Highlights from Sustainable Brands Africa Conference 2016
Cape Town’s Sustainable Brands 2016 event was the first of its kind in Africa. Hundreds of thought leaders, brand innovators, designers, and global business leaders gathered to explore various topics and issues pertinent to sustainability. Brands such as Procter and Gamble, Nedbank, SAB Miller and BASF were represented at the event which also had a host of impressive speakers.
There were Kevin James and Lise Pretorius from GCX Africa who believe that the only way to solve the many problems that our current sustainability conundrum presents, is to connect the dots between stakeholders, their activities and the various systems within which they all interact. Kim Clayton and Kate Hawke from Within People gave a workshop presentation on finding your purpose. Thomas Kolster author of the book, The Bible of Goodvertising gave an impressive workshop presentation alongside Mark Aink, a brand activist whose dream is to help brands that add real value such as Apple, Nike, Heineken and Microsoft among others. There was also Dr. Sirikul from Thailand who gave a fascinating presentation on the Sufficiency Economy Philosophy, which has its roots in Buddhism. These were just but a few of the many interesting speakers and conversations that happened over the 4 days of the conference.
Perhaps the most thought-provoking encounter for us at MK-Africa was with KoAnn Vikoren Skrzyniarz who founded the widely respected Sustainable Brands Conference, which is now the premier international community of sustainable business innovators. The conversation with KoAnn simplified ‘sustainability’ for me as having enough. Living for the experience rather than for things. All too often, we are driven by the rampant consumerism of our society ~ wanting more, bigger and better. There is value in ‘enough’ even for companies.