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What does Unite mean?

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Our Summit curators are some of the brilliant brains behind the ideas for Brighton Summit: Unite, so on this year’s theme we asked a handful of our curators what Unite means to them, to Brighton, why its important, how to collaborate and get out of your comfort zone.

Here’s what they had to say.


What does ‘Unite’ mean to Brighton businesses? – Richard Freeman, always possible

Unite means finding common missions, maximising opportunity and sharing responsibility for safe, clean, sustainable being/living/working/playing.

Unite means building Brand Brighton in all its complex glory.

Unite means business eco-systems that enjoy collaboration to drive innovation and scale that no one can do alone.

Unite means business eco-systems that recognise all boats rise with the tide and use competition to drive quality and choice (no races to the bottom).

Unite means business that is of, from and for the city – even if it has global clients – understanding the role it plays in the lives of the people around it.


Why is this year’s Brighton Summit theme important at this time?Emma Mills-Sheffield, Mindsetup Ltd

If we can’t unite now, then when can we? Let’s not dwell on “unprecedented times” but it’s still important to reflect on what we’ve been through, what we’ve learnt and not to forget how we united and supported each other. When we head into times of breezing through normality, facing something slightly wobbly or seeing something Brexity head on, let’s not bury our heads in the sand and go back to 2019 thinking. Let’s unite together and keep doing what made us strong as business owners over the last couple of years.

If we understand and celebrate difference, acknowledge our weak spots, call out others’ strengths and unite together in business and in our communities we’ll all be better for it.

Rock on Brighton, let’s unite, rahhhhhh.


What is your best tip for collaborating and uniting? – James Dempster, Fox&Bear

If the last few years have taught us anything it’s that we’re stronger together.

Work, friendships, loved ones, being open to accepting where your weak points are and where you need help can be the start of something amazing.

Your business is likely to do one or two things amazingly well but what about the gaps? Do you need to hire or could you work with trusted partners to deliver all-encompassing solutions?

Clients appreciate honesty so if there is work that you can’t deliver, finding a supplier that can work alongside you shows openness and credibility.

Finally, collaboration is a rapid way of learning which is so important to any size of business.

“In the long history of humankind those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed” -Charles Darwin


What is a measure of successful collaboration, coming together, uniting? – Sam Knowles, Insight Agents

As a pathological connector, I have an almost unhealthy obsession with putting interesting people from radically different worlds together and seeing what happens. I always have. Mind you, it can’t just be random; this game of human dominoes demands careful curation. But the impact can be truly galvanic and game-changing, altering the path of careers and whole businesses. When we unite successfully we generate new opportunities to evolve by degrees, to pivot, or to leap into a whole new beginning.

That’s why I think it’s so brilliant that the Brighton Chamber has landed upon ‘Unite’ as the theme for this year’s Summit. As we limp with optimism into a world beyond (or more like alongside) Covid, unification has never mattered more.


What inspires you to get out of your comfort zone and reach out to others? – Rosie McColl, Brighton Girls

In the words of the late Archbishop Desmond Tutu, “I am because we are”. This rough translation of the word ‘Ubuntu’ sits at the heart of what makes us human: we are defined by our relationships with others; collaboration is both instinctive and essential.

What inspires me to actively reach out to others is the chance that I will hear something, observe something or learn something that will shift my perspective or encourage me to try a different approach. Plus, we all know that it is easier to step out of the comfort zone when surrounded by others; it’s about safety in numbers. A recent plunge into the freezing waters by the Pier provided a perfect example. There was no hesitation. I did it because we all did it.


Join Brighton Summit: Unite on 29 April for unparalleled opportunities to meet, make connections, unite, learn and get inspired.

It’s a day for anyone in and around Brighton who wants to evolve and grow their business, whether you’re a big-business CEO, a not-for-profit, an entrepreneur or an employee, Brighton Summit is for you.

See what we got up to at our last Summit here, and for tickets head over to Eventbrite.

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