Steve Babaeko, Founder and CEO of Nigeria’s first pan-African Creative advertising Agency, X3M Ideas, has been named a Visiting Fellow of the Henley Business School at The University of Reading in the United Kingdom. The fellowship which will run for two years until 2024 will see Steve Babaeko commence research into business cases that will further the development and optimisation of the creative industry in Nigeria and across Africa.
His research at The University of Reading comes on the heels of the announcement of X3M Ideas’ involvement in the United Nations’ Entity for Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women. Steve and the team at X3M Ideas recently joined the Nigeria chapter of the Unstereotype Alliance to ensure that Nigerian creatives reject all harmful stereotypes, including conventional gender clichés.
“Steve brings his wealth of knowledge and experience in the African creative industry to the Reading research community and we’re looking forward to seeing the insights that will come from this experience,” said John Board, Dean, Henley Business School. “I am sure that working with the faculty and student body here at The University of Reading will enhance the good work Steve does in Nigeria and across Africa for the field and also increase its influence here and abroad.”
A world-renowned expert on creative advertising and marketing communications, Steve is also the President of the Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria (AAAN), a position he was elected into in 2020. Before his inevitable transition to that position, he was the Chairman of the board of Lagos Advertising and Ideas Festival (LAIF) and member of the board of International Advertising Association (I.A.A), Nigeria. Outside of advertising, he also served as the Chairman, Public Relations Committee of the Nigerian-American Chamber of Commerce.
For more than 23 years, Steve has helped create some of the most iconic marketing campaigns in Africa and is currently the only Nigerian named in Adweek’s elite list of 13 Global Creative leaders in 2019. He has also served on the Grand Jury of the New York Advertising Festival for over three years and was a keynote speaker at the 2018 International Advertising Association conference.
As a fellow, Steve believes he has a chance to “begin to set the standard for the Nigerian creative industry and show everyone what is possible. I am grateful for this opportunity as I believe that we practitioners have to begin to explore the complex questions around the present state of our industry and its future not just in Nigeria but across Africa. I look forward to engaging all the other faculty members and students and learning from the wealth of knowledge that is available and is produced at the Henley Business School.”
The Henley Business School (HBS), a truly international business school with more than 80,000 alumni in over 160 countries, conducts advanced research spanning a uniquely broad range of academic areas and fields like finance, business informatics, accounting, international business and strategy, leadership, marketing and reputation to name a few. HBS alongside The University of Readings’ other faculties, departments and schools conducts researches that span over 20 countries, providing an international dimension to its impact case studies and outputs.
Founded in 1892 as a University of Oxford extension college, The University of Reading is one of the top 30 UK universities (ranked 27th out of 84 UK universities featured in the QS World University Rankings, 2021) based in the South East of England.
With More than 90 years of excellence and presently home to more than 23,000 students, The University of Reading has been at the forefront of global higher education for nearly a century. More than 150,000 students from 180 different countries have studied at Reading, with the first Reading international student from Kenya enrolling in 1908.