- EA Sustain is the first festival of its kind, an environmental festival bringing together policy experts, entrepreneurs and artists in order to mainstream climate consciousness.
- The event will take place on 14/15 January 2023 at Firstsite, East Anglia’s premier contemporary art museum.
- Key message: Flourishing localism is key to decarbonisation.
- EA Sustain’s programming falls under three main categories, Environment, Culture and Entrepreneurship, all tentpoles of rural sustainability.
- The line-up features many of the UK’s top environmental thinkers and leaders, including Tony Juniper (Chair of Natural England), Patrick Holden (Co-Founder of Sustainable Food Trust) and Alastair Driver (Director of Rewilding Britain), with a very strong contingent from East Anglia, e.g., Jake Fiennes, Helen Macdonald, Lord Deben, William Kendall, John Pawsey, Jake Fiennes and Sarah Langford.
COVID-19 accelerated the mainstreaming of climate consciousness by bringing nature – and our relationship with it – into sharp focus during lockdown. Against this backdrop of growing environmental awareness, Joanne Ooi, environmentalist and founder of EA Festival, a multidisciplinary ideas festival that launched to great acclaim in 2021, decided to create a new kind of festival – EA Sustain, a festival about Environment, Culture and Entrepreneurship that will take place on 14/15 January at Firstsite, the region’s top contemporary art museum.
EA Sustain is a new kind of environmentally-themed event. “No one needs another corporate ESG conference. There are already hundreds. EA Sustain is not a gathering of nature lovers per se, either. Rather, my goal is to activate the ordinary person on the street – the consumer, the voter,” says Ooi.
Environment, Culture and Entrepreneurship are all of a piece: “The flip side of decarbonisation, in the case of rural Britain, is flourishing localism. For example, industrial farming – because its output feeds global supply chains – instead of its own communities — has resulted in the dismantling of local and regional food markets, all while prompting a race to the bottom. It’s not uncommon for the local farmer to buy most of his food from Tesco instead of local suppliers and purveyors. EA Sustain is, therefore, not just about environmental facts, science and policy but content and events that can nurture the preconditions of a flourishing and self-sufficient economy in East Anglia. In addition to analysing the business models that hold back or enable sustainability, we will host workshops like Marketing for Farmers and the ABCs of Art Marketing.
Farmers and artists don’t seem to have much in common, but both industries find marketing and monetisation very challenging. Last but not least, a significant portion of programming is dedicated to music, art and literature for the simple reason that these art forms celebrate and bring home the beauty of nature,” explains Ooi.
The inaugural edition of EA Sustain features a line-up that really is the “Who’s Who” of the Environment, including Lord Deben, Chair of the UK’s Climate Change Committee, Tony Juniper, Chair of Natural England, Patrick Holden, Co-founder of Sustainable Food Trust, acclaimed nature writer Helen Macdonald, Charles Clover, author and Co-founder of Blue Marine Foundation, John Cherry, founder of Groundswell and Jake Fiennes, author and director of the Holkham Nature Reserve. Sustainable food, circular business, marine conservation, eco-fashion, Art x Environment, regenerative agriculture, nature writing and Bhutan, the world’s only carbon-negative nation, are just some of the subjects covered by the weekend-long programme.
The full programme and line-up can be found at www.easustain.com