By Nora Al-Taha

A plate went flying across the kitchen. Smash! It shattered into a million pieces and scattered across the floor. Gordon Ramsay fumed; the prepared dish was not good enough. What would famed chef Gordon Ramsay say about creativity? 

“I don’t like looking back. I’m always constantly looking forward.” Gordon Ramsay is a legendary chef with world-class skills and world-class creativity. “I’m not the one to sort of sit and cry over spilt milk. I’m too busy looking for the next cow.” Chef Ramsay’s words are top-grade fuel to fill up our creative engines. 

This year, the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) launches its third Tanween festival from October 28 – 31. Tanween’s 2020 theme is “The New Next – Creativity is the way forward.” Just like Gordon Ramsay’s quest to find the best new chef to perfect, Ithra is channeling the new next in various creative fields.

Have a seat at the creative table. 

Savory hot bowls of delicious ramen famously served at Wagamama, the restaurant chain established by Alan Yau back in 1992. Even though Yau left Wagamama in 1997, he set off to create, chop and cook up other successful restaurants’ such as Hakkasan—earning the privilege of a Michelin star—and the more recent, Softchow. During Tanween, Yau will serve his creative fixings from the food industry to hungry chefs and food-lovers awaiting their next bite of inspiration and creativity. 

The beloved local restaurant Abu Nawas had its start in Dammam in the 1970s. Today, platters of the restaurant’s specialties are ordered around the clock. The local eatery is a beacon of inspiration for chefs in the region. Successful restaurants have opened since then, and the creativity keeps filling up the plates. With Alan Yau’s Tanween talk, the new next Saudi chef will surely be inspired to rise. 

Alexa, show me the new next.

Leonardo da Vinci was a Renaissance man. A focal talent and a student, he sought knowledge and experimented in different fields. He was an artist, scientist and inventor.

Alexa, I said the new next. 

Joanna Peña-Bickley is a 21st century Renaissance woman, a design technologist and the Head of Design & Research for Alexa Devices at Amazon. With her touch of curiosity, her creativity thrives in the era of screen touch computers and smartphones. As Saudi Arabia rapidly approaches a bright future, it is ideal to learn from the leading creative mogul of the creative industry. 

Leonardo da Vinci was a Renaissance man, and in today’s tech world, Joanna Peña-Bickley is the modern Renaissance woman. She is an inventor, an artist, a creative thinker and a design leader. As the Tanween keynote speaker, she will spark inspiration and electrify participants with a jolt of creativity. 

As an award-winning artist, her résumé alone is inspiring enough. She has assisted Land Rover, Nokia, Sephora, American Express, amongst many others, in developing them as the most recognized companies and brands. Joanna Peña-Bickley made major moves and major breakthroughs. Saudi Arabia’s current breakthrough in the creative industry will be pushed to greater lengths this Tanween, and with Joanna Peña-Bickley, extraordinary ingenuity awaits.

When you wish upon a star, the Ithra center is not too far. 

From imaginative thinking to Imagineers, the cultural destination meets the happiest place on earth’s Duncan Wardle, the former Head of Innovation and Creativity at Disney. This Tanween season, Duncan Wardle will discuss the “Theory of Creativity.” 

The Magic Kingdom had reigned over the world since the 1950s, spreading joy to kids and adults alike. A newly inspired creative kingdom is beginning to rise. In Saudi Arabia, new businesses, careers and brands are being tweaked and adding a twinkle to their name. During Tanween, who knows which devotee will wear the creative gloves?

Creativity is the seed in making our dreams come true. As creatives dive into their imagination, oceans of possibilities are found. With hard work, their dreams are achieved. Ithra’s Tanween festival offers the exceptional opportunity to engage in unique workshops, discussions, and masterclasses to expand on their creativity in building their passionate futures. Will the next due creatives please stand up?


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