October 25, 2020

Biggest names in business and society back The Good Business Festival

Act 1 of The Good Business Festival takes place on 8th October, bringing together some of the biggest names in business and society to debate the big issues facing a post-pandemic world and promoting purposeful, ethical and sometimes radical approaches to doing business.

Commissioned by Liverpool City Region Mayor Steve Rotheram, and curated by Culture Liverpool and HemingwayDesign, The Good Business Festival aims to unite the growing global community of businesses and conscious consumers who believe business can deliver meaningful positive change in society.

The two-act structure for the festival was conceived as a response to Covid-19. Act 1 in October 2020 aims to ensure that the momentum gained over a year of transformative change in business isn’t lost – sessions will explore our learnings from this shared experience and consider the new directions the world will take as we emerge from the turbulence of 2020.

Act 1 will be a hybrid live and digital event, filmed from ACC Liverpool plus locations in Toronto and Melbourne and broadcast online. Audiences will have three channels of content to choose from over the day:
• Centre Stage – headline programming through the day from 10am to 9pm
• Good Thinking – sessions from experts offering inspiration and practical advice for SMEs, startups and individuals
• Open Source – a virtual workspace and resource library where content will be released throughout the day to support the live sessions with interviews, films, infographics, podcasts, supporting documents and exclusive reports

Joining Mayor Rotheram for Act 1 with be a host of senior business leaders from some of the world’s leading companies, cultural talent and big thinkers including Nishma Robb, Google; Ann Cairns, Mastercard; Douglas Lamont, Innocent; Danny Sriskandarajah, Oxfam; Frances O’Grady, TUC; John Sauven, Greenpeace; Sir Tim Smit, Eden Project; Ben Page, Ipsos MORI, Deb Oxley, Employee Ownership Association; and a string of young activists including Camden Youth MP, Athian Akec

Focused on Covid-19 response and recovery, The Good Business Festival Act 1 will unite giants in the fields of finance, tech, sport, and retail. These sessions are driven to make real change, with a focus on commitments and tangible plans of action, rather than empty debate. Core festival sessions will include:

• WTF Just Happened – a whistle-stop tour of key figures in business and society who’ll share their two cents on what just happened to all of us, the effect this year has had on their own businesses and a positive look at what happens next.
• 1.5% of UK business leaders are Black – bringing together black business leaders and change specialists to help identify how all of the good words of the last few months can translate into meaningful change for business.
• Take Me to Your Leader – Australasia and North America – with New Zealand and Canada being hailed as the poster children for how to swiftly and effectively deal with crises, we ask – do we have to choose between governance led by compassion or economics? Does supporting social impact mean risking economic growth or can compassionate leadership boost not only GDP but health, happiness and national image?
• What About The Workers? How to be a Good Employer – focusing on how businesses can remain good in a time of rapid change
• Raising the Game – focusing on the role of professional sport and sports business in society and what ‘good’ sport could look like

One year on from lockdown, Act 2 of The Good Business Festival will take place in March 2021. Bringing some of the smartest and most creative minds from around the world to the Liverpool City Region, it will challenge businesses and consumers to think bigger, galvanise ambition and continue to drive positive change as we start out on the road to collective recovery.

The Good Business Festival has mobilised a network of partners and ambassadors that are set to take an active role throughout the festival, with a call to action for business to take the lead role in tackling global societal issues. The ambassadors are both industry leaders and experts representing a diverse range of sectors, including Ann Cairns, Executive Vice Chair of Mastercard, Professor Denise Barrett-Baxendale, Chief Executive of Everton Football Club and Cephas Williams, Founder of 56 Black Men.

Partners confirmed for the festival include: ARUP, B Lab UK, British Council, British Fashion Council, LUSH, Centre for Cities, Coca-Cola, DCMS, Deloitte, Eden Project, Ellen MacArthur Foundation, Greenpeace, IBM, Iceland, International Fashion Academy Paris, Innocent, Ipsos MORI, Joseph Rountree Foundation, Mastercard, Met Office, Nesta, Patagonia, Royal College of Physicians.

Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, comments: “The past few months have shown that we need to press the reset button on our economy. The Good Business Festival is the perfect platform to explore how we build back better and ensure our economy works for everyone.

“I’m determined to build the UK’s fairest, greenest and most inclusive local economy, which is why I commissioned the Good Business Festival and it is so exciting to have it here in the Liverpool City Region.

“Bringing together major international business and thought leaders the festival will be a unique platform to stimulate debate and formulate ideas that can help make the UK a worldwide leader in successful, ethical business.”

Claire McColgan, Executive Director of The Good Business Festival, comments: “We’re proud to have Liverpool City Region as the backdrop for an international festival with such boundless ambition, creativity, and commitment to real change.

The feedback so far has been incredible, and Act 1 will be the beginning of a movement that we hope will energise a new generation of people in business, as we redefine what the world of business, and society at large, looks like in the world of tomorrow.”

Evan Davis, economist and BBC presenter, comments: “Business events need a fresh approach and would benefit from less pontificating and more purpose and outcomes. The Good Business Festival looks like it promises to shake things up and I will be there to hopefully help the festival achieve this”