The Inspiring and Thriving List
Updated: Jan 12
Over the years and no doubt, for as long as I live, I will always be fascinated by people who seek to build beautiful and authentic, life-affirming brands, businesses and communities that change the way we think, feel and see the world. Here are some of those people and businesses which have influenced me the most over the years and who I feel either proud to have either interacted with or felt extremely grateful to have come across. I hope that discovering them brings you as much joy and wisdom as it has me.
I'll continue to update this page as I uncover more of their articles, podcasts, media and well, anything I think that you'll get something good from.
1. INSPIRING CONTENT AND GOOD BUSINESS
The Do Lectures (Wales)
The Do Lectures is a type of festival which takes place on the far edge of West Wales. It attracts some of the most progressive minds on the planet. For many who attend, and indeed, who speak, it proves to be a life-changing set of 3 days. The talks are filmed and then made available to the world for free. They attract a global audience each day to a cowshed. It's a network to help others reach their potential. Cost to attend is around £2000 nowadays, but you can enjoy the videos for free, as it says above. I managed to go before when it cost half that much (which was still a lot for me at the time) but it's been one of the most pivotel things I've done and I've stayed engaged with them ever since.
The Happy Startup School (Brighton)
The Happy Startup School is an antidote to business as usual – a growing movement of entrepreneurs that put happiness and impact before profits. Since 2012 we’ve been building a tribe of purpose-driven entrepreneurs at all stages from around the world that want to make a positive dent in the world. Membership programme around £29 a month. I'm a member and it's incredible value for money.
Two women, Manda Scott and Faith Tilleray, dreaming of a different future and who believe another way of being in the world is possible. They believe we have the chance to become something we cannot yet imagine, and by doing so, to transform the nature of ourselves – and all humanity. Loads of free content or sign up to a pay-what-you-can-afford membership programme. I'm a member and love it.
Whether it's obvious to you or not, a completely new phase in the evolution of life on Earth has begun. It will change everything. The Evolutionary Manifesto is an intentional attempt to promote the shift to conscious evolution and the evolutionary activism that will drive it.
B Corporation (B Lab)
Certified B Corporations are businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose. B Corps are accelerating a global culture shift to redefine success in business and build a more inclusive and sustainable economy. I went through the very painful process of putting a company through this and achieving certification was one of the proudest moments of my career (despite it happening the week of Lockdown!)
Good For Nothing
GFN is a simple idea: bring creative energy, ideas and skills to those already innovating on social issues but doing so with very limited resources. The transaction is a gift.
It’s civic participation which is open, creative, generous, fun, social, local, and generative.
Good for Nothing asks “what can I do for you?” How can I help you?
I've not attended any events but follow them and met a few of the Founders at the Do Lectures and love what they are trying to achieve.
In complex times it can be hard to figure what’s next: at work, in life. Street Wisdom is a fresh way to find the path that’s right for you. It’s radically simple. And free. A social enterprise that offers mind-opening WalkShops on streets all over the world. Run by volunteers, their immersive public experiences turn the city into a creative playground – a place to unlock fresh thinking and set new direction.
I'm a volunteer and have run walkshops for organisations who have loved it. I love everything it stands for and offers the world (mostly for free!).
Helps leaders and companies align profit with purpose – to deliver a future where everybody can thrive within the means of the planet.
It costs around £5000 to participate so I've never been on one, but I love their ethos and as a not-for-profit this goes back into the communities and good causes they work with.
Protecting and restoring the forests is the most effective way to recapture CO2 from the atmosphere to fight climate breakdown. Pachama’s carbon offsetting platform is the first to use AI to verify and monitor carbon captured by forests worldwide.
2. LIFE-CHANGING PODCASTS
When our existing assumptions and ways of thinking break down, it's the rebels and the renegades, those who dare to think differently, who are needed to reboot the system. Rebel Wisdom is a media platform founded by BBC & Channel 4 filmmaker David Fuller, and co-founded by writer Alexander Beiner. It is centred on the conviction that we are seeing a civilisational-level crisis of ideas, as the old operating system breaks down. The new is struggling to emerge - and the most transformative ideas always show up first as rebellious.
Set up by a good friend of mine, Jo Wyse, Wyse Women is a podcast released on the full moon where women share the wisdom that revealed itself to them during the most challenging moments of their lives. Jo's belief is that full moons are a wonderful time for rich communication and that in ancient times our female ancestors would synchronise their cycles with the cycles of the moon to make their connection, their creativity, their cleansing more powerful. Not sure how I managed it, but you'll find me somewhere amongst the midst of inspirational women.
The New Abnormal
Blunt truth and dark humor for a world in chaos. A Daily Beast podcast hosted by Rick Wilson and Molly Jong-Fast. Tune in every Tuesday and Friday
On Being with Krista Tippett
On Being is a public radio conversation and podcast, a Webby Award-winning website, publisher and public event convener. Hosted by Krista Tippett, it examines what it calls the, "animating questions at the center of human life: What does it mean to be human, and how do we want to live?"
From the magazine with the same title, listen as they journey throughout the UK, recording conversations with authors, artists, actors and philosophers.
This Mythic Life
One of my favourites, dedicated to conversations about cultivating the mythic imagination, and the relevance of myth and fairy tales to our lives today. In this podcast series, Sharon Blackie offers conversations with people who can sprinkle a few breadcrumbs to help us find our way back home through this dark forest of our forgetting. The wisdom contained in myth and folk tales; connecting with our places; reclaiming our indigenous roots, the practice of traditional crafts and old ways of knowing – and so much more.
Upstream is a radio documentary and interview series offering themed episodes that explore a wide variety of topics pertaining to our tumultuous and thrilling 21st-century economy. Through a mixture of heartfelt stories, expert interviews, and rich sound design, they challenge traditional assumptions and invite their listeners to imagine what a democratic, just, and sustainable economy might look like.