Four years ago those very nice people at the Institute of Directors gave me some complimentary tickets to their Annual Conference at the Royal Albert Hall. We listened to a lot of awfully clever businessmen – including the Chancellor of the Exchequer and Stuart Rose (then Chief Exec of M&S) – talking about the economy and ‘serious’ business themes, along with our very own pinstripe Dragon Peter Jones making jokes about buying a Ferrari…
And then Tim Smit came on stage, wearing jeans and a denim shirt, took off his navy pinstripe jacket, left it on the side of the stage and proceeded to blow the entire audience away with his story about how he created Cornwall’s ‘The Eden Project’.
A social enterprise created from nothing more than a vision and a disused quarry, which has since become one of the UK’s biggest tourist attractions creating much wealth for the Cornish people and many local enterprises.
In business terms it was the equivalent of seeing Elvis perform for the very first time – and I KNEW in my heart what we were seeing was the possibility of a fresh new future for business.
A future where business success is not measured by stock market value or interim profits or how flashy your car is. A future of business based on working from passion and out of desire to serve others, business which creates value for every single person it touches.
A future of ‘we-first’ not ‘me-first’ – where collaboration is more important than competition.
It’s taken me three years of begging, cajoling and generally being like a fly-round-a-cow’s-arsehole to finally get Tim to speak – now of course ‘Sir Tim’ – and I am delighted and very proud to let you know that he is our keynote speaker at the ‘Prosperity 2013’ event on Tuesday 23 April at The Tate Modern.
I do hope that you will join me, along with over 200 other ‘Conscious Entrepreneurs’, as we paint a vision for a bright new future of business which can emerge from the current breakdown of the old order.
All the details are waiting over for you at www.rachelelnaugh.com/prosperity2013