Malcolm Devoy, Chief Strategy Officer EMEA for PHD Worldwide and Toby Roberts, Global Head of Strategy (Unilever) for PHD Worldwide, have been named in The Internationalist’s list of Agency Innovators 2017.

Twenty-seven men and women throughout the world were chosen from several hundred nominations.

Many of the INNOVATORS named are exploring new and nimble ways of working, as well as testing exciting approaches to collaboration and effectiveness. Without question, we’re seeing a greater focus on the sophisticated use of data, insights and actionable ideas, as well as a trend in new leaders who operate at the intersection of innovation, technology, creativity and contemporary culture.

Malcolm contributed to building PHD’s global planning system, Source. Working with leaders within the gamification space…he helped PHD launch the media world’s first gamified planning system, which has been the catalyst to winning some of the world’s largest global communications planning accounts. Read more about Malcolm’s role as an innovator here.

Toby runs the strategy team for Unilever’s global comms planning and has worked to create a new structure driven by leaders in strategy, innovation and market engagement for each brand, rather than the traditional hierarchies normally found in a media agency. The result has been huge successes for one of the most advanced and demanding clients in the world.

“The critical thing about innovation is that it has to solve a problem,” Toby says. “This sounds obvious, but often gets overlooked. So, the first step is to spend time on determining the real problem we’re solving. Then, we can create what we call ‘purposeful innovation’, or innovation that is a strategic imperative, not a tactical ‘nice to have.'” Read more about Toby’s role as an innovator here.

Malcolm and Toby join other PHD innovators who made The Internationalist’s prestigious list over the last two years. In 2016, Briony McCarthy, President of PHD New York and Toby Hack, CEO of PHD International were worthy recipients; with Hilary Jeffrey, EVP of PHD Worldwide (formerly President of PHD EMEA) making the list in 2015.

To view the full list of 2017 winners and for more information click here.