• Culture

8 sustainability conferences to add to your wish list

Annual festivals for the social activists among us

By Felicity Bonello

There are incredible green initiatives taking place all over the world throughout the year, where people come together to discuss ideas, share stories, and inspire each other to make our world a better place to reside. If you’re looking for some of the best tickets in town, these are the sustainability events and festivals we suggest you add to your wish list. 

Social Good Summit 

A non-for-profit run solely by volunteers, The Social Good Summit Australia (SGSA) is a United Nations-affiliated event that connects individuals, corporations, not-for-profits, government, and grassroots organisations to inspire and discuss solutions for the greatest challenges of our times. This summit is all about inspiring individuals to unlock the potential of technology and collaboration, and to act for social good. This year’s theme is RECONNECT. RETHINK. RESTART and will focus on the task ahead of us to fulfil the promise of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) in creating a better world by 2030.

When: October 8 2022, Melbourne, Australia

Purpose Conference

This immersive two-day event is designed for the purpose-driven business community, whereby entrepreneurs, advocates and agitators are joined by world class speakers to solve some of the world’s most urgent and complex sustainability challenges. This event is a hub where ideas are sparked, community is formed and conversations around game changing ideas and boundary pushing experiences are encouraged. Think cutting edge content, music, food, are and networking. It’s going to be a good one. 

When: October 19-20 2022, Carriageworks, Sydney, Australia

Semi-Permanent Aotearoa

If you were lucky enough to attend this year’s Semi Permanent in Sydney, you can attest to just how wonderful this creative festival is. Each year, Semi Permanent takes the opportunity to explore a universal idea that is most relevant to the challenges and opportunities of the time. Over three days the audience is treated to talks, panels, workshops, exhibitions, screenings and more. For 2022, they’ve introduced the platform ‘PERSPECTIVE’. At a time when traditional binaries are being dismantled, we’re asked to assess the lens that we place on our past, present and future, and to make room for new and varied perspectives.

When: October 19-21 2022, Wellington, New Zealand

Half-Earth Day, by EarthX 

EarthX was founded in 2011 as an Earth Day celebration in Dallas, TX. Since then, it has grown into an international non-profit environmental organisation dedicated to educating and inspiring people and organisations to take action towards a more sustainable future worldwide. With a vision to be the leading global connector and environmental forum to positively impact our world for a sustainable and conservable future, EarthX conferences attract the world’s foremost environmentalists, conservationists, activists, political leaders, and business influencers engaged in the environmental space today. While they have a number of events each year, from October 20-22, EarthX will celebrate Half-Earth DayTM with conferences, banquets, and a star-studded music and film performance celebrating Mother Earth.

When: October 20-22 2022, Dallas Texas


OK, so there’s no one TED Conference. What started as a tiny workshop in Monterey, California, has grown to around 3600 TEDx events all over the world, from Tehran to Australia, in fact there’s probably one happening right now. Attendance at all TED events is application only, so you’ll have to apply beforehand. From TEDWomen, and various TEDx Events to TED2023 from April 17-21 2023 in Vancouver Canada, there’s plenty to choose from. As with anything TED-related, you can expect thought-provoking discussions, eye-opening debates, and speeches that’ll inspire.

World Ocean Summit 

Climate change is having a profound effect on Asia-Pacific’s coastal ecosystems as well as on the global ocean. Over the course of two days, this summit will include a series of practical discussions that draw on case studies from the region, from seaweed farming to quantum computing, to examine how Asia-Pacific can prepare for and adapt to climate change and its effect on the ocean. Perfect for policymakers, business leaders, investors and activists who want to be part of the solution, a key theme for the summit will be marine pollution and addressing the problems of plastics and chemicals in the ocean.

When: November 29-30, 2022, Singapore

Future Sustainability Summit 

Abu Dhabi is the place to be this coming January. As the anchor event of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, the Future Sustainability Summit is the world’s leading business event for future energy and sustainability. The Summit brings together senior policymakers, CEOs and senior executives, entrepreneurs, scientists, academics, and innovators and sets the stage for engaging, thought-provoking discussions on the global sustainability agenda. By sharing real-world experiences, delegates and guest speakers will look at how advances in artificial intelligence, big data, and the Internet of Things (IoT) can accelerate sustainable development.

When: January 17-19 2023, Abu Dhabi UAE

Sustainability Leaders’ Summit 

With a line-up of speakers worth queuing to hear from, the Sustainability Leaders’ Summit will bring together more than 300 of the nation’s leading corporate sustainability executives to delve deeply into the challenges and opportunities behind the ultimate goal of transforming business for the better. From the macro to the micro issues that challenge businesses as they transition to sustainability, this Summit is an exclusive event designed to unite sustainability decision makers from the region’s most influential companies.

When: March 1-2 2023 Melbourne, Australia


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