Damien Clarkson is the Co-Founder of Vevolution, a UK based media organisation and host of the UK’s leading plant-powered positive change festival Vevolution. In this blog, Damien talks about this year’s festival and how Veganuary helped inspire a Vevolution!
Back in 2013, I decided to go vegan after a few years of being Vegetarian. I was 28 years old. Like most new vegans, I was filled with passion for this new journey of plant-powered living I had embarked on. I started making videos about my marathon training and how a vegan diet was fuelling my efforts.
Professionally I was working as a freelance digital campaigns quasi journalist of sorts, mostly helping charities and ethical organisations tailor campaigns that would appeal to young people. Around this time I was introduced to the Veganuary founders Matthew Glover and Jane Land. I spoke with Matthew who told me he had an idea for this new campaign no-one could seem to pronounce called ‘Veganuary’. I seem to remember Matthew mentioning they already had 270 Facebook ‘likes’.
Instantly I connected with Matthew and Jane’s mission to get more people trying a vegan lifestyle. I knew from my personal experience this was a great thing for people to do and I signed up to manage the social media and digital communications for the very first Veganuary campaign in January 2014. That first year, about 3,600 people officially signed up to take part in Veganuary, although social media led us to believe this number to be higher.
Veganuary had its first bit of national media coverage – an article I wrote for The Guardian called: ‘Veganuary could be a stepping stone to more sustainable eating’ It proved so popular, The Guardian promoted it to the front-page of their website and Veganuary was on its way to becoming the leading global ‘Go Vegan’ campaign.
Inspiring a Vevolution
The following year Veganuary took off and entered the mainstream, the success of the campaign inspired me to think about how I could create something that would help to accelerate the growth of the plant-powered movement around the world.
Along with my now wife, Judy Nadel, we started thinking about how we could create an educational movement, celebrating the progress of the plant-powered movement and discuss ideas to change the world. In 2016, Vevolution Festival was born, from our passion to create a global movement of plant-powered positive change.
Vevolution took off rapidly, as demand from people wanting to learn more about plant-powered living and how they could be part of positive change exploded. Today as I write this, we are on the cusp of our 4th annual Vevolution Festival which will host 1,000 people on London’s Southbank on the 16th November 2019.
Our movement has become a global one with people travelling from all over the world to attend and hear from the people driving the plant-powered movement forward. We have built an incredible community of people, not just talking about veganism, but exploring how to build new solutions to the biggest challenges our society faces.
Even people who can’t attend our physical events contribute and share stories with us via our weekly podcast and talks from our events which are freely available at www.vevolution.co/media.
All of this wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for Veganuary.
In life every action creates a reaction, Matthew and Jane’s bravery, commitment and forward thinking in creating Veganuary inspired the birth of Vevolution. At this years Vevolution Festival, Veganuary will give attendees a sneak preview of the 2020 campaign and will also hear from Veganuary’s Head of Communications – Toni Vernelli.
Other speakers at the festival include Dominick Thompson, Eat Drink Vegan, BOSH! The Happy Pear, Rachel Ama, Derek Sarno, Niomi Smart + a host of 80 other talented people coming together to share ideas for a positive plant-powered future.
You can view the full festival line-up and schedule here. Tickets are now limited, so book soon and hopefully we will see you there!
Vevolution Festival 2019 takes place on the 16th November at the BFI on London’s Southbank. It is a global celebration of people coming together to celebrate the plant-powered movement and inspire positive change in the world.
Tickets are on sale at: https://vevolution-festival-2019.eventbrite.com