August: a slow month for conferences, but a busy month for conference planners

Five prominent opportunities for executive communicators looking to place leaders.

By Terry Catchpole, Executive Chairman of the Catchpole Corporation executive visibility strategy consultancy. Visit

That’s correct, only one major executive leadership forum happening this month—but it’s one of the best there is. Enjoy reading about that one and the others beginning their agenda planning this month.


Foremost forums upcoming

Womensphere Emerging Leaders Global Summit (August 17 – 21; New York). Summit is described by organizers as a "convening of the next generation of women leaders, innovators, and entrepreneurs in companies, graduate programs, and undergraduate programs representing over 100 companies and academic institutions around the world. Each day in this week-long event is dedicated to building women’s leadership in specific fields and disciplines: finance and investment; business and entrepreneurship; science, technology, and media; public service and social innovation; and education and academic leadership." Attendees have the opportunity to participate through speaker Q&A, discussion circles, collaboration circles, Creating Impact discussions, and multiple Fairs.

Noteworthy conferences beginning agenda planning this month

Global Initiatives will begin agenda development for its Business for the Environment (B4E) Global Summit scheduled for September 24 – 25, 2016 in São Paulo. Summit policy discussions are designed to lead directly to recommendations for action on the part of businesses and governments. Event generally 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.

Financial Times will start finalizing the agenda for its Innovate America event taking place December 9, 2015 in New York. Event "will examine the macro issue of innovating in a global digital-centric world, as well as deep diving inside the company to understand how to structure a company in a way that allows for both innovation and for failure." Representative topics include: Planning ahead for disruptions rather than reacting to them; how to get a board to invest in innovation; restructuring for innovation; and using data to drive innovations forward.

Harvard Business School (HBS) will begin developing the agenda for its Cyberposium event being held November 22, 2015 in Boston. Program aims to provide an opportunity for MBA students, academics, and industry leaders to focus on the companies, trends, and ideas impacting technology and business. Conference also examines the pervasive impact of technology within the business world and society at large. Event addresses topics such as content and distribution, new media industries, bandwidth, copyrights, storage, and data transmission.

INSEAD will begin agenda solidification for its Global Business Leaders Conference scheduled for November 10, 2015 in Vienna. Conference brings together "decision-makers from the private and public sector to debate the opportunities for long-term competitiveness in Europe through institutional reform, diffusion of best practices in industrial excellence, and promotion of entrepreneurship and innovation." Representative topics include: Developing leadership talent in an era of transformation; businesses building stronger communities: corporate social responsibility; and from local to global: challenges of creating a global brand.

Wall Street Journal will start developing the agenda for the ECO:nomics Conference taking place April 6 – 8, 2016 in Santa Barbara. The invitation-only event aspires "to address the most urgent issues in energy, clean tech, public policy, and corporate initiatives." The program's motto: "No PowerPoint. No pontificating. No hot air." Representative topics include: Extreme innovations; the natural gas bonanza; solving environmental threats; and the connection between sustainability and private equity.

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