Richard Branson and I exchanging our thoughts in a paradise island setting

Homeward Bound: Richard Sums Up and Inspiring Week on Necker

Now that my feet are firmly back on the ground in Australia after an amazing two weeks I sat down with my team to share the experience. They asked me a few interesting questions so wanted to take the time to share these outside the walls of our great business.

What was the most important message you took away from the meetings?

There were so many messages, thoughts, and ideas to takeaway. Probably the overwhelming message was the need for all businesses to reconsider their approach both in terms of social change and environmental sustainability. Whilst this is something we instinctively know, and are already starting to address, it further reinforces the need for us to accelerate our efforts.

What was the highlight of the gathering?

So many that it’s hard to single one out, probably witnessing so many brave, courageous people having such an amazing impact against the odds.

All of the presenter’s stories were truly uplifting and inspiring. It really gave you a sense of hope.

What surprised you the most?

Probably the humility of everyone involved. There were very few egos on display and plenty of authenticity and genuine intentions.

What were some of the most audacious ideas suggested?

In terms of new initiatives, I thought the efforts of Sarah Lucas, CEO of Australian’s for Dolphins, to take legal action against the Japanese Government to stop the brutal slaughter of dolphins was very brave.

Richard Branson’s plans to regionalise The Elders for greater impact were impressive as too were his commitment to get involved in South Sudan.

Our own ambitions with Talent Rise were generally regarded as pretty audacious and well received.

Did any one thought leader inspire you or were there a few?

It’s very difficult to single out an individual as so many were impressive.

Chris Anderson Curator and Founder of The Ted Talks is clearly a smart guy with great vision as we’re all witnessing with TED and TEDx.

Para Olympian Chris Waddell’s and former child soldier now musician, Emmanuel Jal’s respective fights against adversity are certainly inspirational.

The life work and contribution of both Igniting Change Founder, Jane Tewson and Jacqueline Novogratz , CEO of Acumen, a non profit global venture fund, are also amazing.

Framing all of this is the unbelievable setting and environment of Necker Island which for some years now has created a fertile scene for great minds from all over the world to discuss and initiate change.

For that, we have to thank Richard Branson, Jean Oelwang, CEO at Virgin Unite and the whole Virgin Unite team.