Earth Champions Essence Talks

Thank you so much to everyone who attended and spoke at the Earth Champions Essence Talks event!

The Earth Champions Essence Talks was the third event held by the Foundation over the past 10 days. Presided over by Mayor George Ferguson, the remaining Earth Champions (those yet to collect their awards) were given their awards and there was the opportunity for some of the 75 awarded Champions to speak.


The event started with an introduction to the evening from CEO and Founder Fiona Mathews, Fiona introduced Mayor George Ferguson. The Mayor spoke of the great value of the programme and how pleased he was to have been a part of the first UK Earth Champions Quest - he said that grassroots initiatives and programmes which work across cities finding unsung heroes are very valuable. He talked about the tremendous work and inspiration which all of the awarded Earth Champions have brought to the City.


Mayor George Ferguson

Mayor George Ferguson was followed by an inspiring speech from Helena Norberg-Hodge who spoke of the need for local economies and action on all levels in order to really make a difference and inspire change.


Helena Norberg- Hodge

Following this the 'State of the Local Planet Report' was given to give the audience an idea of the current state of Bristol and why they need to find their local Earth Champions to help improve their own environment and wellbeing.

Then it was time to begin the 'Essence Talks'. 19 Earth Champions spoke over the course of the evening, they were moving, passionate and motivating. The 'Essence Talks' gave each speaker 3 minutes to talk about their work, why they do it, their inspiration and what keeps them going. The awarded Earth Champions spoke from a wide range of disciplines across the 8 categories of Water, Air, Energy, Biodiversity, Built Environment, Waste Minimisation, Transport and Wellbeing. The audience listened in fascination to each speaker as they explained their work. It's clear that there is lots of room for collaboration and synergies between the Bristol and Bath Earth Champions.

The wonderful speakers :

Katcha Bilek - Katcha Bilek

Rosy Daniel - Health Creation

Andrew Grant - Grant Associates

Gill Roberts - Alive!

Rosalind Turner - Netwalking Southwest

Maddy Longhurst - Blue Finger Alliance

Steve Sliney - Collecteco

Annali Grimes - Litterarti

Jo Wright - Organic Blooms

Rajeswari Raj - Raj Architects

Dermot O'Regan - Grow Bristol

Rich Pancost - Cabot Institute

Lucy Pedler - Green Register

Craig White - Modcell

Zoe Banks - Easton Energy

Lisa Jones - Soil Association

Sra Venn - Incredible Edible

Poppy Brett - Lifecycle

Claire Miller - Linkage

Melinda Watson - Raw Foundation

Wendy Stephenson - The Converging World


Katcha Bilek and Plum


Maddy Longhurst


Professor Rich Pancost


Craig White


Wendy Stephenson

The Foundation is looking forward to holding lots more 'Essence Talks' events and hearing from many of the amazing awarded Earth Champions who are yet to speak!

The event closed with a moving speech from Saffeyah Cornelieus from the London Young Stars youth group. Saffi hopes that one day all young people will have the opportunity to experience and learn about the world in the way in which she did whilst travelling with her Mum.


Saffi Cornelius


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