How to create an activist movement and initiate global change?

Published May 11, 2017

Under the tagline Play your part, play it loud, Sir Bob Geldof will take the stage at this year’s EAT Stockholm Food Forum to talk about global activism and what today’s activists can learn from Live Aid. Geldof is a world recognised musician, activist and founder of Band Aid & Live Aid.

“Sir Bob Geldof brought ingenuity from pop culture to build one of the most successful activist campaigns in recent time,” said Jonathan Farnell, CEO at EAT Foundation. “Through Live Aid he created a movement, engaging people from different backgrounds to unite around a common cause. Even though we live in a different world today, many of the mechanisms Geldof mastered back then are still relevant.”

In 1984, moved by television pictures of the famine-stricken Ethiopia, Geldof established Band Aid and wrote the song “Do they know it’s Christmas”? The year after he organized simultaneous Live Aid charity concerts that were held in London and Philadelphia and were broadcast live to 165 countries across the globe. Band Aid and Live Aid combined raised 150 million USD to the Ethiopian case. 20 years later in 2005, the Live 8 concerts were performed in the same spirit and was a huge global fundraising event.  More than 1,000 musicians performed at the eight concerts, which were broadcast on 182 television networks to as many as 3 billion viewers.

«I am looking forward to speaking at the EAT Stockholm Food Forum 2017, sharing my views and experience with campaigns within humanitarian aid on a global scale» Sir Bob Geldof

Since then, Geldof has relentlessly continued his work as an activist. “I am looking forward to speaking at the EAT Stockholm Food Forum 2017, sharing my views and experience with campaigns within humanitarian aid on a global scale,” Sir Bob Geldof said in a statement.

“The EAT Food Forum is about bringing people from different backgrounds together to connect the dots and initiate collaborative action,” Farnell said. “Into that mix, Geldof certainly will add rock flair and energy, and his passion will inspire all of us to reach out to a larger audience.”

«Sir Bob Geldof brought ingenuity from pop culture to build one of the most successful activist campaigns in recent time» Jonathan Farnell, CEO, EAT Foundation

Today, Geldof is the chairman of the 8 Miles, a private equity firm he founded in 2010 that focuses on investments in African consumer-driven businesses. The fund raised $200 million in 2012 and usually places between US$15 million and US$45 million in each investment.

Food system change on the agenda

For the fourth year running, 500 of the brightest minds from science, politics, business and civil society will gather in Sweden on June 12-13th for the annual EAT Stockholm Food Forum. They will discuss scientific advancement and progress and initiate new collaborations developing policy and business solutions to tackle global food system challenges.

“It is imperative that these important issues for our planet are addressed: Can we feed a healthy increasing global population within our planetary boundaries? What is a healthy and sustainable diet? Where will the food of the future come from? I am looking forward to hearing more about all of these key questions addressed at the Forum,” Geldof said.

Geldof will speak in the morning of Tuesday 13th of June.

Do you want to attend EAT Stockholm Food Forum 2017?
Scientists, policymakers, businesspersons and representatives from civil society interested in transforming the food system may request to purchase delegate attendance here.