A report from Day 2 of Purpose 2018 from guest blogger, Sarah Robertson
How I Built This
Stuart Anderson, Co-founder, Flow Hive
An amazing story of Stuart and his community crowdsourced 12.4M USD in 30 days to enable approximately 30,000 more people to start keeping bees. Looking for a higher purpose on his invention to simplify honey extraction from hives, he concluded that it enabled more people to keep bees, and this in turn creates more awareness of the environment. He demonstrated that crowdsourcing is a very viable, and in this case quicker, option than traditional business funding. And in order to crowdsource successfully engage early and frequently on social media to build pent-up interest before launch.
Malcolm Rands – Founder – Ecostore
An insightful talk on how to cut through the information overload that our audiences face. Malcolm shared his innovative way of communicating Ecostore through a comic book story written by his daughter, where the hero, Ecoman, saves us from harmful chemicals. A great example of using the power of the “hero’s story” and engaging visuals to get a message across in a gentle yet powerful way.
Sara Rickards, Co-Founder, Re-Purpose for Good
Sara shared her beautifully inspiring story of how she is bringing together the issues of ocean waste and availability of prosthetics. Her story really brought to life the interconnectedness of all the people that helped her along the way, a real lesson that it takes a community, or network, or diverse group of stakeholders, to get these ambitious projects off the ground. What seems like fortuitous events (like meeting Prince Andrew!), and happening to have dinner with a biomedical engineer that can design bionic limbs, seem more the result of her amazing ability to connect and inspire others, rather than luck. Excited to see where she goes from here.
Joost Bakker – Sustainable Designer, By Joost
An eye opening talk on how much waste we create, and how the current food system is not working. Joost shared interesting research on how even the “good” food we eat is devoid of much of the nutrients we need as the soil it is grown in has lost much of the nutrients it used to have. Whilst we can move to a healthier plant based diet, this really made me think, are we really even getting the nutrients we need from a healthy plant based diet if the soil the plants are grown in is nutrient depleted? So what’s the answer? Its complex, but not wasting so much food would be a step in the right direction according to Joost.
New School Corporate Responsibility: navigating the complexity and harnessing value in the new economy
Susie Bayes, The Guardian
Since you’re here….we have a small favour to ask… Susie kicked off this panel session by sharing how The Guardian changed its business model, from being advertising revenue driven to being driven by reader funding. This fundamentally changes how news is reported, moving away from advertising revenue dictating content to one where readers can fund unreported issues that need to be covered. By not having a pay wall, The Guardian aims to keep its journalism open, a courageous business model, with a strong stakeholder orientation. The Guardian has received much speculation on whether this new journalism business model will work, so its truly encouraging to see that the newspaper break even this year.
Siobhan Toohill, Group Head of Sustainability and Community, Westpac.
Siobhan is a self-confessed “innie” a social entrepreneur changing business from the inside. As a result of a long history developing a conscious culture Westpac now has an impact framework to inform decisions on what they will, and will not, fund. This makes the application process transparent with many applicants feeling they have gained much from the application process itself in terms of business support and help, even if they are unsuccessful in receiving funding.
Timothy O’Bren, Founder Hatched, representing Silver Chef
Tim shared the story of Silver Chef, how this hospitality financing company decided to “just do good stuff every day and make it part of our jobs”. The journey has not been without its challenges, for example Silver Chef has had to back out of partnerships where values that seemed aligned at first were not. However though its support of Opportunity International, Silver Chef has done “good stuff every day” and helped over 1 million people out of poverty though small loans for entrepreneurs to start their businesses. A great example of how a company aligns its core business products and services to a higher purpose.
David Cooke – Chairman and Managing Director, Konica Minolta
A great story of conscious leadership; David recalled stepping on to stage to deliver his first speech as MD at Konica Minolta, having no idea of what he was going to say. But what came out was “let’s build a company that cares”. Recognising that he didn’t have the answers on how to do this, he asked employees for all their ideas, which were:
- Get better at communication and transparency
Konika Minolta began its journey to create a higher purpose by selecting a number of NFPs to partner with. From hearing David talk about these partnerships it was clear how trust is at the heart of them, for example Konica Minolta doesn’t ask for detailed reports on how each dollar is spent, instead regular contact with the NFPs focus on “how can we help you more?”
Min Wah Voon – Portfolio Manager, Oxfam
“It’s complicated” was how Min succinctly summed up the relationship between Oxfam and the private sector, as purpose may be aligned, but often business models are not. She was very frank about how Oxfam, as a big NFP, also saw a need to make changes, and how they have been experimenting with new ways to be creative, nimble, and transparent and to track the real impact it is having.
In the Q&A session a number of interesting questions came up. For example “how can we make it easier to get a NFP status?” The panel gently suggested that socially responsible / conscious capital / B-Corp organisations are the future and so to use the need to create a profit as a source of innovation. Plenty of examples show it can be done.
Another question was “how to engage with corporates?” , the response: consider them as your stakeholders: ask them for their challenges, ask them how you can help.
Cut Through Communications – Speaking to modern hearts, heads and attention spans.
Andy Marks – Impact Producer, ABC’s War on Waste
Andy shared his detailed plan for the War on Waste movement. It started with a clearly defined question – “what is War on Waste and how will we know if it’s successful”. From this they explored and clarified how to connect audiences with opportunities to act and how to build communities. Specifically, naming simple actions people can take, for example using re-useable coffee cups, or reducing food waste though recipe ideas. The War on Waste has some impressive credentials: the biggest social impact campaign in ABC’s history, 3.8M viewers (37% above target), and a second series planned for July 2018.
Hannah and Eliza Reilly, co-creators, Growing up Gracefully
These engaging sisters show-cased using humour to get serious messages across in a way that doesn’t raise the audiences defences. They do this on a range of issues such as gender pay gaps and double standards on how assertive women are perceived. Two key takeaways: unless you have a strong feeling about your cause you won’t be able to enlist a strong feeling in your audience, and always leave your audience with the antidote to the bad news so they don’t feel helpless (and their antidote? Musicals ☺)
Tim Silverwood, CEO, Take 3 for the Sea
An outstanding example of how powerful imagery, clever branding and elegant prose gets people’s attention. Just the name “take 3 for the sea” has the making of a great campaign, along with the strap lines such as “the ocean is downhill from everywhere”. All this within Tim’s guidelines of “good communication shouldn’t cost the earth”. Simplicity in the message to “take 3 items from the sea” is so clear that you can’t not do it. His other messages for success? Collaborate, celebrate and don’t be shy to use influencers.
All photos used in this article belong to Purpose.do.
Sarah works with organisations to help them clarify and embody their purpose, through culture change and leadership journeys, to become more engaging, compassionate and mindful places to work.