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Ed Gillespie

Co-Founder of Futerra Sustainability Communications


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Ed Gillespie is a writer, communications specialist, serial entrepreneur and futurist. He is the author of 'Only Planet – a flight-free adventure around the world' a book about his circumnavigation of the globe without getting on a plane, which the Independent said "Allow[s] the world's flaws and beauty to seep into your soul". Ed's core talent is to take the complex, interconnected, interdependent nature of the many challenges the world faces, from climate change to disruptive innovation, and make common sense of them for non-specialist audiences.

Ed is co-founder of Futerra, a change agency that specialises in business transformation and creative communications and campaigns. For the last fourteen years Futerra has become internationally renowned for it's influential and award-winning work on some of the biggest corporate sustainability initiatives, from Unilever's 'Sustainable Living Plan', through Mondelez's 'Coffee Made Happy' to SAB Miller's 'Prosper'. Professionally Ed is known for his own unique brand of authentic 'insultancy' – being strategically rude to clients, with judicious wit and wisdom to inspire them to greater heights and aspirations. He is highly adaptable, constructively challenging and pushes audience assumptions of business as usual, opening minds then mapping possible practical solutions and opportunities.

Ed is also actively involved in a number of pioneering businesses as a Director or Investor, from Zero Carbon Food, a renewable energy powered, LED-lit, hydroponic farm in a disused underground tunnel in South London, to a pan European rail-ticket agency that makes it as easy to book a trans-continental train as a plane. He is also a London Sustainable Development Commissioner, advising the Mayor and the Greater London Authority on green entrepreneurship and clean-tech.

Aside from writing regularly for the Guardian and other media, Ed is a sought after speaker, event host, lively compere and entertaining Chairperson, renowned for his entertaining presentations laced with thoughtful insights, trends and humour. Since 2001, he has presented all over the world, from Hong Kong to Bratislava, from Korea to Auckland. And he's been heard by every kind of audience, from the UN and national governments, to multi-national corporations and global associations. He's even dabbled with stand-up comedy to enhance his presentational and engagement skills.

His recent speaking engagements include giving the inaugural 'Bonn Speech' on Global Transformation for the German Government, a keynote on 'The Future of Energy' in Slovenia, 'The Power of Business with Purpose' in Finland and 'Refloating the Ark – The Future of Natural History Museums' in Manchester.


A new narrative for humanity?

OK, so please forgive the slightly hyperbolic title, but hopefully I’m not alone in wondering whether the stories we currently tell ourselves about the way the world works are really, well, working? As we devour wild nature at a voracious rate to clothe and feed ourselves, as burgeoning inequality divides us, as we dehumanise one another and blithely accept that ‘this is just the way things are’ are we missing something fundamental?

The talk is intended as a provocation. It would be beyond arrogance to suggest we have all the answers. But what feels right to me is we challenge, explore and question the stories we hold in our heads and hearts about our relationships to each other and to the wider world. Because perhaps in doing so we might create better stories together, stories that serve us all, stories that work for one people on one planet. For that is the reality in which we really live, and one which our stories should reflect. So, what’s your story?

Dispruptive Innovation


Circular Economy

Business Transformation

Corporate Social Responsibility

Corporate Sustainable Development

Sustainability, the re-invention of progress

Low Carbon Travel


Event Host


"Thank you for your great words last week at our event. You proved to be incredibly popular and I think hit exactly the note we wanted" Sedex Group

"A short note to thank you for your input into Base London last Thursday. Your presentation lived up to the hype and unquestionably proved to be one of the talking points of the day!" BASE London

"We had so much positive feedback on Ed's presentation so we are extremely grateful he came to the conference." European Sustainable Events Conference

"Thank you so much for speaking at the conference on Friday, there were so many compliments afterwards, and a huge amount of interest. The delegates were so inspired and I kept hearing quotes from your session throughout the rest of the day!" Business in the Community, Responsible Business Week

Only Planet



UK : £2.5k to £7k

Europe : £2.5k to £7k

US : £7k to £15k

Asia/Middle East : £7k to £15k

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