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BLD17 - Leadership in the New Economy

Leadership in the new economy

Great things happen when B Corps come together. BLD17 - the one day leadership and professional development conference for B Corps, by B Corps - was no exception.

Over 150 B Corp champions from more than 60 B Corps descended on Sydney on 27th September for a day of collaboration, networking, sharing best practice and learning better ways to dramatically improve  thought leadership in the new economy. Founders, CEOs and staff of B Corps old and new, mingled alongside each other, eager to inspire and be inspired.

BLD17 was the culmination of over 3 months of hard work, preparation and planning with the BLD Organising Committee. Comprised of members from AV1, Pablo & Rusty’s, Musketeers, Nation Partners, Eat Me Chutneys, Happy Group and Kusaga Athletic, they brought to life the BLD17 vision.

In an exclusive opportunity, supporters of the B Corp movement were invited to join the B Corp community for a special keynote address by Vincent Stanley, Patagonia’s Director of Philosophy. It was an opportunity for those curious about the B Corp movement to understand the importance of being a business that is not just the best in the world, but best for the world. Undoubtedly in possession of the world’s coolest job title, Vincent shared pearls of wisdom with the audience with such grace and generosity of spirit. His stories, learnings and hopes for the future of leadership in the new economy set the tone for the rest of the day.

Following Vincent’s highly inspirational and eloquent address, the B Corp community  attended  various panels featuring over 25 B Corp thought leaders who were eager to share their expertise and learnings with their peers.

Topics ranged from ‘Being a Better B’ by embedding and fostering a deep B Culture within organisations to ‘Finding your Personal Purpose’. Another panel allowed a safe space to discuss the value of ‘Diversity & Inclusion’ in workplaces beyond just being a ‘nice to have’. ‘Accelerating Change’ was yet another engaging session that reiterated the importance of stepping out of comfort zones and making bolder decisions to foster innovation.

The ‘Communicating your Impact’ panel featured B Corp storytellers who highlighted that being able to talk about your impact was just as important as making it. ‘Purposeful Leadership’ was another session that prompted our B Corp champions to think deeply about how to elevate purpose to the forefront of an organisation’s operations in every way. Last but not least, our ‘Impact Governance and Benefit Company’ provided much needed insight into the importance of the proposed Benefit Company corporate form, and what the B Corp community can do to get behind it.

The PitchFest offered a short and snappy preview of the supercool things some of our B Corps have been up to. Amongst them were a collective media buy, a ‘Buy Better, Buy B’ media campaign, a dedicated ‘B Corp month’ in Februrary 2018, a Positive Procurement Pledge, B Talent sharing, and the Two People legal campaign.

As the day inched to an end, there was no one more suited to wrap the day up than absolute powerhouse Audette Exel, Founder of Adara Group. She guided us through her journeys, both personal and professional. Sprinkled with anecdotes illustrating the highs, the lows and everything in between, she shared many valuable lessons for our B Corp leaders to carry with them as they embark on their very own journeys of purpose.

The buzz and energy that emanated from the venue throughout the day was electrifying. B Lab Australia and New Zealand would once again like to extend its gratitude to the BLD Organising Committee, all speakers and facilitators,  and the sponsors of the event - Beyond Bank, Silver Chef, Australian Ethical, Pablo & Rusty’s, Happy Group, Cube Group and AV1.


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