60 Things we Learned at our Bravest Conferences

Six cities, six days, six conferences.

In the year that we celebrated six decades of the Society, we took our flagship event on the road - and here are the best insights:

New York

  1. Jump in, do something new and have the confidence that you’ll thrive in whatever you commit to doing. You won’t sink. 
  2. Part of being successful is surrounding yourself with people that you admire and trust. Having your own support system is vital.
  3. Saying nothing isn’t necessarily better than saying the wrong thing.
  4. Be present, take action and speak up.
  5. Millennials think about the possibilities and how to change things. They don’t see the obstacles, and they’re confident that they can succeed.
  6. Raise your team to do your job – let them fail, don’t micro-manage, but provide them with the guidance and support they need.
  7. Doing well and doing good are now two sides of the same coin.
  8. Don’t let logistics get in the way of bravery.
  9. Courageous leadership is about trusting your team. Install confidence and tend to the potential of the people you mentor.
  10. For those looking to grow into a leadership role, challenge yourself but remember to use your values as your North Star.


  1. To succeed in APAC, you must apply cultural sensitivity when navigating the business landscape.
  2. 80% of CEOs think their product is differentiated. 8% of consumers agree.
  3. The next billion-dollar business will come from an insight that had not been uncovered yet. Focus on humans, not on tech.
  4. Just because you’re good at something, you think you need to be doing it – but if you don’t love it, then maybe you shouldn’t be.
  5. Be brave enough to shout about your passion.
  6. Coach your teams to become more resilient, take on bigger challenges and become a ninja of setbacks.
  7. Focus on your own energy – how you show up, how you take risks. Business impact will follow.
  8. The way to drive true impactful change is to understand and listen.
  9.  All true transformation starts with people.
  10. It’s important to always ask: What does this do for people?


  1. The truly brave never think they are; instead, they have a determination to do the right thing and express their true selves. As Oxfam’s Helen Evans said: “A brave leader doesn’t walk away from the problem, they just think: we’ve got to tackle this.”
  2. Psychologist Robert Poynton revealed the importance of pausing. “We can’t add more time to our life, but we can give more life to our time”.
  3. London Business School’s Dan Cable reminded us that “work is not a commute to the weekend” and that it’s hard to inspire others if you don’t feel inspired yourself.
  4. John Allan, President of the CBI, believes that marketers have a particular need to be brave because they are the ones who must challenge the status quo. “And if marketers don’t speak up for change, who is going to?”
  5. Former RAF Group Captain and CEO of British Ski and Snowboard Vicky Gosling shared the secret to success, “be brave, never give up and kick the ass out of life.”
  6. Former head of ‘Britain’s worst school’, Harrop Fold, Drew Povey gave a masterclass in holding an audience of 400 spell-bound with charisma and a bag of Quality Street.
  7. Thomas Barta revealed bravery really works. Our Braveometer survey across 62 countries demonstrated that being braver matters more to your success than your expertise, your job title and even your personality.
  8. Elizabeth Varley, CEO of Tech Hub, revealed that as a leader you need to “motivate, but don’t stress out your team” and celebrate failure – that’s how you learn.
  9. Activist Gina Miller: “I’m not brave, I just do my best and speak up if something is wrong". "There’s a whole world out there that you can go and change. Do it."
  10. Chairman Craig Inglis wrapped up the day with the reminder that “it’s our responsibility as leaders to create the conditions for people to be brave.”


  1. Personal difficulties can lead to innovation. Womena’s founder Elissa Freiha struggled to name female role models in angel investing, so she created her company to boost visibility of change-making women.
  2. Bulk Whiz’s Amira Rashad’s motto? “Save me money, save me time!”
  3. In the creative industry, we are 3 times more likely to suffer from mental health issues.
  4. We need to fight the stigma associated with mental health head-on. As Meredith Carson put it, ‘we have to look at the shade to reveal the light’.
  5. Being brave equals doing something different. Try something completely crazy.
  6. Pour all of your energy, time, passion and emotion into what you can control and don’t stress about the things outside of that.
  7. The secret of great marketing is a good story.
  8. Being brave is a product of all the small things you do.
  9. Stop caring so much about what others are doing. We spend so much time on the competition that we forget to do things the way we would like.
  10. Always be passionately curious.


  1. Own your purpose and align your soul and your cells to it.
  2. We focus too much on being the heroes of our own stories. Learn to share credit.
  3. Little goals achieved today will add up to big things tomorrow.
  4. Being brave is about persistence and perseverance in the face of all odds.
  5. In the meandering midst of chaos, stay true to what you believe is right.
  6. Continue to put yourself in new and scary situations and be open to the experiences that follow.
  7. Don’t give up on what you want most for what you want right now.
  8. Believe in your vision, in your dreams and overcome fear by working on yourself.
  9. Mass media has an important role to play in responsible and equal representation.
  10. There is a need to invest in people’s sensibilities.

Hong Kong

  1. You can’t go wrong doing the right thing
  2. Be prepared to be humble, reactive and creative
  3. Be the first mover in what you do
  4. To have a long-term vision you have to be brave
  5. Being big, bold & purpose-led with a long-term view is essential to a successful partnership. Share the same vision and work together to achieve it.
  6. If everyone did one small thing, it would add up to a lot of big things: read up, learn, get involved.
  7. Never lose your curiosity: the best marketers are the most curious and always are ready to learn
  8. Bravery means taking chances and pushing the envelope
  9. One person can make a difference.
  10. Work hard, sustain the momentum and you’ll succeed.