Firestarters made a groundbreaking return this month with a brand-new virtual event. To celebrate Global Goals Week 2023 and how Firestarters are committed to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the event focused on the role of cross-sector collaboration in sparking change and putting the goals into action.
Get to know Firestarters
Firestarters brings together a diverse range of people from the private, public and third sectors, focused on taking action and sparking positive change across the Liverpool City Region and beyond. Through a range of live and virtual events, we create a community of changemakers, working to facilitate hard-hitting conversations and tackle key challenges. Firestarters is community lighter fuel.
Why Global Goals Week?
Global Goals Week is a universal week of awareness, with this year marking the halfway point in the UN Sustainable Goals. As part of a week-long programme of events across the city, we did things in our unique Firestarters way, bringing people together to understand how we can work collaboratively to put the sustainable goals into action. As an organisation committed to the SDGs through our value-driven approach, we wanted to bring the brightest and best minds together, working as a catalyst for change and creating accountability in working towards the goals.
What we discussed at Firestarters Global Goals Week
The event brought together a panel of local and global industry experts and a range of change-making guests from various sectors to discuss the core challenges and opportunities for effective collaboration and meeting the SDGs.
At the event, we heard some inspiring ideas from five guest speakers:
- Stephen Painter, Managing Director at Hemsec
- Sara Wilock, CEO of The Sustainability Academy
- Angela Lake, Co-Founder of FiftyEight
- Benjamin Nathan, Director and Co-Founder of All of Us Films
- Kyle Soo, Partnerships and Product Manager at B Corp UK
In true Firestarters style, the event kicked off with a Q&A from our panel of experts. Angela Lake was up first, where she was asked to discuss the changes that she’d like to see to allow businesses to collaborate more effectively. Angela highlighted that the actions taken towards collaborating and meeting the goals need to become less of a box-ticking activity and more about funding and resources being put into action.
It’s about the importance of organisations investing into resources that allow them to drive impact and meet the goals.Angela Lake, FiftyEight
Next, we heard from Stephen Painter who shared his insights into overcoming the challenges faced by businesses in working collaboratively. Stephen talked about the importance of reframing our thinking, and changing the focus from profit to the planet.
At Hemsec, we changed our thinking and started to educate ourselves on what more we can do and how we can drive change.Stephen Painter, Hemsec
When asked about the advantages of working collaboratively, Sara Wilcock explored the importance of educating the next generation and providing them with the right tools to drive change.
Impact comes from people learning what they can do as leaders and organisations. We can only do this by working to understand the goals and then finding potential collaboration opportunities.Sara Wilcock, The Sustainability Academy
In order to collaborate effectively, Benjamin Nathan highlighted how we don’t need to achieve all 17 of the goals alone, and the key is teamwork.
If we shift the conversation from competition to collaboration we can drive impact. We need to surround ourselves with the brightest minds and the best ideas and then see how we can learn and grow from that.Benjamin Nathan , All of Us Films
To close out the panel of inspiring insights, we headed to Kyle Soo, asking him about the role of core organisations such as B Corp in helping organisations to meet the SDGs. Kyle spoke about how our mindsets are linked to successful collaboration, through a spirit of openness and transparency.
It’s important for individuals and organisations to have vulnerability and being able to have the openness to say when they don’t know the solution to all of their problems. That’s when we can find opportunities for points of collaboration.Kyle Soo, B Corp UK
Taking the core insights and ideas that we learned from our panel, the event then brought attendees and guest speakers together into smaller breakout sessions. Here, we facilitated much more in-depth conversations and the creation of a group pledge in order to develop actionable next steps and measure accountability.
The community pledges were live and co-designed, developing a cross-sector commitment and creating future actions to help towards meeting the goals. The pledges worked to provide a solution to the core challenges identified within the in-depth group discussions. By requiring attendees to make a commitment to implementing the solutions within their organisations, the pledges provided the next stage to spark change and put the SDGs into action.
What’s next for Firestarters?
We have a host of exciting events coming up across 2023 and 2024, designed to help us tackle issues and drive impact across the Liverpool City Region and beyond.
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