Good Business Festival staged over two ‘Acts’ to harness global pandemic response

The Good Business Festival has been split into two ‘Acts’ in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Liverpool is hosting the global event, which has been described as a replacement for the International Business Festival, which was staged three times by the city.

The radically overhauled version will take place later this year, starting on October 8, and in March next year.

The festival will be a pioneering event, bringing together the smartest minds from around the world to think big, galvanise ambitions and drive positive change.

Act 1, in October, will focus on the COVID-19 response and recovery, uniting giants in the fields of finance, tech, sport, and retail in their support of the festival.

The festival will use Act 1 to enable, support and galvanise its network and its audience to develop real, change-making initiatives and pledges in the aftermath of the pandemic crisis, and then leverage Act 2 in March 2021 to bring everyone together to openly discuss those commitments.

The initial list of festival partners include: ARUP, B Lab UK, British Council, British Fashion Council, Centre for Cities, Coca-Cola, DCMS, Eden Project, Greenpeace, IBM, Iceland, International Fashion Academy Paris, Ipsos MORI, Liverpool FC, Mastercard, Met Office, Nesta, and the Royal College of Physicians.

This is an international festival curated by Culture Liverpool and Hemingway Design, on behalf of the Liverpool City Region and Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram.

Organisers say that, while October will be a hybrid of live, digital and broadcast content, the objective for March, one year on from lockdown, will be to present the festival in its original vision: A mix of hard-hitting talks, workshops, knowledge sessions, fringe events and social experiences.

The festival will take place across workplaces and warehouses, temporary pop-ups to heritage sites – an imaginative mix of arts, culture and business.

Metro Mayor, Steve Rotheram, said: “The coronavirus crisis has given us the opportunity to think about the kind of world we want to live in and there can be no return to business as usual.

“In the Liverpool City Region we’re looking to build the UK’s fairest, greenest and most inclusive local economy, with a particular focus on inclusive growth and community wealth building.

“That means ensuring that local communities really feel the benefit from investment, with good-quality jobs and fair wages.”

He added: “We’ll need to do things differently, and the Good Business Festival is a fantastic way to showcase our region as a radical leader for ethical, values-driven businesses.

“I look forward to sharing ideas both online and then together in person about how we can be an exemplar to build back better with business as we start to recover.”

Liverpool FC chief executive, Peter Moore, said: “We are living through a period of unprecedented times during this global pandemic and the way businesses adapt to new environments is critical to their future success.

“At Liverpool Football Club our priority has, and always will be, the health and wellbeing of our people, the local community and supporters. We have a local heart with a global pulse and our values remain strong throughout and beyond the pandemic.

“The ambitions of the Good Business Festival align with ours, and we are excited to be a part of something which is focused on generating more for business by doing the right thing.”

Sir Tim Smit, executive vice chair of The Eden Project, said: “The Good Business Festival looks like it is about genuine provocation, not in the sense of socialist vs capitalist, but insightful in horizon scanning what adaptations we need to make to protect the planet and the people on it.”

The Good Business Festival has signed up a variety of ambassadors, including Tech Nation CEO, Gerard Grech, CBI president Lord Karan Bilimoria, Everton FC CEO Prof Denise Barrett-Baxendale, and Ann Cairns, executive vice chair of Mastercard.

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