A skyline shot of Liverpool. The clouds are reflected in the water. The shot looks across new modern buildings alongside historic buildings.

Powerful ideas and practical advice to help businesses better address consumer and employee demand are central to the programme at The Good Business Festival, which has confirmed its speaker line-up today.

The three-day global summit was commissioned by Liverpool City Region Mayor Steve Rotheram and will be held in venues across Liverpool city centre from 22 to 24 March.

Leaders such as Emilie Stephenson, Force for Good at Innocent Drinks and Hannah Cockcroft MBE, Paralympian and Small Business Advocate will showcase invaluable insights on what social changes are coming and how businesses of all shapes and sizes can respond.

As the country begins to move away from the pandemic, The Good Business Festival is focused on helping companies of every size and interest become more competitive and future-proof themselves by doing the right thing.

Steve Rotheram, Mayor of the Liverpool City Region said: “I’m working to make the Liverpool City Region the country’s fairest, most inclusive place. Values driven, community focused businesses are the backbone of our city region’s economy – and will be the drivers of our recovery.

“We want to ensure that local people really feel the benefit from investment, with good-quality jobs, fair wages and opportunities to succeed.

“Our success as a city region and its reputation in the global market are guided by the principles of how we do business. We know that for our region to thrive, it’s vital that the companies based here are given the support they need not only to flourish, but to demonstrate good growth and positive values that will have a meaningful impact on our communities.

“The Good Business Festival has been on quite a journey since it was first announced in 2020 – transforming from a one-off gathering into a programme of virtual and in-person events lasting more than two years.

“During this time, we’ve invested in an unprecedented package of support to protect and grow the local economy through the worst of the pandemic. Conversations around ‘building back better’ in the UK started in our region, and The Good Business Festival is exactly the kind of project that will help us do that.

“I’m delighted that the festival will finally be happening in person, with a fantastic line-up of inspiring and engaging speakers and sessions and I’m looking forward to welcoming people, from our region and beyond, to help us debate and imagine a more positive and ethical future.”

Kick-starting with a focus on action, day one will take audiences to unique Liverpool City Region venues, such as The British Music Experience and Liverpool Town Hall, to take a deep dive into what needs to be done to tackle the climate crisis, reduce inequalities and create sustainable cities and communities.

Among the sessions will be three futurologists from The British Academy, Deloitte and Nesta predicting the trends of tomorrow and forecasting the societal direction of the next five years, while Torus and Peel L&P will address responsible regeneration as part of Places with Purpose.

Dr Molly Morgan Jones, Director of Policy at the British Academy, said:

“As the UK’s national academy for the humanities and social sciences, the British Academy has an important role in untangling the complexity of society’s challenges.

“Our investigation into the long-term societal impact of COVID-19 found far-reaching implications lasting the next decade and our latest extensive study of the future of the corporation identified pathways towards purposeful business, arguably the key shift in the relationship between business and society in the 21st century.

“A common priority emerging from our recent work is the emphasis on putting people at the heart of policymaking and trusted institutions like business. I am looking forward to a fascinating discussion on this at The Good Business Festival in Liverpool.”

Taking place in the iconic surroundings of the Crypt at the Metropolitan Cathedral and the Liverpool Guild of Students, day two will focus on ‘what difference our money makes’ and delve into consumer insights and behaviour. The programme will see a series of sessions in which market research global leaders Ipsos UK and brands such as TRAID, thinktank Fashion Roundtable and CoGo analyse how much ethics really matter to today’s consumers, and whether the gap between what people say and what they do is shrinking or widening.

Commenting on the insights which will be discussed at the session, Kelly Beaver, CEO of Ipsos UK, said:

“How important is ethics to the average consumer? While the rise and rise of brand values has been a standout trend from the emerging data of our post-pandemic world, our data also hints at a growing gap between consumer attitudes and actions on this front – especially where there is a likely financial or lifestyle trade-off.”

Health, sports, music and energy will take centre stage for a rousing third day finale at CONTENT and Hillsong. Big Pharma will explore how working together during the pandemic has helped meet global needs in record time and examine how these lessons can be transferred to solve other global problems from the climate crisis to income inequality.

The final day will also take a look at the status of the music industry and what progress is being made in the energy sector, as well as showcasing the trailblazers of tomorrow, who’ve designed state-of-the-art systems to solve a problem in the world today.

The multi-day, multi-venue, three-day city takeover also promises to shake things up with an interactive and engaging series of citywide pop-up events, arts programmes, social activities and live entertainment.

Highlights will include a film premiere of a series of short films curated by the Climate Crisis Hub and exclusive live music performances from emerging local bands.

The full social schedule will be unveiled next week.

For more information about the line-up for The Good Business Festival, including the social programme, or to register for tickets visit www.thegoodbusinessfestival.com.