Start , an anti-domestic violence campaign for Australia, attracted 14,000,000 hits in its first month and topped the YouTube Ad Leaderboard, making it the most popular Australian commercial of 2016.

In 2016 Karen produced Derin Seale’s short film ‘The Eleven O’clock’ which has attracted global recognition across the short film circuit including top awards at FLickerfest, LA Shorts Fest & Cleveland International Film Festival. The Eleven O’clock also made Official Selection at Toronto International Film Festival, Valladolid International Film Festival, St Kilda International Film Festival, Palm Springs International Film Festival and Sydney Film Festival Dendy Awards. Most recently it has been nominated for an AACTA.

Earlier this year, Karen partnered the Australian Director’s Guild, the CPC and FINCH to create a paid internship program to mentor women for film director roles within commercial production companies. Karen is CoChair of the Australian Commercial Producers Council, an active member of AFI/AACTA, Women in Film and Television NSW, SPAA and D&AD.

Michael Kobori

VP Sustainability at Levi's

Michael Kobori has led sustainability at Levi Strauss & Co. since 2001. Under his tenure, the company has been a pioneer, reducing the environmental impact of its products through its Levi’s® Waste

In addition, the company has gone beyond labor compliance by publicly disclosing its manufacturing supplier locations, leading the industry in banning sandblasting, and partnering with NGOs and key suppliers to support programs that improve workers’ lives.

Based on its sustainability work, Levi Strauss & Co. was recently named one of the most innovative companies in the world by FastCompany magazine, which also named Mr. Kobori one of its 1000 Most Creative People in Business.

Prior to joining Levi Strauss & Co., Michael served as Vice President at BSR and before that spent nearly a decade at The Asia Foundation, supporting human rights and economic development in Bangladesh, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Michael is a lecturer on sustainability at the Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley.

Helena Brooks

Director and Screenwriter

Voted one of Idealog's Most Creative People, Helena directs comedy and drama for TV and commercials.

She was the set-up director for upcoming Psychological Thriller The Bad Seed, directed telefeature The Brokenwood Mysteries, TV drama 800 Words and Sketch-Show Funny Girls, as well as multiple high-end commercials.

Her first short film as a writer-director, Harry & Peter in Love, won Best Art Direction at the New York Short Film Festival. Her second as a writer-director, Nothing Special, was nominated for Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, selected for film festivals around the world and sold to Canal Plus, SBS Australia, and the Rialto Channel.

She studied creative writing with the late Roald Dahl, gained a B.A with a double major in Film & Philosophy, and an M.A with a double major in Screenwriting & Directing. She further studied at British Film Institute masterclasses with Ridley Scott, Charlie Kaufman and Jean-Pierre Jeunet which led to being signed by Ridley Scott Associates.

She is now based in Sydney and represented by Yellow Creative Management.

Program

DAY 1

DAY 2

8:30 – 8:45 Registration
8:45 – 9:00 Opening address
9:00 – 9:15 Welcome to country
9:30 – 10:00 The danger of ‘same’ — Michael Gough
10:00 – 10:30 Great is the opposite of normal — Tea Uglow
10:30 – 10:45 Break out or break away
10:45 – 12:45 Leadership Module One: Working and leading with difference — Prof. David Slocum
12:45 – 1:30 Lunch and learn (more)
1:30 – 2:00 Find the common ground — Oliver Percovich
2:00 – 2:15 Break out or break away
2:15 – 4:15 Leadership Module Two: Geared for greatest impact - and fulfillment — Prof. David Slocum
4:15 – 4:45 How to have impact, when your influence feels undermined — Michael Kobori
4:45 – 5:00 Field trip!
5:00 – 6:00 Your difference is your superpower: A panel on the main stage at Semi Permanent

Apply

80 rare minds will be chosen to join us at the Sydney Masterclass. To apply for a seat, submit your application below, and we’ll be in touch shortly.

FAQ

Why do we need the Rare Masterclass?

Creative and tech departments across the country are lacking in diversity of gender, colour, class, preference and perspective – especially at the top. Being a minority brings about a set of issues that many aren’t equipped to deal with, leading to great talent dropping out of the industry prematurely.

The Rare Masterclass hopes to address these issues and give diverse talent the tools they need to succeed in the creative, tech and media industries, and ensure they are equipped to thrive in workplaces that aren’t reflective of who they are.

When and where is the Rare Masterclass?

It will take place on the grounds of the Semi Permanent festival in Sydney, May 23 — 24.

Where do the profits from Rare go?

All proceeds from Rare will be put towards grants and initiatives that further deliver on Rare’s objective to drive diversity across the creative, media and tech industries.

What happens if I can’t make it?

If you can’t make those dates, or can’t get the time off work, keep an eye on this site. We’re constantly updating our schedule with new Masterclasses, all over the world. So chances are, there’ll be another Masterclass popping up near you soon.

How do I purchase a ticket?

To apply for a ticket, head to the ‘Apply’ section and submit an application. There’s only 80 places available, so applicants will be subject to a review and approval process.