The consequences of a single day should never be underestimated, particularly when people come together with a genuine sense of purpose.

This is certainly the case with Impact Summit 2019, which took place last week at Glasgow’s SWG3 and brought the world of values-led business to the city.

HeraldScotland: A WORKING VISION: Co-founder Bruce Walker on stage last week at the Impact Summit at Glasgow’s SWG3.A WORKING VISION: Co-founder Bruce Walker on stage last week at the Impact Summit at Glasgow’s SWG3.

Organised by FutureX, which itself is working to redefine how we do business, co-founder Bruce Walker says there was a powerful shared message on the day from a diverse range of businesses and speakers.

“We saw innovators, creators, entrepreneurs, and people who wanted to find out about the potential of purpose-driven business. Everyone at SWG3, on stage and off, had many things in common – particularly the type of world we want to live in and the kind of businesses we want to build.

“Of course that one day was important, but the conversations and the inspiration will be far-reaching. There are many organisations that theoretically talk about putting people at the heart of business, but our speakers at Impact Summit are doing it now and showing that it can be done with no detriment to the success of a business – quite the opposite in fact.”

This is the second Impact Summit event and the excitement around the event was demonstrably greater than last year. Even Bruce was surprised at the social media attention it gained, particularly the amount of Twitter activity on the day.


“There appeared to be a greater buzz around the event this year,” he says, “both in the lead up and in a constant sharing of information on the day. It was an event that people wanted to share and tell others about.”

This came from not only the audience members, but the speakers who visited Glasgow from around the world to share their stories of successful businesses with a sense of purpose and a desire to help others towards that goal.

“The fact that we had speakers visiting from Germany, New Zealand, the US, and more showed that the movement towards is a global one. The message that April Wensel delivered about compassion in the tech industry applied across the board. It resonated with everyone in the room.”

April, the founder of San Diego company Compassionate Coding was at Impact Summit 2019 as part of her European speaking tour, and as enthusiastic about the fellow speakers, noting the fact that although she has spoken on the subject at many tech events, this was the first event that had a wide spectrum of business working towards the same goal.

HeraldScotland: Simon Coley, co-founder of Karma ColaSimon Coley, co-founder of Karma Cola

Perhaps the furthest travelled was Simon Coley, co-founder of Karma Cola who spoke with Bruce at an event called “A thirst for doing better – in conversation with the World’s Fairest Trader”, where he explained how the business manages to invest in the area of Sierra Leone where the cola nut is harvested for Karma.

It was a day to shine a spotlight on what is already being done, but it allowed people with their own ideas to be inspired. “To us Impact Summits are only the beginning – it is one day that has the ability to show how it can be done,” adds Bruce.

“I do think it’s different from other summits talking about social responsibility. This is a summit that talks business and the fact that it is being led by values and purpose is not a side issue. It is the core of the business.”


Derek Mackay MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Economy and Fair Work, delivered a Message from the Scottish Government that highlighted how important it is to foster entrepreneurship in Scotland that represents the entire country, encompassing the entire demographic, irrespective of where they were born or if they need greater financial assistance to get them out of poverty and realise their ambitions.

“Looking at how other countries facilitate that he said. “The happiest countries in the world are those with the most equality.”

Another important message of the day was self-care. Having compassion and looking after yourself is key to allowing that thinking to spread to how other people are treated.

John Peebles, CEO, Administrate gave a personal and powerful talk about “Great minds: mental health in the workplace” illustrating the importance of good mental health in and out of the workplace.


“We spend so much time at work now that making the environment healthy, ridding it of the toxicity that can exist in competitive arenas is vital to making each individual feel valued and that their contribution is of equal importance.

The success of Impact Summit is in taking the single voices that have already had success in putting people first and bringing them together, providing a springboard for wider conversations and showing those who have that vision of changing how business is done that they are part of a much wider movement.

“It’s time to look ahead to next year, and we are already planning Impact Summit 2020,” adds Bruce. “In 2020 we are building partnerships with the most exciting Glasgow businesses.

“We’re also extending an invitation to organisations that are committed to profit with purpose to get in touch to work with us for Impact Summit 2020.”


To find out more about partnering, exhibiting at Impact Summit 2020, or pre-registering as a delegate, visit