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6 Key Takeaways From Creative Change Makers 2020

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Highlights and key takeaways from an inspiring few days at the Creative Conscience Conference 2020 in London.

Last week, Springwise attended Creative Change Makers 2020, organised by Creative Conscience and held in London, where we witnessed some inspiring and thought-provoking speeches and panel discussions around the theme of what the creative industries can do to combat the climate crisis.

Panellists and speakers included Springwise’s own James Bidwell, who hosted a panel on the topic of Product Design, and we were deeply inspired by the powerful words of Will Skeaping from Extinction Rebellion, and Sîan Sutherland, co-founder of A Plastic Planet.

While the statistics placed before us were shocking, the overriding theme of the conference was a call to action, summed up by Springwise’s own James Bidwell’s rallying cry: ‘Do something. Now’.

Here are six key takeaways on what creative businesses can do immediately to end climate change.

1. Tech’s role in decarbonisation

“Tech is driving decarbonisation…we are living in the solar revolution, removing our dependence on fossil fuels.” — Jonathan Porritt, founder of Creative Conscience

Tech is adapting quickly to the need to de-carbonise and rebuild diversity in the natural world. Young people are the principal drivers of this change, and businesses must harness onto the accelerating drive.

Read about how tech is helping to develop an entire hydrogen-powered city of the future and more. 

2. The power of good design

“Bad design got us into this mess. Good design will get us out of it (but designers need to show leadership and guts).” — Sîan Sutherland, co-founder of A Plastic Planet

Solitaire Townsend, co-founder of Futurra, told us that creatives have the potential to do so much good for the world, but this must be balanced with practicality. This is how we will redefine architecture and design in a world where they must be used to decarbonise and aid the environment.  

For more on how design and development can offset carbon and redefine architecture, see this 3D-printed bnb made from renewable materials. 

3. Benefits of B-Corp

“Every business should be a social impact business.” — Adah Parris, Futurist

Businesses should be looking carefully at themselves and their clients, and asking whether any of their profit is coming from unsustainable sources. Paul Barlow spoke about the benefits of a business joining the B-Corp movement, which aims to ensure sustainability and change are a priority alongside profit. 

Read more about other ways in which businesses can combat climate change.

4. Solution-focused change

“Things that were okay last year are no longer good enough.” — Sîan Sutherland, co-founder of A Plastic Planet

Both Will Skeaping, of Extinction Rebellion, and Sian Sutherland, co-founder of A Plastic Planet, urged us to abandon our smokescreens. Sian gave us some shocking statistics about how only 9% of plastic is recycled in the UK, and how most of it is offshored to Asia, and that we in the UK ‘are deflecting responsibility’. We know what the problems are — now we need to focus on the solutions. Practical things we can do are within and include:

1. Legislation and taxation 

2. Igniting business from within 

3. Open-source knowledge of materials 

4. Giving consumers choice on the shelf 

5. Elevating sustainability to luxury

James Bidwell, hosting a panel alongside Rob Nicoll of Chip[s] Board and Nicole Yershon of The NY Collective. Photo source Creative Conscience

5. Disrupting digital advertising

Environmental distraction techniques are funded by advertising, and companies should be thinking about how their clients are using it. So much climate denial thrives on the internet and other forms of advertising. Moreover, internet emissions, which are equal to aviation emissions, should also be a concern.

Read about digital platforms that are helping to disrupt, including this one that helps merchants to cut food waste. 


6. Embedding sustainability in education systems

Joanna Roanowicz, Director of SOS-UK, stated how climate change and its solutions should be an integral part of every subject taught at school, and not relegated to science and geography. 

Read about four different ways that education can adapt to the pace of change, from the latest Springwise Sessions.