Green Events & Innovations Conference – GEI

/Green Events & Innovations Conference – GEI
Green Events & Innovations Conference – GEI 2018-02-19T13:34:07+00:00




Agenda will be announced soon. Register at HELLO@AGREENERFESTIVAL.COM to receive updates direct to your inbox!

The tenth edition of the UK’s leading conference for sustainability at live events will welcome 150 professionals working, or with an interest in, environmental and social initiatives and development of live events. The conference mixes practical case studies and presentations from around the world, alongside networking coffee breaks, a complimentary lunch and closing drinks party shared with IPM delegates.

The Green Events & Innovations Conference (GEI) is A Greener Festival’s annual flagship event delivered in partnership with the International Live Music Conference (ILMC).

The GEI Agenda

Keynote Speaker: Bob Wilson – Greenpeace UK

The optimism of the action is much more valuable than the pessimism of the thought. How can we send them home this year with more than just their tents?

Who better to set the tone for the 10th Green Events & Innovations Conference than Bob Wilson, a man who has spent the last three decades running Greenpeace UK’s event team, and the Greenpeace area at Glastonbury Festival.

Bob was at the first ever Glastonbury in 1970 (or at least he thinks he was – ‘if you can remember it, you weren’t there’ someone famous once said), along with many other legendary festivals that have taken place since.

Having sat atop lighting towers listening to the likes of Hendrix and The Grateful Dead, he managed to make it out of the 70s alive, carving out a career for himself at Time Out Magazine, which included stints as the managing editor and marketing director. It was in the latter role that he ran the sponsorship programme and began to get involved with Greenpeace, who he described as the only organisation that he came across actually doing something to “stop the rot.”

In 1991, Bob joined Greenpeace UK, the same year that Michael Eavis invited them to take part in Glastonbury Festival, and these days he heads up the events team.

Bob originally joined Greenpeace in order to help them set-up their network of active supporters that now exists all across the UK. Encouraging the festival community to get involved with the work of Greenpeace all around the world remains his key mission.

GEI10 delegates can look forward to hearing about some of the amazing experiences Bob’s had whilst attending and being involved with festivals, since the concept of music festivals began, along with his enthralling journey as an activist. He will also discuss some of Greenpeace UK’s latest campaigns.

Session 1: What’s the point of recycling?
Chair: Ed Cook, Resources Futures

As well as giving us expert advice and some no-nonsense insights into the contemporary waste industry and what really happens to materials once they are removed from an event, chair Ed Cook will discuss a number of challenging topics related to waste, and will help us to decide exactly where, as event organisers, we should be focusing our efforts…

Ed will look at the environmental impact of treating waste using a number of different methods, and the impact of litter on terrestrial and marine environments. He will ask the question why is litter bad? and will suggest ways in which event organisers can approach its management.

Finally, Ed will also revisit the much-discussed topic of recycling statistics misreporting, which damages the credibility of the industry and recycling in general.

Session 2: Tame the Transport
Chair: Liz Warwick, Lansdowne Warwick Sustainability Consultancy

In this session, Liz Warwick of Lansdowne Warwick Sustainability Consultancy and consultant for Cambridge Folk Festival, will demonstrate how we can better understand and therefore reduce transport impact at events.

The process of data gathering and analysis can yield a wealth of valuable information when attempting to green an event, and can help focus efforts and create initiatives in those areas that can significantly reduce emissions.The session will look at understanding the audience and other stakeholders in order to encourage change through targeted approaches. Analysis may seem time consuming but the very process of data gathering engages all sectors and encourages dialogue that can lead to reduced emissions.

Session 3: Taking A Stand: Social Cohesion
Chair: Holger Jan Schmidt, GO Group

Dysfunctional societies, war-torn nations, and divided peoples are obscuring our ability to focus on what really needs to be done to protect the environment and retain a planet on which all living things can continue to thrive.

We would stand a much greater chance of changing our globally destructive behaviours, if we encouraged collective understanding and acceptance, and also nurtured social cohesion.

Chair Holger Jan Schmidt will welcome some of Europe’s most inspiring contemporary festival organisers, who will discuss what social engagement means to them, and how this has played out in various wonderful ways at their events and with additional projects they are involved in.

Guest speakers include:
Michal Kaščák, Pohoda Festival (SK)
Mikkel Sander, Roskilde Festival (DK)
Oliver Wilson, 10,000 HOURS Foundation (UK)

Michal Kaščák, director of Pohoda Festival in Slovakia will share the story of Doma Dobre Festival, which provides housing for the homeless, and will discuss the teamwork involved in helping homeless people through Pohoda, as well as working with multiple NGOs and championing initiatives such as those against neo-nazis.

Mikkel Sander of Roskilde Festival will tell delegates about the festivals equality work he is involved with (which have so far included 2016 political equality, 2017 cultural equality, and 2018 economic equality), and will demonstrate how to partner with NGOs; NGO activities from art and installations to media projects and events; and how to engage festival participants.

Oli Wilson, director of 10,000 HOURS Foundation UK will be talking about some of the foundation’s new projects for 2018. Nederlands-based 10,000 HOURS launched in the UK in 2017, and last year’s projects included the launch of a homeless kitchen, the renovation of a community centre, and a mini festival for the elderly.  This year, the foundation will be establishing eco projects in rural locations, and also setting up networks in large UK cities like London and Manchester in order to make volunteering more accessible to more people.

Session 4: Why don’t audiences clean up their act?

Chair: Teresa Moore, A Greener Festival

With all the work that has been done over the past few years and some notable successes by individual event organisers in greening some areas of their campsites, it would be easy to assume that audiences in general are engaged with environmental issues even if they don’t always behave in an environmentally friendly way.

In fact, recent research indicates that despite the best efforts of many event organisers to encourage their audience to choose green options and reduce campsite waste, there is still a large number of event-goers who remain largely untouched by environmental initiatives and options available to them to reduce their carbon footprint. This can prove very costly not only for the environment, but for the event itself.

So, after more than a decade of focus on greening events and development by event organisers to limit the amount of waste created by festivals and the like, why are so many audience members apparently still unaware, unconcerned, or both?

In this session, A Greener Festival’s very own Teresa Moore will provide insights into this issue, and will suggest a number of different approaches for tackling this ongoing problem.

Session 5: PANEL: Plastic Seas & Campsite Chaos
Chair:  Nathalie Fee, City to Seas

Presenter, author, award-winning environmental campaigner and founder of City to Sea, Nathalie Fee will moderate this panel to dive deep in to the trials, actions, and opportunities for transforming wasteful events and campsite apocalypse scenes in to a thing of the past. Can festivals and events become waste free? What is actually working to reduce campsite chaos?

James Dowdell of the Raw Foundation will be exclusively launching the latest “Making Waves: Plastic Free Festivals Guide”at GEI10! The Making Waves campaign aims to reduce the amount of oil-based plastic in the environment by raising awareness about the true extent of plastic pollution and its impacts,

Rob da Bank, Founder of Bestival, will talk about his experience of dealing with campsite waste at their events over the years, and will share the “Final Straw Campaign” which bans straws from their events and calls upon others to join.

Guest speakers include:
Rob da Bank, Bestival (UK)
James Dowdell, Raw Foundation (UK)

Adam Hall, Surfdome (UK)
more speakers tba!

Session 6: PANEL: Water, Sewage & Rock n Roll!
Chair: Chris Cooke, CMU

What actions are festivals and events taking to ensure that there water and sewage is being managed in a way that is not only safe, but also harnessing maximum nutrients and using minimum resources?

We have the opportunity to hear from the Sanitation Manager of the largest festival in the UK, Jane Healy of Glastonbury Festival, sharing how they manage the provision for, storage and processing of such colossal amounts of poop!

Adrian Mills of Watermills – one of the largest temporary water suppliers in the UK and contributor to the British Standard (BS 8551) for temporary water supply – discusses how we must all pay attention to, and for some, invest our time in researching differing ways to provide welfare services to the public. Recycling water on site and the reduction of single use plastic waste are a couple of projects that Watermills have been engaged with over the last 10 years.

Guest speakers include:
Jane Healy, Glastonbury Festival (UK)
Adrian Mills, Waterills (UK)
more speakers tba!

If you are interested in sponsoring or supporting GEI, click here.

To book accommodation for GEI, click here.

Rooms 3 & 4, Royal Garden Hotel
10:00 – 18:00 | Tuesday 6 March 2018


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