Sam Conniff

Chief purpose officer, Livity

Sam believes young people have the power and potential to change the world, and that business should be the driving force to empower them to do it. He founded youth-led creative network Livity. Success stories include enabling drug dealers to become entrepreneurs, supporting refugees to graduate into United Nations Ambassadors, and mentoring excluded teens to achieve their dreams of becoming TV presenters. All underpinned by work for the likes of Google, Unilever, PlayStation and Dyson.

He started out running raves in car parks across south London, which led to him forming his first agency – the Bafta winning Don’t Panic – still recognised as one of London’s most creative agencies 20 years after launch.

Sam is returning to Dots as the newly created Chief Purpose Officer of Livity - a move he spoke about at the conference in 2015.  
Be more pirate

Sam Conniff is Chief Purpose Officer at Livity, a role of his own invention after he spoke at Dots 2015. Two years on, Sam joined us again to tell us we should all #BeMorePirate.

When Sam spoke at Dots 2015 he advocated the Chief Purpose Officer. A new role which promised the “ability to communicate complex ideas and ambitious goals in a way that inspires action."

At the time Sam didn't realise he'd written the job description for his next role. Since then, the role has been adopted by many companies. There are now 208 Chief Purpose Officers listed on LinkedIn.

"You have to innovate faster than anyone can imitate"
As CPO Sam helped to raise 1.5m in funding to promote youth agencies in his first year in the role. The problems have changed in the past few years. There's "an absolute vacuum of imagination in the leadership that we need." We need a rebellion.

"Who do you follow?"
Superman isn't coming to save us. The big and powerful aren't coming to save you. "Global leadership is an oxymoron." So "who do you follow?" Sam asks.

“Who really breaks the rules to really make them better?"
Sam asks us to take inspiration from the original innovators, pirates. From as early as the late 1600s pirates already had many societal ideologies that we we are still fighting for today. For example, pirates had global branding figured out by 1710 compared to 1887 for the rest of us. Plus, they had universal suffrage by 1718 but it took us until 1920.

"Anything less than radical intention isn't enough"
The Pirate Code espoused the ideas of fair pay, flat structures, and workplace compensation. Sam proposed an update for 2017 – Pirate code 2.0. The Pirate Code updated for the digital age:
1. Business plans are dead
2. Long live citizens
3. Invert expertise
4. Do one thing
5. Take happiness seriously
6. Abundance without waste
7. Be 'really' agile

"Cause #goodtrouble at the edges to make the middle better”
Sam finished by urging us that if we’re looking for a role model for radical change then we should be our own motivation, not wait around for change to happen or put it off altogether. We should #BeMorePirate.