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SEVENTEENx Brisbane - wrap up

Nature does not Negotiate!

Our Australian tour kicked off in Brisbane on June 19 at our QLD home Room Three Sixty , on the wonderful QUT Gardens campus; in partnership with our hosts QUT School of Business and Law. And what a start!

I feel like this event really raised the bar for kicking off a 7 city Aus tour with high levels of engagement and a stack of key learnings and takeaways. With 6 incredible speakers from a diverse range of businesses and backgrounds we really hit the mark.

The one thing that REALLY makes these events fire, is the audience. (certainly our speakers are amazing) however when the audience is super engaged and responsive, they become part of the event and part of the speakers topics. And this Brissy crowd really got stuck in and joined the party. With about 100 or so people packed into this wonderful venue, we had cheers, laughter, sincere thought and even a few tears (thanks Simon!) as the crowd really played their part throughout the night.

The vibe was great, the crowd were connected and the speakers were on point, what more could we ask for really??...

Our speaker line up was really cool. (in order of the night)

  • Willem Overbosch - Founder SDG Align

  • Leanne Butterworth - Founder of Empathy First

  • Dr Ana Novak - Co-founder Blue Carbon

  • Rina Abbott-Jard - ESG Sustainability Procurement Lean - Suncorp

  • Simon Fenech - GM Fruit2Work

  • Prof Michelle Colgrave - Deputy Director Impact - CSIRO Agriculture and Food.

A pretty eclectic mix of changemakers including social enterprise founders , tech start up, two PHDs, corporate ESG and even a pro kick-boxer (all be it "back in the day"). When you think about it, this is how we need to solve problems; by coming at them with diverse input and thought.

Collaboration is our "spirit animal"...

Some lessons I personally took away on the night. (although there was a lady in the front row taking notes on a laptop... if you're out there, I'd love to see your takeaways..maybe in a blog17??)

  1. Habits + Data

We can tick all the boxes we like and make all the announcements and get the stamps of commitment, however unless we formulate real strategy to enhance habit formation through our teams and supply chains, and use data to help guide that change. The ACTUAL difference we'll be making will only just scratch the surface.

2. People are the answer

We cannot create any change or engage movement towards a sustainable future without people, and EMPATHY in the workplace is a key driver to successful engagement of people.

64% of people are "quiet quitting" and looking for workplaces that are more engaged and more in tune with them as real people. Organisations MUST look within and how they are leading their people with real empathy and connection.

3. Nature doesn't negotiate

Possibly the most powerful line shred yet on a SEVENTEENx stage. This is a very real , in your face , statement. Nature will survive, but will not negotiate with us. And we will come 2nd if we don't sort out our balance. Nature also has billions of years of tech found in the biosphere of this planet, that is far more tested and efficient that anything we have. Our job is to harness and balance our engagement with nature if we are to stand a chance.

4. Sustainable Supply to Corporate is still a pitch

This has come up for me before so I'm pleased to see a recurring theme. Supplying to Corporate supply chains with sustainable products is a huge opportunity and there is a wave support to make this scale. Thanks to reporting requirements and Scope 2 and 3 etc. HOWEVER , it's still a pitch, you still have to have a great product, be good at what you do and cut the fluff. Be clear on your why, but also your what and how. Your still pitching a product/service and it absolutely needs to be good.

5. 2nd chances are sometimes all it takes

I often feel we live in a world where 1 bad decision, or a loss or negative outcome can paint a picture that we're branded with for life. The fact is, that a 2nd or 3rd or even 4th chance can be enough for us to turn a corner and build into greatness. And there is a gap for social enterprise to fill here, around connecting with different people with different stories and maybe a few losses on the board, and providing an opportunity to lean into forging a new path. Humans really are resilient creatures, when given the space to push on.

6. Food ...glorious food

No doubt a huge challenge, (an there in lies the opportunity) we face for global climate crisis is our food system. From production through to waste. And low and behold , our good friend science has the answers for us. From changing the way we use waste or food by products to whole new systems , like seaweed to solve climate challenges with food. We are wasting over 30% of all food we produce! ARE YOU SERIOUS.. the impact on the climate through our food production is clear and only getting worse, unless we get onto it and fast.

The beauty of these events are the opportunity to connect with values aligned people that can help us all raise the bar , in our business and at home, to make real, collective difference in the world.

Brisbane kicked off the tour with a bang, and I'm excited to see where we go from here with the rest of the tour.

If you're in Sydney , Perth, Gold Coast, Adelaide, Melbourne or Hobart... get over to to checkout out dates and come join the dialogue.

More to come, as we partner with SDG Align throughout the tour to assess our audience collective approach to sustainability and benchmark our progress against the SDGs.

A huge thanks to our tour partners Chartered Accountants of Australia and New Zealand and SDG Align for helping bring this tour to the Australian Business community.

And to our Brisbane partners , Brisbane Economic Development Agency and QUT School of Business & Law for bringing us to town once again. More the cards for Brisbane coming soon too so keep an eye out.

Finally, in July we're launching our Thinktank group to bring leaders for all over our Australian network, speakers , partners and audience together to work on solving problems for people ,planet and society together.. stay tuned if you want to be apart of this.

See you soon.


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