More than 600 people support ethical finance event
18-09-2014 | The Passenger Shed near Bristol Temple Meads station was buzzing on Saturday when record numbers attended the Triodos Bank annual meeting.
"The record attendance just shows that ethical finance is a subject that people want to hear about," said Huw Davies, head of personal banking at Triodos Bank.
"Our guests speakers Camila Batmanghelidjh, Patrick Holden and Jeremy Leggett really engaged the audience with their thoughts on the real cost of society, food and energy - there was a definite feeling of excitement in the room that real change is possible ."
"Never should we refer to children as flawed. We should take robust responsibility for the system we're living in."
Camila Batmanghelidjh, founder of Kids Company, talked about the impact of abuse, poverty and neglect on a child's growing mind.
Camila, founder of the charity Kids Company talked about the extent of damage to children who are neglected and abused and about what Kids Company is doing to help rehabilitate them: "It takes at least six months for severely abused children to calm down their nerve system, "she warned, "Never should we refer to children as flawed. We should take robust responsibility for the system we're living in."
Patrick Holden, director of the Sustainable Food Trust, warned that if we practiced true cost accounting for fertilizer, farmers would stop using it, while in his talk on the true cost of energy, Solarcentury’s chairman Jeremy Leggett, warned that peak oil is "unavoidable" leaving renewable energy as the only viable option.
Huw and Rebecca Pritchard, head of business banking explored the real cost of finance, with Huw warning that the financial system needs to change if it is ever going to win back the trust if the public "banking needs less greed and short-termism," he warned, "and a change not so much in culture, but raising the bar to a change in intention."
"The talks were very inspiring, "said William Ferguson, head of communications at Triodos, "Camila, Patrick and Jeremy were all so passionate about their subjects that they gave everyone something to think about."
Janet Berrige, vice-chairman of The National Liberal Club, agreed, saying of Camila’s speech "What a tour de force. Thank goodness for projects like Kids Company."
As well as hearing inspirational talks, those at the event also got the chance to explore the ‘ethical marketplace’ where a number of Triodos’ customers’ had stalls selling their products.
Exhibitors included organic skincare company Neal’s Yard Remedies, luxury handmade Fairtrade confectioners Plush Chocolates and Organico, which sells organic Mediterranean food.
The Neal's Yard stand in the ethcial marketplace
Nikki Mattei, a personal customer of Triodos Bank who also has a business account for her marketing consultancy, Through Their Eyes, was one of the exhibitors on behalf of her client, Fairliving, she said:
"Fairliving are the UK distributors for a new organic and fairly traded laundry range called Planet Pure. I took a table in the Ethical Marketplace and we didn’t stop talking!
"Everyone was so interested and even volunteered details of their local retailer.This just illustrates the sharing spirit of Triodos customers.
"And, as always, I found the speakers to be inspirational and totally in tune with my own environmental and social values."