Adobe’s Mala Sharma: Be Courageous. Be Creative. Be Humble.
According to Mala Sharma, VP/GM of Creative Cloud at Adobe, it’s a simple fact that you have to be creative to be an artist. But you don’t have to be an artist to be creative.
Sharma, a keynote speaker at this year’s International Conference, spoke on the importance of creativity in education, society, and the future workplace. She runs product marketing and business strategy for Adobe Creative Cloud. “I feel like I have the best job in the planet because I’m responsible for bringing creativity to the world,” she said.
To Sharma, creativity is inextricably intertwined with technology. It opens doors, leads the way, provides access and representation to people all around the world from all walks of life. She encouraged the students of today to harness their resources to provide these same resources to those who don’t have access. “I think technology frees us up to do things that we didn’t think we were capable of,” she said. “It sort of democratizes access to capabilities that were previously in the domain of the few.”
Sharma practices what she preaches - during her time at Adobe, she wrote a letter to the Prime Minister of India, pushing a partnership between the Indian government and Adobe to provide Adobe Spark to children and students all across the subcontinent. The program, Digital Disha, is expected to reach one million students and teachers by 2020.
Sharma also believes that the future workplace will be a creative one.“The jobs that first get impacted in terms of industrialization, if you go back in history, are the predictable and rote jobs. And the same is true for the future,” she said. “The piece that is completely non-predictable is human intelligence and creativity and creative problem solving. And that, in my mind, is why it’s so important for educators, students, and parents to be aware of it. Because that’s what will ultimately separate out a lasting career from a career that could be mundane.”
She urged the students of today to consider how they use creative problem-solving in their everyday lives and how they can use their skills to better the world around them. Her advice was simple: be creative, be courageous, and be humble.
This wisdom has guided Sharma through her storied and successful career. “These are things that I would have never imagined: that I would be here, in the United States, as a senior executive at an incredible company like Adobe,” she said.