The boldest business innovators aren’t always found in boardrooms or tech start-ups, but in street markets, prisons and refugee camps… and at Meaning Conference!

If we were to put together the ultimate ‘dinner party’ guest list, it would read much like Meaning. Taking place in Brighton, UK, the heady mix of talks is carefully curated by Event Director Louise Ash to showcase the pioneers taking brave steps in unexpected places.

Did you know that there is a company run by chocolate criminals, a unique retirement home where old and young live together and that one of the UK’s top schools was once the worst in the country? You can hear from Ynzo van Zanten, Jurriën Mentink, Carl Jarvis, Vinay Gupta and more at this year’s event on 16 November 2017.

Louise gives new meaning to asymmetry

“These organisations are not just walking the talk, they are living and breathing it in the most fundamental way,” she explained. “Standing up to governments, rejecting the status quo, risking the bottom line for their principles, showing that it can be done. I find that incredibly inspiring. And lucky me, I get to meet my business heroes at Meaning!”

From ‘the most political food in the world‘ in Palestine to cow-less milk in Sweden, this is the accidental ethical business geek’s tasty AtlasChart.


1. Tony’s Chocolonely, Netherlands

The story of an unusual chocolate bar

I’m not sure if it’s the audacious nature of the founding story, the joyful branding, the symbolism of the uneven shaped pieces in the bars, the damn fine tasty chocolate or the underlying mission, but Tony’s Chocolonely is one of the most inspiring businesses I’ve ever come across. After having himself arrested as a ‘chocolate criminal’ for being complicit in slavery and child labour, Teun van de Keuken founded a better kind of chocolate company with a focus on humour.” 

AtlasAction ► Help make chocolate 100% slave free


2. Forest Green Rovers F.C., United Kingdom

The world’s first vegan football club

“With a football pitch that is organic and rainwater-fed, an eco-friendly stadium with solar panels, LED floodlights and a menu only serving vegan food, Forest Green Rovers is turning ‘the beautiful game’ green. I love this spirit of putting a flag in the ground and saying ‘no, we can do this differently, we don’t have to conform to the status quo’. It obviously comes with a risk that traditional football fans will balk at its difference (especially the vegan food) but eco-warrior Dale Vince is not willing to compromise his values and I love him for that.”

AtlasAction ► Sponsor a match day


3. Oatly, Sweden


Wow! Milk with no cow!

Oatly is milk from oats grown in Sweden. But it’s not just a tasty, healthy alternative to cow’s milk, it’s a fun-loving for profit business that’s helping farmers in Sweden to transition away from planet-trashing dairy farming to a more sustainable crop for themselves and for the environment. Oatly aren’t allowed to call it milk though due to legal action from the the milk industry in Sweden who are obviously feeling a little worried about these cow-less imposters. But it is milk. And it is good. And it is the future.”

Watch ► A song that explains what Oatly is all about!


4. Lush, United Kingdom

The sweet smell of ethical success

Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics was founded in a kitchen workshop in 1995. Now a family-run global chain with hundreds of stores all over the world, the ultimate beauty delicatessen of natural, organic and vegan products is still run out of the original shop in Poole in Dorset. The deeply-held values of sustainability and animal welfare have earned Lush a reputation for being uncompromisingly ethical.  But they don’t shout about any of this. They are purpose-driven heroes of the highest order. Plus, they pioneered the fizzing bath bomb. What’s not to love?”

AtlasAction ► Learn more about Lush’s Charity Pot for grassroots organisations


5. Zaytoun, Palestine


The world’s first Fairtrade olive oil

Zaytoun is the world’s first Fairtrade cooperative producing Palestinian olive oil. In 2004 activists used their European passports to provide Palestinian farmers with safe passage to their olive trees in the occupied territories. It’s been said that olive oil from the West Bank is ‘the most political food in the world‘. Made from some of the planet’s oldest olive trees in the world,  Zaytoun (the Arabic for olives) provides dignity and hope to the farmers as well as a fair income.”

AtlasAction ► Dip your flatbread in the taste of pure hope


This year Louise has collaborated on Meaning Conference with futurist, author and comedian Mark Stevenson  and it includes the Futurenauts’ interactive cabaret show, ‘Power, Death and Money‘. We’ve media partnered with Meaning to bring you meaningful content. Get 20% discount off by quoting the code ‘Atlas’.