A quote from Poppy White, which says "The Catalyst Summit was fantastic and provided me with a new array of knowledge and skills that will enable me to produce my own personal sustainability mission. I couldn’t recommend their workshop enough.". To the left of the quote text are some small cartoon stars and 3 cartoon girls holding hands.

Thank you for joining us!

Wow. What an incredible time we have had at the Catalyst Summit, thank you to everyone for joining us. We’re blown away by the inspirational women that we met. This includes those that are already sustainability professionals, and the Catalysts because they make the future look so much brighter with them in it!

We’d like to take this time to summarise the event for those who want to reflect or couldn’t attend.

Catalsyt Summit Day 1 – Nobody Is Too Small To Make a Difference…

The event kicked off with Natalie Fee, award-winning environmental campaigner, author, speaker and founder of City to Sea. Natalie shared stories of her career path from TV presenter and producer to an environmental campaigner. After that, she covered how to cope with eco-anxiety.  

Afterwards, Rhian Sherrington, founder of Women in Sustainability Network ran an empowering life-coaching session on building the confidence to make your voice heard. 

Later on, we were joined by Green Party Councillor, Carla Denyer, who talked us through her sustainable journey and the need for better representation in politics. For example, in 2018, 63% of councillors in England were male, 96% of councillors were white and 43% were aged 65 and over (National Census of Local Authority Councillors 2018)! 

On Day 2 We Reimagined the World…

A group of inspirational speakers, from a diverse array of backgrounds, joined us – Sara Telahoun, Jessica Ferrow, Livvy Drake, Dr Zara Nanu, Emma Askew and Lola Okunriboye. Each guest speaker shared their visionary questions for the future. 

We then split off into smaller breakout rooms and worked with a speaker to address a sustainability challenge. The Catalysts worked in groups to create a campaign that answered the speakers’ visionary questions. Afterwards, they presented them to the rest of the Catalysts, other speakers and partners of the Summit.

The campaigns ranged from the use of optimistic narratives in communication, addressing intersectional environmentalism, exploitation in fashion and much more. The campaigns were so innovative, and we hope to see at least a few of them come to life in the future! 

A list of visionary questions from the speakers: A. Jessica Ferrow - Self-employed sustainability strategy and communications expert – founder of Twelve What if we could convince all businesses to take meaningful action on the climate emergency? B. Livvy Drake – Sustainability consultant, Sustainable Sidekicks What if social and cultural norms were radically changed to allow people to change their behaviours for the climate crisis? C. Sara Telahoun – Senior Sustainability Consultant at Anthesis and on the Environmental Sustainability Board for Bristol What if everyone understood their role in climate justice and felt empowered to take action?

More visionary questions form the speakers: D. Lola Okunrinboye – Chartered environmental and sustainability professional What if there were no racism and climate & social justice went hand in hand? E. Emma Askew – Environmental researcher & filmaker What if optimistic narratives were used in communication to engage the unengaged in environmental challenges? F. Jenna Holliday – Gender & migration specialist What if people knew the exploitation that was involved in the things they consume? G. Dr Zara Nana – CEO Gap Squared What if at least half all leadership positions were filled by women?

On Day 3 We Met The Mentors and Made a Pledge…

In the morning, some of our fantastic partners joined us. Six amazing ethical businesses gave a short virtual study tour; spoke about what they do and what it’s like to work for them. So, thank you to them for taking the time to introduce themselves. You can find out more about them here:

Description of SAVERS: S - silence  A - affirmation V - visualisation E - exercise R - reading S - scribing

What is S.A.V.E.R.S?

Later on, the Catalysts had the opportunity to meet their mentors for the first time! We met all of the mentors to hear about their roles in sustainability and what it takes to make a good mentor… and a good mentee! 

It was fantastic to be joined by such a diverse array of women in sustainability. We’re very excited to hear about everyone’s experiences with their mentors moving forward. 

And finally, to round up the Summit, we made a personal pledge to ourselves and to the world. We discussed the useful wellbeing technique called S.A.V.E.R.S and envisioned where we would be in 10 years time. 

The Catalysts' visions for their future selves

Visionary Pin Board

What Did the Catalysts Make of the Catalyst Summit?

So far, we have had some wonderful feedback, here are just a few of the Catalysts’ kind words…

“I really enjoyed it and can’t wait for more to come! It feels like I’m being guided to the right path and I found out lots about myself too, I liked speaking to so many like-minded women!”   Ewa Rydlewska

“As an alumnus of the 2019 Catalyst Bootcamp, I’ve come to expect great things from anything under the Catalyse Change banner. Happy to say that the ladies behind this have smashed it out of the park AGAIN, delivering a series of inspiring talks and workshops that left me feeling empowered and better in touch with myself and my purpose” Taryn Everdeen

“It’s given me hope for the future seeing so many amazing women doing loads of different types of sustainable work in different sectors.”  Eilish Farrelley

“I have had the most incredible time learning about sustainability and female empowerment. I’m grateful to say I have built a new network of supportive and inspiring female changemakers and met a selection of passionate and motivated women in the sustainability industry.” Megan Stillwell

“I have loved being apart of this event and have learnt so much over the last few weeks! The summit has been the perfect opportunity to connect with other young women keen to make an impact in the sustainability industry and to hear from those who have already had such inspiring careers.” Rachel Baylis

“Most of all it was lovely to connect with other young women and focus on the climate justice movement and how we can create a sustainable future together.” Anokhi Kalayil 

“Feeling incredibly empowered and motivated today after day one of the Catalyst Summit 2020. So many amazing females working together and contributing spectacular ideas on such an important topic – a more sustainable future.” Molly McBride

And finally, a big thank you to…

Our sponsors who provided the funding to make this event possible:

As well as all of our wonderful programme partners..

Burges Salmon, FREETHS, Green Unlimited, Natracare, Pukka Herbs, Vattenfalls UK, Women in Sustainability.

A diverse array of speakers for motivating and educating us to be the change we want to see:

Natalie Fee, Rhian Sherrington, Carla Denyer, Sara Telahoun, Jessica Ferrow, Livvy Drake, Dr Zara Nanu, Emma Askew and Lola Okunriboye.

And lastly, a huge thank you to our brilliant mentors for supporting the future generation of changemakers!

Thank you for joining us!

Keep in touch,

Traci and Jenna. 

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Woman with long brown hair, wearing a green top and smiling, stood in a green garden.

Megan Stillwell

This article was written by Megan Stillwell, Class of 2018 BSc (Hons), Psychology Graduate from the University of Nottingham. 

As part of her internship with Kind Comms, Megan worked behind the scenes in marketing for the Catalyst Summit. Now that her internship is coming to an end, she is looking for a permanent role in marketing and communications for a company with sustainability at its heart. 

You can connect with Megan on her LinkedIn, here https://www.linkedin.com/in/megan-stillwell-645a2b168