21 Dec 2021

Takeaways from the 2021 European B Corp Summit

By Krista Aspiras

The Seismic team share our top takeaways from the event.

B Corp Summit photo

The 2021 European B Corp Summit took place at the end of November 2021, but we’re still thinking about some of the key topics discussed during the two day conference.

Despite being held virtually rather than in person for the second year in a row, the Summit agenda was packed with thought-provoking sessions. Not only that, but it incorporated plenty of opportunities for activity and engagement. We especially enjoyed the use of Menti, a tool that allowed attendees to respond to polls and view results in real time.

After the summit, the Seismic team got together virtually to discuss the Summit highlights and reflect on what they meant for us. Here are our top takeaways from the 2021 European B Corp Summit.

‘Start small but think big.’

Day 1 of the summit kicked off with Executive Chair of Management Board at B Lab Europe, Katie Hill, offering a summary of where the European B Corp movement stands today. Our team were inspired by her simple but effective words of encouragement to ‘start small but think big’.

During a time when the problems we face can seem too large to tackle, it’s advice like this that reminds us that we all have a part to play in creating a better world.

B Lab’s Theory of Change is systems change in action

After a wonderful introduction to systems change and movement building from Charles Leadbetter, B Lab Spain’s Pablo Sanchez did a great job walking through the five global strategies that make up B Lab’s Theory of Change.

B Lab's Theory of Change detailed diagramA detailed diagram of B Lab’s Theory of Change

B Lab’s Theory of Change

  • Certifying and engaging business to improve impact
  • Driving the adoption of B Lab’s standards to manage the impact of business
  • Broadcasting business as an equitable force for good
  • Catalysing policy change to enable business as a force for good
  • Developing a network of local, regional and global communities for change

The big takeaway? While B Corps’ beginnings more than a decade ago may have focused primarily on certifying businesses, the organisation’s global strategy has developed and is now much bigger than that. Systems change is built into B Lab’s Theory of Change and as a movement, every B Corp and aspiring B Corp is playing a role in creating a massive system change.

European B corps are thinking big

During the second part of the Systems Change session, a live poll question asked the audience: ‘Which of these five global strategies do you think would be more effective to create a system change?‘

The top answers? ‘Catalysing Policy Change’ and ‘Developing a network of Local, Regional and Global Communities for Change’.

Both answers go beyond the efforts of individual companies to thinking as collectives and collaboratives. Pablo recognised this as a sign of greater systemic ambition, saying now is the time to be bold and work collaboratively to effect change.

Our work at Seismic is valuable

As a purpose-driven company that’s helping enable businesses to become forces for good, we support them through the B Corp certification process. Our team knows we do important work. The desire to create a positive change is embedded in our DNA.

For team members who are newer to Seismic, it was validating to see just how impactful the work we do at Seismic really is. Through our work we are actively supporting a number of B Lab’s global strategies.

European B Corps in Numbers

There are more than 650 certified B Corps across 23 countries in Europe! It’s been great to hear that the number of applications from businesses seeking B Corp certification has skyrocketed in the last year. Momentum is on our side and the energy is palpable.

B Corp Europe

Looking ahead

After attending the 2021 European B Corp Summit and hearing from a mix of B Lab team members, leaders from certified B Corps and external stakeholders, we felt inspired by what the movement has been able to accomplish and hopeful for the future. As a team, we get motivated whenever we speak to clients and hear their reasons for becoming a B Corp or advancing their sustainability goals. Being able to take a step back and see the bigger picture of the B Corp movement and the impact we are creating left us feeling incredibly optimistic for the future.

For anyone who hasn’t tuned in to the recording of the B Corp Summit yet, we encourage you to do so.