The 2013 SLOW LIFE Symposium planning Innovation Bazaar

soneva buggy

THE 2013 SLOW LIFE Symposium kicks off this week with the creation of an Innovation Bazaar, where participants can pitch to each other tangible and concrete ideas for future collaboration.

This year’s Symposium, which starts this Thursday and runs until Nov. 10, will be held at Soneva Kiri Resorts, Residences & Spas on the island of Koh Hood.

The Soneva Group, which sponsors the event, is a world-leading sustainable luxury resort operator that has demonstrated that environmental sustainability is good for the planet and good for business, with approximately 50% of clients being repeat guests.

As host, Sonu Shivdasani, CEO of Soneva and founder of the SLOW LIFE Foundation, will be hoping to repeat the success of 2011’s Symposium, which yielded WHOLE WORLD Water, a ground-breaking social enterprise which unites the hospitality and tourism industries to help solve the global water crisis.

“WHOLE WORLD Water shows what we can achieve when we collaborate and DO,” commented Sonu Shivdasani. “We believe in the necessity for action so this event has been designed to facilitate scenarios that will lead directly to positive change. Soneva and the SLOW LIFE Foundation are committed to providing support to new ideas and to driving these forward as we have done for WHOLE WORLD Water.”

Discussion topics will include how to scale environmental solutions that have a real impact, the crisis in our plundered and poisoned oceans, future-proofing business for a sustainable world, the oxymoron of sustainable travel, and the crucial role of technology in engaging the hearts and minds of those who live on this beautiful planet.

Oceans in crisis is not too strong to describe the problems of our water-dominated planet, he feels. Symposium participants will discuss solutions such as the Coral Triangle Initiative, a multilateral partnership between six governments working together to sustain extraordinary marine and coastal resources.

The Symposium breaks down the usual conference boundaries between ‘speakers’ and ‘attendees’ with every delegate, including attending media, an active participant for the whole three days. Also engaging with such themes will be actor and activist Daryl Hannah, ‘digital champion’ Martha Lane Fox, and global threats expert Larry Brilliant.

This year’s chair is Jonathon Porritt, a pioneer of sustainable business and perfectly placed to facilitate this group of visionary mavericks and encourage change from within.

On the theme of ‘People, Planet, Profit’, Tim Smit of the Eden Project will be in dialogue with Pavan Sukhdev on the latter’s powerful book Corporation 2020, which argues that we can increase social equity, decrease environmental risk and still generate profit.

Johan Rockström, developer of the ‘planetary boundaries’ concept, will address the theme of ‘Natural Resource Capital’ by demonstrating the global paradigm shift we now need in order to navigate towards global sustainability and human prosperity in an increasingly turbulent world.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has,” Margaret Mead, the American cultural anthropologist, once observed.

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