Confirmed speakers: The Alternative School is bringing you the new Design Semester

Young Designers, guided by international experts

The waiting has come to an end, we are here to tell you all about our new semester! In its 17th year of selecting and supporting Romanian Talent interested in education and performance in class A international contexts, The Alternative School is organizing its Spring Semester with the final goal to select the best team to compete in the Young Lions Design Competition, under Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity’s umbrella.

All of this wouldn’t be possible without George, the first intelligent banking, powered by BCR, who will join our passionate endeavor to find, train, support and enable talents to find their best selves. George is the official partner of the School for the third year in a row, being consistent with a noble tradition – the one of empowering Romanian Young Creatives and facilitating their access to the international playground competitions.

This semester will focus on the steps behind impactful design, its relevance for business and society, using the analysis of awarded campaigns and their case studies.

A team of local and international highly awarded experts from the industry is ready to give participants all the best insights they’ve learned along the way: what the creative jury is looking for, how to build memorable design, why less is more, tips & tricks on how to best integrate visual communication trends in the creative approach and clients’ campaigns, all while achieving excellence that stays relevant to business, society and culture.

Young Creatives will work in teams on real-life creative briefs and the jury will have to decide who has what it takes to represent Romania at the festival.


12 Design Meetings to conquer creativity

The selection is open for all Romanian talents 30 years old or younger that currently activate in the creative industry, including but not limited to recent Communication/Art & Design graduates, illustrators, Digital / Fashion/ Product/ Graphic Designers, Art Directors, NFT creators, photographers, transmedia storytellers.

The school starts on March, 21st and has 12 online meetings (8 seminars and 4 workshops), followed by a 48 h competition. The meetings take place on Zoom, every Monday and Wednesday, from 7 to 9 PM (local Romanian time).

Our program includes Idea Checkpoints, meetings dedicated only to debriefing, understanding the tasks, brainstorming ideas and giving/receiving feedback.

The attendance fee is 200 euros/person, if the application is individual, and 150 Euros/ person, if the application is within a team (pair of 2).

To apply, send your CV & portfolio at You are in for an adventure!

We are currently offering scholarships, in partnership with George. Click HERE for instructions.


The Dream Team


Bruno Singulani, Creative Leader, Nestlé

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Bruno is a Brazilian designer and currently the creative leader for all Global Food Brands at Nestlé. Having graduated as a product designer, his professional and academic paths have eventually converged into roles with a strong focus on branding and strategic design management.

Working with major brands that range from Beautycare to Food&Bev, Bruno believes in the essential value of anthropology and human-centric innovation to develop stronger design cultures and build long-lasting brands. During the 4 years he has been at Nestlé, he has challenged iconic global brands to reinvent themselves, while also pushing Nestlé to empower and enable start-up-like initiatives, achieving positive business results through design-led innovations.


Evan Townsend, Course Producer, Harvard University


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Evan Townsend is an education and communication specialist. Townsend combines ideas from design, public diplomacy, strategic communication, and participatory research to raise awareness about pressing climate issues. His recent Antarctic outreach work such as the True South flag and Antarktikos magazine has earned international media attention and appeared in outlets such as CNN and Design Week. Townsend earned his bachelor’s at the University of Missouri School of Journalism and his master’s at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He has spent summer and winter seasons in Antarctica where he worked in various roles such as steward, bartender, and recreational craft room manager. Townsend earned the Antarctic Service Medal of the United States of America in recognition of “valuable contributions to exploration and scientific achievement under the U.S. Antarctic Program.” He currently works as a course producer at Harvard University. We can’t wait for you to meet him!


Maria Zurbagiu, Illustrator

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Maria (also called Meri The Zu) is an illustrator. She does everything, from posters, postcards, to books and packaging. She creates visual identities and crafts esthetiques. Maria’s also played a little with scene design and interior design also, organized extreme sport events and music events. What can’t she do?! Lately she’s been doing mural art and some NFTs. Prepare all your designs questions, because you are in for some treats!


Cristi Costea, Designer & Founder of Font-Brief, Berlin

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Cristian Costea is an internationally awarded creative and a proud former student of The Alternative School for Creative Thinking, currently living and working in Berlin.In 2009, Cristian Costea became the winner of The Alternative School competition and qualified as a Young Lion representing Romania in Cannes. It was an eye-opening experience helping him set his inner compass for international performance.

He moved abroad, working for Jung von Matt, Geometry or Ogilvy in Prague, Hamburg and Berlin, developing his creative language way beyond traditional advertising into branding, mobile and cyber creativity. Ambitious and open minded, he worked both on established brands or sensitive social topics and continued winning at larger scale, up to being a silver recipient in Cannes.

In 2020, together with fellow graphic designer Victor Bartis, he launched FontBrief, a platform helping designers and art directors to better choose fonts for their projects.

Marius Rosu, Creative Director, United Pencils, Bucharest

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Marius first started his journey in 2002, as a recent graduate of the University of Arts and Design, Cluj Napoca. He came to Bucharest and began collaborating with several creative companies. For more than a decade he worked for Gav, an independent local agency, first as an Art Director, then Head of the Department and ultimately Creative Director. In 2019 he launched United Pencils, a multidisciplinary studio focusing on branding, strategy, design, illustration and video content, defined by sensitivity, clarity of insight and expressive executions naturally popping up vivid conversations. The United Pencils portfolio includes clients like Brain Institute, Chef Sosin, Covalact, Sanovita, Land Rover, Fine Thee, Owlight, Eisberg, La Fantana, Hangar F, Clandestin, Domeniile Prince Matei, Animest, Beesers.


Klaus Bender, Copywriting Teacher, Miami Ad School Berlin

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Klaus Bender is a true creative generalist. With more than 15 years of experience as a creative, copywriter, and creative director under his belt. He contributed ideas and copy to global campaigns for blue chips while still sweating the small stuff. He worked for networks, hot shops, and start-ups. With a sense of adventure and a liking for unusual challenges, his experience includes working as script-advisor for Global Citizen’s first German event. Among the speakers advised: the eighth Secretay-General of Ban Ki-Moon and IMF chair Kristalina Ivanova Georgieva.

Since 2016 he has been teaching copy at Miami Ad School Europe. His philosophy is simple: Inspiring and developing award-winning talent is more rewarding than winning awards for himself. The first of his alumni being named a Cannes Lions Top 10 Copywriter is easily his “biggest award.” Maybe rivaled only by winning the UNESCO Netexplo Innovation Award 2018 with mobile-shopping startup wysker.

On his client list, you’ll find agencies like: Atletico Berlin/Grey Global, Boston Consulting Digital Ventures, DDB, Metadesign, MediaMonks, No Man Is An Island, Ketchum Pleon, ShanghaiBerlin, Saatchi Pro and brands like Allianz, Bosch, Campari, Google, Global Citizen, Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen, William Grant/Glenfiddich, and YouTube.


Sebastião Assis, Junior Copywriter, Ogilvy Berlin

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Sebastião Assis is a highly talented junior copywriter from Portugal and a Miami Ad School 2021 graduate. He loves people, he loves ideas, and he loves making ideas happen. In his young career, Sebastião already worked for some of the most creative agencies in Berlin – after a stint at Innocean Berlin, he joined Ogilvy Berlin in July 2021. Sebastião joins his former Miami Ad School Europe copy instructor Klaus Bender with an exciting case study – proving that outstanding writing can still win the hearts and minds of the audience.


Giussepe Liuzzo, Graphic Design Course Coordinator, Istituto Europeo di Design, Milan

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Giuseppe Liuzzo, aka “BOB Liuzzo”, Academic coordinator of Graphic Design Dept. at IED Milan. He studied Graphic Design at IED Milan and SVA New York. Expert of branding, he worked for many international agencies before open his own studio in 2010. He is also a popular Italian influencer followed by more than 25.000 users. On his vlogs he talks about colors, logos and design systems in a fun and unconventional way trying to make the complexity of visual communication understandable to everybody.


Paolo Proserpio, Brand Design Lecturer, Istituto Europeo di Design, Milan

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Born in Milan in ’77, in ’85 he saw “Back to the Future” and Marty McFly on a skateboard, thus began an incredible passion for art, music and board.

Today he has a graphic studio that is focused on art direction/graphic design of products that are mainly printed: from packaging to album covers, from editorial products to brand identity (Versace, Andrea Batilla, Pinbowl Skatepark, Paula Cademartori, K7! records, Wildhoney records, Maggioni Type, Gluts, Niklas Pashburg, Danielle, Black Lips etc.)

Since 1999 he has collaborated as a photographer for some magazines/webzines, Retina Agency in New York and MTV, which led to him producing different types of content, from the most unknown punk bands in the Brianza-basements to the live performances of famous rock-n-roll stars at  the Coachella Festival, in California.

Since 2005, he has held 2 courses at Istituto Europei di Design in Milan: “Brand design” and “Printmaking techniques”.


Andy Daniluc, Creative Director, Heraldist, Cluj-Napoca

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Andy is an insights hunter and multi-industry creative with a background in computer science.
One of his campaigns turned a shepherd into a pop culture icon in Romania, Ghiță Ciobanul, and another one made people throw paint at an OOH because he challenged their beliefs.
If you care about awards, he’s won heavy metal at Cannes Lions, The One Show, Warc Innovation, Eurobest, Cresta, Effies, ADC, Golden Drum, Facebook Awards, European Festival Awards and beyond.
Andy is all about concepting, Creative Direction, Copywriting, Scriptwriting, Pitch winning, Managing and inspiring teams.


Michael Wilk, Global Executive Director Serviceplan, Germany

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Michael has a true passion for product- & graphic design and typography. After receiving his design diploma he worked at JvM before working in Australia for a year. For over a decade Michael Wilk has been part of the Serviceplan Group and contributed exceptional work with his attention to detail and singular style. Early 2021 he was promoted Global Head of Art. During his stellar career, he has participated in countless national and international new business pitches, lending his invaluable skills to a diverse group of colleagues and clients. His work is nationally and internationally known and awarded. Michael is a father of 3 who likes Sunday mornings, street art and photography.


Andra Constantinescu – Account Director & Creative Domain Lead, Kantar Romania

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Andra Constantinescu has 16 years of experience in marketing research. She joined Daedalus Consulting in 2005 as a Customer Service and remained in the company, which was taken over by the global agency Millward Brown – a global leader in brand and communication studies – and integrated into the Kantar family. During this time, Andra has managed research projects in many areas (from communication to brand equity, brand strategy, pricing research, etc.), pre-tested and evaluated dozens of ads and made learning presentations related to communication for clients. local and external.

Andra is currently Creative Domain Lead in Kantar’s Insights division, a position that helps clients understand and improve the performance of their ads.


Dawid  Szczepaniak, Creative Director, VMLYR Warsaw

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Leading a team of 120+ creatives. A winner of over 300 international and local industry awards, including the first ever Polish Grand Prix, the first ever Polish Titanium at Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, as well as numerous Agency of the Year titles in Poland. He was named IAB Mixx Awards’s Person of the Year 2019 in Poland. Over the course of 17 years he worked with brands and companies like adidas, BNP Paribas, BP, Danone, Decathlon, Diageo, HBO, Heineken Group, H&M, IKEA, Intel, Lidl, Orange, PepsiCo, Pernod Ricard, Philips, Procter&Gamble, Samsung, Tesco, T-Mobile. A passionate keynote speaker best known for a fierce encouragement towards a bold brand activism. He presented at Cannes Lions Festival, TEDx, Business Insider Trends Festival, Golden Drum festival and others. A jury member at local and global creative shows: Cannes Lions, GoldenDrum Festival, Webby Awards, Kyiv International Advertising Festival, South Koreaan AdStars, New York Festivals, MENA Cristal Awards, KTR, IAB Mixx Poland, IAB Mixx Romania.


Alexandre Duarte, Communication Specialist & University Professor, Lisbon

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With a PhD in Communication Sciences from University of Minho, a Master degree in Communication & Image and a Bachelor in Marketing & Advertising by IADE, Alexandre is the Ruler of several classes in Universidade Católica Portuguesa and in IADE/Universidade Europeia, visiting Professor in other Universities, researcher of the R&D Unit CECS from Universidade do Minho, and Course Coordinator of OFICINA de PORTFOLIO™.

Throughout his career, Alexandre had the opportunity to work for several multinational advertising agencies, in Portugal and Brazil, such as TBWA, Saatchi & Saatchi, Ogilvy, W/Portugal, W/Brazil, Lowe&Partners, or BrandiaCentral as a Senior Creative Copywriter. Author of many seminars on communication, he regularly participates in different conferences and lectures in both business and academic contexts.

Between 2012 and 2014, he was the Tutor of the Eurobest Young Marketers Academy and then appointed CEO of RESTART, Institute of Creativity, Arts and New Technologies. In 2018 was invited to teach in the Communication Sciences Master of UNIVERSIDADE CATÓLICA PORTUGUESA, where now he coordinates the Post-Graduation Courses in Advertising&Creativity and Service Design and, in 2019 was re-elected member of the Directors Board of EDCOM – European Institute for Commercial Communications Education.


Bicem Sinik, Art Director & Tattoo Artist, New York

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With her background as a Graphic Designer and studies in the History of Art, Bicem started working as a Freelance Design Director for brand marketing. After working for eight years in the corporate world, she was determined to follow her passion to become a tattoo artist and began training with one of Turkey’s most famous artists. After one year of training, she was constantly appraised for her innate artistic talent and has been tattooing now for almost 10 years.

She moved to New York in 2020 and now has her own private studio in Williamsburg, and works as a Guest Artist within tattoo studios. That same year, she was contacted by the Global Broadcaster ‘Voice Of America’ for their Plus 90 program and was chosen as one of the most talented people from Turkey that currently live and work abroad. She has also been contacted by the Burning Man Festival to design and build a large art piece to be exhibited at one of their events. She plans to create a tattoo educational platform that would focus on teaching young artists who are looking to find alternative ways of income. The future has great plans for her and she can’t wait to meet all of you and explore the world of design together!



With a consistent record in terms of results, The Alternative School for Creative Thinking has been scouting for talent and put people on the right professional track since 2005, at an international level.

Cannes Lions, a five-day International Festival of Creativity, is the largest gathering in the creative marketing community. Every year, the festival explores the value of creativity in branded communication: from product and service development to the creative strategy, execution and impact. The 2021 YL Design Competition will take place online, between May 31st and June 4th.

Scholarship opportunities coming soon.


For any additional info: or whatsapp: +40 7 44 10 50 15


The Young Lions Design & The Roger Hatchuel Academy

Entries are open for the Young Lions Design & Roger Hatchuel Academy via The Spring Semester.

Deadline: 17 March

€300 + vat / individual

€500 + vat / team


Looking to buy multiple participations?

More Info