Countdown to the conference – 5 minutes with Presenter Ben Peacock

Nursery industry participants from across the country will converge on Hobart for three big days of updates, workshops and networking at the 2018 Nursery Garden Industry National Conference & Exhibition being held from 19-21 February.

The conference includes a variety of informative presentations from across the supply chain, including six presentations related to strategic levy investments happening under the Hort Innovation Nursery Fund, enabling growers to get first-hand insights into the latest project updates and research findings.

Ben Peacock, Founder of Republic of Everyone, will be on-hand at the conference to present updates and discuss all things 202020 Vision related, as well as the consumer marketing campaign, Plant Life Balance.

Conference delegates will be able to hear Mr Peacock’s presentation 202020 Vision and Plant Life Balance during the 11am timeslot on Tuesday 20 February.

We caught up with Mr Peacock to hear about what his presentation has in-store and how the campaigns are going more broadly.

What is your role in 202020 Vision and Plant Life Balance?

I’m the original designer of the concept and methodology, but it has come a long way since then. Now it’s a real team effort, so I work with the team to set the guiding strategy then help them deal with the tricky questions as we go along. It’s a program like nothing ever been done before so we are constantly questioning the best next step in the strategy. It takes experience working with the industry, as well as an ability to take risks and try new things to deliver a program in this way. I like to think I give the team the space to bring different ideas to the table then help them choose and work out how to deliver, the right one.

What are the key topics you’ll cover in your presentation at the NGIA Conference?

It’s been well over a year since I presented back to industry at a large-scale event, so I’ll cover off on everything we’ve been up to in that time. Of course, this is also the first time we have reported back on the launch of Plant Life Balance so that will be big. I’ll also announce a few exciting new developments going forward. Well, I think they’re exciting anyway.

Plant Life Balance launched with a bang – what’s in-store for 2018?

It sure did. And I’m not telling! You’ll have to come and find out at the conference. Or, if you can’t make it, keep an eye on the Growers’ Hub on the 202020 Vision website and we’ll make a big announcement soon.

What are the top 3 achievements of the 202020 Vision to date?

I think the biggest is almost taken for granted now, and that’s simply to galvanise Australia’s green space advocates around a single movement toward greener cities. When we first began, almost no-one was talking about urban greening and only the true believers knew what an urban forest was. About six months in, someone said to us ‘thank goodness you’re doing this. So many people believe in it, but we were all giving up.’ Really everything else grows from there.

Number two: last year we did a survey of Australia’s 130 or so urban councils and over 75 per cent of them are now planning or planting urban forests. That’s up from less than 10 per cent when we first started. I wouldn’t say the 202020 Vision is the only factor but it has certainly played a leading role in getting urban greening in the media and then helping councils learn how it’s done.

And number three, the launch of Plant Life Balance. The reaction from retail nurseries has been fantastic and the app has had over three times the number of downloads we originally expected. We’ve had enquires from around the world as to how it was done, that makes me happy.

How’s your Plant Life Balance? How many plants are in your living room?

Ha ha! An excellent question…do I practice what I preach? I do have two in the living room but the real action is in the back yard where I am constantly mixing and moving things around. It’s quite hard because if you get it right, plants grow and then they need more and more room…more than you originally planned for. And they all become your babies, so you never want to give up.

Why is it important for growers to get involved in the 202020 Vision and Plant Life Balance?

Put simply, they are your campaigns. Both have proven to be popular with their different audiences, so you’re backing a good thing. Also, we need your smarts. A lot of what we do comes from spending time listening to industry about what they see working then crunching that, simplifying and adding the x-factor. The more you get involved, the better the campaigns get and the more they benefit you.

What’s the best way for growers to contact you?

Start at the Growers’ Hub

Then make sure you get the monthly growers’ email.

Then if you have a question, email

For more information of the conference program, follow this link

The conference is facilitated through the project Nursery industry conference partnership (NY17001), funded by Hort Innovation using the nursery research and development levy, and contributions from the Australian Government, with in-kind support from Nursery and Garden Industry Australia (NGIA).