Gillian Burke, biologist and BBC Springwatch presenter, guided the 800-strong virtual audience through a programme packed with videos and interviews based around sustainable finance and society.

Here’s a recap of five of our top moments from the day.

1. Mya-Rose Craig explaining that you’re never too young to start campaigning
 

Environmental and race activist Mya-Rose Craig spoke about when she first starting campaigning and fundraising at the age of 12, around the Sundarbans oil spill in Bangladesh in 2014. She then set up Black2Nature to offer minority ethnic children and teenagers experiences in nature and help minority ethnic role models occupy space in conservation. Her latest project aims to amplify the voices of indigenous people and people of colour as she speaks with campaigners from around the world about protecting the planet in her upcoming book, We Have a Dream. All before she turns 20!

You can watch her full address here:

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2. Hearing from our lending customers tackling the challenges of the pandemic
 

In conversations with Gillian, three Triodos Bank lending customers highlighted the challenges and opportunities that the pandemic has presented them with. John Steel, CEO of coffee company Cafédirect, explained that his business had to be agile to adapt to new markets, focusing on home drinkers, rather than venues and cafés.

Keith Bradbury, co-founder of electric coach business Ember, added that being able to access the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) enabled them to get their business off the ground. They’re now looking ahead to the next 10 years, with expansion plans for more vehicles later in 2021.

Barbara Hammond, CEO of Low Carbon Hub, touched upon the importance of collaborative working for its community energy projects, as well as how the latest installation at Ray Valley Solar is key to increasing the green electricity that the social enterprise is able to generate across Oxfordshire.

Challenging times make you realise what matters and what doesn’t
John Steel, CEO, Cafedirect

3. Harry and Chris keeping sustainable finance fun
 

Comedy-rap-jazz duo Harry and Chris brought to life the dilemmas of sustainable living and financial choices in their specially penned song. ‘Your Change can Change the World’ is a witty take on choosing your bank, with a particularly catchy chorus. You can watch the full performance here:

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4. Answering questions from our Triodos Bank community  
 

Hosting an in-person Annual Meeting in the past has given us the opportunity to meet face-to-face with our customers and answer the questions most pressing to them. This wasn’t possible this year, however we still received a wide variety of questions from both longstanding and new customers – so much so that, unfortunately, we couldn’t answer them all on the day.

As a transparent bank, it’s really important for us to discuss all topics – from product features to diversity and inclusion – and we really value having this dialogue with such an engaged audience.

5. Richard Curtis proudly waving his Triodos debit card
 

Film writer and director Richard Curtis joined the event virtually to talk about how the rise of strong global public movements over the past few years has inspired him – from Black Lives Matter to Fridays for the Future and Me Too. He spoke about waking up to the power of financial services to generate change, his focus on pensions and the launch of the Make My Money Matter campaign. You can watch Richard's speech below:

Our hope is to try and make sure that everyone thinks about their pensions in the same way that Triodos thinks about our money.
Richard Curtis

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Catch up on the full Annual Meeting 2021


This year’s Annual Meeting was a chance to reconnect and feel the fantastic energy and power of our community, as well as consider the important role that we can all take in changing the world.

If you missed the event or want to revisit your favourite moments, you can view the recording in full online.

Watch the event