Last week marked the return of Goodfest Cornwall, a two-day event exploring the themes of Triple A – Accessibility, Affordability and Authenticity.

The festival was created in 2018 by a group of creatives (Matt Hocking, Laura Giles, Claire Wilkinson, and Ben Akers) who got together to try to work out how they could make a positive difference in the world.

Fast forward to 2022, and communicators, founders, agencies, change-makers, and decision-makers came together with a shared focus: to champion responsible business practice.

The agenda featured keynote speakers, breakout sessions and interactive workshops, using collaboration and creativity to tap into new ways of thinking.

Goodfest 2022 opened with a powerful statement:

We are the first generation to feel the effects of climate change, and we’re the last generation that can do anything about it.

It’s a pretty sobering thought, right? But inspiring too.

Here’s another… many of us today find ourselves in a state of ‘solastaligia’?

This may sound like a new-age word, but it translates as Latin sōlācium (comfort) and the Greek root -algia (pain, suffering, grief).

In a nutshell, it’s the binary feelings of optimism and outrage caused by environmental change. Sound familiar?

In these unprecedented, extraordinary, and mysterious times, how do we – as individuals and businesses – constantly improve and create the change we want to see in the world?

We’ve charted some of the big headlines here:

Grass roots activism works

If you can mobilise communities at a local level and give people a way to do the right thing – they will engage with your company’s reason for being.  This was the message from Jelle Mul, Senior Marketing Manager at Patagonia.

Patagonia needs no introduction, but delve into the history of the brand, and you really see how it’s a story of radical change and not listening to the naysayers.

Just keep doing the right sort of thing to move forward.

Transformation starts from within

Dan Burgess talks about ‘stepping into service’ – bringing life back in ourselves, with each other and with our more than human family.

And it starts with some introspection.

How can we personally change, what troubles us, what’s our role in challenging archaic systems, what’s our vision for the future?

Once we have this in our minds, we can harness the qualities of cooperation, diversity, and community to navigate the future – individually and collectively.

Stories and narratives in society are powerful technologies to influence change

As a PR agency, this is right in our sweet spot.  Telling the untold stories of brands and businesses in new and dynamic ways. But it’s not just a visibility exercise. In an era where people are looking to businesses to guide environmental, societal, and cultural change, how can we use our platforms to go beyond ideas and words to trigger action?

Step into new stories that navigate the future. 

Let’s put emotion and values back into finance

This was a ronsealed message from two bankers, Amy Clarke and Nick Stoop. Their talk served as a reminder to really know where your money goes, and how we can override broken systems by engaging with our own finances – from who you bank with, to which pension pot you invest in. Like other sectors, finance needs to engage with people on a human level through unaddressed and emotive stories.  Think Crowdfunder…

Be positively divergent

Aka challenge the story with critical thinking. Embrace the power to ask questions and then create a safe space where people can share ideas and opinions. This may be internally within your business with your teams, or it may be a forum for the public, too. But we have to be open and listen, to “communicate like your lives depend on it” (another standout quote from Emma Stratton and Manda Brookman).

You can’t fix what you haven’t measured

Words alone aren’t enough.  You need evidence and data to measure your impact, and if you’re not measuring it, why are you talking about it?

This was the big message by John Brown – and he’s totally right.  To create an equitable future, we must be fearlessly transparent. No one dimensional insights… interrogate your targets and performance and then tell others.

And, crucially, make the journey open and inclusive for all.

Share, inspire, invite, learn, imagine better.