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Jazz Shaper: Damien Bradfield

Posted on 17 March 2023

Damian Bradfield is WeTransfer’s Co-Founder and Chief Creative & Sustainability Officer.

He joined WeTransfer founding team in 2010 as Chief Strategy Officer, set up the company’s US offices and created its digital arts platform WePresent. He was the co-founder of digital design studio, Present Plus, which was acquired by WeTransfer in 2016. He previously founded illustration platform Kuvva and owned an art gallery in Amsterdam.  

Damian started his career at Stella McCartney before joining ad agencies DLKW, AMV and later, J Walter Thompson. He is a published author of a book titled 'The Trust Manifesto', which debates online privacy, trust and big data and the comic book ‘Algorithmic Reality’. 

A true polymath with a focus on making the world a better place through creativity, Damian is also the host of the Influence podcast and sits on the Board of the Sarabande Foundation, The University of the Underground and WeTransfer's The Supporting Act Foundation. He holds a degree from the London School of Economics and Political Science. 


In the beginning, we were perhaps too observant, not aggressive enough, too patient, too anti-tech - and had the company started in America we would be a very different business today.

I believe in the notion that without great people, empowered to be creative, you can’t produce anything fantastic.

Profitability just wasn’t something that people were interested in tech - it was growth. Today it is a completely different story.

If you are selling creative talent and you don’t look after your people well and you don’t give them that space to be creative, they are never going to be able to create great things.

We are a B Corporation. We have a foundation and1% of our revenue goes towards supporting emerging artists.

I am optimistic in thinking that going forwards, investors as individuals will be looking at companies that are ethically good as opposed to just being financially strong.

The thing that WeTransfer has that other companies don’t in our space is the brand. We have a well respected brand and an awful lot of trust.

With the trust that people have in us come permission to move into a lot of different fields within the creative sector where we can add value.

I haven’t done anything myself where I have tried to achieve something in the short-term that has been really successful. It doesn’t give me any meaning, it’s no reward.

I think anything that we are doing needs to be ideally at least with the ambition of it being around for the long-term.

I am quite good at telling stories and I am quite good I think at conceptually thinking up ideas and then bringing them to life and I have a platform where a lot of that can happen and that’s just very fortuitous.

I am somewhere in between a conceptual artist and a creative, I don’t know what it is, but I am not a business person.

I think I need to be alone with an idea to think it through and to selfishly sit on it before I am willing to share it because sometimes it can be death by a thousand cuts and I’m deeply anxious about that.

From a creative point of view I think I was really pessimistic about AI and its effects on creativity but actually now I am really optimistic having spent a lot of time recently investigating what’s possible and looking at different companies.

AI again can only detect and determine what has happened in the past, it can’t detect and predict what is going to happen in the future - and great creativity is all about intuition.

There’s going to be this massive gap between the works produced by AI and the work produced by great creatives that understand their intuition and I am really excited to see what that looks like.

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