Meaning conference

Meaning is the annual gathering for people who believe business can and must be a force for positive change in our dynamic and volatile world.

We are fellow travellers on a journey to discover new ways of working, living and organising that put humanity and planet above profit and growth.

2016 was Meaning’s fifth edition. Our guest director and host was the journalist and broadcaster Paul Mason. In collaboration with the Meaning team he curated a programme of speakers, panelists and guests who inspired us with stories, empowered us with self-belief, armed us with practicalities and blew our minds with ideas. They are the pioneers, bringing ideas from the edges, to create change at the heart of business. Videos of all the talks are available via our YouTube channel.

Tickets are now on sale for Meaning 2017 which will happen in Brighton, UK on 16 November 2017. Join us!



Hilary Jones
Lush Cosmetics
Watch the talk...

Paul Green Jr.
The Morning Star Company
Watch the talk...

Paul Mason
Guest director & host
Watch the talk...

Juliet Davenport
Good Energy
Watch the talk...

Jo Berry
Building Bridges for Peace
Watch the talk...

Dave Birch
Consult Hyperion
Watch the talk...

Frances Coppola
Basic income advocate
Watch the talk...

Oliver Maxwell
Watch the talk...

Clare Patey
The Empathy Museum
Watch the talk...

James Johnston
Open Utility
Watch the talk...

Felix Weth
Watch the talk...

Faiza Shaheen
Class think tank
Watch the panel debate...

Jonathan Bartley
The Green Party
Watch the panel debate...

Blaire Palmer
That People Thing
Watch the panel debate...


In addition to the main speaker programme for Meaning 2016, there were many smaller, more intimate sessions, running throughout the day. These provided an opportunity to explore some of Meaning’s key themes in an interactive way. 


The Life You Can Save
The power of giving

Jo Berry
Conflict transformation

Becoming a B Corp
Fireside chat with COOK

Paul Green Jr
Self-management Q&A

The Here story
A mindful case study

Corporate Rebels
A workplace hero tour

Meaningful work ecosystems
with Professor Katie Bailey

Church of Fail
Confession session

  • "Blown away by everything @MeaningConf today at Brighton Dome"

    Janet Gordon @BlueStarfishLtd
  • "One day there will be a #postcapitalist themed Davos. In the interim we have #MeaningConf"

    Paul Mason @paulmasonnews
  • "Wow. What an amazing day @MeaningConf - my brain is now full. Of stuff."

    Reuben Turner @reubenturner
  • "Changing how I view what makes an organisation truly meaningful after my time @MeaningConf - improving my consulting work +++"

    Jerry Holtoway @DrMeaningful
  • "As always a super-inspiring day at #meaningconf. Hats off to @nixonmcinnes team. As @neilmullarkey said, 'Glastonbury of business' indeed!"

    Anjali Ramachandran @anjali28
  • "Never cried actual salty, snotty tears at a conference before but #MeaningConf (specifically @suntui & her horse-healed war vets) broke me."

    Emmie Spencer @emmiespencer
  • "Had great day at #MeaningConf, great quality content all day, tasty food, useful workshops & interesting conversations - now to take actions."

    Peter O'Neill @peter_oneill
  • "Such an amazing day at #meaningconf, cannot wait until next years AND doing something..... #allnewideas."

    Amanda Munday @Amandajmunday
  • "Now begins the processing! What a day! Thank you @MeaningConf - see you again in 2016! #MeaningConf"

    Katherine Moseley @_charliemoseley
  • "Truly honoured to be part of #MeaningConf with so many amazing people, stories & ambitions, excited about next year!! Thank you @MeaningConf"

    Julia Rebholz @JuliaRebholz


Meaning connects and inspires a community of people who believe in better business. It happens every November in Brighton, UK.

The event was founded in 2012 as an annual gathering point for forward-thinking people who aren’t satisfied with the status quo. Since then Meaning has continued to grow in size and momentum.

Our venue sets the scene perfectly: the historic Dome & Corn Exchange in the forward-looking city of Brighton. And we believe the best ideas should be discussed over a good meal, so at Meaning, we share a hearty lunch of wonderful food.


  • Post-capitalist economics
  • Beyond sustainability
  • Reinventing organisations
  • Harnessing community
  • 21st century leadership
  • The future of work & society
  • Transformative creativity & innovation
  • Self-development

Watch some of our favourite talks from previous years...

Visit our YouTube channel
  • Jos de Blok

    Organisation without management
  • Caroline Lucas

    When is enough enough?
  • Mark Stevenson

    Optimist on tour
  • Dr Sue Black

    Technology for change
  • Ben Dyson

    Positive money
  • Pam Warhurst

    Incredible edible Todmorden
  • Rick Falkvinge

    How to start a revolution
  • Alexander Kjerulf

    Happiness at work


At Meaning, in between inspiring talks, there are opportunities to reflect and digest what you’ve heard. Workshops and interactive sessions run throughout the day. And our café is open all day for connecting and collaborating with other Meaning participants.

There’s coffee and top quality biscuits during the breaks. And for lunch we share a really lovely vegetarian meal.

Main auditorium

  • 09:00 Doors open
  • 09:45 Paul Mason
  • 10:15 Juliet Davenport
  • 10:35 Clare Patey
  • 10:50 Break
  • 11:20 Paul Green Jr.
  • 11:40 Frances Coppola
  • 11:55 Jo Berry
  • 12:15 Lunch
  • 13:15 Felix Weth
  • 13:40 James Johnston
  • 13:50 Oliver Maxwell
  • 14:10 Move to next session
  • 14:20 Panel
  • 15:20 Break
  • 15:50 Dave Birch
  • 16:05 Hilary Jones
  • 16:25 Wrap-up
  • 16:40 Drinks in the café-bar
Full Schedule (pdf)

The place to be...

Meaning takes place at Brighton’s beautiful and historic Dome & Corn Exchange, right in the heart of the city’s bustling North Laine.

For carers of pre-school children, our friends at Officrèche offer free off-site childcare.

This year there were several Meaning Fringe events happening on the days either side of the conference. Find out more here.


Brighton Dome & Corn Exchange
Church Street, Brighton, UK

Getting here

There are regular trains to Brighton from London and along the south coast. The Dome is 10 minutes’ downhill walk (or a short taxi ride) from Brighton railway station.

Arriving by car

If you’re driving to Meaning, you can arrange to car-share via Use the event code ‘1642’ to offer or find a lift.

Parking can be tricky and expensive in Brighton. Your nearest option is to use the Brighton Theatre NCP on Church Street. Ask staff at the conference venue for a discount card before you leave at the end of the day.

Staying in Brighton

Make the most of your visit and stay the night in Brighton. The city has a wide range of hotels, including some who have earned TripAdvisor’s ‘Green Leaders’ certification. And there’s always AirBnB  for finding something unique.

Subsidised places for students

We’re passionate about including the next generation of thinkers and do-ers in the Meaning community. So this year we asked our generous partner organisations to support subsidised tickets for students.

And we teamed up with Sussex University and Brighton University to encourage more young people to take advantage of the low cost tickets.

It’s good for all of us if Meaning is rich with diverse ideas, experiences and perspectives. So if you’d like to support this initiative in the future please get in touch via

Buy one, give one

Feeling generous? Want to sponsor a place for someone who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford it? Brilliant.

Buy a Gift Ticket for someone you love, or leave the name blank and we’ll allocate it for you to a small charity or social business.

Sustainability at Meaning

We believe Meaning has a positive impact in the world - bringing people together to deal with the things that really matter.

But we also know that events like ours have the potential to bring a negative impact on resources, waste and energy consumption. That’s why we’re working with Brighton consultancy Creative Bloom to make smarter decisions about the sustainability of Meaning.

You can read more details about our policy and plans via the blog.

What we’re doing

We’re minimising our use of printed materials. We’re reusing banners and stage setting from previous events. We’re providing a vegetarian lunch using non-disposable plates, cutlery and cups.

What our partners are doing

Along with Creative Bloom, our hosts Brighton Dome and our caterer The Secret Restaurant are all making smart choices about where they source ingredients and how they use packaging. Surplus food will be donated to the Real Junk Food Project.

What you can do

We’re asking you to think carefully about how you travel to Meaning, and the decisions you make during your time in Brighton. We have some recommendations for you on where to eat, drink and stay during your time in Brighton.


Meaning wouldn't be possible without the skills and generosity of friends like these: