Modeshift Conference 2023: Was it my destiny?

By Donna Cromb

Published: December 13, 2023

Modeshift 2023 York.

In the historic and charming city of York ideas collided and innovation sparked as the annual Modeshift Conference took place on 23 and 24 November 2023.



Modeshift, a non-profit organisation, is actively promoting active and sustainable travel across businesses, education, and communities. With over 800 professionals from public, private, and third sectors, Modeshift is a key player in sustainable travel. They collaborate with experts to provide support, share best practice, and envision a future where communities naturally opt for healthy and sustainable travel. Picture a world where active travel is the norm, creating environments that effortlessly encourage eco-friendly choices. Modeshift isn't just an organisation; it's actively shaping a greener and more sustainable way to navigate our world.

Brightwayz team at York.

Although my journey into sustainable transport kicked off in 2008, it was at the 2010 Modeshift conference in Glasgow that I found a turning point. Back then, while working for a local authority in Scotland, I gathered ideas and forged connections that shaped my school travel programme, and it was during this very event that I crossed paths with the wonderful people at Brightwayz (formerly Brightkidz). Brightwayz Gains ‘Excellent’ Gold STARS Accreditation and Launches New Website – Modeshift – Sustainable Travel

Now, 13 years later, having transitioned into a consultant role, I'm still advocating passionately for active travel. Who could have known the strong and enduring relationship that would blossom with Brightwayz.  I was thrilled to become part of the Brightwayz team earlier this year and join them at the 2023 Modeshift conference.  Looking back to Glasgow, it serves as a powerful reminder of the impact conferences can have and the exciting connections they can spark for those committed to active travel.

Brightwayz Gold Certificate in Planter

Adding a playful touch to this year’s conference, speakers delved into the age-old 'scon’ or ‘scone' pronunciation, creating a lively debate.  I couldn't help but chuckle, thinking, "Oops, I better steer clear of adding the place, Scone (pronounced scoon) into the equation!" Scone Palace, 4 miles from me, once housed the Stone of Destiny. Following its journey to Westminster Abbey, the stone became a powerful symbol of unity for the entire UK.

Reflecting on the 2010 Modeshift conference in Scotland, it's like fate dealt its hand. Bonding with Brightwayz and diving into a vibrant community—was it my destiny?... and what exciting journey awaits to a greener and healthier future……


Donna Cromb (Brightwayz Project Support)

Photo credit: Brightwayz

York at Night. Brightwayz Stand at York. York Christmas Market.