Simon Mainwaring Profile

Simon Mainwaring is founder/CEO of We First, an award-winning, strategic consultancy accelerating growth and impact for purpose-driven brands.

He was a Real Leaders’ Top 50 Keynote Speaker in the World in 2020, and his company, We First, was a Real Leaders’ Top 100 Impact Companies in the US for 2021 and 2019 and a B Corp ‘Best For the World’ Honoree. Simon was a Featured Expert and Jury member for the Sustainable Development Goals at the Cannes Lions Festival in 2021.

Simon’s first book, We First was a New York Times bestseller and named Best Marketing Book of the Year by strategy+business. He hosts the Lead With We podcast and writes the influential ‘Purpose At Work’ column in Forbes. His new book Lead With We is available November 2021.

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Simon Mainwaring's Speech Descriptions

Leadership Topic:

The “Virtuous Spiral” of Transcendent Business: How to Lead With We

You can grow your business even as you wholly commit to humanity and the planet—even during this unprecedented confluence of crises. In fact, relevance and long-term prosperity for your business will absolutely depend on it.How you get, there is to Lead With We, starting at the top.In this session, Mainwaring lays out a radical reimagining and reengineering of business based on the idea of collectivized purpose. Using extensive case studies and proprietary data collated over a decade of work with top brands, global and local, he will show businesses large and small how the regenerative future of business is in our grasp. That future of life, work, and growth in which We, together, succeed in business while we restore and protect the social and living systems on which all of our futures depend. In this presentation, attendees will learn:

1. How to drive business growth while solving today’s most pressing challenges.

2. How to ensure relevance and resonance with employees and customers.

3. How to leverage rising market forces to accelerate your growth and impact.

C-Suite Topic:

Tomorrow’s CEO: How to Lead in a Fast-Changing & Challenged World

After recent shocks and disorientation across the global economic landscape, a sudden and profound reckoning is now underway, one that can no longer be written off. It’s increasingly necessary to expand all our ideas about business’s role in making a better world—and that starts at the top. Only business has the reach, resources, and responsibility to respond at scale to the interrelated social, environmental, and global challenges we now face as a species. This “Next Normal” will be characterized by the co-existence of destabilizing challenges, with business positioned on the front line. And those companies that endure and prosper will be the ones with leaders who Lead With We—who accept and act on the fact that the world will continue to change for the worse if we continue with “business-as-usual.” A revolution is occurring among companies of all sizes, as they transform their core businesses, weave social and environmental responsibility deep into the fabric of their organizations,and reap rewards by elevating their brands far above competitors’ in the eyes of employees, customers, consumers, investors, the media, and Wall Street. Such firms are thinking longer term, acting more responsibly, becoming transparent and accountable, and collaborating in partnerships with other companies—even competitors—to foster a new, more creative mindset focused on addressing the social and environmental challenges we face, not as an afterthought of doing business, but as the very reason for it. In this presentation, attendees will learn:

1. How to attract top talent in a competitive marketplace, among new generations mostly guided by purpose and values.

2. How to market your company’s purpose along with its services or products without sounding pandering or self-congratulatory.

3. How to maintain your fiduciary responsibility to shareholders while living up to your moral responsibility as a human being on a planet in dire straits?

Crisis Management Topic:

Brands As “First Responders:” The New Mandate for Business Growth

If the recent twin crises of the COVID-19 pandemic and the social justice protests taught us anything, it’s that business finds itself in the trenches and on the frontlines of social, cultural, and global challenges. The economy lives or dies on how responsibly, nimbly, and thoroughly business responds to the world outside its doors and domains, beyond its industry and customer base. In a hypercompetitive market, new generations of workers are much more aware, engaged, and demanding of their companies. In this session, Mainwaring reviews global enterprises, as well as smaller companies, whose employees have responded immediately and directly to crises while simultaneously brand-building. You, too, can all but “future-proof” your business by embracing a “First Responder” mindset and practice. This is the new normal for businesses big and small for the foreseeable future, in which We together create a more responsible stakeholder-owned capitalism, and a more just and equitable society—even as we turn a continued profit. In this presentation, attendees will learn:

1. How – and why – to put the health and well-being of people and the planet before profit—yet still grow your company.

2. How to strategize real time scenarios to protect your business and support others.

3. How to partner in new ways to scale your response and impact.

Change Management Topic:

The New Business Normal: Restoring Relevance, Growth, & Impact Post-Covid

While the viral crisis the world is still suffering comes at an unaccountable human and economic cost, it seems also to have framed a doorway to a new, much-needed, more robust, equitable, and sustainable expression of capitalism, with a whole new brand identity that recognizes our shared responsibility. The widespread and devastating consequences of COVID-19 have forced heads of state, corporate leaders, and citizens alike to reconsider how they do business and live their lives, especially employing more and better social impact strategies. Here, the collective becomes the key factor in our business decision filter. That starts with all the local stakeholders in our enterprise, incorporates our partners, expands into the communities we serve, grows to influence the larger culture, and always considers the environment and planet along the way. In this session, Mainwaring will demonstrate how, emerging from this crisis of tragic proportions, we find ourselves at a threshold of a way forward that better serves all stakeholders and our planet. A pathway that secures a safer and more advantageous future for more – and ideally, all – of us. In this presentation, attendees will learn:

1. How to recalibrate your ideas about “success” and “growth.”

2. How real companies measure their impact on real people and pressing problems in the real world—often in real time.

3. How to prepare for the next (inevitable) crisis.

Purpose & Movement Building Topic:

Movement-Making: Turning Your Brand into A High Growth Movement

Collaborative engagement and storytelling strategies activate purpose both inside and outside of your business walls, launching legitimate and meaningful movements with maximum and measurable impact, thus changing your communities for the better. In this session, Mainwaring shows how building a high-growth and high-impact movement requires the co-creation of a brand community. The keyword there is “co-create.” We make a commitment in which the brand and its internal stakeholders participate with others – starting with its customers – on an equal footing. We work on ways to mobilize all stakeholders associated with our brands. We build a community that willingly and voluntarily acts as an extension of our marketing department in the same way that everyone from leadership, employees, and partners promote and extend our brand. Customers, consumers, and the media can contribute to creating and expanding our brand community. Brand loyalists will become key ambassadors for our products, services, and impact because they fully understand – and with our help, believe in, subscribe to, and embody – the greater purpose we share with them and the impact we create together. In this presentation, attendees will learn:

1. How to move from marketing to movement making, advertising to advocacy.

2. How – and why – to join an extant movement—and how you can help its stated goals.

3. How B2B and B2C companies built their brand movements—and what you can learn from them.

HR & Team Building Topic:

Galvanizing & Guiding A Lead With We Culture Inside Your Company

Vanguard companies, big and small, are practicing – and perfecting – a retooled form of purposeful, productive, and profitable company culture. In this session, Mainwaring introduces the prescription – called Lead With We –which is consciously built on a three-fold construction. First as a mindset, a point of departure for all associates, whatever their position. Second, as a process to be unanimously applied, whether you are running or starting a company, designing or marketing a product, investing in a company or fund, purchasing products or services—or “just” a cog in the business machine. Third, as an aspirational end-state, a leadership mantle for everyone to guide business, innovation, and interrelations among people and the environment. In this presentation, attendees will learn:

1. How the Lead With We evolution mends and protects society for the next generations, the doubters, and the disenfranchised.

2. How to maximize opportunities to engage employees in the definition, integration, and activation of the company purpose in order to deepen advocacy, productivity, and retention.

3. The “top-down,” “bottom-up,” and “over time” methods of fortifying company culture.

Work Wellness Topic:

Learning from Nature: Fostering Health & Wellness within the Office Ecosystem

Each year scientists discover more details about the myriad ways that nature is sustainable because of its regenerative and circular dynamics. And every year more companies emulate nature in their structure, processes, and procedures. They understand that “growth” and “success” – personal, business, brand, cultural – must be considered similarly symbiotic, aimed at achieving sufficiency for all. In this session, Mainwaring introduces models of, and a prescription for, achieving vitality, solidarity, mutualism, homeostasis, compassion, healing, diversity, and adaptability in the “life support system” of your business culture. In this presentation, attendees will learn:

1. What “biomimicry” and “geomimicry” mean and how they apply to regenerative business systems and employee well-being.

2. How to conduct an honest employee well-being audit and respond appropriately.

3. How to support employee health and wellness effectively while maintaining an equally healthy bottom line.

Sustainability/ESG Topic:

Beyond Sustainability Storytelling: Defining & Sharing A Narrative that Captures Attention

Forward-thinking companies consistently review and transparently communicate progress across the breadth of all their internal activations, including ESG metrics, DI&E efforts, and community impact—but often only through the lens of their relative adherence to “sustainability” benchmarks. But is this enough? Is “sustainability” even enough, given the urgency and, enormity of our interrelated crises? In this session, Mainwaring will argue that it’s clear that sustainability as we’ve come to understand it does not go far enough. Nature isn’t naturally “sustainable,” but rather regenerative. As stakeholders continue their transformation from an individual “Me” into one equipped to Lead a larger We toward a regenerative future, we must craft a narrative that inspires restoration and renewal. Then we must stress-test, self-disrupt, and continuously iterate and adapt that narrative and practices. In this presentation, attendees will learn:

1. How large companies, such as Nestlé, Walmart, and P&G, are telling stories of circular, regenerative, and net positive systems and impacts.

2. How small but growing companies are participating—and which are telling the most effective and emotionally resonant stories about regeneration.

3. How regeneration encompasses a spectrum from clean and renewable energy to fair and just human relations, and how different companies are activating it.

Consumer & Sales Topic:

Show Up, Stand Up, Speak Up: How to Rise Above the Noise of Purposeful Brands

Do you think business can best weather social, economic, environmental, and political storms by staying out of the rain? The climate emergency is demolishing corporate supply chains. Generations are being born with anxiety, depression, and hopelessness about the fate of their future. We’re in the midst of a global health crisis. Consumers nowadays expect companies to take a stand, even if the issue is highly politicized. But not with empty platitudes. In this session, Mainwarings shows how the most dangerous thing a company can do is try to play safe. We only alienate loyalists on both sides of any issue, and risk atrophying hard-won reputation capital that can take us years to recover. So, instead, companies must take a stand. But on what issues? How vocal should you be? And at what risk to your brand? In this presentation, attendees will learn:

1. How brands, big and small, responded to COVID, gun control, abortion, immigration, and social justice movements—and what we can learn from them.

2. The three biggest mistakes companies make in taking their stands to the public, and how to avoid them.

3. How you can join an existing movement already underway—and build your business, reputation and impact by doing so.

Technology & Innovation Topic:

Urgency & Optimism: How Business Meets Today’s Challenges with Equal Speed & Force

The undeniable failure of our ecological ecosystem will continue to ravage humanity, erode business viability, and cost literal lives—it already has. Meantime, the gaps in wealth, education, and healthcare can’t yawn any wider without swallowing whole swaths of humanity. Given the urgency and sheer scale of our challenges, it’s easy for all of us to get overwhelmed, pessimistic, or skeptical. But in this session, Mainwaring introduces those businesses that Lead With We, collaborating with tens of millions of collective employees, customers, consumers, supply chain partners, investors, and movements, all acting as multipliers of collective impact on critical environmental, social, and economic crises around the world. Leading companies, large and small, are thriving, unlocking new revenue-generating prospects from the estimated $12 trillion opportunity in unlocking responses to the SDGs and wider ESG needs. In this session, attendees will learn:

1. How our major problems are interwoven, and addressing one will help ameliorate another.

2. How to unlock the power of the collective to respond to the environmental “Code Red.”

3. How to inspire optimism and urgency among your key stakeholders to solve compounding crises, while driving business growth and innovation by doing so.

Women Leadership Topic:

Empowering Women: Nurturing the Next Generation of Leaders Our World Desperately Needs

In this session, Mainwaring introduces five CEOs who exemplify leadership, and explores to what extent their gender might have anything to do with their success. In 2021, Karen Lynch took over as CEO of CVS Health, ranked No. 7 on the Global 500—she’s the highest ranking female CEO in the world. Roz Brewer, formerly of Starbucks and Walmart, became CEO of the Walgreens Boots Alliance. As CEO of Citigroup, Jane Fraser is the first woman to run a major Wall Street bank. Former JPMorgan Chase executive Thasunda Brown Duckett became CEO of the retirement fund manager TIAA—she’s one of six women of color running Global 500 companies. And Véronique Penchienati-Bosetta became the interim co-CEO of French food business Danone, a special case of collaboration worthy of exploration. In this presentation, attendees will learn:

1. How these CEOs envision our future and the new expectations of leadership.

2. How these leaders frame their respective responses to a market facing multiple, concurrent crises.

3. Young entrepreneurs setting the pace for innovation, collaboration, and industry transformation—and how to emulate them.

Simon Mainwaring on Speaking

The larger purpose of my speaking is to help facilitate the shift in business to become a force for social good; so I invest a great amount of time and energy in understanding an audience and clarifying what they need to know so they can see how this can truly drive profit and business growth.

SPEAKING.COM: What do you want people to learn / take away from your presentations?

MAINWARING: The most important thing I want people to take away from any presentation would be actionable steps that make a real difference to their business. With that in mind, I work very diligently to present concepts, insights and research that offer a clear line for audiences to follow, and social proof that gives them the confidence to know that this is the right path for them.

The larger purpose of my speaking is to help facilitate the shift in business to become a force for social good; so I invest a great amount of time and energy in understanding an audience and clarifying what they need to know so they can see how this can truly drive profit and business growth.

The benefit of all the consulting work we do at my firm, We First, is that we deeply understand the challenges and complexity that business leaders and marketers face today, and in doing so, we aim to share practical insights based on real world experience.

I’m happiest when an audience walks away with real value in their hands – and that’s why I typically challenge them to answer key questions about their business in the room, so they receive value immediately during the presentation.

After all these years of speaking, I still consider it a privilege to have others listen to what you think and so I believe it is the responsibility of the speaker to offer that value to event hosts and attendees.

SPEAKING.COM: What kind of special prep work do you do prior to an event? How do you prepare for your speaking engagements?

MAINWARING: I am fortunate enough to speak at a wide variety of conferences that focus on branding, marketing, leadership, innovation, emerging technology, social media, sustainability, CSR and non-profits.

In all cases, I prepare for a speaking event on two levels:

First level, I have one or more calls with the client to deeply understand their goals for the event, the challenges that audience members are facing, and what extraordinary success would look like for the event organizer. I then research the industry and brands that will be attending to thoroughly understand what is going on in their minds when they will be sitting in the audience.

I extensively research the future of that specific industry or sector to identify the obstacles and opportunities that may not be readily apparent. Only then do I start to prepare my presentation and structure it in such a way that the audience will leave with actionable insights based on my experience, research and vision for the industry.

Second level, I prepare is physically prior to the event itself. I’ve had the opportunity to do a lot of voice and movement training over the years, and this has allowed me to develop certain routines before I speak to ensure I’m ready physically, vocally and mentally. I’ve found this incredibly important, because the only time I’ve ever felt slightly off my game is when I haven’t had the chance to prepare properly physically due to jet lag or unforeseen circumstances.

The last part of this preparation routine involves connecting with my passion for this work in the first place. Invariably, I find this motivates me to connect deeply with my audiences and to share my message with passion so that it has maximum impact on the audience.

I feel very lucky to be in a position to have others listen to my ideas and to be paid for that opportunity is something none of us should take for granted.

SPEAKING.COM: Have you had any particularly memorable speaking engagements / unusual situations arise while on the road?

MAINWARING: Like many speakers, I’ve had those strange situations where the technical or AV side of the things comes unstuck. On two occasions I’ve had microphones and screens go out, but it’s actually fun to engage with the audience while you wait for a technician to replace a mic.

There have been many occasions when jet lag was cruel and you force yourself to rise to the occasion which is why having a physical preparation is so important.

There have also been many bizarre situations, whether it involves seeing your head 20-feet high on a Jumbotron or being escorted to and from an event by a bodyguard carrying a machine gun. I think every speaker has many moments where they quietly say to themselves, “How did I get here?” and many long nights in hotels where you say, “Where am I?”

Whatever the circumstances, I feel very lucky to be in a position to have others listen to my ideas and to be paid for that opportunity is something none of us should take for granted.

SPEAKING.COM: What types of audiences would most benefit from your message?

MAINWARING: The audiences that would most benefit from my message would be those that are interested in best practices and the future of leadership, innovation, branding, marketing, social media and social impact. Each one of these areas are now interrelated and so it is critical to get a perspective of all factors to ensure a brand can keep up with the marketplace and carve out a leadership position. That’s why leadership, innovation and branding are the three key areas on which I speak.

To put that in context, if a brand truly wants to innovate and establish a leadership position, it must transcend its products, services or category to shape culture. To do that, a brand must lead a cultural conversation that is meaningful and relevant to its audiences. Only then will it avoid being yet another advertiser shouting for attention and become a true partner with consumers that inspires loyalty, goodwill and sales.

I really enjoy talking about the future of branding and consumer engagement. All brands need to know how to tell the right stories in the right ways so their business and communication strategies are realized.

SPEAKING.COM: Which of your keynote speaking topics are your favorites and why?

MAINWARING: I really enjoy talking about the future of branding and consumer engagement. All brands need to know how to tell the right stories in the right ways so their business and communication strategies are realized. For that to happen, you need to deeply understand how our cultural landscape is changing, how technology has impacted marketing, and how to inspire consumers to build your business and social impact with you.

There are several ways to do this well, including how you define your brand story, how you architect a self-sustaining customer community and how you lead a cultural conversation that builds your business and social impact. We see these strategies being used by many of the world’s leading brands including Unilever, Coca-Cola, Patagonia, CVS and Tesla.

What I specialize in is breaking down the key strategies and tactics of such brands to show how to create storytelling that truly moves the needle. Some of my favorite topics are:

1. Social storytelling for customer, community and cultural leadership.

2. The future of social branding and consumer engagement.

3. The art and architecture of customer community building.

4. How brands use social media to build their profits and positive impact.

For so many marketers what works – and what doesn’t work – is a mystery because it’s almost impossible to reverse engineer the strategies that the most successful branding are using. At We First, we have the good fortune to work with many of the most successful brands and can leverage that experience and expertise to give event attendees actionable insights into leadership, innovation and branding.

SPEAKING.COM: What inspired you to start doing speaking engagements?

MAINWARING: I started speaking with the launch of my book, We First: How Brands and Consumers Use Social Media to Build a Better World. It was a New York Times bestseller and voted best marketing book of the year by strategy + business. That’s when a lot of people started asking me how they can apply the principles of the book to their company. As a result I started speaking to share these insights on why brands need to become more purposeful and to engage with consumers in new ways using social technologies.

One speech led to another and because the book was so timely in terms of shifts in the marketplace, I had the good fortune to keynote in Asia, Europe and throughout the United States at conferences and events for major brands. The marketplace has only just started to catch up to the insights laid out in my book, and so this message is becoming more relevant than ever.

A presentation is never a success to me unless you connect with an audience’s heart and mind and they also walk away with a clear understanding of how to apply what they just heard to their business.

SPEAKING.COM: How do case studies, personal stories and/or humor factor into your keynote speech content?

MAINWARING: As an Australian I’m fortunate to have a certain blend of critical thinking and disarming humor that quickly puts an audience at ease, allowing them to open up to new ideas and thinking. A presentation is never a success to me unless you connect with an audience’s heart and mind and they also walk away with a clear understanding of how to apply what they just heard to their business.

I also weave personal stories into the opening and body of my presentations to create context for the ideas that I will be sharing and so the audience can relate to me as a speaker.

At the heart of my message is the need to relate to each other in very human terms and that’s something I make sure to do myself. I then provide several key points backed by the latest research and case studies to provide concrete examples of how to apply this new thinking to the audience’s own businesses. As a result, my presentations tend to be a blend of humor and critical thinking, structured around several key ideas that ensure every attendee walks out with real value in their hands.

I put a lot of effort into making sure I understand the goals of the organizer and the challenges that the audiences are facing, so I can speak to them in ways that are specific and critical to success. When those solutions are presented in a fun, engaging and inspiring way, I find presentations are a great success.

SPEAKING.COM: What are some of the successes you’ve helped clients make?

MAINWARING: I’ve had good fortune to partner with many clients that have made dramatic shifts in business, marketing and social impact. For brands such as Coca-Cola and Sony Pictures Television we have helped define their global sustainability positioning, and for TOMS, VSP Global, Consumer Reports, and ConAgra Foods we have helped to define their brand stories. Further, we have also developed social marketing plans for Lincoln Financial Group, Rosetta Stone, Tupperware, Rubios and Nutiva, amongst others.

We’ve done many branding and social media workshops that have helped drive fundamental culture shifts within organizations to ensure the new strategies are executed effectively.

Finally, we have received many client testimonials that describe how the keynote presentations I do truly shifted the culture within their organization and inspired employees to think and act in new ways.

Taken together, I would have to say the greatest achievement of my consultancy firm, We First, is to be making a valuable contribution to the forefront of brand leadership in terms of how business and marketing must change to positively lead the future. We only succeed if the companies we work with succeed, and we’re excited about building more brands and creating greater social impact in the future.

Full Keynote Speech on the Future of Branding, Marketing and Employee Engagement

Simon Mainwaring Keynote Speech: Branding, Marketing & Sustainability from on Vimeo. Exclusive Interview with Simon Mainwaring
How To Create A ‘Must Attend’ Event That Attendees Want to Promote, with Simon Mainwaring
In this interview Simon Mainwaring discusses:

""A brand must be a mission with a company, not a company with a mission.""
- Simon Mainwaring

What People are Saying about Seeing Simon Speak

Rating Entries

Was just at Global Best Practices in Dallas. Simon was everything you would expect. Engaging, funny, on point and very direct about what we all should be doing with our brands. If you have an event and want a really exciting amped up speaker with a message you can take back to your organization and empower your teams, he is a great fit. Highly recommend him for sure.


Simon’s presentation was relevant and insightful into how brands think and work to get their message across to consumers. He had great real world examples which the audience was able to relate to. It was easy to see how these examples applied to our business and clients, and how we could use them to improve the value we offer. Attendees found it to be informative, clear, concise, and engaging, with many considering his presentation to be one of the highlights of the off-site.
Viacom, Inc.

Simon was a fantastic addition to our program! He presented valuable knowledge and catered to the credit union sector. He received great reviews from attendees from our diverse, global audience! Simon really engaged the crowd by using case studies from other financial institutions. Our attendees left with a clear message with actionable next steps.
World Council of Credit Unions

Simon Mainwaring is a powerful, thought provoking speaker who challenges audiences to change their businesses by changing their purpose and principles. His recent presentation at the Global Best Practices conference captivated our audience of C-suite leaders from the restaurant industry. Simon educated and inspired our attendees with his message of doing well by doing good.
Joni Thomas Doolin: Co – founder & Chairwoman, TDn2K

Simon did an amazing job as we knew he would, his presentation, demeanor and messaging was extremely well received across the board. His willingness to take the time to learn about our business and our objectives for the meeting were apparent by the quality of his content and customization to our corporate goals and vision. He is a true professional and an authentic business partner.

A quick note to express a huge THANK YOU for your role in a successful Opus 2019! You did a stunning job up (not to mention with the toughest slot of the day) and the feedback from the audience has been extremely positive on the panel. It was one of my favorite talks from the day and I think the message really resonated with the audience and tied the day up perfectly.
Mirum Agency

“Thank you again for taking the time to join our kick off meeting last week. The feedback we have been receiving on your presentation is phenomenal!”

Simon was very charismatic and engaging. People really loved his speech & we received excellent feedback!
GDS Group

I can’t express how thrilled we are about your work with our leadership team today. The buzz is still going… Community service IS about the bottom line… Support the mission, tell your story, empower the people: just a few buzz phrases I am hearing.
I appreciate your time and thoughtful presentation and look forward to continuing this great work
Toyota Financial Services

Your energy, charisma and expertise helped bring the conversation and quality of our conference to a whole new level. You’ll be happy to hear that in meetings following the conference, I’ve heard several of our members and employees reference your keynote.
Western States Petroleum Association

After a few false starts with opening keynoters at our event, we were ready to be impressed. Simon kicked off our show with his charismatic and sincere style, and his very important message of Profit with a Purpose for our Retail Marketing audience. Our surveys speak for themselves: Simon was the most well-received speaker of the entire show. An extra bonus is that his team is a dream to work with and leaves no stone unturned.

Simon was so willing to help in any way possible. I also appreciate the amount of communication I received from him prior to the event, and opportunity to brief him over Skype. Simon was a valuable addition to the inaugural Sustainable Brands Sydney Conference. He brought a wealth of knowledge from previous Sustainable Brands events around the world, which helped the audience to understand the ethos of the conference objectives. I would highly recommend Simon as both a Keynote presenter and Workshop facilitator.Sustainable Brands

We had a fantastic/productive two days of thought provoking ideas and discussion with our 30 member clubs and Simon’s presentation played a big part and was incredibly well received. He was on point and did a wonderful job providing our teams a macro view of a changing media landscape/social mission based branding at the same time blending in our business to make it very tangible.
Exectuive Vice President / CMO
National Hockey League

It takes a strong message to catch the attention of our customers, who are some of the most dynamic innovators and practitioners of digital strategy, marketing and media. Simon succeeded admirably, bringing the passion of his vision of “We First” capitalism to engaging and capturing the loyalty and attention of new customer who have expectations about what the organizations and brands in his/her life can do for them – on their time and terms. Simon went right to the heart of the matter in his keynote at our first customer conference, Engage 2014, and left all of us looking for more of his wisdom and insights.

Simon excited and engaged our audience by communicating essential information supported by thoughtful data and real world examples. His diligent preparation ensured that our audience learned something new that they could immediately incorporate into their own businesses. He was incredibly accessible and available and took time to get to know us and our needs. I would hire him again in a heartbeat!
Stephanie Carter, Marketing & Communications Partner, ABS Capital Partners

Simon did a great job, exactly what we needed. Everyone was really impressed and of course we referenced his presentation throughout the afternoon. Thanks so much for getting us off to a great start!

Simon’s thought-provoking and energizing opening keynote at our Annual Conference truly set the tone for the entire conference. Not only did he provide a plethora of useful information for our audience, but he delivered it in an engaging and relatable way. In fact, he was one of the highest rated speakers of the entire conference. Simon was a wonderful speaker as part of our internal sustainability speaker series on the role of sustainability and brand. His presentation hit the mark and inspired many great conversations and new approaches to 3M’s sustainability communications.
Association of Corporate Contribution Professionals (ACCP)

I was so impressed not only because of Simon’s power to engage the audience, but also in the way he connects our minds and souls. His vision and presentation have challenged, inspired and motivated everyone in the room. As a conference organizer I could not recommend Simon more highly as a keynote speaker.
Fernanda Bornhausen Sa, Founder, Social Good Brazil Founder

As the opening Keynote on Day One this is the most important session as it sets the tone for the rest of the event. I could not be happier! He was not only engaging and educational but entertaining. I would not only highly recommend Simon but intend on working with him again.”
Adam Wilson, VO Conferences Asia Pacific, GDS International

Simon’s passion, energy and wisdom came across strongly. He left this audience motivated and contemplative as noted here in a few of the many positive comments received—“Mind blowing session!” “A highly energetic presentation!” “Really enjoyed Simon!”
Tracy Rettie, CAE, Assistant Vice President, American Staffing Association

We recently invited Simon to speak to our marketing, communications and agency partners. His deep brand experience and social media insight made him an incredible speaker. He kept the group engaged in the conversation. Like all good storytellers, there are memorable lessons wrapped in interesting examples.

Mary Henige, Director, Social Media & Digital Communications, General Motors Company

Simon brings a true and authentic passion for his life’s work to his speaking engagements. His depth of experience and knowledge translates into a meaningful story that can move an audience to action. He is committed to a better outcome for all who engage in the collective conversation and is dedicated to help others find greater success along the way. Simon knows how to engage a room to shift perspective and drive new thinking that can help us tell our brand stories in a way that has real impact on our customers and community.
Katherine Twells, AVP, Customer Marketing, The Coca-Cola Company

Simon shared a great message with our group but what we appreciated the most was that he incorporated our purpose, values, etc. into his presentation as well. This made his message very consistent with our message.
First United Bank

If your company is interested in keeping ahead of the new wave of customer engagement that is now powered by the new tools of social media – and who isn’t? – you should also be interested in engaging Simon Mainwaring to show you how to do it.

Rick Ridgeway, VP Environmental Initiatives, Patagonia

Simon was a recent speaker at our Gucci Group Conference. He was extremely engaging, thought provoking and distilled complex ideas down into simple but powerful communications. The participants left inspired with clear insights into how to relate he shared to their business. I would highly recommend him as a transformative keynote speaker.

Karen Lombardi, Executive Vice President Global Human Resources, Gucci Group

Simon is fluent on subjects that most marketers and advertising people have only just started thinking about. He’s got genuinely new things to say on the role of brands, the role of marketing and the role of citizens and consumers in shaping a progressive business agenda. He was brilliant at YouTube’s “Good Work” seminar in Cannes this year. He’s someone who can help you do a power of good.

Craig Davis, Co-Chairman & Chief Creative Officer, Publicis Mojo

Simon brings an unusual depth of knowledge about how we got ourselves in to the mess that we are currently trying to unravel in society, and a compelling vision for how we can get ourselves out. But more than that, he’s a fabulous storyteller who can paint a picture that will spark the imagination of audience members and enroll them in finding their own path to contributing to a flourishing future. Highly recommend!

KoAnn Vikoren Skrzyniarz, Founder/CEO, Sustainable Life Media

Simon Mainwaring was a big hit at Brand Manage Camp 2011. He was a absolute pleasure to work with pre, during and post conference and really went the extra mile to ensure he understood our event, our attendees, and the entire agenda so that he could custom craft a topic and presentation that delivered the actionable insights our attendees crave. Simon is that rare package of sizzle AND steak and I would recommend him highly to anyone considering him for participation in their event.
Len Herstein, CEO & President, Brand Manage Camp

Simon gave a rousing keynote at our Social Enterprise Summit 2012. His Me-To-We message was very timely and well received among our members who are effecting a transformation away from the Greed Economy. And he’s a genuinely committed, enjoyable and engaging fellow to boot.

Kevin Lynch, CEO & President, Social Enterprise Alliance

What can I say? Your presentation was engaging, thought-provoking and amazing. You ended the LMA-LA CME on high note, inspiring attendees as they headed into the weekend.

Jennifer Larivee, Director of Marketing, Legal Marketing Association

We host more than 100 speakers a year, and Simon is among the best. He’s informative, stimulating, and engaging. Each person in the audience is exposed to new and big ideas, and is more importantly moved to act. His message is great for competitors, innovators, and do-gooders in the marketplace and the world.

Michael P. Davidson, CEO, Gen Next

Simon just doesn’t come in content to talk and shake a few hands. Instead, he brings a full arsenal of smart concepts, compelling presentations, and a full-on, no-holds-barred generosity that is as authentic as it comes. He captured the hearts and minds of our students and faculty with insights on social media, creativity in a changing profession, and the new agency mindset that honors bravery and innovation. Wonderful to witness. Bravo, Simon!

Professor Debra Morrison, School of Journalism and Communication,
University of Oregon

Simon enthralled and inspired our Australian audience during his workshop on ‘How non-profits think like for Profits,’ at ConnectNow in Sydney. I have never seen an event with satisfaction scores so uniformly high. From government and corporate groups, to rowdy social mediarati, agencies, charities, bloggers and SMEs, Simon has the gift of making complex stories concise and memorable, and delivers with energy, humor and insight. Forget about the ‘guru’ tag, Simon is the consummate communicator embracing social media and innovation and putting it to best practice. I look forward to having Simon back as keynote speaker at our next event.

Siobahn Bulfin, Executive Producer, Connect Now Conference, Sydney

From the moment he began, Simon’s energy, passion, and vision were evident to everyone. Comments came pouring in after the conference and included: “I was riveted by Simon’s speech and I’m so excited to put social media marketing to work”; “…it was by far one of the best social media for social good talks I’ve heard.” 

Professor Beverly Macy, Co-Producer, Cool Gravity Summit

“Simon’s keynote was a highlight of the meetings and we are still receiving positive reviews a week later. Simon was a terrific addition to the NHL Club Business Meetings. His ability to weave NHL examples into his key messages was instrumental in keeping the audience engaged and excited. He did a great job weaving tactical applications into a broad strategic message re community building and brand integrity. In hockey vernacular, Simon ‘stood on his head!'”
Susan Cohig, SVP of Integrated Marketing, National Hockey League

We had the pleasure of having Simon speak at our company retreat this year. He’s gutsy, punchy and highly engaging. His passion for helping corporations determine and maximize their social purpose is infectious! Our whole team is very excited to work with Simon and help our clients build sustainable, meaningful communities that not only build brands but do good things for our world. Many thanks, Simon!

Maril MacDonald, CEO, Gagen MacDonald

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    Coca-Cola CMO Summit


    Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

    General Motors


    SOCAP International Annual Conference

    WOMMA Annual Conference

    Brand Manage Camp

    National Business Experts
    Mashable Social Good

    Entrepreneurs Organization

    Legal Marketing Association Conference

    Social Media Week

    GSMI Social Media Strategies Summit

    Images and Voices of Hope World Summit

    Kanter Retail Conference

    National Speakers Association

    Royal Society of Arts, London
    Utenti Pubblicita Associati (UPA), Milan
    Cannes International Advertising Festival

    Media Entertainment Technology Alliance


    Conscious Business Network

    UCLA Social Media
    USC Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism

    Gen Next Forum


    Gravity Summit

    #140 Conference
    Young President’s Organization
    ConnectNow Conference

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Books by Simon Mainwaring:

We First: How Brands and Consumers Use Social Media to Build a Better World

A social media expert with global experience with many of the world’s biggest brands —including Nike, Toyota and Motorola—Simon Mainwaring offers a visionary new practice in which brands leverage social media to earn consumer goodwill, loyalty and profit, while creating a third pillar of sustainable social change through conscious contributions from customer purchases.

These innovative private sector partnerships answer perhaps the most pressing issue facing business and thought leaders today: how to practice capitalism in a way that satisfies the need for both profit and a healthy, sustainable planet. Mainwaring provides case studies from companies such as P&G, Walmart, Starbucks, Pepsi, Coca-Cola, Toyota, Nike, Whole Foods, Patagonia, and Nestle as well as a bold plan for how corporations need to rethink their strategies.


We First is one of those rare marketing books that is truly visionary.

Strategy+Business (voted We First Best Marketing Book of 2011)

The author’s enthusiasm and evidence make an excellent (and counter-intuitive) case for big business’s ability to make major strides in creating a more equitable world.

Publisher’s Weekly

A must-read for those who want to understand and engage the power and potential of social media to promote a healthier, more equitable world.

Kirkus Book Reviews

While economists try to patchwork a theory of how capitalism should work, Simon Mainwaring, a brand expert, has looked at our systemic problems squarely and created a remarkable vision for fully functioning capitalism.

San Francisco Book Review

Mainwaring is the new master of the ‘three wins’ – for your company, for you customers and for the planet. He shows us clearly that companies that mean more actually make more, turning customers into their most important evangelists. Today, values count as much as value, and Simon shows us how to find, foster and share the best of both.

Steve Hayden, Vice Chairman, Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide

Simon Mainwaring has a deep and powerful understanding of social media and presents great opportunities to use it for real change. In We First, his approach inspires and empowers both brands and consumers alike with innovative solutions to some of the biggest challenges facing our world.

Scott Harrison, Founder of charity: water

Mainwaring is an inspiring leader in his field that truly understands the dynamics in play in the new world of business, online consumer behavior, and how they can collaborate to rethink and rework paths to true global renewal.

Brian Solis, Author of Engage and The End of Business as Usual

Few understand the power of brands and consumers better than Simon Mainwaring. In “We First,” he presents a truly compelling vision of how to transform that power to the benefit of society and the good of capitalism.

Jeff Jarvis, Author, “What Would Google Do?”

Put meaning back into your business by buying this book. Actually, buy two and give one away to someone who is also yearning to take their business to the next level.

Charlene Li, Author of Open Leadership and Founder of Altimeter Group

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