10 things we learned at our Brave Conference 2017

10 things on being brave

We were thrilled to share the Brave Conference 2017 with so many of you in London, New York and Dubai on 15 November. And for those of you who couldn’t join us, here are some highlights.

In London’s Science Museum it was a day that began with climbing mountains and ended with surfing waves. We discovered that in a world gone mad, bravery is our safest option.

Here are 10 things we learned today from our editor Elen Lewis.

  1. We can learn to be brave, says Dr Emma Barratt. Be a courageous role model, reduce uncertainty, enhance self-efficacy, maintain focus, fail well and find the passion.
  2. Raha Moharrak, the first Saudi woman to scale Everest, said it’s an excellent feeling proving people wrong from the top of the mountain. “Touch the sky, be bold, be brave. History is not made by the fainthearted.”
  3. “Does bravery work commercially? I don’t think we have a choice. Remember Hunter S Thompson - ‘Buy the ticket, take the ride,’” said Syl Saller, Diageo’s chief marketing & innovation officer.
  4. When times get tough it’s tempting to retrench, but do the reverse instead, said Andrew Clarke, CMCO, Mars. Trust your people, trust your agencies and trust data to empower you to be brave.
  5. Frances O’Grady, general secretary, TUC called Donald Trump, “the man with the little hands.” She also said the best bravery is solidarity, it’s about standing together and sticking up for people in difficult times.
  6. When Syrians in the UK are feeling homesick they visit the British Museum, said Hassan Akkad, Syrian refugee, storyteller and BAFTA-winner. He also said, “You’re never born an activist, you become one when there’s a problem.” (For those of you there today who heard Hassan’s story and would like to help, see Searching for Syria and Help Refugees)
  7. A violin will never change for you, you change for your violin. When Min Kym played her 1696 Stradivarius violin it was not just about her relationship with the musical instrument, but a relationship with the maker.
  8. Remember the story about the frog in the handbag. It’s never about what you think you have, but about knowing what people need – Dr Ali Parsa, Babylon.
  9. When the world goes mad, bravery is the safest option. As Mark Thompson proved, truth is more important now than ever.
  10. Climb your mountains, ride your waves and don’t forget world record surfer, Garrett McNamara’s advice. We can all choose to be brave.

We’re delighted to say it’s not over yet. If you want to experience the highlights with the added magic of rewind and pause, curated highlights will be available very soon in our online clubhouse.

Next week, look out for your bumper issue of The Edit featuring exclusive interviews, speaker highlights and reviews of the day. Until then, share your own highlights on Twitter @themarketingsociety #braveleaders