Foremost Forums in April

For proactive executive communicators, a rundown of events, agendas and planning cycles.

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

April’s arrival always reminds us of those stirring opening lines of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales: “Whan that Aprill with his shoures soote the droghte of March hath perced to the roote…” It also reminds us of the several excellent forums taking place this month, such as those you can read about below.

Foremost forums upcoming

Stanford Summit (April 4 – 10; Palo Alto). The Summit is hosted by the Stanford Asia-Pacific Student Entrepreneurship Society (ASES), with an aim to "promote entrepreneurship and business innovation amongst top college students" and to "develop the next generation of entrepreneurs." Focus is on different perspectives from various industries in regards to the personal and professional qualities needed for business success.

MBA Media and Entertainment Conference (MEC) (April 3; New York). Event aims to "foster informative dialogue about, and enhance networking within, the film, music, broadcast and cable television, sports and publishing industries." Agenda addresses topics such as multi-platform content distribution; and media private equity.

Babson Energy and Environmental Conference (April 9; Wellesley). Event aspires to provide attendees with information to "implement sustainability in practical, actionable ways that drive profits [and] strengthen competitive advantage." Representative topics include: Cleantech innovations; securing funding for new ventures; and energy policy trends. 2015 theme: "Harnessing Entrepreneurial Energy."

PSFK Conference (April 16 – 18; New York). Conference has a mission 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" 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. The 2015 theme is "Live, Work, Play Better."

Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship International Corporate Citizenship Conference (April 19 – 21; Austin). Event has a mission 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. Representative topics include: How can corporate citizenship accelerate the growth of new business opportunities?; and how can the value of corporate citizenship be measured and communicated? 2015 theme: "20/20 Vision – Future Business Focus."

MIT Sustainability Summit (April 24 – 25; 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 26 – 29; Beverly Hills). Conference 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. Representative topics include: The natural gas economy; diversity as a business rationale; and reinventing the business of medicine.

Conference Board Sustainability Summit (April 29 – 30; New York). Summit aims to provide "strategies on how to successfully instill sustainability and circular economy thinking into all aspects of global management systems and corporate ethos to drive business and gain competitive advantage." Representative topics include: Sustainability success – moving beyond platitudes to a new way of thinking about sustainability; examining sustainability issues in emerging economies; and the convergence of corporate governance, outside stakeholders, technology and R&D.

Noteworthy conferences beginning agenda planning this month

SharedXpertise Media has issued a call for submissions for its Commit! Forum being held October 21 – 22, 2015 in New York, with a proposal submission deadline of April 20, 2015. Forum takes its name from the fact that it “calls on individuals and organizations to make commitments that change the world” and focuses on the power of CSR "to create competitive advantages for superior corporate citizens." Representative topics include: Environmental compliance; affordable sustainability; green power; responsible sourcing; and social entrepreneurship, from a variety of stakeholder perspectives.

Louise Blouin Foundation will begin agenda development for its Blouin Creative Leadership Summit scheduled for September 21 – 22, 2015 in New York. Summit is self-described as bringing together "leading figures in the areas of science, technology, culture, business, and politics" to focus on "the critical threats and opportunities presented by globalization at the local and global levels." Program addresses such topics as globalizing the mind; political leadership in the twenty first century; and partnerships, power and potential.

Chief Executive will begin developing the agenda for its CEO2CEO Leadership Summit, taking place December 8, 2015 in New York. Event examines the challenges faced by CEOs, specifically in relation to globalization, the changing role of the CEO, and transforming culture for uncertainty ahead. Program examines topics such as global competitiveness; business-to-business models; technological agility; and alliances and partnerships.

Economist Group will begin solidifying the agenda for its Global Agenda being held November 5 – 6, 2015 in London. Event is self-described as "a private gathering in which business leaders, senior policymakers, and influential thinkers from economics and academia gather to consider the business and economic issues of the day." Topics include the fate of global financial markets; political risk on the rise; and the transfer of capital from energy-consuming to energy-producing countries.

Mashable will begin agenda development for its Social Good Summit scheduled for September 27 – 28, 2015 in New York. Summit, developed in conjunction with the United Nations Foundation and the 92nd Street Y, explores "how technology is changing the world for the good." Representative topics include: Empowering people through social media to use technology to prevent climate change; democratization of giving; and the future of news.

Women's Forum for the Economy and Society will begin developing the agenda for its Global Meeting taking place October 14 – 16, 2015 in Deauville, France. Meeting aims to "create a powerful, global network in order to strengthen the influence of women throughout the world [and develop] action plans to encourage women's contribution to society and promote diversity in the business world." Discussion topics have included coaching; diversity; Internet; sustainability; rising talents; and women in education. 2015 theme: "Energizing the world!"

Maeil Business Newspaper & MK Inc. will begin agenda development for its World Knowledge Forum taking place October 20 – 22, 2015 in Seoul, South Korea. Forum 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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