Published on 27 Jun 2024

NetZero: Connecting to RESET

NetZero: Connecting to RESET

I am old enough to have attended my fair share of advertising, tech and travel conferences. I attended RESET CONNECT on Tuesday in search of climate hope, enlightening solutions, exciting stories for Cloud9Media to craft into films – and potential clients to fund them.

Let me share my observations on what the state of play is in our efforts to avoid catastrophe.

🤝A Different Kind of Economy at Play

Let’s be real: if I decided to ride the whole Elizabeth line yesterday, it was with the prime goal of identifying like-minded organisations that are looking to use film to promote their message. Everyone attends in hope of growing their business, but I got a refreshing sense that another kind of economy is at play here, and the swarming of B-Corp logos is a testament to that. Some promising connections were made. And when the people I met were transparent about their lack of need or budget, the conversations were never wasted. I am so glad I met with Craig Burnett from Ashden for example, offering a new global collective of sustainability trailblazers to explore and be inspired by. 

I could feel the passion in the air. Attendees and speakers alike were genuinely invested in a collective mission, making the entire event feel more like a collaborative movement than just another conference.

🎯Action-Oriented Focus:

Instead of dwelling on the doom, the emphasis was on actionable solutions: from talks on using behavioural science to tackle over-production, to a fierce Pitch & Invest programme, air monitoring drones and smart barcoded bin bags (👏 Natalie at Tracker Sack).

🤷Honesty 

I was touched that several delegates easily opened up on the fact that despite the overall booming cycle of the sector, for many of us, the struggle is real. The polycrisis we’re immersed in is depriving us from any sense of predictability. Charities are operating on a shoestring, startups can never stop the endless treadmill, vying for investors’ money, and creative agencies are facing the most brutal depression in decades, having to lay off precious staff, downsizing the office (including us 🙋). Moral and financial sustainability is a tricky balance indeed. That was the tangent Rob Hubbard and I found ourselves on at the evening networking reception. Pretty deep stuff.

🚣 Conviction 

And yet, … I am still to meet someone who regrets having chosen the sustainability path. When everything in the world is so shaky, this infallible conviction in the worthiness of the mission is the most powerful force to help us ride the waves and stay on course. 

💡 Intention / purpose

Here, there are no gadgets for gadget’s sake. The ingenuity on display is all geared towards a clear purpose. Benjamin Moore and Stefan Ferhuson were brave enough to let me test out the pricey Apple Vision Pro and we discussed its potential applications, from reducing the need to fly, to enhancing the emotive power of stories.

I walked away encouraged that there is an appetite for climate and nature stories to be crafted so the message of hope can get through beyond the sustainability bubble. Sustainability comms is full of hurdles but we relish the challenge of helping like-minded organisations navigate the tightrope between doomism and complacency, avoid greenwashing and greenhushing alike, all whilst helping their squeezed marketing budgets stretch further.

A breath of fresh air it was🍃. I shall be back! “

Katia Hérault is Head of Development at Cloud9Media, a video production agency based in West London, UK.