A Question of Sustainability

Monday, December 01, 2014

18:00 - 20:30

For our final event of the year, two teams of sustainability experts competed against each other and the audience in a game show. And whilst entertainment was high on the agenda, there were serious underlying objectives. We explored the power of crowds to solve the big challenges of our times, tested crowds against experts, and identified the most knowledgeable person in the audience.

We began with an interview with Nathan Waterhouse, the Co-founder of OpenIDEO and OI Engine. Nathan shared his experience of why companies like Coca Cola Enterprises and Unilever are using crowds to develop strategy; how they’re looking beyond their innovation and sustainability teams to find better solutions more efficiently. Is this a glimpse of tomorrow?

We then welcomed on stage on our two teams, captained by Jo Confino and Sally Uren, for A Question of Sustainability. Our contestants competed in different rounds that covered sustainability, business and general knowledge, in a format that borrowed heavily from popular TV shows. The teams were;

Team Jo: The ever-challenging Jo Confino, supported by Julia Groves and Simon Abrams.
Team Sally: The endlessly cheerful Sally Uren, assisted by Kresse Wesling and Dax Lovegrove.

Everyone in the audience will had a personalised handset to answer ten of the questions. This allowed us to see, in real time, whether crowds beat experts; would we see a similar pattern to Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, where asking the audience consistently outperforms the learned friend? The dataalso  identified the most knowledgeable person in the audience.

Instead of our usual roundtable discussions we had a sustainability challeng involving spaghetti, marshmallows, wool and tape :)


Dax Lovegrove Kingfisher

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Ed Gillespie Futerra Sustainability Commun...

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Jo Confino Guardian

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Julia Groves Trillion Fund

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Kresse Wesling Elvis & Kresse

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Nathan Waterhouse OI Engine LP

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Sally Uren Forum for the Future

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Simon Abrams EY

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Round Tables

Sustainability Challenge

Instead of our usual roundtables we have a Christmas Sustainability Challenge. 10 tables of 12 people will compete against each other,  with the winning team getting an early visit from Father Christmas.

Venue Detail

Bank of America Merrill Lynch: King Edward Hall

King Edward Hall | 2 King Edward Street | London | EC1A 1HQ


Bank of America's offices are a very short walk from St Paul's tube station (Central Line). Exit the station at Cheapside/Newgate Street. Go past the BT centre, with it on your right-hand side and take the first available right down Edward Street. Continue down this road for 80m and the entrance to the venue is on your left-hand side.

Do not go to the main reception desk at their offices when you arrive. You are looking for an entrance that leads you directly into the King Edward Hall.
Who's Attending