2, February 2023
A Day of Sharing: The Better Business Summit
Our Marketing Director, Hannah Whittaker, recently had the honour of delivering the opening speech at the inaugural Better Business Summit. The one-day conference, held at MMU, brought businesses together to discuss how to create a better future for people and the planet. We were there to connect with like-minded businesses, inspire, be inspired – and hand out lots of bars of our lovely soap!
Hannah’s opening speech highlighted our decision last year to give Nature a seat on our board. Aptly, she was speaking beside a chair adorned in seedheads, oranges and mosses. This striking piece of furniture, designed by Sophie Zienkiewicz of Carbon Neutral Fuels and Andy Smith of From the Fields, would be Nature’s seat on the panel discussions for the day.
The powerful but silent presence of Nature was joined by a stellar line-up of speakers from the likes of Patagonia, B-Lab UK and 1% for the Planet. It was a day of sharing – not only soap, but ideas and inspirational anecdotes.
Paul Myers’ Farm Urban grows vegetables vertically in central Liverpool with the aid of hydroponics and helps people grow nutritious food. He took us on a guided meditation, asking us to imagine what our town or city might look like in 15 years- and how we’d like it to look. Nuha Hasan explained how feeling disconnected from Nature during her first year at university in the pandemic inspired her passion for climate spaces. Now, she’s a mentor for Bright Green Future. And brilliant host, Ngunan Adamu, talked about how places more directly affected by climate change are taking steps to slow it. When she visited Nairobi with the BBC World Service, for example, she discovered that it is illegal to take plastic bags into Kenya.
We loved chatting to visitors to our stall, explaining more about Nature on the Board and hearing their own ideas. Meanwhile, in the lecture theatre, the fascinating roster of panel discussions continued until it was time for the final session of the day: ‘How to Really Change the World.”
“Really changing the world” might sound ambitious, but we all need to try. As audience and panel members alike were quick to point out, starting small with your own personal habits can make a big difference, and influence others. As Erika Rushton from Kindred put it: “If you can’t imagine the world differently, then you’re stuck with the one you’ve got.”
But it’s also important to support other businesses who want to be sustainable and don’t know how. “Don’t get on your soapbox, talk to your neighbours,” said Phil Korbel from The Carbon Literacy Project. And more wisdom from Rushton: “Let’s not compete but create together.”
It makes perfect sense to share ideas, especially where caring for Nature is concerned. It’s why we created our Open Source Guide to Nature on the Board, free for all to download.
The (wonderful) day ended with a rousing closing speech from another Hannah: Hannah Cox of Better Not Stop, creator and organiser of the summit. She left us with this lingering line: “Work together like there’s no tomorrow”.