The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity is the world's largest celebration of creativity in communications and the most prestigious international annual advertising and communications awards. Each year, the Festival presents The Media Person of the Year Award to a prominent personality who is an influential figure in the development of today’s media landscape, ultimately playing an integral part in shaping the future of the creative communications industry.
This year, Cannes Lions is proud to honour Jack Dorsey, the creator, co-founder and Executive Chairman of Twitter, Inc. and the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Square, Inc.
Originally from St. Louis, Jack's early fascination for mass-transit and how cities function led him to Manhattan and programming real-time messaging systems for couriers, taxis, and emergency vehicles. Throughout this work Jack witnessed thousands of workers in the field constantly updating where they were and what they were doing. Jack came up with the idea for a site that would combine the broad reach of dispatch software with the ease of instant messaging. Within a short space of time, he had built a simple site, Twitter, where users could instantly post short messages of 140 characters or less, known as "Tweets." On 21 March 2006, Jack Dorsey posted the world's first Tweet: "just setting up my twttr."
In the ensuing time, Twitter has become a communication platform that instantly connects people everywhere to what's most meaningful to them. Twitter is accessible to anyone, via the web, on smartphones and on the simplest of feature phones. And, with 340 million Tweets per day and more than 140 million active monthly users, there is something for everyone on Twitter, no matter what you're interested in or where you are in the world.
As part of Jack's continued devotion to simplifying the complex and making technology accessible to everyone, everywhere, Jack co-founded Square in 2009. Square enables anyone to accept credit card payments on their mobile device and has empowered hundreds of thousands of individuals and businesses to start and grow a business. Jack was recognised as one of Time Magazine's 100 most influential people and was named an "outstanding innovator under the age of 35" by MIT's Technology Review.
Philip Thomas, CEO of Cannes Lions, says, "Since inventing Twitter in 2006 Jack Dorsey has, in an incredibly short space of time, brought to the world an entirely new way for people to communicate, share ideas, and learn new things. It has become, in the meantime, a powerful social and political force, and is now part of the everyday global media language. The power and simplicity of what he has created has made Twitter a social phenomenon, and we are delighted to honour Jack with this award."
Jack Dorsey says, "Brands have always used Twitter in creative ways to engage directly with customers. This award celebrates those brands and customers alike."
Jack Dorsey will be honoured during the Press, Design, Radio and Cyber Lions awards ceremony on the evening of Wednesday 20 June in the Palais des Festivals, Cannes, France.
Cannes Lions delegates will have the opportunity to attend the Twitter seminar Harnessing the Power of Real-Time Connections, presented by Dick Costolo, CEO of Twitter, on Wednesday 20 June at 16:30-17:15.
Previous recipients of the Media Person of the Year Award include: Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman of Google; Mark Zuckerberg, Founder and CEO of Facebook; Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft Corporation; Sir Anthony O’Reilly, CEO of Independent News & Media; Tsuneo Watanabe, Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of The Yomiuri Shimbun Holdings; Sumner Redstone, Chairman and CEO of Viacom and Gerald Levin, CEO of AOL Time Warner.