Reasons to be hopeful

Speakers from the event share a dose of optimism.

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The Festival of Hope is Eden’s regular sustainability event. It brings together leaders and mavericks of sustainability with entrepreneurs, activists, artists and the Eden visitor – to share, collaborate and celebrate a palette of sustainable solutions. 

Through demos, talks and exhibits, the Festival of Hope sets out to inspire and generate hope. First held in 2015 to mark the start of the climate negotiations in Paris (COP21), it aims to demonstrate that a sustainable future is one filled with great innovations, beautiful designs, clever initiatives and good times. 

If you’re interested in getting involved in our next event please drop us a line on 

Festival of Hope 2016

In November 2016 we brought brilliant people, including Eden's Tim Smit, Surfers Against Sewage's Hugo Tagholm, Professor Tony Allan, the man behind the ingenious 'virtual water' concept, and inspiring individuals from ethical companies Pukka Herbs, Surfdome and many more. Eden’s official partner Renault was also on hand with their electric vehicle fleet, offering test drives of the Renault ZOE and Twizy. 

“I've come away with a refreshed wave of optimism, positivity and energy to carry on” 
Cal Major, Paddle Against Plastic

“A superb array of ideas on offer"
Festival participant, on Facebook

More about the 2016 speakers and exhibitors

918 Coffee – Justin & Chanel Cornelius

918 Coffee Co is Eden’s coffee supplier and roaster of choice. They’re also the inventors of the Eco-Roaster, the world’s first coffee-powered coffee bean roaster, for which they recently won the FSB Worldpay UK Business Awards. The Eco Roast Technology is part of the 918 Coffe-Eco System which also guarantees to recycle 100% of the used coffee cups and the coffee bags. These are then transformed by their partners, A Short Walk, into recyclable products available to buy at Eden,

Founders Justin and Chanel Cornelius started the company in 2009 with a focus on producing the finest quality coffee with minimal impact on the environment. They will be at the Festival to tell us more about their coffee story and of course, allow for some coffee tasting and amazing home brew methods and techniques.

Visit 918 Coffee’s website

Follow 918 Coffee on Twitter

#2minutebeachclean – Martin Dorey

Martin is the man behind the #2minutebeachclean movement. You may also know him from a BBC TV show 'One Man and his Campervan'. He says that “After 20 years living in the South West of the UK I have been able to see just how bad the marine litter problem is becoming. I wanted to do something to make a genuine difference and hoped that the #2minutebeachclean might inspire others to join environmental groups, join in with organised cleans and make beach cleaning part of their daily routine.”

Visit #2minutebeachclean’s website

Follow #2minutebeachclean on Twitter

Alex Evans – The Myth Gap

Alex is the author of The Myth Gap: What Happens When Evidence and Arguments Aren't Enough?, published by Eden Project Books and Penguin in early 2017. Alex is a Senior Fellow at New York University's Center on International Cooperation, and is currently on secondment as research director for the Business Commission on Sustainable Development, a two year project involving CEOs from companies like Unilever, Ericsson, Pearson, Alibaba and Aviva to explore how business can help realise the UN's Sustainable Development Goals. From early 2017 he will be working as a campaign director at Avaaz.

Find out about The Myth Gap online

Follow Alex Evans on Twitter


BOCA is a brand new 'Whole Bean Cacao beverage' that is launching in the UK this autumn. Brainchild of entrepreneur Linsen Abdon, BOCA is a wonderful alternative to coffee and is full of antioxidants, rich in magnesium and containing less than 1gram of sugar per 100grams. BOCA is proud to be working with Colombian farmers who are supported by The Investment for Peace Fund through ACUMEN and USAID. The BOCA crew will join us to share the latest on how cacao farming can help change the outlook for Colombia’s farmers, while allowing us to sample this new take on the cacao bean.

Visit the BOCA website

Follow Linsen on Twitter

BRE National Solar Centre

BRE National Solar Centre will be hosting a fun interactive Land Art Generator activity, encouraging visitors to design a public piece of art that can harnesses energy from nature and cleanly converts it into electricity, create a place for leisure and learning, and be a unique experience for visitors to the Eden Project.

Visit the BRE website

Follow BRE on Twitter

Ashley Cooper – Global Warming Images

Ashley has a profound interest in the environment and over the past 11 years has been travelling the globe taking photographs of the physical effects of a changing climate. In 2010, Ashley won the Climate Change category of the Environmental Photographer of the Year. Now he’s compiling some of his best and most powerful images in a newly published book and he will be coming to the Festival to share some of the positive stories he’s come across during his travels around the world.

Visit the Global Warming Images website

Follow Ashley Cooper on Twitter

Chouette Films – Anna & Remi Sowa

Chouette Films will be screening 'AGHBALOU - The Source of Water' at the Festival, a documentary about the never ending quest for water in one of the driest habitats on earth. In the face of an increasingly hostile and unpredictable climate, the film combines a local story of struggle and neglect with a global call to action against the growing challenges of sustaining water and fighting poverty. We will be joined by director Remi Sowa and producer Anna Sowa, who made this film to highlight the issue of accessing fresh water in the driest place on Earth and appeals for global action for combatting poverty and the problem of water scarcity. Appearing in the film is also Professor Tony Allan of King’s College London who is at this year’s Festival.

Visit the Chouette Films website

Follow Chouette Films on Twitter

City to Sea – Natalie Fee

Natalie is an author, broadcaster, environmental campaigner and the founder of City to Sea. She founded the CIC after being inspired to 'act locally' to stop marine plastic pollution at source in her home city of Bristol. City to Sea focuses on the Refill movement, a free tap-water initiative with a rewards app and schemes across the UK, and on Switch the Stick; a campaign to end the production of plastic-stem cotton buds.

Visit the City to Sea website

Follow City to Sea on Twitter

Cornish Edible Insects – Fred McVittie

Cornish Edible Insects are based here in Cornwall and their products, yes, edible insects, are an exciting alternative in a wholesome diet as the insects contain protein. Insects are potentially also a vital component when it comes to addressing world hunger and malnutrition. We will be joined by Fred McVittie, founder of Cornish Edible Insects who is likely to serve up some tasters.

Visit the Cornish Edible Insects website

Follow Cornish Edible Insects on Twitter

The Cornish Seaweed Company – Daisy Parsons

Seaweed is one of the world’s most nutritious foods and has played a vital role in the diets of a number of food cultures, including the Inuit and the Japanese. The Cornish coast has a lot of seaweed, but not a tradition of making use of it for food – up until 2012 when Caroline Warwick-Evans and Tim van Berkel started the Cornish Seaweed Company, combining their love for food and the ocean. Their products are certified organic by the Soil Association and they take an ecological approach to harvesting to ensure it is sustainable and marine life is not disturbed. If you’ve never sampled this sustainable source of nutrients, Daisy Parsons from the Cornish Seaweed Company will serve up some green gold on the day and tell us more about it.

Visit The Cornish Seaweed Company website

Follow The Cornish Seaweed Company on Twitter

The Crunch

Eden is part of a nationwide project called The Crunch and we’re pleased to have a number of Crunch Ambassadors present on the day. Funded by the Wellcome Trust, The Crunch is a combination of experiences, discussions and activities about the relationships humans have with food, human health and the planet. Over the course of a year (2016) the ambition is to get individuals thinking about these connections and, through research, think about the best ways to keep the planet and ourselves healthy. From insect sushi to rolling your own oats, the Crunch guys are bound to surprise and inspire us.

Visit The Crunch website

Eco Action Games – Dr Paula Owen

Paula is the co-founder of Eco Action Games together with Tracy Avison. Their company is all about using fun and games to shape environmentally friendly and sustainable behaviours in all ages and different situations, e.g. office, home life and travel. Paula is an expert in sustainability and environmental change, and has a PhD in climate change chemistry from the University of Oxford. Eco Action Games will be joining us for some serious play.

Visit the Eco Action Games website

Follow Paula Owen on Twitter

Fathoms Free – Rob Thompson

Set up by local diver Rob Thompson, Fathoms Free was set up to make a positive difference to the ever increasing problem of marine debris. Fathoms Free is made up of volunteer conservationists who regularly go out and dive to collect marine rubbish from the local seas. Non-divers are also heavily involved in the organisation supporting above water activities and, alongside partner organisations, assist in running events and beach cleans. We’re looking forward to Rob and some of his crew joining us on the day.

Visit the Fathoms Free website

Follow Fathoms Free on Twitter

Fourth Element – Jim Standing

Fourth Element is a Cornish-based marine sportswear company supplying products such as technical dive wear, swimwear and clothing. Established in 1999 in Helston, they’ve recently developed a new range of swimwear – Ocean Positive – which entails sustainable and quality swimwear made from discarded fishing nets. This grave-to-cradle process is reducing the need for new nylon by recycling old, whilst helping to stop the damaging consequences of ghost nets on marine life. Jim Standing, co-founder of Fourth Element is one of our speakers on the day.

Visit the Fourth Element website

Follow Fourth Element on Twitter

Interface – Jon Khoo

Jon is the Co-innovation Partner at Interface, the world’s largest manufacturer of carpet tiles and a global leader in sustainability. Jon and the Interface story caught the attention of the audience at last year’s event when he talked about the Net-WorksTM project with the Zoological Society of London and how old fishing nets are recycled into new carpet. Since then, recycled fishing nets through ECONYL is making its way into lots of different products including swimwear, running shoes, skateboards and clothes.

Visit the Interface website

Follow Jon on Twitter

Jen Gale - My Make Do and Mend Life

Jen Gale and her family spent a year buying nothing new, and as clichéd as it sounds, it changed their lives. For Jen, it changed not just how and where she shopped, it also changed how she sees her place in the world. She realised during that year that one person, one family, really can make a difference, and that we all have the power to gently shake the world, through the choices we make every day. Jen blogs at My Make Do and Mend Life, and writes and speaks about a more conscious and thoughtful approach to consumerism, and how simple acts can make a big difference.

Visit the Blog

Follow My Make Do and Mend Life on Twitter

Martin Wright – Positive News / Ashden Awards

Martin Wright is a writer, speaker, advisor and enthusiast on sustainability and environmental solutions and we’re delighted he’s one of our speakers. Martin is a Director of Positive News, the magazine of good journalism about the good stuff that’s happening in the world, and a Visiting Assessor for the Ashden Awards for Sustainable Energy – which rewards brilliant schemes bringing clean light and power to some of the world’s poorest people. Martin has won numerous awards for his writing and photography, including Science and Environment Journalist of the Year and Global Green Future Leader of the Year. His TED talk on ‘The New Environmentalism’ topped the bill at TEDx East End.

Visit the Positive News website

Visit the Ashden Awards website

Follow Martin on Twitter

Never Mind the Burdocks – Emma Gunn

Plant guru, forager and Eden staff member, Emma Gunn (aka Never Mind the Burdocks) knows pretty much all there is about helping people to discover the free delicacies that nature provides in the UK through her walks and fabulous foraging books. We look forward to picking her brains at the Festival!

Visit Never Mind the Burdocks’ website

Follow Never Mind the Burdocks on Twitter

Ooho! – Pierre-Yves Paslier and Rodrigo García González

The guys at Skipping Rocks Lab are committed to finding an alternative to the plastic bottle. Looking at how nature ‘does it’, they’ve developed Ooho! a spherical water container made out of seaweed – an innovation for which they have been awarded the World Technology Award (environment) in association with Fortune and TIME. We’re excited to have the co-founders Rodrigo and Pierre and some of their Ooho!s joining us at the Festival. If you’re among the first ones to arrive you might be lucky enough to sample the Ooho!

Visit the Ooho! website

Follow Ooho! on Twitter

Paddle Against Plastic – Cal Major

Cal is a paddle boarder, ocean lover and is passionate about marine conservation. Channelling her passions and desire to make a positive difference to the natural environment, she created the campaign Paddle Against Plastic. This involved paddling on her Stand-Up Paddle board 260 miles around the Cornish earlier this year to raise money for Surfers Against Sewage. She has highlighted the problems of single-use plastic bottles being one of the most common things found on our beaches and the damaging effect of plastic in the marine environment. Listening to her story we cannot but be inspired to take action to and stop buying plastic bottles.

Visit the Paddle Against Plastic website

Follow Paddle Against Plastic on Twitter

Follow Cal on Twitter

Positive News

Positive News is more than a magazine; it’s a movement with a vision for an inspiring, balanced media. Supported directly by their readers worldwide, they rely on membership subscriptions as their main income, and their profits are reinvested in developing world-leading constructive journalism. Positive News is one of our partners for the event and copies of the magazine will be available on the day.

Visit the Positive News website

Follow Positive News on Twitter

Pukka Herbs – Vicky Murray

We will be joined again by the wonderful team at Pukka so expect some tea tasting on this day. Sustainability Manager Vicky is returning to share the latest on how Pukka is inspiring sustainability within and beyond the company with some great developments during 2016, including the Fair for Life initiative, which ensures farmers get a fair deal. Pukka has also become certified a B Corporation, an initiative that aims to redefine success in business, putting focus on social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency.

Visit the Pukka website

Follow Pukka on Twitter


Renault are recognised as a leader in electrical vehicle innovation, strengthened by the recent launch of the Renault ZOE, now enabling you to travel up to 250 miles NEDC. During Festival of Hope, we have a fleet of the multi-award winning ZOEs and Twizys available for test drive. Ben and Mona from Renault will also be on hand to fill us in with all the latest in the electric car industry.

Visit the Renault website

Follow Renault on Twitter

Riz – Riz Smith

Setting out to create ‘the most beautiful and sustainable swim shorts in the world’ Riz and Ali together started Riz. Based in London, their shorts are made out of recycled and recyclable materials and the Rizcycle scheme allows you to return your old shorts and get a 25% discount off your new pair. Riz actively donate £3 to the Marine Conservation Society from every pair of shorts sold and the shorts. A great example of entrepreneurs with a sustainability ethos doing inspiring things. They’ll be joining us on the day.

Visit the Riz website

Follow Riz on Twitter

Share Fair

What if we had regular social gatherings, like an old-fashioned market or fair, but instead of buying new things, people share, swap or recycle stuff, and instead of feeling isolated, people meet each other to share skills, ideas and stories? A market with no money - a place to gather and create social rather than monetary capital. We could call it a Share Fair… and yes, we’re going to try it out at the Festival of Hope. Come and join us in our pocket Share Fair, enjoy our comfortable colourful seating and share or discover something valuable.

Spiezia Organics – Amanda Barlow

Amanda is Managing Director of Spiezia Organics and founder of the Made for Life Foundation. Based and manufactured in Cornwall, their range of spa and skincare products is 100% organic and certified by the Soil Association. Amanda is incredibly knowledgeable about microplastics and once you’ve heard her talk about the presence and effects of microbeads you’re sure to take a closer look at the list of ingredients in your skin lotions, shower gels and shampoos...

Visit the Spezia Organics website

Follow Amanda on Twitter

Surfdome – Adam Hall

With a love of surfing and the natural environment Adam channels his interest through the role of Head of Sustainability at the Surf Stitch Group / Surfdome. Surfdome is an online retailer providing action sport clothing and equipment. Adam will be sharing some of the initiatives that Surfdome has implemented across their operations to inspire sustainability within and beyond the business, particularly reducing plastics in packaging.

Visit the Surfdome website

Follow Surfdome on Twitter

Surfers Against Sewage – Hugo Tagholm

Hugo heads up Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) and has taken the organisation to new levels since he took charge in 2008. Living locally in Cornwall, Hugo’s connection with surfing and the marine environment is transferred into his work at SAS, a registered charity using community action and volunteering, campaigning, scientific research and education to work towards the protection of the UK’s oceans and beaches. Hugo is one of our speakers and will be telling us more about the SAS Beach Clean Box and their latest campaign Message In A Bottle.

Visit the SAS website

Follow Hugo on Twitter

Sir Tim Smit – Eden Project

Sir Tim Smit is the Executive Vice Chairman and co-founder of the Eden Project. Born in Holland he went on to study Archaeology and Anthropology at Durham University before spending 10 years in the music industry as composer/producer in both rock music and opera. In 1987 he moved to Cornwall where he and John Nelson together ‘discovered’ and then restored the Lost Gardens of Heligan. In 1995 the idea of the Eden Project was born and in 2000 it opened its doors to the public. Tim’s approach to sustainability is much reflected through Eden’s work and the ethos of the Festival: ‘sustainability is not about sandals and nut cutlets, it is about good business practice and the citizenship values of the future’.

Visit the Eden Project website

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Professor Tony Allan – King’s College London

Ever heard of the concept of 'virtual water'? It's the idea that fresh water is hidden in almost everything, from meat and wheat to strawberries and cotton T-shirts. The person who coined the phrase is Professor Tony Allan who heads the London Water Research Group at King's College London and SOAS. He’s an award-winning expert in his field and specialises in the analysis of water resources in semi-arid regions. In 2008 he was awarded the Stockholm Water Prize in recognition of his contribution to water science and water policy. We can't wait to learn more from him about this fascinating area on the day.

Follow Tony on Twitter

The Real Junk Food Project

Did you know that roughly one third of all the food produced in the world for human consumption is wasted - approximately 1.3 billion tons?! The Real Junk Food Project was created in 2013 to intercept the flow of perfectly edible food waste from supermarkets to landfills. In their shops and cafes across the country, The Real Junk Food Project turns food waste into delicious meals for everyone on a Pay as you Feel basis. Meet some of these great cooks/waste warriors at the Festival of Hope.

Visit their website

The Shark Trust

The Shark Trust, based in Plymouth, works globally to safeguard shark, skate and ray populations. By focusing on solutions rather than problems and by working across sectors, positive change for sharks should be achievable and realistic. The “FINk Shark” ambassadors will be at the event and help you explore how you can discover sharks, connect with the Shark Trust and act for change..and have a bit of fun in the process. Anything from picking up eggcases on the beach to policy action or choosing sustainable seafood. You can help us help sharks.

Visit the Shark Trust website

Follow Shark Trust on Twitter

Toast Ale – Julie Prebble

Toast Ale is the result of waste-activist Tristram Stuart seeking to reduce food waste. Toast takes waste bread and turns it into ale, an innovative way of turning a waste-product into a new product, saving what goes to waste. All profits from the ale are given back to the charity Feedback, an organisation committed to decreasing food waste. We will be joined by Julie Prebble of Toast Ale, who will serve up some tasters – first come first served!

Visit the Toast Ale website

Follow Toast Ale on Twitter

Upstairs Downstairs DJ collective

A great event needs great music. Phil, Kerian and Jamie make up the Newquay based DJ collective Upstairs Downstairs and will be back for a second year, so expect some great tunes!

Follow Upstairs Downstairs on Facebook


Do you love to travel but lament the necessity of travelling by aeroplane? Are you looking for lighter ways of travelling, having new experiences? Do you love adventure? Voyage Vert are a Bristol-based not-for profit company raising funds to begin a transatlantic ferry service that will operate entirely under sail. Imagine instead of booking a long-haul flight to New York you sail into the harbour, first seeing the Big Smoke from the sea. Find out more from these sustainability entrepreneurs on the event.

Visit the Voyage Vert website

Visit the Voyage Vert Crowdfunder page

Westcountry Rivers Trust

Westcountry Rivers Trust is a charity working to restore and protect the rivers, lakes and estuaries for the benefit of people wildlife and the local economy. These places inspire and sustain us, they make us happier and healthier. They are steeped in history and hold the key to all our futures, but they are often overlooked. We need to celebrate them, promote and protect them. By working with local communities, businesses and other environmental organisations the Westcountry Rivers Trust works to bring our lost and forgotten rivers back to life so that they can once again play their vital role in all our lives.

Visit the Westcountry Rivers Trust website

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