This week marks a year since I was dragged kicking & screaming on stage to speak for the first time. After meeting the organisers of Vevolution festival, Judy Nadel & Damien Clarkson earlier in the year, I’d spent quite a bit of time with them looking at their rapidly growing business. They’d subsequently asked me to join the entrepreneurship panel at their upcoming festival called Vevolution, a vegan festival featuring talks, ideas & workshops from leaders in the industry. After initially not being too keen on the idea, I found I really enjoyed it, which was apparently quite obvious as I seemingly wouldn’t stop talking!
Since then, I’ve been fortunate enough to be invited to speak at a number or events & for various companies, and a year later I look forward to going back to give a talk on “balancing profit & purpose - how business can drive veganism.” This year, the festival has grown astronomically, with prolific speakers & brands from around the world taking part. It’s a testament to the hard work through the year of the 2 founders, who’ve done an exceptional job of promoting the event.
Why are events like Vevolution important? It’s a platform for ideas that have the power to change the world. It’s the bringing together of people that share a common vision, with varying perspectives to converse & network, providing a catalyst for much- needed disruption. The fact that the festival has sold out with 5 weeks still to go & has attracted such a diverse audience demonstrates just how hot this topic is, and just how well the team have done to crossover into the mainstream narrative.
Balancing profit & purpose is a timely reference to the work of Vevolution, who (I hope they won’t mind me saying) have been so purpose driven that profit has often been an afterthought. It’s only through profit that the cogs keep turning, and such an important message reaches the audience it deserves. It’s a common theme in this space, and one that needs to be addressed to empower entrepreneurs & businesses without them feeling like they’re being judged, often just for being successful.
What am i most looking forward to this year? There's an amazingly diverse range of high-profile speakers, but im particularly looking forward to my friend Sarah Jane-Crawford citing her journey, and also Derek Sarno, Tesco's chief director of plant-based innovation, on hearing just how big business is embracing plant-based diets. There's also a Vevolution dragon's den, offering would-be entrepreneurs the opportunity to receive both investment & guidance, which i'll be judging with the awesome JP from All Plants and Laura from Votch, as well as Derek and the Bran investment teams. Throughout the day there is workshops, food stalls, networking and an after-party!
Seeing the work that’s gone into Vevolution festival would lead many to thing there is a team with various departments covering production, logistics, etc. False. It’s a partnership of just 2 people, who have worked tirelessly over an extended period to manifest a long-term vision, which I hope to see continue to grow over the years to come. If you have tickets, I look forward to seeing you there. If you missed out this time, the talks will be available online & look out for “Vevolution topics,” regular talks throughout the year.
Any press wishing to interview the founders can contact Damien@vevolution.co.