From Deborah Meaden, businesswoman, investor, TV Dragon, and writer passionate about ethical business practices and the environment, to Tom Hewitt MBE, Founder of Surfers Not Street Children, who was named in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list and received an MBE for creating a model that fuses surfing with mentorship and care. Here are just some of the speakers confirmed for 2023 to provide unique and insightful perspectives on how business can make a positive impact.
Deborah Meaden is best known for appearing as a Dragon on the BBC business programme Dragons’ Den. She supports ethical, fair practices in business and life and is actively involved in a carefully selected group of environmental charities. In 2022, Deborah co-hosted the first series of The Big Green Money Show, exploring sustainability and businesses’ impact on the planet.
Tessa is the Executive Director and Founder of Uplift, a research and campaigning organisation that supports a transition away from oil and gas in the UK. Tessa co-founded Climate Litigation Network, which promotes strategic climate litigation around the world. She has served as an expert advisor to United Nations Human Rights bodies and national governments across the globe. In 2019, Tessa was named by Time magazine as one of 15 women leading the fight against climate change.
Keme Nzerem is one of the most recognisable faces on Channel 4 and ITV News, having reported from around the world on issues ranging from politics and human rights to sports. With a focus on people and their lives, his work is known for its nuance and sensitivity and has covered major stories such as the Grenfell fire and Hurricane Katrina. Keme has won awards for his journalism, including an RTS Journalism Award in 2007 for his narration of a film about the US troop surge in Iraq.
Carla is an award-winning councillor who led Bristol in declaring the first Climate Emergency in Europe, committing the city to go carbon neutral by 2030. She became Co-leader of the Green Party in 2021. In recognition of her work on the Climate Emergency, Carla has been named politician of the year by The Big Green Politics Podcast, given the Outstanding Achievement Award by the LGA Independent Group, been named one of the Top 50 Women in Engineering, and was also nominated in the LGiU councillor achievement awards and the Bristol Diversity Awards.
Sir Tim Smit is the Executive Vice-Chair and Co-founder of the award-winning Eden Project in Cornwall. He is a Trustee, Patron, and Board Member of various bodies and has received numerous national awards, including an Honorary CBE and a knighthood. Tim is a regular speaker at conferences and events and is the author of books about The Lost Gardens of Heligan and the Eden Project.
Danielle Mulder is a Net Zero and Nature sustainability expert with over 20 years of experience as a strategist at KPMG, Accenture, and Carbon Intelligence before joining the BBC as their first Sustainability Director. She specialises in triple-bottom-line strategies and sustainable procurement and has worked on global programs such as LONDON 2012, Commonwealth Games, and Sydney Metro. Danielle passionately believes in impact reduction and scientific measurement for real change.
Guy Singh-Watson is the founder of Riverford, a national veg box scheme that has 50,000 weekly customers. He is a respected figure in organic farming, twice named BBC Radio 4 Farmer of the Year. Guy’s Facebook posts on pesticides have gone viral with 5.6 million views and 91,000 shares. He champions accessible organic food and sold 74% of Riverford to employees in 2018, proving ethical business can be commercially successful.
Tom Hewitt is a dedicated campaigner around the rights and empowerment of street children, with 28 years of grassroots experience in Africa. He founded Surfers Not Street Children, a social development organisation in Durban, South Africa, Tofo, Mozambique, and North Devon, UK and has created an internationally recognised model of fusing surfing, mentorship and care. He was named in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list and received an MBE for his work.
Sunita Ramani is a climate activist and founder of Greenhouse Communications, helping businesses and organisations communicate their environmental stories in engaging and impactful ways. She is passionate about food systems and building communities of care and resilience within the climate movement. As a First Class English Literature graduate of Durham University, she understands the power of thoughtful words and storytelling to change the world.
Hugo Tagholm is the Executive Director of Oceana UK and previously led Surfers Against Sewage. He is known for taking action from the beachfront to the front benches of Parliament, securing government legislation to protect our seas across four environmental pillars: plastic pollution, water quality, climate change, and rewilding our ocean. He founded the Plastic Free Communities movement and Million Mile Beach Clean and is a founding member of the Global Wave Conference. Hugo holds a Doctorate of Science and was named Environmentalist of the Year 2021 by Save the Waves.
Charles Ross is a specialist in Performance Sportswear Design and lecturer at the Royal College of Art in London. He’s been teaching this subject for over two decades, focusing on the next generation of designers at Patagonia, The North Face, Adidas, and Arc’teryx. He joins us to ask important questions about how selling more is acceptable in this world and how companies can improve.
Adam Hall leads sustainability at Internet Fusion and Surfdome, Europe’s largest action sports retailer. He works with 750 brands to reduce plastic and carbon emissions, achieving 99.81% plastic-free status and targeting a 93.6% reduction in scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions. Surfdome promotes sustainable products, works with brands to advance sustainability, and engages customers in sustainable practices.
Dulma Clark is the Impact Investment and Storytelling Lead at VIVOBAREFOOT, a natural health lifestyle brand. She launched Livebarefoot Fund, an in-house impact fund for research, innovation, and advocacy to regenerate human and planetary health. Dulma also works with indigenous communities to preserve traditional craftsmanship, co-founded a local farmer’s cooperative, and supported the set-up of an environmental NGO, Safe Baikal.
Bianca Pitt is an environmental activist and funder who founded the Women of the Environment Network and co-founded SHE Changes Climate. She advises several committees, including ClientEarth and The Environmental Funders Network, and is a Fellow of the RSA. Bianca endowed the first Chair for Environmental Sustainability at INSEAD and works to increase female representation in climate decision-making, campaign for public support, and amplify diverse women’s voices.
Nadia Owusu is a youth advocate and sustainable development goalkeeper who collaborates with youth leaders on climate action and sustainable development, using storytelling, creative approaches, and technology. She represents young people on significant platforms, including UNESCO, COY16, and COP26, and aims to create a world where youth lead transformation and sustainability.
Saasha Celestial-One is the Co-Founder and COO of Olio, an app connecting neighbours and local businesses to tackle food waste. Olio has shared 80 million food portions with over 7 million users in 62 countries and has more than 100k volunteers. Saasha spent 13 years in finance, strategy, and business development at top companies, founded London’s first PAYG childcare provider, and holds an MBA from Stanford. She was named one of the UK’s ‘coolest female founders’ by Business Insider.
Nick Houndsfield is the founder of The Wave, a slice of the ocean in the countryside near Bristol, where people of all ages and abilities can surf using ground-breaking Wavegarden Cove technology. Nick actively promotes “Blue Health,” the physical and mental health benefits of being in nature and water. He is Chair of Surfing England and supports the para-surfing community. Nick was also selected to participate in the prestigious UK Sport International Leadership Programme.
Mark Shayler is an innovation and environmental advisor, author of “Do Disrupt,” and a founding partner and speaker at the Do Lectures. With clients including Nike, Samsung, John Lewis, and Coca-Cola, he helps businesses improve and innovate, builds start-ups inside organisations, and coaches on strategy and branding. Mark is also a STEM advisor, working with some of the greatest small companies in the world.
Andy Hawkins is the founder of Business on Purpose, where he helps companies improve their ESG performance through the B Corp process. With over 20 years of experience, he has supported hundreds of clients in achieving greater impact as a qualified B Leader and B Corp Certified.
Click here to see the full list of first-round speakers.
One of the highlights of Blue Earth Summit is the Pitch Tent, where start-ups and innovative, progressive, and purpose-led businesses pitch live to impact investors.
Last year’s Pitch Tent raised over £6m so far, with investments going to Dame, an award-winning sustainable period products brand, Shackleton, a luxury endurance clothing brand, and Runna, an app for personalised training plans.
We are also in the process of completing successful raises for Bundlee, a baby clothing rental company, and Stelar, a luxury and sustainable hand-woven bags brand, off the back of the summit. This year, the summit aims to raise well over £10 million and is targeting 1,000 businesses to apply.
Click here for more info and details on how to apply.
Blue Earth Summit is about reconnecting the core purpose of business with the needs of people and the planet. Alongside the top-tier keynote speakers, we will host action-focused panels and workshops that give individuals and businesses the tools they need across three core content pillars:
Harnessing the positive effects of time spent outdoors to bring people together and inspire better business practices.
Embracing circular economies, championing regenerative systems, impact investing, and innovation.
Inspiring active hope for the future with a focus on energy transition, diversity and inclusion, leadership, the built environment, and nature-based solutions.
Blue Earth Summit 2023 is set to bring some of the most influential voices in business, sustainability, and conservation to Bristol for three transformative days from the 11th-13th of October. If you want to make next-level connections and inspire positive change, this is must-attend event for you and your business.
Tickets are on sale now. Sign up to our newsletter to get 2-4-1 on early bird offer (available until April 28th) and be part of the movement for a better future.