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Hay on Earth 2008

Four days' discussion and content produced extraordinarily good results and responses from participants. The text written that set out the aims of those four days can be found below:

2030 Vision

This first workshop concentrates on the county of Powys , home to 130,000 people and the Hay Festival. Focus on a single county will allow participants concentrate their challenging discussions on how delivery of key services and business in a relatively small, rural area will change when operating in a low carbon, low energy and low oil environment.

Participants will develop scenarios and insights that deliver security of service delivery in a different climate whilst increasing the Index of Sustainable Economic Welfare (ISEW). Actions that arise from the event will address sustainable wellbeing for the residents and visitors to Powys with a view to creating a road map for a sustainable county.


Around 25 participants will join Powys County Council Chief Executive Mark Kerr for this workshop, with Welsh Assembly advisory bodies and external experts from health and well-being, food, education, business, housing and transition communities.


Andrew Simms, Director of the New Economics Foundation (nef) will be joined by contributors to Andrew’s recent book ‘Do Good Lives Have to Cost the Earth’ - the Big Issue's John Bird and comments from the Idler.


Andy Middleton (TYF) and Steve Bather

Expert witnesses

Representatives from WWF, Centre for Alternative Technology, Sustainable Development Commission (tbc), CCW.


Fit for the Future

Leaders from 25 businesses and their support networks (CBI, DET, IOD) will get together to discuss the practices that they need to create and develop to thrive in an operational environment that’s only producing 20% of the CO2 compared to 2008, and working with 50% less oil for power, transport and food production. Participants will be encouraged to leave behind the ‘how’, to understand ‘where’ and ‘what’, to create a meaningful, practical vision of what business operations will look like in a rapidly evolved, intelligent environment.

Participants will explore the relationship between business sectors, information and material flows to produce dramatically improved models of effectiveness that result in the high levels of employee engagement and innovation that are needed for business and operational transformation.


Leaders from 15-20 leading businesses in Wales and the Borders will represent food, transport, manufacturing, built environment, recreation, waste and planning. They’ll be joined by strategy and policy experts from CBI, IoD, FSB, Welsh Assembly Government and Design Commission for Wales .


Mike Barry is the architect of M&S’ Plan A - their five-year, 100-point 'eco' plan to tackle some of the biggest challenges facing M&S’ business and the world. Plan will see M&S working with their customers and suppliers to combat climate change, reduce waste, safeguard natural resources, trade ethically and build a healthier nation.

Ben Stimson

Facilitators : Andy Middleton (TYF), one other

Expert witnesses : Representatives from BT, BAe Systems, M&S, Sky, Green & Black's were joined by WWF, Arena Network and the Sustainable Development Commission


Learning from Tomorrow

Following on dialogue, debate and discussion between civic and business leaders, the baton for change will be handed on to those with a crucial role in determining the future – the teachers, educators and trainers who determine the thinking, knowledge and attitude of future decision makers.

Central to a low carbon, low energy future will be a philosophical framework, cognitive tools and a common language that enable people to think, work and play in a new way. Engagement, enrolment and communication will play a major part in this, as will the ability to see connections rather than differences between groups and previously ‘separate’ disciplines. Hay on Earth’s choice of speakers for the 2008 workshops is designed to reflect this.

Delegates will work together with advertising and communications specialists and neurologists to find out the best ways of applying the current methods used to drive consumerism to signpost and support a sustainable approach to life and work.


25-30 leaders from Wales academic institutions and business schools, Welsh Assembly’s DCELLS, teachers, NGOs, representatives and business support agencies

Speakers: Alan Weissman, scientific journalist and author of The World Without Us

Facilitators : Andy Middleton (TYF), Alan Horton

Expert witnesses : representatives from BRASS, CPI, Cynnal Cymru-Sustain Wales


Making it Happen

With the insights of three days’ heartfelt and profound discussion to work with, ‘Making it Happen’ brings together senior politicians, civil servants, leading business and community leaders alongside representatives from the previous three groups. The participants will be present proposals that have developed during in the previous seminars and discuss how they can be implemented, identifying opportunities and areas where assistance is required.


Hay on Earth’s final workshop will bring week together a group of policy analysts, strategic thinkers, entrepreneurs, media and communication specialists and infrastructure providers, and charge them with consolidating outputs from the first three days into a coherent, compelling case for change.

Their proposal will be presented in the afternoon to a panel of politicians and senior civil servants with the intent of bring desire, capability and commitment to the case for a different approach to sustainable change.

Speakers: Jane Davidson and John Gormley (N Ireland Environment Minister) have been invited to take part in a panel debate.

Facilitators : Andy Middleton (TYF), Alan Horton

Expert witnesses : UKCIP, SDC, WWF, CAT