Public speaker, social activist and Vanity Fair contributor Monica Lewinsky is to deliver the fifth annual Ogilvy & Mather Inspire lecture at this year’s Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity on Thursday 25th June at 2.00pm.

Monica will speak at a historic time, just when Cannes is introducing the “Glass Lion” award – given for work which celebrates gender equality. She will be introduced by Tham Khai Meng, Ogilvy & Mather’s Worldwide Chief Creative Officer.

Monica is determined to fight the global empathy crisis currently engulfing online media. As “patient zero” of this crisis, Monica is well placed to build awareness of our dangerous compassion deficit. The media maelstrom of online harassment she encountered 17 years ago, when she was just 24, gives her a unique, fascinating insight into this controversial issue.

This landmark speech builds on Monica’s two recent, high profile appearances for TED and Forbes, as well as an acclaimed article for Vanity Fair called “Shame and Survival,” which broke her self-imposed silence in the media. In these media debuts, she talked candidly about how online victimisation can lead to suicidal ideation and how advertisers need to take responsibility for the role they are currently playing in creating future pop culture.

Monica will ask the industry some challenging, sometimes-uncomfortable questions about the social media environment that is emerging and that it has a hand in shaping. She will urge the audience to be a force for building a more compassionate, empathetic online society.

Ogilvy & Mather is delighted to support her courageous campaign and amplify her message, which fits with our long-standing commitment to encourage a more inclusive society. The agency urges business in particular to embrace diversity, tolerance, and compassion and reject the social shaming of individuals.

Tham Khai Meng, Worldwide Chief Creative Officer at Ogilvy & Mather, said: "Monica Lewinsky is an eloquent, courageous and highly intelligent woman as evidenced by her recent TED Talk “The Price of Shame,” which has had over 5 million views to date. As the living embodiment of what can happen when a human being is dehumanised online by virtual stone throwers, she moves the important topic of cyberbullying center stage. We are proud to support Monica in her mission to stamp out online harassment. We believe businesses like ours can play an important role in getting her inspiring messages out to create a more compassionate, empathetic society."

Monica Lewinsky added: “I am honored and grateful for the opportunity that Ogilvy & Mather has given me to speak out on this issue to an extraordinary audience of those who can effect change. We need a cultural revolution on this matter. Public shaming as a blood sport has to stop, and it’s time for an intervention on the Internet and in our culture.”

Previous Ogilvy & Inspire speakers have included astrophysicist Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson; philosopher and author, Alain de Botton; architect, Rem Koolhaas; and international advisor on education, Sir Kenneth Robinson.

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