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SPARK UK: Sustainability Storytelling

PLACE: The British Library, London

TIME: 6pm – 9pm GMT

DATE: Wednesday 15th November 2023

As the number of businesses looking to tell their sustainability stories rises, so does the number of potential pitfalls they face in doing so. Many are scared of putting their heads above the parapet for fear of getting it wrong. Join us to discuss how brands and businesses can use creativity and technology to make an impact. Walking the tightrope of sustainability storytelling without greenwashing. And experience immersive storytelling examples across AR, gaming and film.

Oliver Balch is a freelance writer and journalist, with a particular interest in sustainability. He regularly writes for The Guardian, The Telegraph, The Times, the Financial Times and a range of business trade press, including Ethical Corporation. He is the author of three travelogues (‘Viva South America!’, ‘India Rising’, ‘Under the Tump’) and recently completed a PhD at the University of Cambridge on responsible business. He is currently based in Porto. He reviews non-fiction titles for the Times Literary Supplement, The Literary Review, and the FT, among others. He is currently working on a book about Amazonia.

Jessie Macneil-Brown is the Head of Social Mission and Activism for Ben & Jerry’s Europe. A unique position within the corporate world Jessie’s role focuses on advancing social justice through the day to day operations of a leading ice cream company. Jessie is responsible for the development and execution of the company’s issue advocacy campaigns and social impact work in Europe, rooted in the company’s progressive values and currently prioritising the protection and advancement of rights for those with refugee experiences. Jessie is a passionate advocate for using business as a force for good with over twelve years of experience in campaigns, public affairs, marketing and communications in international organisations. Prior to Ben & Jerry’s, Jessie led global campaigns teams at IKEA, Amnesty International and The Body Shop. Jessie also stays connected to her homeland of Australia through her role as Chairwoman of the Monash University Global Leaders’ European Network Advisory Committee.

George Lamb is the co-founder of Wildfarmed and GROW. George spent the first half of his professional career working in the entertainment industry. Following a revelatory breakthrough in 2012, George has been using his influence to make a positive, meaningful and lasting impact on society. In 2018 he founded GROW – a life skills education programme that works in schools and communities to promote mental wellbeing, physical health and a more hands-on relationship with nature. And in 2019, he co-founded Wildfarmed – a regenerative farming business that prioritises soil health and never uses pesticides, herbicides or fungicides, so the land is left rich for future harvests. Wildfarmed currently works with over 400 brands across the UK as it spearheads the regenerative revolution.

Sam Sutaria is the CEO of the WaterBear Network: a B Corp-certified interactive streaming platform, learning academy and content studio dedicated to the future of our planet. WaterBear transforms documentaries into popcorn worthy entertainment; turns people into active doers from passive viewers; and, ultimately cares more about measuring real-world impact than collecting awards. From pioneering storytelling training workshops across the Sahel in Africa, to spearheading global impact campaigns with NGOs across the world, WaterBear – and its partner, the Resilient Foundation – are innovating a new definition of success for the global media industry through a rapidly growing community of aspiring changemakers. Prior to roles at WaterBear, Sam was the GM of The European Nature Trust (TENT), produced content and campaigns at Nice and Serious, and trained with the BBC’s Natural History Unit in Bristol. Sam is also the Founder of social enterprise DrawFor, and a Trustee of the Hartswood Trust and London Breeze Film Festival (re-launching 2024). He is a passionate conservationist and photographer, and is deeply committed to providing opportunities for the next generation of creatives and storytellers.

Alison Corfield is the Head of Social Impact & Sustainability for the Jamie Oliver Group. She has worked with Jamie for a number of years devising campaigns around child health and school food.  She is also the founder of MotheRED with MP Stella Creasy which seeks to recruit more mums to be selected and elected as Labour MP’s.

Thank you to everyone who attended the event. We’ll be sharing highlights from the event very soon.