Conversation starters from 21 people who couldn’t be there…

A lot of people who really wanted to be with us couldn’t make it person – so we asked what they would have asked or would like to have contributed if they’d been able to be there.

Here’s what 21 of them said.

Do please comment on this blog – or ask us for connections if you’d like to respond to any of them and join their conversation. We’re very keen for the event to keep on giving….

Alexandra Stubbings:
The scale and urgency, and opportunity, of the challenges behoves us all to act. None of us can afford to say we don’t know enough, we’re not creative enough, we don’t have enough power. The time for excuses is past. Each of us has a part to play. We can each take the step to discover what our unique contribution is and maybe in doing so, find our heart’s calling, our purpose. If we do that with others, with humility and love, we might find our tribe too. And who knows, perhaps purpose and tribe together provide a pretty good foundation for happiness.

Dr Malcolm Willis:
In such a connected world, why don’t the wise messages of ecology and sustainability have more resonance with people and create a revolution? How come we only have one Green MP!?

Sharon Critchlow:
“Your Happiness can only be defined by you. Bringing more happiness in to the workplace starts from a true and equal conversation between all parties.”

David Mowat:
In the wake of the latest IPCC report, I’m minded to set up, monthly or bi monthly in my front room, a gathering of neighbours (walking distance) to explore “How can I respond positively locally to climate chaos?”. It’s not an action group, but a listening group for actors. Each to their own. Nothing is too grand or too mundane. I provide hot drinks and we meet a couple of hours. That’s it. The focus is listening,empathising and chipping in with comment or advice as we support people on their unfolding journey. Whitehall Redfield Barton Hill Lawrence hill. If more than 6 people want to come, the cell just divides and one starts a group in another front room. All front rooms are potential incubators for the new world.

Claire Merrick:
Hold the business that you spend your hard earned £, work with and for accountable.

Amazon have this weekend kindly signed me up to Amazon Smile where they donate 0.5% of the net purchase price (excluding VAT, returns and shipping fees) of eligible purchases to the charitable organisation of my choice. I’d rather they just paid their tax. That would be a start.

Homelessness in Bristol. It’s such a sad, visible problem. How can people live happy fulfilling lives when they are dealing with the day to day uncertainty of not having a safe place to sleep, eat and relax. How many are officially and unofficially homeless? How many are we going to aim to house by October 2019? How are we going to do it? We need to challenge ourselves as a City to set and achieve ambitious targets on this and business can and should step in. Their staff see and encounter the issue daily on their way to and from work. Their business may well be affected by homeless people sleeping rough on or near their premises. Companies want a healthy environment in which to operate, homelessness is a visible sign that the most vulnerable in Bristol need a better way, the opportunity for a safe, affordable home.

Richard Bonner:
My question relates to my own organisation in so much that we work with a couple of national charities one of which is industry homelessness charity Crash and second one staff vote for

How do we then work in the city to find meaningful opportunities for our staff in our offices across the country to engage and get involved with local activities that contribute to well being of a city??

Ben Haslett:
sustainable food consumption (namely eating less meat) especially in the wake of the recent and highly significant comments about climate change. The link between sustainable eating and wellbeing is positive on two levels. Obviously we’re putting better quality food into ourselves, and secondly our efforts to preserve our planet (part of the solution rather than adding to the problem) engenders our sense of pride, optimism, collectiveness and purpose.

John Hirst:
I am inspired by happy people to be better and to do better! Unhappiness is draining and saps my energy. Encourage happiness around you and discourage those who have a negative view on life. Every day I ask myself how happy I am on a scale to 1 to 10, if less than 9 then I need to take remedial action straight away. Been doing this now for 10 years and it works, why not try it!

Rich Osborn:
if anybody knows of a public sector contract coming up for food, ask them to point the procurers to the National Advisory Board for dynamic food procurement: . This group of policy makers, procurers and food producers will then ensure they’re kept informed of the new framework timings.

Our purpose at fresh-range is to develop food security for generations to come. We are rebuilding regional and local economies via supply chains that are MORE efficient than mass national/international supply chains. Shorter food supply chains are improving accountability on social, environmental and ethical performance. Together with Bath & North East Somerset Council, we’ve demonstrated that we can improve quality, sustainability, service, and value for the customer whilst stimulating supply growth with local food producers and suppliers.

Since this successful pilot, we have been working with two government departments (DEfRA and Crown Commercial Services) to shift their UK plan for public sector food procurement to a regional approach right across the country. Moving from conventional national food procurement frameworks (which tend to benefit mainly the biggest companies and present barriers to entry for smaller, local SMEs) is a truly revolutionary step because redirecting government £2Billion of public money to local food producers supplying food sustainably can:

Develop food security
Improve transparency of provenance and accountability within food supply chains
Improve performance on energy, waste, social and environmental factors of food production.
Reduce diet related disease burden
Boost regional economies in every region of UK
Improve value and reduce cost for public purse

Here’s the objective and goals of our work with government:

Objective: Facilitate UK-wide, SME-inclusive, dynamic procurement, fulfilment and delivery capabilities for public sector food buyers

Goal: Direct >33% of all UK public sector food and drink spend to fresh, local produce from sustainable* SME producers by 2023
*Sustainable is defined by the balanced scorecard for public sector procurement which balances cost against service measures:

I would be happy to present our progress on this at a future one of your conferences Mike. Give me 1 year to get this work off the ground nationally and I will bring DEfRA/Crown Commercial Services with me to present on it.

Richard Lupo:
wouldn’t it be great if there were quarterly wellbeing statistics issued and promoted each quarter” something akin to Bank of England interest rates being considered newsworthy each quarter.

Chris Chapman:
I think I’d have been particularly wanting to listen for natural next steps / linkages that would potentially take the evolution of this work forwards and also to be thinking about the voices not in the room (people on margins / people with opposing perspectives / ‘mainstream’ people, if there is such a thing) – what they’d be saying and what they would find most / least persuasive. I guess that is about trying to make more sense of the whole and the evolutionary journey and to identify what role I might have in it all.

Tom Ball:
“Read happy money. Stop competing – then teach me how.”

Ana Lisa Pinto:
My interests would be the importance of mental health for everyone, how we deal with diseases such as dementia in an increasing ageing population, how we might deal with the issue of isolation of the elderly as more people live on their own and have fewer children, how we might reduce waste and make recycling easier.

Jarvis Smith:
So I work in the field of the collective consciousness, I studied Yoga, sacred sound and energy work with a Shaman for over 10 years and launched my business with these skills as my foundation. Many now call this Teal business, I simply call it business that includes and supports the whole.

Once people and business find their true purpose which If you really think about it can only be one thing, then we enter the field of Unity Awareness. Once you are in this field it only brings happiness as that is what we intended a seeing human. You can read a little of what I do here:

Steve Banks:
I have an image like the glass ceiling metaphor used for women in the workplace. But this glass ceiling applies to us all; it is the constraint of materialism. The idea that, collectively, we act as though material wealth is what brings us happiness; hence our fixation on GDP growth. Old spiritual paradigms are failing, because they have not kept up with the evolution of thought and ethics in wider society. So, we need a new paradigm of spirituality; a new understanding of what lies above and beyond the glass ceiling of materialism. I see some of your speakers are talking about that being our connection to nature and to each other. I would say, following the Integral model, that we need a new understanding of what transcends the material realm, including nature – i.e. a new spiritual paradigm. I also think that we need big changes in the ‘top down’ department, as well as the ‘ground up’. We need a new political vision at the national level.

Kai Paulden:
in my studied opinion, the core causal factor underlying all of the world’s major current challenges is: THE MONEY SYSTEM; if we humans manage to change it for the better, EVERYTHING would benefit.

John Harwick:
I’m interested in the concepts of competition vs collaboration, scarcity vs abundance.
It would seem that our world has thrived on competition and scarcity, rather than collaboration and abundance, and you can trace that all the way back through human history. You can also observe it in the animal kingdom which lays testament to our evolutionary roots; survive or die. (thank God for David Attenborough J )
However, we have not thrived, rather we have survived, but we are hanging on by the skin of our teeth, as we fight over the earth’s dwindling resources, whilst our economic system aims to convince a growing population of the “benefits” of having more and consuming more. And it’s obvious to you and I (and the other delegates) that the system is failing.
So what is the answer? Of course, it’s complex, but part of the solution involves us evolving spiritually and moving on from our purely physical development to a more conscious and connected phase. Spiritual leaders have encouraged this for centuries with a very similar message: “love thy neighbour”, but as we know, we have not followed their teaching, so it’s time to think about a strategy for conscious evolution.

Jane Willis:
This links particularly to my work around creativity and place making in the healthcare sector, which values community, connectivity and creativity as the means to enable personal and organisational / community wellbeing.

The work we are doing at Southmead Hospital with Fresh Arts, the hospital arts programme has many good case studies of this. Projects and programmes that use creativity as the means not only to support individuals but also the creation of a culture of kindness, wellbeing and self-care within the hospital.

We are also working on the development of the Carriageworks site on Stokes Croft, where we are developing a Cultural Plan and Public Art Strategy which places creativity and arts-based values-led programming at the heart of community development and place making….

Morag Patterson:
Inspiring Resources section in the your weekend, then I point to two: ‘A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose’ by Eckhart Tolle, which for me summarises beautifully. And ‘The Untethered Soul’ by Michael A Singer.

Piers Sadler
‘have you heard of Modern monetary theory. If not listen to this Podcast from US podcaster Planet Money. The 23 minute podcast came about due to a question asked by a student from a year 9 student at Cotham School.

Chris Richards
Commerce v ethics in Bristol with the specific case of Bristol & it’s twin city Guangzhou, China and the Chinese’s regime’s organ harvesting in the city

Emily Stokes

In particular, I’m interested in how given the right sustainable investment strategy the following could be true….
-the structures and institutions of society promote stewardship of natural resources and development of people

I would have liked to talk to people to see how important they think this is. It seems that we get by with a hotch potch of funding from government and passionate individuals that then needs constant justification and competition with others to win, for the looking after of natural resources to be justified. If the institutional status quo was already leaning towards investing in natural and social capital these assets, like National Parks and Trails, would already be fully funded and function as a whole to enable outdoor well being and happiness spaces for populations.

Don’t know where this would fit in, in terms of your programme on Saturday but I’m sure natural and social capital will come up!

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