April a busy month in leadership forums

By Terry Catchpole, Executive Chairman of the executive visibility strategy consultancy of the same name. Visit http://www.catchpole.com

Want to impress your friends this month? Tell them that the coming of April always reminds you of the Chaucer’s Prologue to the “Canterbury Tales”: Whan that Aprille with his shoures soote, the droghte of Marche hath perced to the roote….” Or, you can impress them with your knowledge of these upcoming thought leadership forums.

Foremost forums upcoming 

Babson Energy and Environmental Conference (April 5; Wellesley, MA). Held on the Babson campus, event has a goal to provide attendees with information to “implement sustainability in practical, actionable ways that drive profits [and] strengthen competitive advantage.” Representative topics include: Clean tech innovations; securing funding for new ventures; and energy policy trends. 

Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference (April 6 – 8; Boao, China). Event supports the organization’s mission of being “the most prestigious and premier forum for leaders in government, business, and academia in Asia and other continents to share visions on the most pressing issues in this dynamic region and the world at large.” Representative topics include: Real estate dialogue: economists versus developers; green energy: public-private partnership; and financial reform and innovation: risks and opportunities.

Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship (April 10 – 12; Oxford; United Kingdom). Forum is self-described as the “premier international platform for advancing entrepreneurial approaches to solve the world’s most pressing problems.” They do so by uniting social entrepreneurs with essential partners “in a collaborative pursuit of learning, leverage and large-scale social change.” Representative topics include: Water, food security, climate change, education, human rights, social equity and emerging social business models. 

PSFK Conference (April 12; New York). Conference is self-described as a platform to “bring together the world’s leading creative thinkers with both established and emerging business leaders to bring to life the conversations that take place daily on psfk.com. The program features speakers from the worlds of art, technology, design, marketing, and media, with the goal of “creating an environment where disparate ideas can come together in new ways to fuel work that changes the world for the better.” Representative topics include: How to design technology so it becomes natural; how the United Nations is using social data to spot disasters; and the city as a social platform.

Business for the Environment Global Summit (April 15 – 16; Delhi, India). Summit is self-described as “the world’s leading international conference for dialogue and business-driven action for the environment.” Event focuses on “the most urgent environmental challenges facing the world today,” examining such representative topics as resource efficiency; renewable energies; new business models; and climate policies and strategies. 

CSR Europe General Assembly (April 17; Brussels). Event brings together invited “corporate members and national partner organizations” with a goal of “understanding how corporations are shifting CSR from mainstream to social innovation” by fostering dialogue and by informing delegates about CSR Europe’s ongoing projects. Event is followed by the Enterprise 2020 Conference.

Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship International Corporate Citizenship Conference (April 21 – 23; Boston). Conference is self-described as “where practitioners exchange ideas, experiences, and challenges with a knowledgeable and committed network of corporate citizenship peers from leading corporations, diverse industries and regions.” Mission of the conference is to help CSR professionals “become better at what you do,” through focus on fundamental management issues and best practices, as well as unique challenges in managing corporate citizenship in companies worldwide.

MIT Sustainability Summit (April 27 – 28; Cambridge, MA). Summit is self-described as bringing together “students, engineers, business leaders, academics, environmental activists, and public servants to look at the current successes, emerging solutions and new paradigms that can lead us to an environmentally and socially sustainable future.” Representative topics include: Challenges in scaling social enterprises; sustainability transformation of large organizations; and adoption of transportation alternatives.

Milken Institute Global Conference (April 28 – May 1; Los Angeles). Event focuses on the major economic, financial, business, technological, and policy issues currently facing the world. Agenda topics cover major economic, financial, business, health, education, energy, technological and policy issues.

Fortune Brainstorm: Green (April 29 – May 1; Dana Point, CA). Event has a focus on “the opportunities, risks, and impact of environmental issues on business and economy,” and addresses the overriding question of “how can businesses help solve the world’s big environment problems.” Program examines the movement to sustainability by addressing such representative topics as sustaining green business models in economic hard times; myths and realities of green buildings; and pros and cons of water privatization. 

Ceres Conference (May 1 – 2; San Francisco). Conference focuses on “the integration of sustainability into business strategy and long-term shareholder value” for an audience of corporate executives as well as representatives from labor, public policy, and the investment community. Representative topics include the advantages and challenges of federal climate legislation; the environmental, social, and financial benefits of sustainability; and the economic opportunities afforded by the global corporate transition to energy efficiency and lowered carbon footprint.

99 Percent Conference (May 2 – 3; New York). Event, also called the 99U Conference, takes its name from the adage regarding achievement, that it is the result of one percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration. The conference’s mission is to “shift the focus from idea generation to idea execution [by bringing] together some of the world’s most productive creative visionaries and leading researchers to share pragmatic insights on how ideas are brought to life.” Representative topics include: How to create a product people love; key insights on making ideas happen; learning to embrace risk and take action quickly; and innovating in the real world.

Noteworthy conferences beginning agenda planning this month

Chief Executive Group will begin finalizing the agenda for its CEO2CEO Leadership Summit being held December 9, 2013 in New York. Summit examines the challenges of globalization and is considered a top executive networking event for chairs and CEOs of US companies, primarily those with $500 million or more in annual revenues. Program focuses on such topics as global competitiveness; business-to-business models; technological agility; and alliances and partnerships.

The CMO Club will begin solidifying the agenda for its Fall Innovation and Inspiration Summit, scheduled for October 10 – 11, 2013 in Los Angeles. Member-attendees are updated about current and upcoming research, marketing insights, advances in technology, and current thinking among their peers on current professional issues. Discussion topics include brand management, marketing transformation, behavioral branding, marketing planning, customer segmentation, Web 2.0, marketing ROI, sustainability, and organizational development and benchmarking.

Maeil Business Newspaper will begin agenda development for its World Knowledge Forum taking place October 15 – 17, 2013 in Seoul. Forum is described as “Asia’s most prominent knowledge festival.” Event focuses on the “search for the 21st Century wealth creation equation,” addressing such topics as the impact of fund capitalism; US policy toward North Korea; innovation as a factor in corporate growth; building global brand leadership; and creation of online distribution channels.

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