By Terry Catchpole, Executive Chairman of the Catchpole Corporation executive visibility strategy consultancy. Visit http://www.catchpole.com
Among the occasions that occur every year in March are Bangladeshi Independence Day on March 26th, World Water Day on March 22nd, and Save A Spider Day on March 14th. None of them, we say, can hold a candle to the following most excellent forums happening this month
Foremost forums upcoming
• BIL Conference (March 1 – 2; San Francisco). Event is self-described as "an ad-hoc conference for people changing the world in big ways." Representative topics include: Allowing the power of connection to help business grow; the diffusion of medical evidence; a practical scientific guide to cognitive enhancement; find love and a life partner using science and technology; and how to reboot the US government.
• TED Conference (March 17 – 21; Vancouver). Conference was founded in 1984 as a forum for discussion of trends and developments around the three pillars of technology, entertainment, and design, and their convergence as it impacts social, political, cultural, and economic life. Organizers characterize the forum as a place where attendees "gain an understanding of how your own work fits into the larger web of knowledge." 2014 theme: "The Next Chapter."
• Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship International Corporate Citizenship Conference (March 23 – 25; Los Angeles). 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.
• Dent Conference (March 23 – 26; Sun Valley, ID). Event has a self-described focus on "the magic and science of visionary leadership and groundbreaking success." Program "aims to translate the success of great leaders in business, politics, or charity into a set of lessons for those who would 'put a dent' in the future." Representative topics include: Things that cannot be delegated; and invention by insight – seeing the solution that already exists. 2014 theme is "Putting a Dent in the Universe."
• Globe International Conference (March 26 – 28; Vancouver). Biennial event has a self-described mission to "discuss current trends and showcase innovative technology solutions for the world's environment problems." Representative topics include: New developments in the smart grid sector; green infrastructure integration in cities; driving the corporate sustainability agenda; role of property valuation in driving sustainability; and improving employee performance through a corporate culture of sustainability leadership.
• Economist Innovation Forum (March 27; Berkeley). Event aims to "expand and possibly overturn established thinking about what innovation is, where it comes from, and how to make it work." Program addresses such topics as better ways to nourish entrepreneurial activity inside large and small organizations; how to understand the risks associated with innovation; and what systems and structures needed to fuel innovation. 2014 theme: "Bigger Returns with Bigger Ideas."
• Babson Energy and Environmental Conference (March 27; Wellesley, MA). Conference 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: Cleantech innovations; securing funding for new ventures; and energy policy trends. Event includes a Green Rocket Pitch competition during which students propose their sustainable business ideas to potential investors. 2014 theme is "Fifteen Shades of Green."
• Harvard Social Enterprise Conference (March 29 – 30; Boston and Cambridge, MA). Co-hosted by Harvard Business School and Harvard Kennedy School of Government, the student-run conference is self-described as "a forum for exploring the synergies between for-profit, non-profit, and public sector approaches to addressing critical social issues." Representative topics include: Initiatives taken to solve global problems; and strategies for implementing and maintaining corporate sustainability and corporate social responsibility in business operations.
• Wall Street Journal's ECO:nomics Conference (April 2 – 4; Santa Barbara). Conference positions itself "at the intersection of business and the environment." 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.
Noteworthy conferences beginning agenda planning this month
• Aspen Institute and The Atlantic have issued a call for speakers for the Ideas Festival scheduled for June 24 – July 3, 2014 in Aspen, with a proposal submission deadline of March 15, 2014. Event is designed to address trends in politics, culture, science, theology, and academia, with a mission to focus on "restorative reflection on the meaning of the good life, leadership, and sound public policy based on nonpartisan principles and timeless ideas." Program addresses such topics as global dynamics; health and bioscience; and culture and the media.
• CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) Asia will begin agenda development for its Summit being held September 16 – 17, 2014 in Hong Kong. Summit focuses on the challenges and strategies related to the implementation and integration of CSR into Asian business operations, with examination of best practices case studies. Representative topics include: Socially responsible investing; business-NGO partnerships; carbon foot-printing and solutions; climate change and business responses; and sustainability within the supply chain.
• INSEAD will begin solidifying the agenda for its Global Business Leaders Conference taking place June 20, 2014 in Sintra, Portugal. 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.
• World Economic Forum will begin developing the agenda for its Meeting of the New Champions scheduled for September 10 – 12, 2014 in Tianjin, China. Meeting brings together the "New Champion communities – including Global Growth Companies, Young Global Leaders, Young Scientists, Technology Pioneers, Social Entrepreneurs and the World Economic Forum’s youngest community, the Global Shapers" with Forum members and partners to "share strategies and solutions and discuss global issues and risks."