L19 Guest Blogs - Meet Wander Bruijel of What the F*ture?! - Leeds International Festival
Chapter 81

L19 Guest Blogs – Meet Wander Bruijel of What the F*ture?!

In this blog Q&A, we catch up with Wander Bruijel of Leeds agency Elmwood, and look back over how Leeds International Festival 2019 panned out for them, and their event What the F*ture!?

Q: How did you find out about Leeds International Festival?

“I found out about Leeds International Festival through a colleague who was well connected with Martin [ LeedsBID]. She suggested we speak and the rest is history.”


Q: Why did you want to get involved?

“Elmwood grew up in the region and Leeds has been our home for some time. We love what Leeds International Festival stands for and what it is trying to achieve. And as one of the creative agencies that calls Leeds home, we wanted to be part of the movement to put Leeds firmly on the map.”


Q: Tell us about your event. What did you submit, and did it evolve before its final iteration at the festival?

“We worked closely with the team to define the event we created. We wanted to re-engage with the Leeds scene after many years trying to build our global business. But Leeds is where our heart is. We wanted to engage the creative and marketing community with some original thinking about what it means to create iconic brands in a disrupted age.

Together with Contagious Magazine we created an event that delved into how marketers and designers should adopt Agile Long-termism as a new way of approaching their brands: ie. root them in a fixed long-term purpose, but flex them to meet the demands of a fast-changing landscape.”


Q: What did the festival do for you / your brand / your event?

“We loved it. We got to engage with some great people, give them something interesting to think about, and get our brand firmly out there.”

Credit: Ben Bentley
Ben Bentley

Q: What do you think of Leeds’ creative landscape?

“Leeds is a brilliant, vibrant place for creativity. We’ve got a great combination here of creativity, innovation and tech, start-up and scale-up, business and academia. We are the heart of STEAM. It’s no wonder Channel4 has chosen to make Leeds their home.”


Q: Is Leeds changing? How are festivals and events such as ours shaping the city?

“Leeds is evolving and developing at great speed. It is a viable alternative to a South-centric approach to our economy, and to business. And festivals like these help to showcase the wonderfulness of this city. And I can say that, because I’m an outsider having come here from Holland via London.”


Q: What’s changed, personally or professionally, from you having taken part in L19? How did the event go for you?

“I think it helped to remind us, and Leeds too, that we are a big part of this city. We grew up here and Leeds is the heart of our international business.”


Q: What advice would you give to someone entering the open call for L20?

“Just go for it and think about how you can use the event to put Leeds on the map. The team is so helpful in turning your idea into something for people to really get their teeth into, and helping you to realise it.”