The place for purpose-driven business

Purpose Day One // Wrap

by Julia Adamski and Shenaz Engineer

05 December 2016

Day one of Purpose 2016 was an exhilarating series of speakers from a diverse range of companies who were brought together by passion; with the goal to make a positive difference, by bridging business back to reality, back to the people and back to politics.

With themes including Cathedral Thinking and the Millennial Mindset, the event was sure to cover the concept of time, and this emerged as a key theme in itself. Purpose’s resident futurist, philosopher and self-described ‘cathedral thinker’, Eddie Harran (aka Dr Time) set the stage in a cloud of smoke, and wig of epic proportions. He opened our minds to exploring the impact of the past and present on our future. This thinking permeated much of the conversation throughout the day, from tracing the first purpose-led business models of Gunditjmara peoples and ‘hacking’ our perception time to understand our role in the ‘vast cosmos of timelessness’, to developing mindful practices through turning carrots into art.

A goal without an end

Dr Time challenged us to make decisions in an infinite way. We discussed time as a great feedback loop, allowing us to reflect on our lives and providing us with a guided framework to navigate the world around us. Whether you call it cathedral thinking or seven generation stewardship, this long-term approach to business encourages a mindset that points to laying the foundations ‘the stones’, planning for the future and finding joy in the legacy we leave for generations to come.

Indigenous wisdom; the power of looking back

In the morning plenary on Cathedral Thinking, we were blown away by the beautiful and honest words of Jirra Lulla of Kalinya Communication, who connected indigenous wisdom with the challenge of creating purpose-led business in Australia.

She spoke about Australia’s first purpose-led business, formed thousands of years ago, by the Gunditjmara people who developed sustainable eel farming practices which fed indigenous communities across Australia.

 

Jirra explained that the first peoples of Australia have been practicing cathedral thinking for thousands of years, with a deep understanding that “when you look after your country, it will look after you…”

Let us unite and move forward together, honouring our past.

Finding mindfulness at your green grocer

One of our current Instagram crushes is Danling Xiao’s Mundane Matters, and we were excited that, combined with the power of Liane Rossler from Superlocal, this online sensation can be brought to life in a hands on workshops. Combined, this due create the Plant Planet workshop. This event throws the notion of not playing with your food on its head, and instead celebrates turning Brussel sprouts, carrots and spinach into works of art.

You might ask, what turning vegetables into art has to do with sustainability…

Well… Liane and Danling, co-founders of this zero waste art movement, believe that practising mindfulness and appreciating beauty and art even those most mundane vegetables, we can strengthen our connection with nature and ourselves.

This movement, which is a mixture of meditation, art and philosophy has received enormous support around the world, tackling environmental issues such as climate change, waste and food security through the cutest of sculptures.

Our MC extraordinaire, Matt Wicking, guided us expertly through the day as we covered such sessions, in four unique venues, including New Kids On the Block, Culture by Design and Legally Speaking.

 

A fast-paced plenary to close day 1 featured Michael Bradley, in a return to the Purpose stage for the founder of Marque Lawyers, Andy Lark – marketing guru, gave us some home truths on profit and purpose, Ed McManus on giving us choice in a market that has previously had none, and Tracy Conlan from Ernst Young who gave us the sage advice that people have to experience the promise in your purpose.

The day was full of quotable quotes, key insights, and invaluable connections between our 400 strong delegates, and we’ll be doing it all again tomorrow, kicking off with an early mediation session with Rohan Gunatillake.

Explore the #Purpose2016 hashtag to get all the highlights from day one, and we look forward to you joining us again, online or in person, for the closing day of Purpose.

 

 

Image by Myf Garven

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