Rethink and dematerialize: A morning with Guy Bigwood took place last February 15th, in this event we had the great privilege of meeting one of the undisputed pioneers of high performance sustainable events. It was the first Learning Breakfast organized by Valkiria Innovation, where the best agencies in Barcelona gathered to share with Guy Bigwood a Friday morning very different from the usual. Guy was the initiator and creator of the Global Destination Sustainability Index and Director of GuBi Consulting and has spent his entire life traveling the world preaching the importance of sustainable events.
First of all, Katerina Hernanz, Valkiria’s project manager, welcomed all attendees and presented Valkiria’s products: “More than a mere space, we are creators of experiences”: Food for thoughts, Creative Innovation and Teams in action. Don’t you know them yet? Take a look at this post:
Once Katerina had made her presentation, it was Guy’s turn to turn the assembled into a real “Green Team”.
At the start of the session, Guy emphasized that sustainability starts with people. It has to be felt inside to be able to spread it to the outside with small gestures and actions.
It was then that he gave way to his traveling companion and wife Janet Cheung, a Chinese medicine and Chi Kung therapist, and founder of Inner Sense, a company focused on the well-being of both people and events. Janet had us perform three different types of mindfulness relaxation exercises to appreciate the importance of breathing and to be aware of how it brings us into the present moment.
After the exercises led by Janet, Guy continued with his presentation.
Guy defended that sustainability is not only the action of recycling, but it is people, communities and environments (large corporations such as Unilever or Ikea are a great example of sustainability) and that it is necessary to make more actions and more noise, re-imagine the future and the real impact of the events that take place.
“We are all agents of change and by taking small steps we are getting closer and closer to our goal,” Guy said.
He also used a thought-provoking quote from Einstein: “We will not solve the problems of tomorrow by using the ideas and thoughts of today”. That is why it is necessary to reinvent and raise awareness, to come up with new ways of projecting our actions. Some of the agencies participated in the day explaining what sustainable actions they had started to develop. Actions such as recycling reused items from one event to another, putting water bottles instead of bottles to avoid wasting so much plastic or glass (although sometimes this means a bad image in the eyes of customers), reusing accreditations through containers, social sustainability actions (studying the impact that events have on society, such as tourism phobia), participation in events of zero waste (most of the waste is plastic, paper and is generated by branding), or offset waste emissions by buying hectares of forest. Rethink dematerialize with Guy Bigwood was a session full of learning and creativity.
Thus, we were able to discover some tips on how to recycle in our events and we were aware of the importance of being pro-active towards agencies and offer sustainable services anticipating the client’s needs. Increasingly, collective consciousness is a reality.
According to a study of purchasing trends, it can be seen that 50% of the population demands a series of items during their purchasing decision process that the market is not offering them: Corporate Social Responsibility (people management), care for the environment and offers related to sustainable actions.
Guy also spoke to us about the importance of the destination of our event: choosing environmentally certified hotels, for example, makes the organization of our event much easier.
It was a real pleasure to meet such a charismatic and inspiring man, we hope to see you soon! We leave you Guy’s blog where you will never stop learning about how to achieve a better world: