Meaning 2012, October 1st, Brighton, Uk
A NixonMcInnes thing for better 21st century business

The Meaning conference is an annual gathering for people who believe business can and must be better in the 21st century. Learn from pioneers and build connections with like-minded peers. Together we can change the world of business.



Our speakers are thinkers and doers from business, academia and activism, each bringing their view of the challenges and opportunities available to us.

Click on the 2012 speakers to watch the videos of their talks.

  • Caroline Lucas

    Caroline brings two perspectives to Meaning: as a lifelong activist for a more sustainable world, and as a politician with experience at British & European parliaments. What future does Caroline see for business?

    PROFILE & 2012 VIDEO

  • Alexander Kjerulf

    Alexander has spent years studying happiness at work, hanging out in the happiest workplaces in the world and spreading practical techniques & academic insight to help people enjoy their work. What will Alex share to help our businesses be happier?

    PROFILE & 2012 VIDEO

  • Stowe Boyd

    Stowe spends his days immersed in research around the impact of social tools on media, business and society, and has advised technological innovators like IBM, Yammer and Bitly. How does Stowe see the near-future of social business?

    PROFILE & 2012 VIDEO

  • Vinay Gupta

    Vinay is an international authority on resilience. He has created an open source structure called Hexayurt to provide low-cost shelter for those in need, and sees a volatile and radically altered future for business and society. How will Vinay challenge us to respond to the future?

    PROFILE & 2012 VIDEO

  • Margaret Elliott

    Margaret launched two co-ops in the 1970s and now leads Sunderland Home Care Associates which is fully employee-owned and provides care to over 500 elderly and disabled people. How will Margaret inspire and educate us about employee ownership?

    PROFILE & 2012 VIDEO

  • David Hieatt

    David Hieatt is a founder of Hiut Denim, a company that seeks to create the finest handmade jeans in the world, using the skills of grandmaster jean makers in West Wales. What will David tell us about purpose and craftsmanship?

    PROFILE & 2012 VIDEO

  • Karen Pine

    Professor Karen Pine is an expert in behaviour change and runs behaviour change programmes to help people in communities and organisations change their habits. How will Karen help us experience and better understand how to effect change?

    PROFILE & 2012 VIDEO

  • Indy Johar

    Indy is a ground-breaking thinker and do-er with a voracious interest in both macro-economics and social change. This is twinned with practical hands-on ventures in an architectural design practice and the well-loved Hub Westminister. How will Indy blow our minds about the future of business?

    PROFILE & 2012 VIDEO

  • Luis Suarez

    Luis has spent the past four years living in a corporate world at IBM but without the use of email. What can Luis tell us about freeing ourselves from conventional working practices?

    PROFILE & 2012 VIDEO

  • Pamela Warhurst

    Pam will tell us the inspiring story of what started as a seed swapping project to get the local community growing its own food on unused land. The organisation she is now chair of has become an inspiration for urban regeneration and education projects around the globe. What can Pam teach us about the power of small action?

    PROFILE & 2012 VIDEO


Meaning was a one day conference on 01 October 2012.
See our awesome speaker line-up below. A sit-down lunch together provided a low-key way to get to know other participants.

To enable the carers of young children to participate in Meaning we offered free childcare for under 5's on a first come first served basis.


    Will McInnes
    Stowe Boyd
    The future of work
    Caroline Lucas
    Sustainbility in business
    David Hieatt
    Purpose in action
    Indy Johar
    The future of capitalism
    Karen Pine
    Behaviour change

    created by Secret Restaurant
    Alexander Kjerulf
    Happiness at work
    Pamela Warhurst
    Action for change
    Margaret Elliott
    Employee ownership
    Vinay Gupta
    Open source business
    Luis Suarez
    A collaborative future
    Will McInnes

    In the foyer bar


Here are some of the issues that were explored on the day:

  • Organisational design & structure

    Is top-down, command and control fit for the 21st century?

  • Workplace democratisation

    Will businesses with collaborative decision-making practices get the edge on old-school competitors?

  • 21st century leadership

    What kind of leaders do the challenges of our time demand, and what is leadership today?

  • Steady state economics

    Can we keep growing in conventional terms and if not, what are the alternatives?

  • Sustainability in business

    What are the opportunities for businesses to embrace sustainability?

  • Technology disruption

    What technology themes are imminent and likely to disrupt business as usual?

  • The future of work

    What do people want from work and what can they expect from progressive businesses?


The Brighton Dome Corn Exchange, Brighton, BN1 1UE

For travel details please visit the Brighton Dome Corn Exchange website


Thank you to these friends of NixonMcInnes who made the
first Meaning conference possible through their
skill and generosity

All creative work produced by Brighton
based collective Roughtype


We are NixonMcInnes and we believe in the need to
re-design business for the 21st century

Visit to find out more