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Hay on Earth

Creating Sustainable Futures

The Hay Festival has a world-wide reputation for bringing together inspiring speakers and inquisitive audiences for literary delight. For over 20 years, people have listened to speakers that range from Gordon Brown, William Hague and Alan Greenspan to David Attenborough, Wangari Mathai and Tim Flannery. In 2010, around 200,000 tickets were sold in the name of inspiration and education.

During a brief visit and speaking engagement in 2007, TYF EcoSapiens' Andy Middleton was infected with a sense of the opportunity that the Festival had to bring together environmental and climate change speakers with the audiences that most needed to hear them – business and government decision makers. Through TYF, Andy committed to donate revenues his business’ One Percent for the Planet funds for the next two years to make this happen.

Since autumn 2007, he’s worked with the Hay Festival’s Andy Fryers, Simon Bilsborough and Huw Charles from the Welsh Assembly Government and Realise Systems' Steve Bather to design the Hay on Earth programme to create events that accelerative change for sustainability.

In September 2010, Andy Middleton hosted the Hay on Earth programme at the Storymoja Hay Festival in Nairobi as part of Hay's international event series.


2011's Hay on Earth Sustainable Innovation Seminars once again bring together environmental, climate and sustainability professionals with communicators, innovators, activists and officers from local and national government to share stories, develop blueprints for change and learn from what's hot and what's not elsewhere. 

The Green Dragon's Den, introduced in 2010, drew in record levels of people with an interest in what's happening in the field of sustainability an how to make the good things happen faster. 2011's Green Dragons will be drawn from the Hay Festival's magnificent roll-call of experts, the Welsh Assembly and from sustainability organisations across Wales.

Support from the Welsh Assembly Government provides important kick-start or innovator funding to four projects that may not otherwise happen, or move too slowly if the Green Dragons were not to give their blessing.

On each of the four days of Hay on Earth in 2011, a morning and afternoon of inspiration and innovation, coupled with hearing results from 2010 Green Dragon's Den winners, will be end in one of the main Hay marquees with a large audience Green Dragon's Den, in which short listed finalists are given 3 minutes to pitch their ideas, followed by 3 minutes of questions before voting by the Dragon's Panel.

Further information on the 2011 Hay on Earth & Green Dragon's Den can be found here. Applications must be submitted by 2 May 2011 and the list of projects selected for the Den will be announced on 13 May.

Full programme details and application forms can be found on the Resources section of the EcoSapiens website