Skip to main content

Ollie looks back at this year’s Blue Earth Summit where the future-focused and environmentally conscious meet to look ahead.

The Blue Earth Summit returned for 2023 bigger, better and even more ambitious than ever before to facilitate conversations around how we can build a more positive future for our planet.

BrandLAB 2.0


This year also saw the return and roll out of BrandLAB; our group mentoring workshop and programme focused on supporting ambitious start-ups and purpose led brands.

Over two days, we welcomed nearly two hundred inquisitive, curious, and enthused attendees. Tough questions were asked, ideas were shared and multiple dots were joined.

There’s no way we could’ve done this without the help and support of our incredible guest mentors who joined us in force from across the country. Thank you…

Tamara, for sharing your inspiring Sweaty Betty journey with all our female founders.  

Nicola, a.k.a. Countess of Cocoa, for helping everyone stay focused on a shared mission Tony’s Chocolonely style. Also, for the ample stash of Littl’ bits!

Tom Kay, for sharing your story on building Finisterre and clearly the brand of choice for all Blue Earth Summit attendees! Shout out also to Nick Hounsfield, the man with the vision to make surfing accessible for all and The Wave.

Tom Reding, for his words of wisdom, learnings from the world of BrewDog, encouragement to challenge conventional marketing and for joining BrandLAB again!

Amy, for being there to provide a glimpse into the world of Les Mills and how best to engage worldwide communities.

Nadine, for championing the need to embrace risk and sharing just some of the learnings from her experience at P&G and Pentland.

Rose, for shining a light on how small brands can thrive via collaboration and how The Undivided is shaking up online platforms.

Kris, for giving us the inside line on all things Extreme E and your inspiring mission to use motorsport as a platform for doing good.

There’s multiple ways to measure and define success. But for us, you can’t beat hearing positive stories and tales of implemented ideas inspired from previous BrandLAB workshops.

BrandLAB will return. Next stop ISPO Winter next month…

The Next Set: Eyes on The Horizon


On Day 2, Dan was joined on the Q&A Stage alongside guest BrandLAB mentors Tamara, Kris, Nadine & Tom Reding.

With all eyes and minds firmly fixed on the horizon, successful brands were scrutinised, future consumers were analysed and the importance of sustainability in marketing was questioned.

Here’s the lowdown…

  • Putting sustainability at the front of your communications isn’t the way forward. It’s expected from brands and very much a hygiene factor. You still need to make great products.
  • Sustainability features as a priority to consumers when referenced in aided research. When not prompted, consumers priorities are focused towards value, quality and availability.
  • A lot of ethical consumers would like to buy sustainable products, but many cannot afford to.
  • Authenticity of purpose in a high scrutiny marketplace means that you have to be fully transparent in how you are implementing your approach. Your audience are looking for the substantiation behind the claims.
  • Digital channels have enabled brands to see and tailor the very end of the funnel and purchase journey for specific segmented audiences.
  • We have witnessed the resurgence of traditional marketing over the last few years alongside the evolution of the digital marketplace.
  • Heightened demand for content is matched by AI capabilities, which is allowing the streamlining and massive cost reduction for production across the board.
  • Brand has never been more important. Stand for something that really aligns and appeals to 20% of your prospect audience and get comfortable with dissuading the other 80%.
  • Find a true north and stick to it. Indifference and trying to be everything to everyone will kill brands.
  • Curating and building an engaged community is still key.
  • Brands need to make things last longer. Simple.
  • There will be even more ways to acquire product. Vinted has broken mainstream channels of purchase, allowing product and garments to have multiple lives. Think consumer to consumer in your product life cycle.
  • Garment rental is in its early days, but will gradually become more mainstream over time.
  • Your audiences want to feel involved in the action and with your brand! Extreme E, for example, are testing and tailoring new viewing experiences. You’ve got to be interacting with your fans – the way we consume sport is totally going to be flipped in the not so distant future!
  • Immediate expectations and seamless consumer experiences are key. Consumers just want you to make it happen and the tech has got to keep up. Look for marginal updates.
  • Commission the reports, research and analyse the data, but also have meaningful conversations and listen to your future audience. Tamara reiterated the importance of having people from all different backgrounds in the room to have the conversation, from teenagers to C-suite execs.
  • The future is not in the hands of idealists, it’s with the capitalists with a conscience to do good.

Curating The Future


Cold water dips, trail running and surfing was on the agenda for Day 3 at The Wave.

To conclude, Dan sat back down with Co-Founder of the Blue Earth Summit, Guy Hayler and Veronika Gstoettl from ISPO to reflect on this year’s summit.

You can’t measure the energy, buzz or positivity surrounding an event, but it was abundant from start to finish, especially up at The Wave. As Veronika pointed out, many of us didn’t get into the industry to sit and watch PowerPoint presentations all day…

It seems everyone I met is aligned and clear on the collective mission to create a more positive future for our planet.

This tells me we need more people in the room at the Blue Earth Summit that aren’t as well educated or up to speed on doing business for good. These brands, organisations and folk need to attend without fear of being called out for either not doing enough or showing up as a sign of tokenism.

I wholeheartedly agree that Blue Earth Summit perfectly facilitates serendipitous meetings like no other event.

It’s these somewhat chance encounters that get people talking and accelerate the necessary conversations to move the dial towards a more positive future.

Blue Earth Summit truly is a platform and a catalyst for change. It’s a welcoming community with an aligned belief that outdoor life is all about saving the planet. It helps us all to remain accountable to how we can all do ‘our bit’.

As Guy Hayler put it,

“The Blue Earth Summit is truly cross-sector and helps facilitate cross-party consensus and facilitate positive debate. It sees politicians agreeing on action, which can give us all hope!”

The Blue Earth Summit helps you to understand how our world currently works and how it could be transformed to work in the future.  

Once we have grasped this, then we can start to make and see the necessary change.

Oliver Robinson