DAY 2 (or “Values are basically everything. Run with it.”)
8.11am And we’re back! The first tweet we picked up on Day 2 of #Purpose2015 was deeply flattering and a nice way to kick off. Cathy Knight, we think that’d be tops too.
8:36am As attendees made their way to the venue, they seemed particularly attuned to symbols of sustainability all around them.
8.49am The doors to the Playhouse theatre were announced open and folks made their way inside. There was a lot more chatter than yesterday, which leads us to believe y’all made some friends since we last met. (Yay!)
9.04am Stevie Wonder’s morning-appropriate song As filled the room as MC Matt Wicking hit the stage. At his instruction, we asked the person sitting beside us how they were feeling. One woman nailed it with, “like a big, rich, caffeinated truffle.” RESPECT. Next, Damien Walsh of Bank Australia (the fully customer-owned bank) began the day’s proceedings with a chat about his journey, which was peppered with ace takeaways: “We’re in the business of banking, but that’s not why we’re in business” + “Be prepared for your purpose to change; ours changed over the course of our journey” + “Having purpose is crucial. It’s also crucial to change your purpose in response to new things you learn.”
10.11am Audette Exel was next onstage. She is the founder of Adara, which bridges the worlds of business and not-profit, i.e. bringing the big dollars to where it’s most needed. We were deeply moved by Audette’s credo of “Purpose is a privilege.” She cites her leftist, supportive family as the reason she has always felt compelled to extend a hand to those in need. She also sparked a hearty audience laugh with the below photograph. She added, “When I show this slide to business people, it’s deathly silent.”
10.01am Abigail Forsyth, founder of KeepCup, certainly brought the chuckles as she looked back at her purpose-led journey, from designing the prototype coffee cup seven years ago (and transporting it to NAB in a shoebox), to the international demand for her disposable cups today.
11.11am The Purpose Adventure Club and The School of Life hit the streets for a conversation titled What Drives Us To Make A Difference? The group concluded that it’s important for each person to define their “why” — as in why are we engaging in the work that we do? Reasons vary depending on the person, their personality and their goals, but that’s a good thing.
11.46am In Pitfalls and Air Punches, we overheard: “The position of privilege we have in Australia is an extraordinary opportunity to take risk.” @ckraine
11.50am In Values-led Leadership, we talked of how to infuse purpose into the fabric of your organisation. Sarah Fortuna of the Centre for Workplace Leadership unveiled so many wisdoms, which we’ll paste here for you.
11.45am Tom Dawkins, CEO of StartSomeGood, came up with this metaphor: “Working for a social enterprise is like being repeatedly punched in the face, but working for a big corporate is like being water boarded.”
12pm In Becoming a B Corp, Alicia Darvall of B Lab, enlightened us with this: “There’s a new generation who don’t want to check their values at the door when they enter [a new business].” She went on to explain that the key to finding your tribe is to embed purpose into the very DNA of your company. “The B Corp movement is one of the most important of our lifetime. Kickstarter’s website traffic increased by 30% since becoming one.”
AND THEN WE HAD LUNCH!
1.03pm How to Community commenced with Helen Souness of online marketplace Etsy Australia. Fittingly, she wore a vintage print dress and ring found on Etsy. Her top tip was that everything boils down to the people you bring onboard: “Recruit to your values. If you want to sustain a community, hire people who get it; those who connect with your purpose.”
1.22pm James Meldrum of Whole Kids, which produces healthy snacks for children, said, “We didn’t set out to build a community, we simply stand up for what we believe in and we tell people about it. That’s the power that can drive meaningful change. It led to the discovery of our purpose: to make it easier for parents to create a happy, healthy life for their kids.”
1.30pm Lauren Capelin of Reinventure Group explained that community is particularly important in a purpose-led org. The following was particularly poignant: “Community is a role of service more than anything else. Once upon a time, community was heaped into marketing, and now it’s about the community having a stake in where the organisation goes.”
Meanwhile, across the road at The Commons, The Unfuckers spoke of the knock-on effect of good peer pressure: “Friends don’t let friends be planet fuckers,” noted the refreshing Caroline Shields and Vanessa Morish, whose enticing session was aptly titled, Shit, Did We Just Interrupt The Green Conversation? Yeah, they did.
2.30pm The generous and hugely talented Matt Wicking serenaded us with a tune called Cape Grim. We thanked him with a standing applause and at least a handful of woos. We then moved on to talks on Meaningful Work.
Kyra Maya Phillips, author of The Misfit Economy, spoke of the benefits of being still, citing the example of an entrepreneur slash former prisoner. “Meaning isn’t elusive, we are moving at a speed that doesn’t allow us to take it in,” she said. “Make more time for deeper moments.”
Guys… we did it! That’s a wrap.