Purpose Conference is back with an immersive, boundary pushing event that do-good business leaders won’t want to miss. Held at the iconic Sydney Carriageworks venue 19–20 October, Purpose is expected to usher in hundreds of attendees — all there to be inspired by the movers and shakers, using business as a force for good.
“Since launching Purpose this year, it’s gone pretty gangbusters,” Purpose Conference Founder and Director Sally Hill says. “I think that’s to do with how much more mainstream the ideas around sustainability and social impact in business have become.”
The last Purpose Conference was held in 2018. The world has changed immeasurably in the four years since. From a pandemic to fires and floods and a renewed sense of optimism thanks to Australia’s historic ‘climate election’, Hill says 2022 marks the perfect year for Purpose’s comeback.
“The businesses that are going to win in the next five to 10 years are the ones that are going to help us keep our quality of life in a way that is cooperative and symbiotic with the natural world.”
“We only have one planet to live on, yet we are using resources as though we have at least five,” she points out. “The increasing urgency of these issues have placed them top of mind for many. And, as a result, on the agenda for many businesses.
“When you think about it, businesses are basically the pipeline from the natural world to the end consumer. The businesses that are going to win in the next five to 10 years are the ones that are going to help us keep our quality of life in a way that is cooperative and symbiotic with the natural world.”
Hearing from bold leaders
From the most up-and-coming to the biggest leaders in the space – think Amazon, KPMG and Deloitte – the conference will be saturated in like-minded leaders and learners in environmental, social and governance (ESG), sustainability, tech, design, brand, community, climate and social impact.
This year, the conference has partnered with several purpose-driven organisations including Edge Environment and Bank Australia to provide their insights into these key topics.
“We always try to include some presenters that have some really edgy ideas. They might not be in the business world yet, but they’re on their way,” Hill says. “I believe Fungi Solutions, Great Wrap, Psylo, Heaps Normal, Fibretrace and Everledger are the ones to watch this year.”
This is Purpose’s fourth conference since its inception in 2015. And, according to Hill, past participants have gone on to amass incredible success.
“We had Who Gives A Crap present at our first Purpose Conference. Now the Australian start-up is expanding globally and has transformed into a hugely successful business,” she shares.
“Same with Bank Australia; it launched its new brand at Purpose 2015, and now its customer base is exploding. It recently issued a press release, saying it won’t issue any new car loans for non-EVs after 2025. Now the entire Bank Australia customer base is cheering it on for taking such a bold stance.”
The future of business
Hill has worked with many organisations throughout her career. She understands the pressures businesses face, especially now, to meet conscious consumers’ demands to leave the earth better than they found it.
“This is the future of business. These issues are upon us, and there’s no escaping them now. If you want to be leading and ahead of the curve in business, then ‘purpose’ is absolutely where it’s at.”
“I know how hard it is to respond to those demands. But I also think it’s an incredible opportunity for brands and companies of all kinds to get ahead of any reputational pressure they might face. They can rise up and become a positive force, driving a real leadership position on these issues,” she says.
No longer a ‘nice to have’, ESG has become a business imperative. To thrive in the future, businesses across the world must authentically weave ESG considerations into their organisational fabric. It’s vital to meeting growing stakeholder expectations, staying competitive, managing risk and contributing to a more sustainable world.
“This is the future of business,” Hill affirms. “These issues are upon us, and there’s no escaping them now. If you want to be leading and ahead of the curve in business, then ‘purpose’ is absolutely where it’s at.”
To keep Purpose a warm, special experience for everyone, the in-person audience has been capped at 600 guests, including approximately 40 engaging presenters. Head to purposeconference.co to find out more and secure your tickets before they sell out, using the code: CEO for A$50 off.
Purpose 2022 themes at a glance
- Nature x Tech: This theme explores the changemakers and entrepreneurs that are using biomimicry to develop weird and wonderful bio-inspired products. Think: mushrooms that devour waste and turn it into mycelium-based packaging, and innovators that harvest kelp, which not only absorbs carbon but also reduces methane emissions when used as feed.
- Impact Capital: This theme looks at the investment strategies of key impact funds. It brings together those with the capital and those with the cutting-edge ideas and technology to make magic happen.
- Climate Tech and Net Zero: This theme looks to the changemakers, working across energy transition, electric vehciles, electrification, infrastructure, rapid decarbonisation and drawdown. They’re spearheading technology that could deliver us to net zero – and, quite literally, save the world.
- Circular Economy and Regenerative Business:</strong> From fashion to home cleaning and infrastructure, this theme delves into the shifting landscape of how we source, use and reuse everything.
- Health and Wellbeing: With planetary and human health so intricately entwined, Purpose will look at the physical and mental wellbeing in the context of the climate crisis. It will explore avenues to protect each other while also protecting the future of the planet.
- First Nations Wisdom: This theme explores belonging – one of the most fundamental human drives – and its role in creating positive experiences in the workplace. It will cover the burning need for businesses to learn from First Nations’ wisdom to better navigate the great challenges of today.