Starting a startup during a pandemic and a climate crisis (among other multiple crises of all kinds) sounds a bit like a battlefield. But no matter how many problems there are to resolve, it also results in the same number of solutions that need to be created and opportunities that need to be seized.
We host virtual events every month where we match attendees together based on our vision to build a more Sustainable and Circular Society creating these new opportunities and value loops for our businesses, our people, and our planet.
But what happens in between?
Being based in London was a strategic decision The EA Project made from the very beginning for many reasons: a large number of time zones covered, a global and influential City, the Capital of Tech and Finance, two very effective “motors” to change, and a large variety of events and communities. Yes, we love and embrace diversity!
Which better City in the world than London to develop our concept in person?
Now that all Covid restrictions have been lifted, in March we began having a closer look at all these ecosystems, researching London partners, and also observing and analysing what’s happening in London, the City planning to become the leader of our “Green Transition”.
Becoming a London/Global Tech Advocate
In March, two events hosted by the Tech London Advocates Network caught my attention:
1- A Retail Tech Networking Event with a presentation highlighting “Insights from Leading Corporate Innovators”. A panel discussion with Selfridges, Salesforce, New Look, TfL, and M&S and a first step in discovering The London Tech Advocates. What I liked about this event is that it is a very open-minded sector. The Tech industry has to be ahead of the curve when it comes to Innovation.
So when I entered the room, my first connection was with someone who already knows what metaverse, NFTs, AI, etc. are. All of this makes us save time to focus more on what needs to be done to implement and use these technologies at their best to help resolve the crises we are going through.
2- The second event was organized with Global Tech Advocates Food Tech, Forward Fooding, and hosted by Huckletree. We listened to pitches from a few startups selected from forwarding Fooding’s Top 500 Foodtech Companies List.
There I got the chance to discover the next innovations in Food Tech and established the first contact with Forward Fooding’s Founder & CEO, Alessio D’Antino, and the Vice-President of Turkey’s Chamber of Commerce, who also owns a Food Distribution Company.
I have now become an official London Tech Advocate and Global Tech Advocate and will be attending these events regularly.
The Summer London Event Show
A full day discovering the next trendy venues London has to offer and meeting with other artists and creative partners.
WHAT A DAY.
It started with a conference highlighting new venues in London, and I found there some very interesting options to explore. But honestly, one venue caught my attention before being a bit of a disappointment.
A luxurious boat that requires Tower Bridge to open for it to navigate and offers a helicopter landing zone is promoting itself as being one of the pioneers/leaders in terms of sustainable venues. Do I need to explain why this doesn’t make any sense?
A few hours later, another conference was taking place about Sustainability for Event Organizers advising about recycling in a room without any recycling bin to find. Hum.
Then I watched a Terrarium workshop I was supposed to participate in (but that again is another story). I managed to get things sorted and participated in two other creative workshops I think could help The EA Project reconnect its community with nature or organised by potential future CSN Members. One of them was with an innovative Beer Brand called Toast for an ethical and sustainable beer testing workshop.
See these sandwiches you buy already made in Supermarkets? Well did you ever wonder what happens with the ends of the bread loaves they never use? It goes to waste. And this is only one example of the bread this beer saves from landfills. Yes, it’s made with bread and the brand name is so spot on! Great taste, great mission, and values, I can only highly recommend.
In the meantime an incredible artist, Charles Burns from Roving Artist, was cutting my silhouette in black paper, a lifetime souvenir I will keep preciously on my desk. 2 minutes. That’s the time it takes him to produce a silhouette. Mind-blowing!
I had other interesting chats with my peers and other venues and potential partners who gave me fantastic ideas for our future events and activities in London. So if you haven’t signed up for this yet, it’s about time! Sign Up for our Newsletter here.
Meeting London’s Deputy Mayor of Environment and Energy
A networking event like the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry organizes regularly but this time the theme was London’s Green Recovery including a presentation from London’s Deputy Mayor of Environment and Energy, Shirley Rodrigues.
I entered the room and my first impression was that the average attendee that day was 20 years younger than usual. It says a lot about how senior management cares about Sustainability…
After a drink, we began listening to Shirley Rodrigues’ presentation.
A representative of the LICENSED TAXI DRIVERS ASSOCIATION was present and highlighted how upset they were when policies came in place to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles but also how much they are grateful today for the incredible support London provided them during that period. A pleasant surprise we all applaud for in the room.
An acceleration hub was mentioned several times to accelerate our transition.
When it came to the Q&A session, one question came up regularly: How do we raise awareness and get the general public on board too?
This seemed to be a bit of a struggle, and since this is one of the missions of The EA Project, I naturally approached Shirley Rodrigues after the presentation to have a chat about what was already in place and which options could be interesting to consider into addressing that issue.
I was really surprised about how that was received and was told that the acceleration programme and a newsletter were available for the public. When I highlighted that those signing up for that newsletter are probably aware of climate change and familiar with Sustainability and that maybe external organisations like The EA Project could support big institutions and the Government in democratising Sustainability Education, even more, I was reminded that London is “already doing enough” and that I could “visit their website to learn more”.
Hum. That was an interesting way to completely ignore the issue addressed by the majority of people in the room that day and shut doors to the general public, collaboration and innovation from the very beginning of our conversation.
This was a very unexpected reaction that only proves how badly an independent and inclusive organisation is needed to break that Sustainability bubble in the professional and elites spheres. At least we know where London stands when it comes to the general public: either you are already aware and can sign up to learn more or you are part of this “acceleration programme”. All the others, well…
Meeting for a more informal gathering with a glass of wine at Picadilly Circus this time. In a multi-sector event with a majority of attendees from the Italian Community and property sector, organised in partnership with several International Chambers of Commerce, I got the opportunity to meet people in Property, Crypto and Retail.
I had a great time and there were about 150 people present that evening. I will definitely participate again but probably at one of their curated events so I can put all chances on my side to meet the right people from the beginning.
Will London really become the leader of our Global “Green Revolution”?
For now, I don’t see a big shift in the way we collaborate or communicate and we all know that change starts with that.
I see individual leaders, kings of their silos and not ready to share or collaborate together to accelerate our transition. No, London does not impress me for now but the potential this city has and the changes London has led in the past give me faith.
The EA Project is very much needed, that is a certainty and we will pursue our mission to make these leaders see what we see and build these bridges together to benefit our businesses, people and planet, and turn this burden into an exciting journey full of opportunities.
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