The European Outdoor Summit (EOS) has been hailed a resounding success by delegates, sponsors and partners and proven once again that it is a key event in the industry’s calendar. The EOS delivered another engaging, challenging and inspiring programme over the course of two days.
The EOS 2022, which took place in Annecy, France from 6th-7th October, brought together 300 high calibre leaders in the outdoor industry from across Europe and beyond, with a higher representation of CSR and sustainability leaders, which reflected the key topics being discussed this year. Presentations, panels and breakout sessions followed the Summit’s theme: Finding Balance and Success within Disorder.
The Summit kicked off with a thought-provoking opening keynote from Dr. Jason Hickel, who talked about the need to slow down and restore balance, change how we see nature and our place in it, and shift from philosophy of domination and extraction to one that’s rooted in reciprocity and regeneration – There is only one solution – degrowth. He urged the outdoor industry to make a stand together behind the #lessismore challenge to reduce production.
Jérôme Pero from FESI followed with a very insightful account of how the European policy works and current climate and sustainability policies that would have a direct effect on businesses. Leslie Holden asked us to re-imagine the apparel industry, and show us how digitalisation offers a way to reduce the need for brands to manufacture products before they are sold; therefore changing to just-in-time, on-demand, made-to-order manufacturing, ensuring a sustainable approach and a positive working capital process.
Day one had a selection of on-topic panel discussions, workshops, and case studies to further stimulate debate, including Business and Philanthropy, EU Policy Opportunities, Diversity in the Outdoors, Supply Chains, Retail Sustainability and What it takes to Lead Regeneratively.
Day two started with an unexpected invigorating HAKA, which had all delegates up from their seats and helped to clear a few heads following the networking dinner the night before.
Rupert Stuart-Smith presented the sobering reality of climate change through the latest science-based statistics and how these are and will affect business and their future planning. Jan-Pieter Lips highlighted the shifting lines between online and in-store buying experiences, what consumers expect and how to benefit from future trends in both selling platforms. Hazel Culley provided food for thought in her talk about human rights challenges and why people in our supply chains matter more than ever to our businesses.
The closing keynote speaker brought some wider insights to delegates. Simon Anholt, a policy advisor was clear on the many global challenges humanity is facing and every one of those challenges is caused by the behaviour of people. If we change what we learn at a young age, we can change the behaviour, and defeat the challenges. Panels on day two continued to be diverse in topics, including Single Use Plastic, The Future of Outdoors, Industry Collaboration in Developing Retail Market Data, and the operational challenges on Circularity.
The EOS finished with the traditional announcement of next year’s event, which will return to Germany and in 2024 it will travel to the United Kingdom.
‘The EOS returned with a bang in Annecy. A record number of delegates and speakers getting together to learn and debate the many challenges, as well as opportunities that our industry faces, being it short term or longer term. A big thank you to all who travelled to Annecy and especially to our sponsors, without them we could not put this event together’ – Arne Strate, General Secretary, EOG.
Testimonials from our delegates:
Herbert Horelt, Managing Director, Devold of Norway: 'Sharing the thoughts together with colleagues about the future of Outdoor has been extremely inspiring. At the same time networking and seeing each other face to face has been TOP’.
Yngvill Ofstad, Sustainability Manager, Bergans of Norway: 'A big thanks to EOG for putting together such an inspiring and educational summit this year, with the climate crisis, biodiversity, circular economy, the EU Green Deal, health, due diligence and human rights on the agenda. A sustainability conference, you might think. Not at all! Just all common topics that our industry wants to discuss and learn more about right now’.
Laurent Joseph, CEO, Compagnons de cordée: 'I would like to thank you for this incredible edition – the first for me- of the EOS. Many people – both the organisers and the participants – have shared the same objective: to make this summit a real time of exchange with a desire to look higher, further and more sustainably. I think that this challenge was successful, as the competitors understood the collective interest of sharing their best practices to grow together. Your enthusiasm and sense of humour, as well as the professionalism and kindness of your entire team, completed this EOS and made it a true experience of collective intelligence’.
For more information about the Summit, visit www.europeanoutdoorsummit.com.